Former Capitals defenseman Matt Niskanen is in some hot water for an incredibly dangerous cross-check he delivered to Brendan Gallagher’s face during Game Five of the Philadelphia Flyers’ first-round series against the Montreal Canadiens on Wednesday.
The NHL’s Department of Player Safety held a hearing with Niskanen today and has suspended him one game.
The play happened late in the third period with the Canadiens on a powerplay. Niskanen unleashed some frontier justice on Gallagher after the Canadiens forward cross-checked him in the back. Nisky returned fire to Gallagher’s face as he turned while forechecking.
#Habs Muller says the team has sent this video (shot by their social media cameraman) to the league as an alternate angle of the Niskanen crosscheck on Gallagher to support their belief that supplemental discipline is warranted against the #Flyers defenceman. https://t.co/sH6dznVgvD
— John Lu (@JohnLuTSNMtl) August 20, 2020
The cross-check left the young, sandpaper-y Habs star badly bloodied. Gallagher, with his mouth full of blood, screamed at officials from the Habs bench in disbelief that there was no penalty called on the play.
Gallagher took a CT scan Thursday afternoon.
— TSN Hockey (@TSNHockey) August 20, 2020
Habs GM Marc Bergevin told the media that Gallagher has a broken jaw and will miss the rest of the series. He will leave the bubble to have surgery.
Habs also announce here that Gallagher will leave the bubble to have the surgery. There was some thought about whether Gallagher could have the surgery inside the bubble but obviously that is not the case. https://t.co/VjTWJLA8Qp
— Pierre LeBrun (@PierreVLeBrun) August 20, 2020
Thursday, Flyers head coach Alain Vigneault defended Niskanen and suggested that Gallagher got hurt because he was short.
Alain Vigneault says "in my estimation Gallagher seemed fine."
Adds that it's not Niskanen's fault Gallagher is a shorter player who got cut on a "hockey play."
— Chris Johnston (@reporterchris) August 20, 2020
"A hockey play that unfortunately cut him a little bit."
– Alain Vigneault on Matt Niskanen-Brendan Gallagher play
Vigneault said Niskanen's angle doesn't change and that Gallagher seemed fine after getting up, was talking on the bench, etc. pic.twitter.com/pLAWQ9SIkm
— Jordan Hall (@JHallNBCS) August 20, 2020
DoPS did not see it that way.
Screenshot courtesy of @CanadiensMTL
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