After winning the first series against the Rangers in only five games, the Penguins have faced a hard task battling the Capitals. And it just got harder! These past three games have been very scrappy and have ended up in two suspensions and some heavy fines! Tom Wilson fined $2,403.67 for a knee to knee hit on Conor Sheary that was also a late hit. The very next game, Olli Maata was injured from a late hit by Brooks Orpik who was punished with a three game suspension. Olli Maata had to leave the game with a head injury (Concussion). And this is where the retaliation comes into play. In game three, Chris Letang made a defensive play on Marcus Johansson by making a hit that was .6-.8 seconds late. There was a lot of controversy over this hit and a lot of talk on what, if any punishment should be brought upon Chris Letang.
On review of the hit, the announcers were saying that the hit was late, targeting the head, and that Letang left his skates to deliver the blow. Looking at the play, Johansson had just made a pass while being in the offensive play. So he was in the speed of play, and attacking the net towards Letang. Letang looks to have pulled up slightly which is why they said he possibly left his skates. So that means Letang didn’t leave his skates to hit Johansson. And the hit was not delivered to the head of Johansson but there was contact that slid up to his head, which takes away targeting of the head. The only thing that it looks like it could possibly be I guess is a little more than a half second late hit. But because the NHL suspended Brooks Orpik for the hit he put on Maata, it looks like they have to give Chris Letang some kind of a discipline.
Letang was getting beat up and crushed this whole series and he finally retaliates and he gets into trouble? Letang was suspended for a “late hit” on Marcus Johansson. He was only suspended for one game, but what really has people mad, is the leagues reasoning behind the suspension. They came out and said that Letang’s hit was not targeting of the head, and that he also didn’t leave his skates, but that it was purely just a late hit. When really a late hit should just result in a 2:00 minute minor in the Penalty Box during the game, not a full game suspension! But wait! We can’t forget about the hit that Brooks Orpik had on Olli Maata that was late and was targeting of the head! So because of the Orpik suspension, it looks like Letang gets suspended from retaliation! So the only thing I disagree with about the suspension, is the league’s explanation and reasoning for the suspension.