Chris Kreider apologized to his New York Rangers teammates on Sunday after taking the dumbest of the dumb penalties with less than two minutes remaining in the third period, cross-checking Scottie Upshall into the boards near the players’ benches and putting the Rangers shorthanded while clinging to a one-goal lead.
It didn’t end up burning them, as the Rangers continued their torrid run with a 4-3 win over the Florida Panthers. But some believe Kreider might be up for another round of a apologies if the NHL decides to take action on this check:
Chris Kreider, who has been a punishing physical force on the ice, may well be suspended by the Department of Player Safety for his vicious hit that sent a defenseless Scottie Upshall flying into the boards with 1:15 to go in the third.
Upshall had been sparring with Derek Stepan as they skated to their benches for respective changes when Kreider came full force and drilled the Panthers’ winger, who tumbled backward into the boards. The Rangers survived the indiscretion by killing the power play — the call was cross-checking — that became a six-on-four when Florida pulled Tim Thomas.
There’s little doubt NHL vice president of player safety Brendan Shanahan will at least review the play Monday morning. There’s a pretty decent chance Kreider will have a hearing on the hit.
Oh c’mon, like former Rangers Shanahan’s going to suspend a current one. (/sarcasm)
The cross-checking suspensions we’ve seen from Shanny during his time with the Department of Player Safety have usually involved a stick to the head -- see Arron Asham on Brayden Schenn and Warren Peters on David Backes. This was a nasty hit, to be sure, but the head impact was on the boards, not on Kreider’s lumber.
We could see a fine here, but a suspension seems severe.