There was a pretty crazy moment during the second period of the Saturday night matchup between the St. Louis Blues and the Anaheim Ducks, and now it seems as though the National Hockey League has decided to review the incident.
According to an official announcement from the National Hockey League's Department of Player Safety, Blues center Oskar Sundqvist will have a hearing at some point on Sunday as a result of his hit on Anaheim Ducks goaltender John Gibson. The league has called the infraction on the part of Sundqvist a charge and it seems likely given that they have offered him a hearing that he will now be facing at least a one game suspension as a result of his actions during the game's second period.
The play occurred at roughly the midway point of the second frame when Gibson headed out of his net to handle a dump into the Anaheim Ducks zone by the Blues, getting there well ahead of any Blues player that was on the chase. Gibson then played the puck off of his stick but was apparently not quick enough for Sundqvist who then leveled the Ducks goaltender with what was a pretty big hit that seemed to catch Gibson up high. In fact Sundqvist left off of his feet and into the hit, which certainly made things look all that much uglier in real time.
Now to play devil's advocate here I do think there is a very strong case to be made that Sundqvist was in no way trying to deliver a body check to Gibson on this play. Obviously the NHL officials on the ice, as well as the two players involved in this incident, do not have the benefit of doing things in slow motion but we do have the chance to review them in that manner. Everything about Sundqvist's body language here tells me that he was actually trying to sandwich himself along the boards on this play in an effort to avoid contact with Gibson, and I also believe that he was doing the same thing when he leaped into the air.
Of course it goes without saying that you can not deliver a hit of this magnitude to a goaltender at any level of hockey, but I suspect that Sundqvist will receive a relatively light penalty in light of what the video replay appears to show.