Detroit Red Wings forward Gustav Nyquist appeared to deliberately hit Minnesota Wild defenseman Jared Spurgeon in his face with a stick during their Sunday game.
The play came at the 14:13 mark of the first period after Spurgeon knocked down Nyquist with a cross-check along the boards. Nyquist did not seem to appreciate the play and then used his blade to hit Spurgeon in the face.
Here is a different angle:
Alternate angle of Nyquist/Spurgeon. How do you spear a guy in the face and not get tossed from the game? pic.twitter.com/6j1i662vOn
— Jeff Veillette (@JeffVeillette) February 12, 2017
Nyquist received a two minute minor for high-sticking. Spurgeon left briefly and then returned to action. It’s unclear how exactly the NHL’s Department of Player Safety will react to this play but it seems it would merit some discipline. TSN’s Bob McKenzie referenced the six-game suspension Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Duncan Keith received last season for high-sticking Wild forward Charlie Coyle in the face as a possibility for what Nyquist could face.
“(It was) completely accidental. Obviously didn’t mean to do that. My stick gets caught. I’m trying to get body position on him and I’m happy he was out there again. Obviously had no intention of doing that, so my stick gets caught and it looks bad but I’m happy he’s OK,” Nyquist told reporters after the game.
Said Spurgeon according to the Minneapolis Star Tribune, “I haven’t really seen a replay or anything. I’m sure something will happen and the league will do something. I’m just happy it didn’t go in my eye or something like that.”
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