Montreal Canadiens rookie Juraj Slafkovsky will be suspended two games after receiving a boarding major on Detroit Red Wings Martin Luff in the third period of Wednesday’s nights game in Detroit.
For the second time in two games, the Canadiens had one of their forwards assessed a major penalty for boarding in the third period, after Josh Anderson did the same against the Vegas Golden Knights on Saturday.
This time around, there was no mistake, as Juraj Slafkovsky steamrolled an unsuspecting Luff into the boards face-first, causing the forward to take several moments to get up and return to the bench. Slafkovsky was thrown out of the game following the hit.
It wasn’t surprising to see NHL Player Safety pounce on a hit like this, as the main point of trauma was the head. The Canadiens’ power forward is slowly learning the levels of his strength and will, unfortunately, have to learn the hard way this time around, as he sits for 2 games.
The youngster’s inexperience showed on the play and the league is likely why they took a more lenient approach in his case; given that he received a similar hit in the Canadiens’ most recent game against the Minnesota Wild that went uncalled and unpunished.
It was a dangerous hit, no matter how you slice it, seeing as Slafkovsky was facing Luff’s back during the entire sequence.
Yes the size difference between the two didn’t help and Slafkovsky wasn’t looking to intentionally injure Luff, but the decision to hit him with that velocity when he was in such a vulnerable position was a poor one.
Hopefully, the 18-year-old learns from this and chooses his spots better in the future.
According to the preliminary reports, Luff is expected to miss 10-12 weeks of action for the Red Wings due to the injury that occured when Slafkovsky hit him.