TJ Oshie is a physical player, and last night, he might have pulled up the biggest bodycheck of his career. During Game 4 of the Washington Capitals’ series against the Florida Panthers, Sam Bennett tried to get the puck in the offensive zone. But from his left came Oshie with a breathtaking hit that, at first sight, looked to be as clean as it gets.
No penalty was called on the play, and a Capital player could get a hold of the loose puck and immediately went on a breakaway. The puck was played to Evgeny Kuznetsov, who held off the defender to make it 2-1 to the Capitals.
The Florida Panthers’ players were not happy with the official’s decision, but they got the last laugh, as they tied the game with just two minutes to go. In overtime, Carter Verhaeghe scored the game-winning goal, tying the series 2-2.
So, how about the hit on Sam Bennett?
New replay angles showed that the hit could have been a headshot, even deserving a hearing from the NHL’s Department of Player Safety, but the experts seem to be divided. Senior NHL writer Greg Wyshynski thought that it should’ve been a penalty.
” Just absolutely bonkers given what’s been called in this game that the Oshie hit passed without a call,” he said.
He also responded to a user saying that” he doesn’t seem to want hitting in the game.”
” No I love hitting just not to the head anymore,” he responded.
Paul Bissonnette, however, didn’t think it was enough for a call, and he doesn’t think a suspension is due.
” Oshie keeps his elbow down. Head is not principal point of contact. Bennett’s hand/stick hit his visor 1st. So 100% not an elbow. Also Bennett bobbles puck and turns into him. So I don’t think he’s getting suspended. You can think otherwise but I’m saying no way.”