Buffalo Sabres goaltender Robin Lehner didn't mince any words when asked about his teammate Rasmus Ristolainen and the three-game suspension he was dealt on Thursday.
— Matthew Bové (@Matt_Bove) March 24, 2017
"People might not agree with me and that's fine but reverse jerseys and it's not three games," Lehner said after practice Friday morning. "Everyone, maybe not officially, but around the league, a lot of people would agree with me."
Lehner, of course, is referring to Ristolainen's hit on Pittsburgh Penguins forward Jake Guentzel in the first period of Tuesday's game. Guentzel left with a concussion and Ristolainen was given a five-minute penalty and game misconduct.
GIF: Ristolainen gets a game-misconduct for this hit on Guentzel. pic.twitter.com/08O7GztgcG
— Benstonium (@Benstonium) March 21, 2017
"I don't like to see people injured, you know, especially dealing with a concussion," Lehner added. "Three games after a couple other suspensions that have been [handed out] is just a little bit odd. I don't think if they reverse jerseys I don't think it's three games."
After practice, Ristolainen said that he wasn't expecting to be suspended so he too was surprised by the length of the punishment.
"I didn't expect anything so like I said, they make the decisions and I have to respect that."
Ristolainen is eligible to return against the New York Islanders on April 2. Saturday's game against the Maple Leafs will be the first game he's missed this season.
"There were other things that happened during that game that should've maybe been reviewed too," Lehner said. "It just doesn't happen. Certain teams in this league get the benefit of the doubt. If the jerseys were reversed I don't think we'd be standing here talking three games."