Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Zbynek Michalek will receive neither a fine nor a suspension for his hit on Washington Capitals forward Matt Hendricks Sunday, according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette's Dave Molinari.
During the second period of Pittsburgh's 4-3 overtime victory Sunday, Michalek hit Hendricks along the end boards. Michalek's elbow made contact with the back of Hendricks' head as he crumpled into the boards. Michalek received a two-minute elbowing minor penalty on the play. A league spokesman told The Washington Times' Stephen Whyno that the reason behind the decision was that Michalek's knees buckled while attempting the hit, causing him to lunge forward.
No punishment for Michalek will likely not sit well with Hendricks, who spoke out about the incident after practice Monday at Kettler Capitals Iceplex.
"I knew he was in the vicinity," Hendricks said. "I knew he was coming, but I didn't expect that. I tried to play the puck behind the boards to [Troy] Brouwer, behind their net. You try to put yourself in a good position to take hits and stuff. [At] the same time, I was a couple feet off the boards going towards the puck. I don't think it was a clean hit, but he got an elbowing penalty for it, put us on the power play."
“You do you want it to be physical," he continued. "You don’t want head shots. You don’t want guys going hunting for each other, trying to put them out with concussions, things like that. But at the same time, if this game isn’t played physically, it’s not a very good hockey game. You see all the skill take over. [It] makes the game easy on a lot of the players.”
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