Philadelphia Flyers forward Claude Giroux participated in a hearing with the NHL's Department of Player Safety on Monday morning for his late hit to the head of Dainius Zubrus of the New Jersey Devils on Sunday night. The call on the ice was a minor because there is no major penalty for illegal head checks and Zubrus was not injured on the play.
On Monday afternoon, Brendan Shanahan added to it by suspending Giroux for Game 5 Tuesday night in Philadelphia as the Flyers face elimination down 3-1:
As Shanahan notes in the video, just because Zubrus was leaning forward doesn't make Giroux's hit any less illegal. All season long, whether or not a player's head or body moved at the last second before contact has been a key factor in the determining of supplemental discipline.
Despite Giroux's clean history and superstar status (with that mattering to some when it comes to discipline), it was a reckless hit. He told reporters last night that he was trying to finish his hit. While that's likely true, it was plenty late and the principle point of contact being Zubrus' head moved this from minor penalty to supplemental discipline quickly.
So now the Flyers will be without their leading scorer with their season on the line. They've lost three straight to New Jersey and there will be some added pressure trying to stave off elimination at home. Will the Flyers be able to recover and get back into the series without Giroux for Game 5?
Follow Sean Leahy on Twitter at @Sean_Leahy
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