Mark Giordano has never been suspended during his 718-game NHL career, but that might change after his hit on Sunday.
The Flames captain will be hearing from the NHL’s department of player safety after catching Carolina’s Sebastian Aho with a high hit in Calgary’s 4-1 win.
Giordano was given a match penalty on the play and a five-minute major for fighting Carolina’s Justin Williams, who came to Aho’s defense. To make matters worse, the Hurricanes’ leading scorer also appeared to injure his knee on the play and was favoring his left leg as he left the ice. It wasn’t a malicious play by Giordano, and yes it’s a bad idea to cut through the slot with your head down, but he still drove his shoulder into Aho’s chin while delivering the hit.
Peters on Giordano hit on Aho: "Obviously, there's some head contact. I don't know there was much intent, to be honest with you. I thought (Giordano's) arm was tucked in low. But it ended up catching him in the head, so unfortunate."
— Chip Alexander (@ice_chip) January 14, 2018
Losing Aho for an extended period of time would be of major detriment to the Hurricanes, who sit one point out of a wild-card spot in the Eastern Conference. Moving forward without your leading scorer is never easy, but it’s particularly problematic when your team already struggles to put the puck in the net like the Hurricanes’ 21st-ranked offense.
The 20-year-old second-year forward is on pace for 69 points this season after racking up 49 in his rookie campaign. He’s been particularly hot of late, with 14 points in his last 10 games.