Ottawa Senators forward Austin Watson will sit for two games after a ‘late, high hit’ on Boston Bruins defenseman Jack Ahcan.
The hit came 8:07 into the first period of Saturday’s game in Ottawa. Watson was given a minor penalty for interference on the play by referees Kyle Rehman and Gord Dwyer.
Ahcan had already moved the puck up the boards – and was no longer eligible to be hit – when Watson came in with a hard body check. He lifted up his body, delivering a high shoulder rather than driving through Ahcan’s core. While the hit still would have been late and resulted in a penalty, it likely wouldn’t have risen to the level of supplemental discipline.
From the NHL rule book:
56.1 Interference – The player deemed in possession of the puck may be checked legally, provided the check is rendered immediately following his loss of possession
56.2 Minor Penalty – A minor penalty for interference shall be imposed […] (iii) On any player who deliberately checks an opponent, including the goalkeeper, who is not in possession of the puck
Boston’s Anton Blidh also picked up a roughing minor on the play for his response to the hit.
This is Watson’s second suspension. He sat for two games for boarding in 2017.
The Senators forward forfeits $15,000 in salary as a result of the suspension.