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Will Rasmus Andersson face supplemental discipline for Friday night’s hit on Patrik Laine?

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Photo credit:Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports
Ryan Pike
5 months ago
The Calgary Flames lost a hockey game against the Columbus Blue Jackets on Friday evening. After a late-game incident involving defender Rasmus Andersson and Blue Jackets forward Patrik Laine, the Flames may lose more than that.
Andersson was levied a major penalty for elbowing (and a game misconduct) at the buzzer of Friday night’s 3-1 Flames loss in Columbus. The reason for the major penalty was a neutral zone hit by Andersson on Laine.
On the play, Laine was crossing the blueline with the puck and released it in an attempt at firing on the Flames’ empty net – Jacob Markstrom had been pulled for an extra attacker. Andersson was cutting across the neutral zone to cut off Laine, and made forceful contact with Laine’s head with his elbow and shoulder. Laine remained down for a few moments after the hit before leaving the ice at the end of the game.
(You can debate the merits of calling it a major penalty for checking to the head or elbowing, but either way you slice it, it was deemed a major penalty by the officials. Elbowing is one of three categories of fouls – along with boarding and charging – where a major penalty automatically carries a game misconduct.)
The NHL’s Department of Player Safety has the ability to review any and all plays for dangerous conduct and impose supplementary discipline – including for plays where a penalty wasn’t assessed. This type of hit definitely seems similar to recent hits that resulted in supplementary discipline.
Last November, Nicolas Aube-Kubel caught Cal Foote with a hit with a similar angle of approach in the neutral zone. While this particular hit was deemed an illegal check to the head, the same general circumstances hold true: a hit on a player who had just released the puck that made a similar type of contact. It would seem probable that the NHL would judge the hits along similar lines in terms of supplementary discipline.

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Foote was injured on the play and Aube-Kubel had been fined twice but had no significant disciplinary record before the incident. Aube-Kubel was suspended for three games.
It’s unclear if Laine suffered an injury given the play was at the very end of the game. Aside from a roughing fine from two seasons ago, Andersson has no significant disciplinary record.
The Flames are back in action on Sunday when they face the Detroit Red Wings.

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