TJ Oshie of the Washington Capitals should be suspended for his multiple bare knuckled punches to the head of Sidney Crosby.
The altercation happened during the second period of Pittsburgh’s 6-2 win on Sunday. Patrick Hornqvist of the Penguins was reaching for a not so loose puck beside the Washington net, and several Capitals took exception to Hornqvist poking at the glove of Caps netminder Brayden Holtby, who had recently smothered the puck.
Both teams surrounded each other, and that’s when Oshie grabbed Crosby around the head, gloves on, and held him, ripping his helmet off in the process. Trying to free himself, Sid shoved off, and a linesman was just getting between them as they exchanged one punch each. Crosby then fell backwards to the ice and was laying fine but helpless, a linesman hovering right in front of him.
This should have been the end of it. Even though the initial skirmish was over and done, it was only at this point that Oshie frantically flicked off his right glove, purposefully lined his right hand up, and landed a punch directly to the vulnerable and friendless Crosby’s unprotected head. Then he cocked back and again landed a punch to the skull. Not finished yet, he did so a THIRD time. He wasn’t swinging wildly. Between each punch, he made sure to pause and reset just long enough to make sure he directly hit the head.
The fact that the original jostling match had faded off defines these extra shots irrefutably being a non-hockey play. Strike 1. The fact that Oshie goes out of his way to remove his glove makes this irrefutably an intentional, predatory act. Strike 2. The fact that he lands an intentional and predatory blow specifically to the head makes this a direct head hunting, times THREE punches. Strike 3 times 3.
If a one handed gloved sucker punch is one game, this has to be 3 games at least.