UPDATE: Burrows has been suspended three games for the hit.
After a quiet start to the season, business is picking up for the Department of Player Safety.
Vancouver Canucks forward Alex Burrows is the latest to toss his hat into the head-shot suspension ring. (Not to be confused with Thomas Vanek’s paycheck-gambing ring.)
In Thursday night’s game against Montreal, Burrows leveled Canadiens defenseman Alexei Emelin with a high hit that could see the Canucks winger on the receiving end of some supplemental discipline.
Emelin had just released a pass that was intercepted by Canucks winger Derek Dorsett. With the Habs blueliner still down on the ice, Vancouver’s Nick Bonino finished a two-on-one with a shot that beat Carey Price to give the Canucks a 1-0 lead.
Talk about adding insult to injury. As the Canucks celebrated, Emelin was helped off the ice. There was no call on the play from referees Ian Walsh and Brian Pochmara.
Here’s the hit, via @PeteBlackburn:
Emelin returned to the game for the third period. The Habs managed to rally for a comeback but lost, 3-2, in overtime.
“I tried to finish my check. I had no intention to injure [Emelin],” Burrows said after the game. “I was happy to see Emelin back for the third period.”
“We all saw the hit to the head on Emelin, and instead of having a power play of five minutes, the puck is in your own end,” said Canadiens head coach Michel Therrien. “That was a dirty hit to the head. This is something you try to eliminate from our game.”
Suspension Coming for Burrows?
Despite Emelin’s return, the Department of Player Safety would like a word with Burrows.
— Nick Kypreos (@RealKyper) October 31, 2014
Canucks Army’s Rhys Jessop reports that Burrows has never been suspended in his professional career. That might be about to change. The best hope for Burrows is leniency since Emelin returned to the game. It’s better to penalize on intent than on outcome, but the league admits to factoring the severity of the resulting injury into its decisions. So, will Burrows be suspended? Watch the play and vote below.
You Make The Call: How many games should Burrows get for his hit?