Things were contentious between the Pittsburgh Penguins and Philadelphia Flyers on Tuesday night. Travis Konecny slew-footed Penguins winger Bryan Rust. Sidney Crosby and Konecny wrestled which ended with Crosby pushed Konecny’s face to the ice, but the most serious infraction was committed by Philadelphia defenseman Shayne Gostisbere.
Late in the third period, Penguins defenseman Mark Friedman–a former Flyer whom the Penguins claimed on waivers in February–scored an empty-net goal to clinch the Penguins victory. Friedman’s goal made the score 6-3 with a few minutes remaining.
However, as Friedman turned to celebrate the goal, Gostisbehere cross-checked him into the boards at full speed.
It was a dangerous play that easily could have injured Friedman and was a surprising display against a former teammate.
A hearing is typically a precursor to a suspension. However, with COVID protocols, the minimum length of suspension being unknown. In normal times, a player would be offered a telephonic hearing for an infraction that merited a suspension between zero to five games. An in-person hearing would mean a suspension of six or more games.
Philadelphia has three games remaining this season.
Friedman was a subject of Philadelphia’s physical pressure throughout the game. The Penguins defenseman fought Joel Farabee in the second period after Friedman received a cross-check behind the net.
Shortly after, Mark Friedman received a couple more message-sending cross-checks away from the play, including this one from Jakub Voracek.
The NHL Department of Player Safety announced the hearing at 9 a.m. on Wednesday morning. The DoPS came under heavy scrutiny on Tuesday after it failed to suspend Washington Capitals forward Tom Wilson for his vicious attacks on New York Rangers forwards Pavel Buchnevich and Artemi Panarin, on Monday night.
The New York Rangers released a statement calling department head George Parros, “unfit” and his failure to suspend Wilson indefinitely a “dereliction of duty.”
The Pittsburgh Penguins declined to discuss Gostisbehere’s hit on Friedman or the other “extra-legal” matters in the game.
“(Those are) just plays you don’t really want to see out there,” Jake Guentzel said. “You don’t want to go too much into it, but you don’t want to see stuff like that in the games…”
Videos courtesy of PhillyHockeyNow.com