Ramblings: Scheifele Suspended Four Games, OT Winner for Marchand (June 4)

Ian Gooding

2021-06-04

The NHL Department of Player Safety has ruled on a four-game suspension for Mark Scheifele for his charge on Jake Evans near the end of Game 1. You can watch their video for an explanation of the suspension below.

I can't say this about the DoPS every time, but I believe they got this one right and explained it well in the video. Although four playoff games are worth considerably more than four regular-season games to a team, and although Scheifele doesn't have a suspension history, the video points out that he made no effort to play the puck and was instead completely focused on running Evans. That makes the hit seem like less of a hockey play than I originally thought. Now that we know more about the long-term impact of head injuries, the "keep your head up" defense of the hit seems less valid.

The suspension won't guarantee that Scheifele will be out of the lineup for the rest of the series as some had called for, but it has the potential to if the series lasts only five games. With the Jets already down 1-0 in the series, Scheifele's loss will have a major impact, as he was the team's leading scorer in the regular season (63 PTS in 56 GP) and co-leader in the playoffs (5 PTS in 5 GP). Don't forget that Paul Stastny was out of the lineup for Game 1, which could leave the Jets rather thin up the middle for Game 2.  

As for Evans, he reportedly has a concussion, which is no surprise. Expect him to be out for the foreseeable future, although he was not hospitalized even after being carried off the ice on a stretcher.  

One other thing: As a fan of the game, I worry about a fringe player with nothing to lose taking out one of the league's stars and how that could change the complexion of a season. So it's ironic that the star player (Scheifele) is the one injuring the fourth-liner (Evans).

The Bruins peppered 34 total shots on Semyon Varlamov during the second and third periods alone, and he stopped every single one. Varlamov couldn't quite steal the game for the Isles, allowing a first-period goal and the overtime winner to Brad Marchand to give the Bruins a 2-1 series lead over the Islanders.