On Wednesday the National Hockey League's Department of Player Safety announced that Buffalo Sabres defenseman Rasmus Ristolainen will have a hearing with the league on Thursday 'for interference on Pittsburgh's Jake Guentzel'.
Buffalo’s Rasmus Ristolainen will have a hearing tomorrow afternoon for interference on Pittsburgh’s Jake Guentzel.
— NHL Player Safety (@NHLPlayerSafety) March 22, 2017
The hit came in the first period of Tuesday's game when Ristolainen collided with the Penguins forward along the boards.
Here's the play:
GIF: Ristolainen gets a game-misconduct for this hit on Guentzel. pic.twitter.com/08O7GztgcG
— Benstonium (@Benstonium) March 21, 2017
The hearing with the league shouldn't come as a surprise because the league reviews every major penalty and game misconduct.
After Tuesday's game Sabres head coach Dan Bylsma said: "I don't like the fact that he got ejected."
Ristolainen wasn't in the locker room after Tuesday's game so we didn't get a chance to ask him about the play. From where I was watching it looked like Ristolainen was lining up to hit Guentzel once he got the puck. Instead, as you can see in the above angle, the pass gets deflected by Sabres forward Zemgus Girgensons' stick and Ristolainen has already committed to the play.
Should it have been a penalty?
Does it warrant any further discipline?
I don't think so.
Will Ristolainen get suspended?
I can't imagine he gets anything more than a game and I'm not sure if even that is warranted. Ristolainen doesn't have a history of dirty play and that will be a factor when the league is reviewing everything. Guentzel was hurt on the play so if Ristolainen is suspended than I think this is why.