The Nationwide Hockey League (NHL) has strongly reprimanded Toronto Maple Leafs ahead Michael Bunting for hitting defenseman Erik Cernak within the head and suspended him for 3 playoff video games on Wednesday.
The 27-year-old Ontarian gained’t be again till Recreation 5 of this first-round collection if the matchup with the Tampa Bay Lightning isn’t over earlier than then. Participant Security mentioned Bunting’s motion within the second interval was harmful and triggered an harm.
“Bunting trims to Cernak, stands up excessive sufficient to hit the pinnacle and makes the primary level of contact. This contact was avoidable. That is unlawful head management and a incapacity,” the Nationwide League mentioned in an explainer video.
“Cernak had by no means had puck possession in that sequence and couldn’t count on to be checked, which left him very susceptible,” mentioned the Bettman circuit, recalling the Slovakia defender was a good distance off on the time.
That is the primary break in Bunting’s profession. After his gesture on Tuesday night, the officers chased him out of the assembly. Cernak is assured to overlook Thursday’s sport, head coach Jon Cooper confirmed on the day.
The Lightning lead the collection 1-0 after successful Recreation 1 7-3.