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Jets’ Scheifele, Maurice think four-game suspension is ‘excessive’

Before Game 2 of Jets - Canadiens, Mark Scheifele and Paul Maurice reacted to Scheifele’s four-game suspension for his hit on Jake Evans. To little surprise, both Maurice and Scheifele called that suspension “excessive.”

Jake Evans did not need to be hospitalized. Nonetheless, he’s out indefinitely with a concussion.

Scheifele calls four-game suspension ‘excessive,’ talks about Evans hit

You can watch Mark Scheifele’s full 16-minute press conference regarding the hit on Evans and four-game suspension in the video above this post’s headline.

It begins around the 6-minute mark, as that’s where Scheifele called the four-game suspension “excessive.”
“I think it was pretty excessive,” Scheifele said of his four-game suspension. “I wasn’t expecting that, I was pretty shocked. But that’s [the NHL’s] decision.”

To start, though, Scheifele stated that Evans’ health matters “first and foremost.” Scheifele said he’s praying for Evans’ quick recovery.

Following that, Scheifele and media members drilled into some of the mechanics of the hit.

  • Scheifele repeatedly emphasized that his intention was to “negate a goal.”
  • He also noted multiple times that he was trying to get to the post to negate that Evans empty-netter.
  • One media member brought up that, from a stick positioning standpoint, it seemed like Scheifele eventually got ready to deliver the hit (or brace for impact) rather than go for the puck:

In discussing that suspension, Scheifele also pointed out that his “record proceeds” him.

  • He mentions that he doesn’t believe he’s received a charging penalty before. Scheifele notes that his priority is to prevent and score goals.
  • His point was that “the result sucks,” and that said he never injured someone before in his career.

Moving forward, Scheifele said he won’t appeal his four-game suspension. He said he didn’t want to be more of a distraction, and also wondered if an appeal would make any difference.

(Scheifele also responded to harassment of family members, calling it “unacceptable” and “gross.”)

Maurice reacts, and more

While it’s fair to wonder if Scheifele’s absence could swing the series, the forward believes his team can withstand the loss.
“We have tons of depth on our team. We have so many guys who can step up,” Scheifele said. “I have full faith in my team that I’ll be able to play a game again this year.”

In speaking about Scheifele’s four-game suspension, Paul Maurice also said it was excessive. He had resigned himself to losing Scheifele for two games, not four.

Beyond Scheifele, the Jets are dealing with injuries. Maurice considers Paul Stastny a game-time decision heading into Game 2 on Friday (7:30 p.m. ET; USA Network).

Unfortunately, Dylan DeMelo might be dealing with something that’s more than “day-to-day.”

Excessive, fair, or insufficient, that four-game suspension means that Scheifele cannot return to the Jets until Game 6 at the earliest.

JETS VS. CANADIENS (MTL leads 1-0) - series livestream link

Game 1: Canadiens 5, Jets 3
Game 2: Fri. June 4: Canadiens at Jets, 7:30 p.m. ET (USA Network)
Game 3: Sun. June 6: Jets at Canadiens, 6 p.m. ET (NBCSN)
Game 4: Mon. June 7: Jets at Canadiens, 8 p.m. ET (NHL Network)
*Game 5: Wed. June 9: Canadiens at Jets TBD
*Game 6: Fri. June 11: Jets at Canadiens TBD
*Game 7: Sun. June 13: Canadiens at Jets TBD

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