“You’re taking out the best defenceman in the league,” Cherry said during his Coach’s Corner segment Thursday night. “You’re taking him out of a playoff game because everybody wants to have him suspended.
“The sweethearts want him suspended.”
Doughty delivered a hit that was deemed illegal to the head of Vegas Golden Knights forward William Carrier on Wednesday during the third period in Game 1 of their first-round playoff series. He did not receive a penalty on the play, while Carrier went to the locker room for the remainder of the game.
Vegas notched a 1-0 victory to take an early lead in the series. Doughty will miss Game 2 on Friday night in Las Vegas.
“In the old days [Doughty] would have been able to drop his gloves and go in after him,” said Cherry. “He would have got a two, five and 10 [minute penalty]. Can’t do that now, so what does he do? He was ticked off.
“He shouldn’t have been suspended.”
The play came during a physical contest between the Western Conference clubs that featured a combined 127 hits. It brought out strong words from the Golden Knights dressing room following the game.
“Obviously, it’s a hit to the head, it was pretty blatant,” said Vegas enforcer Ryan Reaves, who was a healthy scratch for Game 1. “I don’t know if the ref maybe had a bad angle on it, but I’m sure the league will deal with it the way they need to. You never need to hit a guy in the jaw. … If I’m in that game I’d probably try and go do something about it. Maybe I can calm that situation down.”