Boston’s Brad Marchand was ejected from Tuesday’s game against Tampa Bay for spearing Lightning defenseman Jake Dotchin.
Referees Brad Meier and Jon McIsaac handed Marchand a major penalty for spearing, which includes an automatic game misconduct.
According to Joe Smith of the Tampa Bay Times, Dotchin said he’s okay, with just some soreness in his stomach.
From the NHL rule book:
62.1 Spearing – Spearing shall mean stabbing an opponent with the point of the stick blade, whether contact is made or not.
62.2 Double-minor Penalty – A double-minor penalty will be imposed on a player who spears an opponent and does not make contact.
62.3 Major Penalty – A major penalty shall be imposed on a player who spears an opponent (see 62.5).
62.4 Match Penalty – A match penalty shall be imposed on a player who injures an opponent as a result of a spear.
62.5 Game Misconduct Penalty – Whenever a major penalty is assessed for spearing, a game misconduct penalty must also be imposed.
The NHL’s Department of Player Safety is reviewing the play. The Bruins have just two games left in the regular season. They currently hold the third spot in the Atlantic Division standings.
When asked if Marchand should be suspended, Dotchin declined to comment, saying only, “I’ll let the league handle that.”
“I don’t think he needs to play that way,” said Tampa’s Anton Stralman. “His goals and points and the way he plays, that’s good enough.”
Detroit’s Gustav Nyquist was suspended six games earlier this season for high-sticking Minnesota’s Jared Spurgeon. Player Safety deemed it a high stick, not a spear.
The last player to be suspended for spearing was then-Penguins defenseman Eric Cairns, who sat for three games for spearing Boston’s Zdeno Chara twice during a game. That was over a decade ago.
Marchand may break that streak.