NHL releases video explaining recent suspensions, illegal checks

Tim and Sid discuss the plethora of questionable hits and suspensions so far in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Controversial hits and suspensions have been a major talking point thus far in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

In particular, illegal check to the head calls often leave players, coaches and fans confused as to whether or not supplemental discipline is warranted, so the NHL’s Department of Player Safety released a video Friday evening explaining its rationale for a handful of talked-about plays from the opening round.

Four plays were discussed in the video, two that resulted in suspensions and two that did not:

— Los Angeles Kings defenceman Drew Doughty’s one-game suspension for his illegal check to the head of Vegas Golden Knights forward William Carrier.

— A high hit from Nashville Predators forward Ryan Johansen on Colorado Avalanche blueliner Tyson Barrie.

— Tampa Bay Lightning winger Nikita Kucherov’s hit that resulted in an upper-body injury for New Jersey Devils defenceman Sami Vatanen.

— Ryan Hartman’s headshot on Avs forward Carl Soderberg that earned him a one-game suspension.

“Illegal checks to the head and legal, full-body hits often looks similar at first glance because the difference between legal and illegal can be a matter of inches in a sport that moves fast,” the narrator of the video explained.

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