LAS VEGAS — Los Angeles Kings defenseman Drew Doughty known as his one-game suspension after an unlawful examine to the pinnacle of Vegas Golden Knights ahead William Provider “B.S.” and “awful” earlier than lacking Recreation 2 of their Stanley Cup playoff collection on Friday.
“I don’t think it’s suspension-worthy,” Doughty mentioned after collaborating within the group’s morning skate. “I think it’s B.S., really. I think it’s awful. Watching the games last night, I guess he’s got four or five more [suspensions] to give.”
Doughty delivered the hit halfway via the third interval Wednesday, as Provider tried to maneuver the puck to a teammate within the Kings’ defensive zone and Doughty delivered what the NHL on Thursday known as a “high, forceful hit that makes Carrier’s head the main point of contact, on a hit where such head contact was avoidable.” Therefore, although Doughty made preliminary contact with Provider’s arm, the Vegas ahead’s head was the primary level of contact, which meant the hit violated NHL Rule 48 for unlawful checks to the pinnacle. Provider did not see the ice once more after that incident, and there was no penalty known as on the play.
“I hope Carrier is OK, I see he’s in the lineup, he’s not injured and he’s OK. I never intended to hit him in the head,” Doughty mentioned. “I don’t think for one second that that is suspension-worthy. In the hearing we came to the conclusion that I did not intend to hit the head. I did get his shoulder, but the thing we didn’t agree on is he didn’t move or alter his position to make him vulnerable for the hit. You can clearly see in the video that he plants on his right leg, going off his left and opens up his left shoulder and tries to jump to the inside and that’s why he ends up in the middle of the ice.”
Kings coach John Stevens agreed with Doughty, saying, “In my opinion Drew Doughty is the best player at his position in the world and he defended that play exactly the way we’d expect him to defend that play … As long as I’m on the earth, I’m going to agree to disagree with that decision.”
Doughty has by no means been suspended throughout his earlier 770 regular-season and 82 postseason video games. Gamers with out earlier suspensions, on common, not often get postseason bans. Since 2013, there have been 20 gamers suspended by the Division of Participant Security within the postseason; of these 20, solely eight gamers had by no means been suspended earlier than. Doughty mentioned Friday he would make the identical hit once more beneath the identical circumstances.
“I did not intend to injure him,” Doughty mentioned. “Did I intend to separate him from the puck and hit him? Yeah, for sure, but I’m a defenseman. That’s my job. That’s what I do. I feel terrible that I hit him in the head, and if he’s having any problems, I feel awful about that, but I would do it all over again. I would make that hit and try to separate him from the puck.”
The lack of Doughty for Recreation 2 might have a devastating impact on protection for the Kings, who misplaced Recreation 1 at Vegas 1-Zero. They performed that sport with out injured defensemen Derek Forbort and Jake Muzzin, and Stevens mentioned they may doubtless be with out each gamers once more on Friday. Now, they will even be with out their greatest defenseman and a participant who is anticipated to be a finalist for the Norris Trophy this season. Doughty was third on the Kings in scoring with 60 factors (10 objectives, 50 assists) and skated a team-high 26 minutes, 50 seconds per sport. He performed 28:02 in Recreation 1.
“That’s the way we play the game,” Doughty mentioned. “You got to play physical. You want me to just let that guy get to the net and get a scoring chance? I’m not going to let him do that. I did not at all intend to hit him in the head, and I 100 percent got his shoulder first. I definitely hit the head after that. Maybe it’s a penalty call or something like that, but a suspension? In the playoffs? I don’t think so. I saw four hits last that deserve more games than that, so we’ll see what he does now.”
ESPN’s Greg Wyshynski contributed to this report.