The NHL has added insult to non-injury by suspending Nashville Predators forward Ryan Johansen 2 games for hitting a Winnipeg Jet in the head with his stick. RyJo got 2 minutes in the penalty box for high sticking during the ugly loss to Winnipeg Thursday night at Bridgestone Arena.
It's good the NHL takes hits to the head seriously. But...
(total hometown fan judgement here) I was sitting right in front of this play and watched it from a few feet away in real time. He deserved the 2 minute penalty, and maybe a little more, but not a suspension. A player has to be responsible for his stick when it goes near someone's head or face, even if by accident. This wasn't by mistake. But it also was not with the intention the NHL placed on Johansen. He did come down with his stick on him, but the reaction from Jets forward Mark Scheifele was an overreaction. Perhaps it was to instinctively try to prevent the stick from hurting him. Or perhaps it was an embellishment. I lean towards the latter.
Punishment in the game for Ryan? Yes. Could they have given him more? Yes.