Philadelphia Flyers defenseman Matt Niskanen is awaiting the results of a hearing with the NHL’s Department of Player Safety.
Niskanen was called on the carpet by the league for a late-game cross-check to the face of Montreal Canadiens winger Brendan Gallagher.
Gallagher, clearly bloodied, reportedly suffered a fractured jaw.
No penalty was called on the play by referees Chris Lee and Kyle Rehman.
“I don’t care what era we’re from,” said broaccaster and former NHLer Nick Kypreos. “In the 1980s or the 1990s when I played, that’s a suspension. It could be two [games], my guess is it should be one.”
The Canadiens provided some supplemental footage to Player Safety for their review in addition to what was captured via the broadcast cameras.
“The video will definitely explain what they’ll see,” said Habs coach Kirk Muller. “We’re going to leave it with the league and we’ll have confidence that the video will show what it shows.”
#Habs Muller says the team has sent this video (shot by their social media cameraman) to the league as an alternate angle of the Niskanen crosscheck on Gallagher to support their belief that supplemental discipline is warranted against the #Flyers defenceman. https://t.co/sH6dznVgvD
— John Lu (@JohnLuTSNMtl) August 20, 2020
Flyer head coach Alain Vigneault downplayed the incident.
“In my estimation, Gallagher got up and seemed fine, he was talking to the referees, the whole time he was on the bench, he was talking to our players for the rest of the game,” said Vigneault. “Gallagher’s a very competitive player, but I don’t think it’s [Niskanen’s] fault he might not be as tall as some of the other guys but he competes as big, if not bigger, than anybody else. It just seemed like a hockey play that unfortunately cut [Gallagher] a little bit.”
Update: Gallagher will miss the remainder of the series against the Flyers – possible more – with a broken jaw.