I can't imagine that the Las Vegas Golden Knights are going to have to worry about San Jose Sharks forward Joe Thornton in Game 4 of their first round series in the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs. The National Hockey League's Department of Player Safety has just announced that the Sharks veteran will have a hearing on Monday for the rather questionable hit to the head he delivered late in his most recent game.
The Golden Knights and Sharks faced off for Game 3 of their series on Sunday night and with the series all tied up and one game a piece you just knew that both teams were going to come in and battle hard in this one. Unfortunately for the San Jose Sharks they got off on the wrong foot after Golden Knights forward Mark Stone opened up the scoring with a beautiful backhand goal just 16 seconds into the game's very first period. The Sharks would answer with a goal of their own eventually but it was nowhere near enough to stop the onslaught that would come from the Golden Knights.
Things didn't get better in the second period with San Jose Sharks goaltender giving up a goal just 21 seconds after the start of the period this time. It was Golden Knights forward Paul Stastny who put that one on the board and you could really start to sense the frustration coming from the team. Things would only get worse as Sharks forward Micheal Haley appeared badly injured after taking a hard shot off his foot and by the time the Golden Knights had put up their fourth goal of the game the Sharks were boiling.
Unfortunately though veteran forward Joe Thornton appeared to let that get the best of him late in the second period when he delivered a blatant cheap shot to the head of Golden Knights forward Tomas Nosek. The hit was a predatory blow on Nosek and was unquestionably delivered up high on Nosek and somehow the officials on the ice would only award Thornton with a two minute minor on the play.
That minor in my opinion will be Thornton's undoing however as the National Hockey League's Department of Player Safety has been all over shots to the head in the Stanley Cup Playoffs thus far. Had Thornton been ejected from the game he could have avoided supplemental discipline, but with this hit going relatively unpunished I fully expect a suspension is coming for Thornton.
Stay tuned for more details.
Photo Credit: Chris Brown/CSM/Zuma