PHILADELPHIA, PA - APRIL 15: Arron Asham #45 of the Pittsburgh Penguins gets a match penalty for high sticking Brayden Schenn #10 of the Philadelphia Flyers in Game Three of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals during the 2012 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Wells Fargo Center on April 15, 2012 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Pittsburgh forward James Neal will have hearings on Tuesday with the Department of Player Safety for two separate incidents in Sunday's Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals series against the Philadelphia Flyers. Also, Pittsburgh forward Arron Asham has been offered an in-person hearing Tuesday morning for his match penalty for cross-checking Brayden Schenn at 14:15 of the first period. Asham received a match penalty on the hit. Neal's hearings focus on the hit against Sean Couturier in the third period, as well as the charging penalty he received for a hit on Claude Giroux later in the period. Neal was not penalized on the Couturier hit.The in-person aspect is for what the league views as serious, potential 5+ game suspensions, so Asham, a known fighter and rough player, could have likely played his last game of the season. Especially given he made contact with Brayden Schenn's throat area with a cross-check, then punched him in the back of the head once the player was down. Asham's gotta be gone, for how long probably doesn't even matter given the Pens current 0-3 series hole.
The bigger question is that of Neal. He's obviously a very important player for the Pens, but the fact that he has two questionable high hits in as many shifts, made his objective pretty clear: he was head hunting. That can't bode well for him being in the lineup for Game 4 (At least). After that, who knows.
But then again, the NHL didn't suspend Shea Weber for slamming the head of a star player WWE style into the boards, so heaven only knows where the inconsistent wheel-of-justice/Shanaban will fall.