By Ty Anderson, 985TheSportsHub.com
A first-period match penalty that ejected Jeremy Lauzon from Saturday’s win over the Coyotes was not enough, as the NHL’s Department of Player Safety smacked Lauzon with a two-game ban for an illegal check to the head of Derek Stepan.
Speaking with reporters after the game on Saturday, Lauzon noted that while he does consider himself a defenseman who plays with an “edge,” he was merely trying to finish his check on Stepan and with a potential offensive-zone keep-in at play.
And all things considered, this feels a little steep for a first-time offender who missed the majority of Saturday’s game. There’s also the fact that Stepan remained in the game and is reportedly fine. So, the league essentially decided that Lauzon’s hit, which did not cause an injury and was dished out by a player with no prior incidents, was worth three games. You’re all for the league cracking down on headshots, of course, but it becomes a total mess when Lawson Crouse’s hit square to Charlie McAvoy’s head later in that game was met with a two-minute minor and came and went without so much as a hearing.
Word of the suspension for the first-time offender came down just before the team’s Sunday loss to the Red Wings, which allowed John Moore to remain in the Boston lineup opposite Matt Grzelcyk on the Black and Gold’s third pairing.
The 22-year-old Lauzon, who will serve the second and final game of this suspension when the Canadiens come to Boston on Wednesday night, was also hit with a $8.037.64 fine for the hit.