After dressing in the past four games for the Washington Capitals, Zach Sill might find himself watching from the press box for a few contests after he levelled Boston Bruins defenseman Adam McQuaid with a hit from behind Tuesday.
Sill’s hit on McQuaid came less than five minutes into the second frame of Tuesday’s game between the Capitals and Bruins. A pass by Washington blueliner Karl Alzner was deflected by Boston’s Brett Connolly and deflected off of McQuaid towards the boards. McQuaid was chasing the loose puck with his back turned to the play when Sill crunched McQuaid from behind and sent him to the ice in a heap:
McQuaid remained down and was attended to by the Bruins training staff before being helped off the ice by Torey Krug and Tyler Randell. Once to the bench, McQuaid headed to the Boston dressing room and didn’t return to the contest.
“I though it was a bad hit,” Bruins center Patrice Bergeron told BostonBruins.com’s Jess Isner post-game. “It was one of those where it happens fast, and from my angle, I guess, it was a bad hit. There was no point, no need for it to hit him like that, and definitely tough to see Adam go down as hard as he did.”
That McQuaid’s numbers were facing Sill the whole time won’t work in Sill’s favor, nor will it help that Sill likely had time to make a different play on McQuaid in this instance. If the league does choose to suspend Sill, that’s when the injury to McQuaid could come into play and help determine the suspension length. Though there was no penalty on the play, the league can still determine that the hit by Sill was worthy of supplemental discipline, and CSNNE’s Joe Haggerty reported post-game that the league was reviewing the hit.
No hearing has been announced yet for Sill, but the Capitals are back in action Thursday against the New York Islanders. If the league intends to suspend Sill, a hearing would likely be announced Wednesday.
(Video via dafoomie)
UPDATE: The NHL's Department of Player Safety has suspended Sill for two games for boarding.
"McQuaid is never eligible to be checked by Sill on this play," NHL Department of Player Safety director Patrick Burke said in the suspension video. "From the moment the two begin pursuing the puck, Sill sees nothing but McQuaid's numbers. While McQuaid does shift his body slightly before impact, this motion does not suddenly turn a legal hit into an illegal hit."
Sill will lose $6,182.80 in salary, all of which will go to the Players' Emergency Assistance Fund. It is the first suspension of Sill's career.