Should Bellemare face suspension for brutal hit from behind on Orlov?

Watch as Pierre-Édouard Bellemare hits Dmirty Orlov into the boards from behind resulting in a brawl between the Flyers and Capitals.

It’s one of the most dangerous plays in hockey and Dmitry Orlov could have been a lot worse for wear after taking a terrible shot from behind from Philadelphia’s Pierre-Edouard Bellemare in Game 3 Monday night.

As Bellemare and Orlov were racing for the puck in the corner, the Flyers forward nudged the Capitals defenceman, who may have lost his footing before falling head-first into the boards. For a minute it was a scary scene as Orlov struggled to pull himself away from the ensuing line brawl, but he returned to the bench and did not leave the game.

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Bellemare received a five-minute major and a game misconduct. Flyers Radko Gudas and Ryan White got misconducts of their own for the post-whistle scrum, while fans were warned about throwing bracelets on the ice. A few minutes later, more bracelets were thrown and the Flyers were issued a two-minute minor.

Back to the hit: a player should not be shoving another in the back — with any force — around the boards, but as Don Cherry said on a post-game Coach’s Corner segment, how much of the onus is on the player who gets hit to prepare and protect himself?

The Capitals easily took Game 3 by a 6-1 score, so Philadelphia may not be long for these playoffs, but you’d think the Bellemare hit would be reviewed by the league. What do you think — should he face a suspension?

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