Just as we speculated this morning, Tyler Myers has indeed been suspended for his hit from behind on Montreal's Scott Gomez from Monday night's contest between the two clubs.
It seemed like a no-brainer, really. Like fans assessing Gomez's play this season, Myers sees nothing but the numbers, and he drives through the Canadiens' centre anyway. For this, he has been suspended 3 games. Here's Brendan Shanahan with the explanation (and for you Francophones, Stephane Quintal's got you covered):A video or other embedded content has been hidden. Click here to view it.
If you're wondering why this video has a distinctly "The Office hits the road" vibe to it, it's because Shanahan is down in Boca Raton, Florida for the GM meetings. Kudos to Department of Player Safety for whipping this clip together on the fly.
Granted, it probably wasn't all that difficult. Lucky for Shanahan and co., this was an open and shut case.
Frankly, it was strangely open and shut. Having watched the Youtube hit this morning several times, I was struck each time by how blatant a hit from behind it is. As Wysh wrote, Myers really attempted to demolish Gomez. A lot of this season's hits from behind have looked like brain cramps or poor decisions in the moment, but Myers seemed pretty confident that this is what he wanted to do. What was he thinking?
Here's a theory: Shanahan's video begins earlier than the Youtube clip, and the extra second provides some interesting context. Just off the faceoff, Myers and Chris Campoli get tied up along the boards, and Campoli's stick rides up into Myers's face. After Myers readjusts his helmet and spins around, he sees a man head down into the corner from up high, where Campoli could have been. I'm wondering if Myers thought the high-stick came from Gomez and was acting in retaliation.
Either way, it's an illegal hit and a suspension was the right call. As for the 3 games, that seems about fair for the hit, provided you don't read intent into it. In this case, I do and I think it should be more, but there's no way to verify my theory so the number makes sense.
Myers will forfeit $14,189.19 to the Players' Emergency Assistance Fund for the suspension, but I'm sure he'll be more concerned with what this does to the Sabres' playoff hopes than to his bank account at this point. This team has been rolling, but this is a big obstacle. Can they overcome it?