The first suspension of the Stanley Cup Playoffs was handed down Thursday after Drew Doughty hit William Carrier with a check that was deemed to make contact with the Golden Knights forward’s head. Doughty received a one-game sitdown for the transgression.
On Friday, he spoke to the media about the league’s decision for the first time, and pulled no punches.
“I don’t think it’s suspension worthy, I think it’s BS, really,” Doughty said. “It’s awful. Watching the games last night, I guess he’s got four or five more to give.”
Emphasizing his belief that the hit was unfortunate but necessary, Doughty said he’d do it all again.
“I feel terrible that I hit him in the head and if he’s having any problems I feel awful about that but I would do it all over again,” Doughty said, according to ESPN. “I would make that hit.”
According to Helene Elliott of the Los Angeles Times, Carrier told Doughty that he thought it was a good hit.
On Thursday night, there were three more checks that could have warranted suspensions. Tom Wilson’s hit on Alexander Wennberg injured the Blue Jackets forward, but did not receive supplementary discipline. Nazem Kadri is facing a suspension for a charge and hit to the head on Boston’s Tommy Wingels and the Leafs are preparing to be without the centre for at least Game 2. Nashville’s Ryan Johansen delivered a hit on Tyson Barrie that the Avalanche were comparing to Doughty’s hit, though the league didn’t follow up with a suspension to the Predators centre.
The Avs, citing Doughty’s suspension, were upset over the lack of consistency.
“You’re taking out the best defenceman in the league,” Don Cherry said of Doughty’s suspension Thursday night on Coach’s Corner. “You’re taking him out of a playoff game because everybody wants to have him suspended.
“The sweethearts want him suspended.”