Jordan Nolan had his disciplinary hearing with the National Hockey League’s Department of Player Safety earlier today following his gloved punch to the face of Edmonton’s Jesse Joensuu during Sunday night’s 4-2 Los Angeles victory. Nolan drew a double minor for roughing on the play, which occurred with four seconds remaining in the second period.
At the time Darryl Sutter spoke with reporters following the Kings’ morning skate at the Scotiabank Saddledome on Monday, he hadn’t yet heard the extent to which supplemental discipline would be applied.
“Any time there’s a phone hearing, it can’t be more than five [games] and it can’t be less than two minutes in the penalty box,” Sutter said. “Not that big a deal.”
When asked whether Nolan should be suspended, Sutter offered an assessment of the infraction.
“I would say there’s no way it should be more than one game,” he said. “No more than one. No way. Because, quite honest, when everybody’s yelling and hollering, and he’s got his back to it, and he turns around, when you turn around to punch somebody, you don’t know if somebody’s holding his hands. You don’t know if you’re getting it too when guys are yelling and hollering. So it’s just the reaction.”
He also offered a defense of Nolan’s physical inclinations.
“He’s really good at it,” Sutter said of Nolan, who has five goals, nine points and 52 penalty minutes in 54 games. “He’s one of the most physical players in the NHL and one of the lowest penalty guys. He’s not a guy with high penalty minutes, when you look at it. In fact, he’s got like 40 minutes this year, or whatever it is. So it’s not one of [those] guys that gets 10s after whistles and warm-ups, all that stuff. He’s not one of [those] guys. That’s not our team.”
Should Nolan not play tonight, Tanner Pearson would enter into the lineup for the first time since the 2-1 home win over Montreal one week ago.
“It’s not a chapter in the history of the road trip,” Sutter said.