Capitals

Capitals

Montreal’s Andrew Shaw has been suspended three preseason games for boarding Washington’s Connor Hobbs on Tuesday night.

On the play, Shaw delivered a hard body check to Hobbs’ back, driving the Capitals prospect face-first into the end boards. It appeared that Shaw was angry about being slew-footed by Jay Beagle earlier on the same shift.

In the explanation video from NHL Department of Player Safety, director Patrick Burke said it was a dangerous hit that never should have been made.

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“It is important to note that Hobbs is never eligible to be checked by Shaw on this play,” Burke said. “From the moment Shaw arrives at the faceoff dot, he sees nothing but Hobbs' numbers. Hobbs makes no sudden movement just prior to contact that turns this hit from a legal hit into an illegal one.”

Burke added: “The onus is on Shaw to make sure he can deliver this hit in a legal fashion, minimize the force or avoid this hit completely. Instead, he hits forcefully through Hobbs from behind, driving him dangerously into the glass.”

 

Burke also noted the fact that Hobbs escaped injury and Shaw’s one previous suspension as factors in his ruling.

Shaw was assessed a total of 30 minutes in penalties (five for boarding, five for fighting, a 10-minute misconduct and a 10-minute game misconduct) for the hit and ensuing fight with Nathan Walker, who immediately confronted the noted agitator. 

Capitals associate coach Todd Reirden said before the suspension was handed down that it was exactly the type of hit the NHL is trying to eliminate.

“It’s a dangerous, dangerous play,” Reirden said. “Obviously, they are trying to take that type of stuff out of the game. The league will deal with it accordingly. Luckily, Connor seems to be fine and everything checked out so he was able to return to the game. Which is really good because he’s a real high prospect for us here moving forward.”

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