Via the NHL’s Department of Player Safety:
Los Angeles’ Drew Doughty will have a hearing today for an illegal check to the head on Vegas’ William Carrier.
— NHL Player Safety (@NHLPlayerSafety) April 12, 2018
The hit in question, via @kingsgifs:
Via Vegas Head Coach Gerard Gallant:
Gallant on Doughty's hit that put Carrier out (no update and listed as day to day)
"I thought it was a bad hit, but again that's not for me to decide. The referee didn't think it was a penalty but I'm sure people will look at that hit and make a decision."
— Jesse Granger (@JesseGranger_) April 12, 2018
Rule 48.1: Illegal Check to the Head
– A hit resulting in contact with an opponent’s head where the head was the main point of contact and such contact to the head was avoidable is not permitted. In determining whether contact with an opponent’s head was avoidable, the circumstances of the hit including the following shall be considered:
(i) Whether the player attempted to hit squarely through the opponent’s body and the head was not “picked” as a result of poor timing, poor angle of approach, or unnecessary extension of the body upward or outward.
(ii) Whether the opponent put himself in a vulnerable position by assuming a posture that made head contact on an otherwise full body check unavoidable.
(iii) Whether the opponent materially changed the position of his body or head immediately prior to or simultaneously with the hit in a way that significantly contributed to the head contact.
The official rule provides discretion in determining the angle of the hit and whether the hitter “attempted to hit squarely through the opponent’s body,” as well as whether the opponent “materially changed the position of his body,” but if the league does not deem those to be mitigating factors, the league is usually pretty consistent in assessing suspensions to violations of Rule 48, even for first time offenders.
Doughty deferred any assessment on the hit until after his hearing, which is expected to take place at around 1:30 Pacific Time. But should the team be without him for Game 2, he understood that the next-man-up mentality would apply, even in the heightened setting of a playoff road game.
“Hopefully they have me, but I don’t know,” he said. “They’re just going to have to go out there and play, and play as hard as they can, and they’ll do a great job.”
Doughty has not missed any regular season or playoff games since the end of the 2013-14 regular season, when he suffered an upper-body injury during the first period of an April 3, 2014 game at San Jose. Since returning for Game 1 of the team’s first round series against the Sharks, he has played in all of the Kings’ 328 regular season and 32 playoff games. Doughty’s pursuit of the club’s record of 330 consecutive games played, set by Anze Kopitar between 2007 and 2011, would not be affected by a hypothetical postseason suspension. He has never been suspended in his NHL career.
-Lead photo via Jeff Bottari/NHLI