There’s never a good time for a headshot to happen on the ice, and there’s never a good reason for it. The Philadelphia Flyers found that out the hard way as their top playoff scorer Claude Giroux has been suspended for an illegal hit to the head in last night’s loss to the New Jersey Devils. His shoulder made contact with Danius Zubrus’ head here on this hit:
Pretty nasty hit, and plenty late as well. His two minute penalty for illegal hit to the head got him a hearing today with the NHL and a one game suspension. Giroux “respects the decision and wants to move on,” according to Frank Seravalli of the Philadelphia Daily News, and that’s well and good.
What’s not well and good is that Giroux is the leading scorer in all categories (8G 9A 17Pts) and the Flyers face elimination tomorrow night. The game that Giroux has been suspended for is a decisive one, and this absolutely hurts the team. While the hit to the head might have been unintentional, Giroux can’t put himself in the position that he did. He didn’t leave his feet, but the shoulder still made contact with Zubrus’ head and the hit was still late. Now the Flyers hill that they need to climb is a mountain, because with the way that the Devils have played this series, tomorrow night could very well be it.
After the jump, the official NHL explanation video.