Ryan Johansen will sit the next two games for the Nashville Predators as punishment for delivering a seemingly unintentional but also very dangerous chop to the side of the head of Mark Scheifele in Thursday’s loss to the Winnipeg Jets.
— Robson Fletcher (@CBCFletch) January 18, 2019
The NHL’s Department of Player Safety announced the decision Friday, and explained that while it accepts Johansen’s assertion that the high stick was unintentional, players are responsible for safely lowering their sticks at all times. According to the NHL, Johansen lowered his in a “reckless and irresponsible manner.”
Johansen’s clean history with the NHL’s safety committee across 500-plus games helped him in this instance, and so too did the fact that Scheifele escaped serious injury.
Johansen received just a two-minute minor penalty on the play.
He’ll miss games against the Panthers and Avalanche for Nashville, which fell four points back of division-leading Winnipeg after Thursday’s 5-1 loss.
More NHL coverage on Yahoo Sports: