- In Game 1 Tom Wilson was fined the maximum for his knee on Conor Sheary behind the play
- In Game 2 Brooks Orpik drew a hefty (for the NHL playoffs) 3 game suspension for his 1 second late high hit on Olli Maatta that caused a concussion.
In Game 3, Kris Letang would do the dirt with this inexcusably reckless and dumb hit on Caps forward Marcus Johansson
Here's another look from a different angle.
Letang gets only 2 mins for interference for this hit on Johnasson pic.twitter.com/gK8wppEsU0— Stephanie (@myregularface) May 3, 2016
The natural comparison is to the Orpik hit, since both were late and did apparent damage to the head. Both also drew weak 2-minute minors for interference, when 5-and-a-game were probably more appropriate in both cases. However, the game moves fast and that's why there is supplemental discipline to levy more punishment.
However, there are a couple important differences between the Letang and Orpik hits.
FWIW, Letang on MJ90 was 19 digital frames from release of puck to contact. 30 frames in 1 second. So .63 of a second.— Bob McKenzie (@TSNBobMcKenzie) May 3, 2016
By comparison, Orpik on Maatta was 31 digital frames, or a full second and a bit. That was extraordinarily late by NHL standards.— Bob McKenzie (@TSNBobMcKenzie) May 3, 2016
Anything over. 50 of a second gets a look but other factors come into play. In this case, issue is contact to head, potential launching.— Bob McKenzie (@TSNBobMcKenzie) May 3, 2016
Johansson would return for the 2nd period and play as normal. Which, like it or not, the NHL also takes into consideration when they look at doling at extra discipline.
One never knows what to expect when it comes to NHL justice, Department of Player "Safety" style. Wilson probably should have had a seat, he didn't. Most expected 1, maybe 2 games for Orpik and he got a relatively hefty 3 playoff game suspension.
You would have to think that the Penguins need to prepare to spend at least 1 game without Letang, and it would be difficult to argue any differently. He stepped up and made an unnecessary hit late on a player that he had no reason to do so on, especially considering the Pens were winning 2-0 at that point of the game. There's no excuse for that, and Letang deserves to be at the mercy of the suspension hearing, which will be a very tough blow for his team to take.