I won’t lie, when I first saw the hit Mark Scheifele made on Jake Evans I thought it was unnecessary, out of frustration and devastating, but I thought it was clean. To my defense, the NHL is an extremely fast paced game and they didn’t show the replay until after I jumped to Twitter to write this
After getting roasted by everyone on Twitter, I had a chance to look at the hit again and realize how wrong I was. I may be a lot of things, but I can admit fault when I am wrong. Scheifele was playing rough all period, he even took a cheap shot on a Habs player while he was on the ground and then in a one goal game with under a minute left and the Jets net emptied, the Winnipeg Jets Center took a run at Jake Evans as he was putting the puck in the net to ultimately seal the game for the Habs.
Here is the hit with my explanation on what I think happened.
Jake Evans uses his speed to track down the puck to get the insurance goal to put Habs up 1-0 in the series vs the Jets. As Evans rounds the net to tuck the puck in the net, Mark Scheifele is backchecking to make a play but instead ignores the puck and tries to seperate Evans from the play. Scheifele makes hard contact with his elbow raised, causing Evans to spin and hit his chin on the ice.
There’s no doubt that Scheifele will be met by the Department of Player Safety. But what should we expect? They were lenient on a repeat offender in Tom Wilson earlier in the playoffs while suspending Nazem Kadri and Ryan reaves for an aggressive hit and roughing play after the whistle, respectively. Scheifele isn’t known as a dirty player but this can’t be ignored. If Scheifele isn’t suspended for the rest of the series at least, then he will definitely have to respond to Shea Weber or Joel Edmundson who looked irate after the play.
I hope that Evans is OK and that he will be back these playoffs. I also want to acknowledge Nikolaj Ehlers for a very noble act. My buddy Moe Khan from TSN 690 who is both the best and worst follows on Twitter caught this good Samaritan play. Ignore the typo in Jake Evans’ name.
Again, my apologies for doing exactly what I hate. Always look at the facts before announcing your opinions.