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Blues’ Blais suspended two games for hit to head of Avs’ Toews

The NHL suspended St. Louis Blues forward Sammy Blais two games for an illegal hit to the head of Colorado Avalanche defenseman Devon Toews.

You can see the full league explanation for suspending Blais two games for that hit on Toews in the video above. It’s worth noting that Toews was able to return to the Blues’ 4-1 win against the Avalanche. That doesn’t necessarily guarantee that an injury was avoided. We’ve seen cases where an NHL player finishes a contest, then eventually misses time because of a head injury.

The Avalanche scored their only goal of that loss on the ensuing power play.

Blais, 24, set career-highs in goals (six), assists (seven), points (13), and games played (40) last season. He logged 12:35 TOI per night in 2019-20, and saw a slight reduction during the playoffs. Blais managed to play 15 games during the Blues’ 2019 Stanley Cup run.

While Toews, 26, might not have a ton of mainstream knowledge, analytics-minded people were very intrigued by his addition to the Avs. His skills fit into the speedy, attacking Colorado setup, so there were concerns about that hit.

With all of the potential games missed because of COVID-19, it wouldn’t be shocking if the NHL was subtly more stringent with supplemental discipline. Did the league hit the mark with this two-game suspension for Blais for that hit on Toews, or should it have been more or less?

James O’Brien is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at or follow him on Twitter @cyclelikesedins.