In a Tuesday game between the Ottawa Senators and the Philadelphia Flyers, Senator Mika Zibanejad got the puck in the slot immediately after an offensive zone face off. He was almost as immediately tagged with a flying forearm from Radko Gudas. The entire point of contact was the head, and down for the count went Iron Mika Sharpe. When the Flyers defenceman made the decision to lunge forward with his elbow and forearm up he had already ensured a wreckless play was going to happen. Whether he had hit the head or not, no good was going to come of that kind of hit. As it happened though, the elbow was up and level with the head almost the entire time. Zibanejad was no doubt in an awkward position in the heart of the slot and taking a high percentage shot, so there’s no way he shouldn’t be considered eligible to take some sort of hit. If Gudas had hit Zibanejad with a clean check with the shoulder first and the arm down, and that clean hit happened to create contact with the head, I’d be arguing violently for his cause. The three problems I have with this are that he had his forearm and elbow up, that he lunged forward for maximum impact, and that the head appeared to be targeted. The first two reasons are why Gudas should have been penalized and probably given a short suspension or fine, and the third reason is why he should be suspended for 4 games.
As it happens there was no penalty at all called on the play which I find absolutely mind boggling.