Sin Bin: Dmitry Orlov’s Two Game Suspension
What a joke NHL’s Department of Player Safety is. During Sunday’s match-up between the Washington Capitals and Philadelphia Flyers, Dmitry Orlov crushed Brayden Schenn in a terrible boarding play. Orlov was given a five minute major, Schenn was able to remain in the game. The video below shows the play in question, as well as their reasoning for suspending Orlov for two games.
Two games? What?! They are basing Orlov’s suspension around prior history (well, lack there of) and the fact that Schenn wasn’t injured. This logic completely ignores the fact that the hit is dangerous regardless of Orlov’s history or how badly Schenn had been injured. That hit is dangerous whether Orlov has been caught throwing it once or five times. Schenn was lucky he wasn’t injured, but that doesn’t reduce the dangerousness of the hit. If Schenn didn’t have a visor on he could be looking at fractured orbital bones. Or if Schenn had been recently concussed he could have been out cold on the ice. Does the lack of those resulting injures suggest that Orlov leaving the ice and driving Schenn’s head into the glass is LESS dangerous? Absolutely not.
The NHL is trying to remove head hunting and dangerous hits from behind from the game, yet this hit results in a mere two game suspension. What’s worse is that this hit was in retaliation to a big hit Schenn laid on Orlov earlier in the play. Orlov’s intent was to target Schenn, and he went as far as driving a vulnerable Schenn’s head dangerously into the boards from behind – the DEFINITION of what they are trying to eliminate. In a prior post, I illustrated the correct way to take a number and retaliate. Orlov was reckless and deserves to be punished relative to the dangerousness of his hit.
The league has set a scary precedent – you can target a player’s head and hope that they don’t get seriously injured. Take your chances players, it’s up to you.