Scheifele gets 4 games
WINNIPEG – If there is anything that I have learned in the last 18 months, it is that I cannot change what I cannot change and not complain about it. It doesn’t matter how ridiculous things can be. But yesterday the NHL set a new level of unbelievable. Winnipeg Jets forward Mark Scheifele was suspended for four games for his hit against Montreal Canadiens forward Jake Evans in Game 1.
The Department of Player Safety explained in a video that Scheifele’s play was considered a charge due to the distance traveled to strike an opponent.
“Scheifele, moving with excessive momentum gained from traveling a considerable distance, ends his checkout violently and with unwarranted force on Evans, making significant contact in the process and causing injury.” The DPOS determined that Scheifele’s intention was not to play with the puck. “It is obvious to our department that their intention on this game is to throw a hard and violent check to an opponent, the outcome of the game and the match having already been decided,” they explained.
Now, I wasn’t in the room to hear what Scheifele told them, so unless the league had a medium on the committee, I’m not sure how his intention was “apparent” as it was not. certainly in none of the reruns I have seen. He was the club’s leading scorer with 63 points in 56 regular season games with just 12 penalty minutes. Over his entire career, he averages less than 24 penalty minutes per season. He’s never been called to the mat before. In the space of a few months, we have seen little to no action taken by the league against repeat offenders Tom Wilson and Ryan Reaves, but somehow the former Montreal Canadiens turned into NHL Player Safety Department Chief George Parros Decides To Lower Scheifele?
There’s a game tonight, and the Jets (who had no success last year in tournament play without Scheifele) need to regroup and refocus. Paul Stastny of Winnipeg missed the first game with an undisclosed injury and it’s hand in hand. Defenseman Dylan DeMelo’s status for tonight is unknown. The Jets will need big games from Nikolaj Ehlers, Kyle Connor, Adam Lowery and Mathieu Perreault, and veteran leadership from Blake Wheeler not to let the emotions of receiving a low NHL card keep the affair at bay. The Jets must win tonight and dedicate the victory to Mark Scheifele.