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Mark Scheifele Walks Through Hit on Evans, Calls Suspension “Excessive”

Mark Scheifele walked the media through his thought process when he hit Jake Evans.

While the NHL playoffs always garner tons of chatter, it is hard to think of a moment recently that has had everyone talking like they have about the hit Mark Scheifele hit on Jake Evans.

In Wednesday night’s game between the Montreal Canadiens and the Winnipeg Jets, Evans chased down a puck with the Jets net empty and was able to wrap it in. Despite scoring the goal to seal the game at 5-3, he was unable to celebrate as immediately afterward he was crushed by Scheifele and appeared to be unconscious before he hit the ice.

Related: Mark Scheifele Suspended Four Games by NHL’s DoPS

Scheifele’s Explantion

The hit, which was highly debated by nearly everyone on social media, resulted in a four-game suspension, something Scheifele didn’t seem to agree with. “Pretty excessive,” Scheifele said when asked by media Friday morning about the length of the suspension. “I wasn’t expecting that and I was pretty shocked.”

While it is clear he didn’t agree with the ruling, however, he did go on to say he wishes Evans a speedy recovery, and broke down how the play went in his mind.

“My intention on that play is to try and negate a goal,” Scheifele explained. He added:

“There’s no intent, there’s no malice there. I don’t go in with a frame of mind of injuring a hockey player. My record precedes itself. I think I’ve had not one charging penalty in 600 games. My thought process there is to cut him off at that post. Obviously when he gets behind the net I don’t know if he’s going to cut back, so I stop moving my feet in case he does a cut-back behind the net and I can re-route, go to the other side and cut him off at the other post. He might shallow out in the corner and then I have to gear down and try to angle him off into the corner. My thought process there is cutting him off at the post, and I’m backchecking and my thought process the entire way is there’s a minute left in the game, we just scored, it’s a one-goal game. My only thought in my mind is to negate a goal and prevent a goal. Obviously the result sucks that he’s hurt. But like I said before, I just hope he’s OK. I hope for a speedy recovery and I’m praying for him.”

Mark Scheifele Suspended Four Games by NHL
Mark Scheifele Suspended Four Games by NHL

Do You Buy Scheifele’s Explanation?

Many will still agree that the hit was worth the suspension, but regardless it is interesting to hear Scheifele break down his version of the play. His teammates will look to even the series up at one a piece later tonight, something that certainly won’t be easy without their leading scorer from the regular season in the lineup.

He’ll also probably have to answer for the hit if the series is still going when he returns to the lineup. Whether he was trying to negate a goal or not, many Canadiens players have already said they intend to make his life miserable.

Next: Oilers’ McDavid Should Be Upset, But Not for the Reasons You’d Think



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