Winnipeg Jets forward Mark Scheifele is adamant he did nothing wrong upon delivering a hit on Montreal Canadiens forward Jake Evans that earned him a four-game suspension, forcing him to miss the duration of the North Division final.
Scheifele delivered a brutal hit on Evans at the end of Game 1, rendering Evans unconscious. Although the vast majority of the hockey community thought Scheifele should be suspended, he vehemently disagrees, and cast blame upon the NHL Department of Player Safety on Wednesday.
“I thought I was going to be tried to be shut down by Phillip Danault,” Scheifele said via The Athletic’s Murat Ates. “Instead it was (the) Department of Player Safety that shut me down.”
Scheifele previously lamented the suspension, calling it “pretty excessive” and said he was “shocked” by the decision. Despite protesting to the media, Scheifele elected not to appeal the decision.
Montreal completed a four-game sweep of the series on Monday, as Winnipeg sputtered out of the playoffs without fanfare. Scheifele led the Jets in scoring during the regular season, and his teammates failed to generate much offensive firepower, while running into a red-hot Carey Price.
It’s clear that the suspension may not have served as an effective deterrent – although Scheifele doesn’t have a prolonged history of dirty play, it appears that he has minimal remorse for delivering a hit on a defenseless player.
As the Jets were eliminated in four games, Scheifele still has one game left on his current ban.
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