For the second time in the Montreal Canadiens playoff run, TVA Sports reporter Félix Séguin had to do something he abhors: describe a chilling scene, live.
• Read also: Mark Scheifele will have to justify his gesture to the NHL
• Read also: Jake Evans suffers a concussion
At the end of the Habs’ first game against the Jets in Winnipeg, an underhand hit by Mark Scheifele on Jake Evans clouded the visitors’ 5-3 victory.
“I am so afraid of having to describe one day, without knowing it and without wanting it, a death live on the ice, mentioned Séguin, during the most recent episode of the podcast. On the catwalk, Thursday. I don’t want it to happen and yesterday [mercredi]he could have broken his neck, he could have fallen against the board.”
The young forward from the Montreal organization had just pushed the puck into an empty net and was in a vulnerable position when the Jets skater came to check him. Evans spent long minutes on the ice before being taken out on a stretcher. The Canadian later confirmed that he suffered a concussion. However, the hockey player did not spend the night in the hospital, he returned to the hotel with his teammates.
“It is a vicious, disgraceful gesture. There is no doubt about it, especially when you see the sequence, added Patrick Lalime, who accompanies the descriptor during CH matches. In his head he said to himself: « I’m going to finish my check. I’m going to hit someone who is in a vulnerable position » and it’s the way he did it that makes the gesture unforgivable. […] These are gestures that you do not want to see in hockey.
In the first game of the series against the Toronto Maple Leafs, Séguin was also describing the game when John Tavares, in a purely accidental gesture, had received Corey Perry’s knee directly in the face. The captain of the Leafs remained on the ice for long minutes before being transported outside on a stretcher. Tavares missed the rest of the series against the Canadiens with a concussion.
What punishment to expect?
When recording their episode, Séguin and Lalime still did not know the fate that would be reserved for Scheifele by the player security service. However, the two men were in agreement on one point: the Bettman circuit had to severely crack down on the gesture.
« I hope it will be at least five games, but I still have a little concern and that’s what I don’t like, because they say they don’t trust the history of a player, explained Lalime. On the other hand, if you look at the suspensions in the past, we always look to see if he is a repeat offender. [Si c’est] yes, in this case we increase the load. In the case of Scheifele, it is the first time.
“I hope the National League will put on its pants and that we will suspend it for at least five games, but there is a small voice [dans ma tête] who’s worried it’s less than that. If that’s it, the league gets away with it. »
« It’s called the player safety department, » concluded Séguin. If you want to protect the players, you have to be strict.