Conor Sheary is not a man of great stature, but he landed a devastating hit during the third period of the Capitals-Penguins game. How it was or wasn’t delivered was a talking point on TNT during and after the game.
Sheary got in hot water after being whistled a two-minute minor for an illegal check to the head to Penguins defender Filip Hallander.
Hallander got his stick on a pass from Ovechkin, bunting it away from its intended target and then clearing it away. Sheary, hard-charging down the right wing, collided with Hallander as he was trying to go in for a scoring chance.
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Hallander was injured on the play and went down the tunnel to the locker room.
On the TNT broadcast, former players Eddie Olczyk and Keith Jones believed that there was intent behind Sheary’s hit after seeing it on multiple different replays seconds after it happened. There were suggestions too that it could get supplemental discipline.
“Yeah, he did,” Jones said when asked if Sheary chicken-winged Hallander. “That can’t happen. To me, that’s a major penalty whenever you stick out that chicken wing.”
A chicken wing is essentially when a player raises their elbow up while skating by someone to deliver a check to the head.
After the game, TNT’s studio crew consisting of Paul Bissonnette, Rick Tocchet, and Anson Carter, came to a different conclusion. Bissonnette shared his opinion that Sheary caught Hallander in the back and kept his arm tucked in by his side, believing that the two-minute minor penalty more than sufficed.
The hit seemed like one of those hockey plays gone wrong, where because of weird circumstances, an unfortunate result happened out of no fault of anyone on the ice. But the Department of Player Safety has suspended players for less.
If there’s any evidence that perhaps Sheary’s hit will blow over, it’s the lack of reaction in the opposing teams’ locker rooms. Capitals head coach Peter Laviolette was not asked about Sheary’s penalty. The Penguins didn’t appear to discuss it either.
Headline photo: Alan Dobbins/RMNB
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