When you’ve been striving for a championship all year long, and it finally comes down to the wire, hockey takes it to another level. The stakes are high, the intensity is high, full throttle, balls to the wall… these fellas leave it all on the ice.
This is exactly what we saw Wednesday night in an NHL playoff game between the Montreal Canadiens and the Winnipeg Jets.
The Jets were down 4-3 with the game almost over, when Canadiens forward Jake Evans was staring at a wide open goal as the goaltender was pulled in the final minute.
He scored with ease as he came around the goal, but with his head down, he immediately got blindsided by Winnipeg star center Mark Scheifele. I mean, he absolutely obliterated Evans, and he was carried off on a stretcher.
And now, Scheifele is facing a four game suspension from the NHL for the hit.
Many have argued that the hit was clean, and Evans should have had his head up. Other called it a cheap shop, trash hit. Unfortunately, Evans was injured on the play, which you always hate to see, but that garners a much more severe reaction. If he pops back up after the hit, we’re probably not even writing this blog.
And according to ESPN, Scheifele is not a huge fan of the suspension:
“I think it was pretty excessive. I wasn’t expecting that. I was pretty shocked. But that’s their decision.
There’s a minute left in the game. We just scored. It’s a one-goal game. My only thought in my mind is to prevent a goal. There’s no malice there, no intent. I don’t go in with the frame of mind of injuring a hockey player.”
This is a huge blow to the Jets, as they’re already down 1-0 to a tough Canadiens team. Now, they’re gonna have to win without their star center.
Props to Nik Ehlers for keeping Evans protected though.