Former Fighting Sioux All-American T.J. Oshie had one hell of a night. First, he scored the Washington Capitals only goal in a 3-1 to the Pittsburgh Penguins.
And… You could say that Oshie had an interesting ending to game four.
By now you’ve probably seen Oshie’s hit on Penguins defenseman Chris Letang, yes he did leave his feet. No, he didn’t hit Letang in the head. After the hit in question, Letang and Oshie fight. In my opinion, Oshie got the better of Letang. Two guys getting after it.
According to Hockey Fights, during his 10-year NHL career, Oshie has been in seven NHL fights (if you count his one preseason fight). Here’s one of them.
Letang on the hit.
“Obviously they’re desperate, he was trying to forecheck on me,” Letang said. “Yeah, it was a high hit, but at the end of the day, I don’t think he went with his elbow to knock me out. It was just an emotional game.”
I’ve seen Penguins fans on Twitter calling for Oshie to get suspended. I don’t see a suspension for Oshie in this case. If he’d elbowed Letang in the head, that would be different. Now, there could be a possible fine or suspension for a fight in the closing minutes of the game. However, Letang was the one that challenged Oshie to the fight.
NHL Rule 46.22
46.22 — Fines and Suspensions – Instigator in Final Five Minutes of Regulation Time (or Anytime in Overtime) – A player or goalkeeper who is deemed to be the instigator of an altercation in the final five (5) minutes of regulation time or at anytime in overtime, shall automatically be suspended for one game. The Director of Hockey Operations will review every such incident and may rescind the suspension based on a number of criteria. The criteria for the review shall include, but not limited to, the score, previous incidents, etc. The length of suspension shall be served in addition to any other automatic suspensions a player may incur for an accumulation of three or more instigator penalties.
When the one-game suspension is imposed, the Coach shall be fined $10,000 – a fine that will double for each subsequent incident.
No team appeals will be permitted either verbally or in writing regarding the assessment of this automatic suspension.