In the two games since Joffrey Lupul returned to the Toronto Maple Leafs' lineup, he's done a lot of good things. Unfortunately, in the second game, with the Leafs hosting the Tampa Bay Lightning, Lupul did a bad thing: he hit Victor Hedman in the head.
Worse, a review from the Department of Player Safety determined that Lupul "recklessly targets" the Hedman's head. For that, he's been suspended two games:
The damning moment for Lupul is at 0:23 of the video, when he's spotlighted lifting a leg. In headshots, just as in surreptitious flatulence, the leg lift is the smoking gun.
While Lupul doesn't launch, he "elevates", and it's that effort that allows him to make contact with the very tall noggin of Hedman. Simply put, when the Department of Player Safety catches you going the extra mile for a headshot, you're going to get suspended.
Under other circumstances, it would have been grounds for an even longer suspension, but Lupul has no history of dirty play, and Hedman was fine. You're always rolling the dice with hits like this: some guys miss months. Other guys don't miss a shift. Lucky for Lupul, Hedman was one of the latter guys.
Lupul forfeits $45,945.94 to the Players’ Emergency Assistance Fund for his indiscretion, an amount that is oh-so-close to being as palindromic as Lupul's name.
Tough break for the Leafs, who could really have used Lupul against Boston on Saturday, especially since he's been productive since returning, with 4 points in 2 games.
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