Watch: Red Wings’ Gustav Nyquist Lands Vicious High-Stick To Face On Wilds’ Jared Spurgeon
Red Wings’ Gustav Nyquist High-Sticks Wilds’ Jared Spurgeon In the Face
The vicious hit came with 5:49 remaining int the first period of the Wild’s 6-3 home win on Sunday. It all began with a scramble for the puck along the boards. Scurgeon hit Nyquist with a cross-check from behind into the boards, and the Detroit forward– understandably unhappy– retaliated by flinging his stick up and whacking Scurgeon straight in the face with the blade.
The Minnesota defenseman instantly fell to the ice, and a scuffle between the two teams quickly ensued that led officials to join the melee to break opponents up.
Alternate angle of Nyquist/Spurgeon. How do you spear a guy in the face and not get tossed from the game? pic.twitter.com/6j1i662vOn
— Jeff Veillette (@JeffVeillette) February 12, 2017
Spurgeon got a few stitches and returned to the game just minutes later. Nyquist received a minor penalty for high-sticking, while many wondered why he wasn’t ejected from the game altogether.
An in-person hearing means the NHL has the option to suspend Nyquist six games or more. The Department of Player Safety stated a date and time for the hearing had yet to be determined. Nyquist could also choose a phone hearing.
“(It was) completely accidental,” Nyquist told reporters after Sunday’s game. “Obviously didn’t mean to do that. My stick gets caught. I’m trying to get body position on him and I’m happy he was out there again. Obviously had no intention of doing that, so my stick gets caught and it looks bad but I’m happy he’s OK.”
He added: “That’s just a battle, that’s just the way it goes. Along the boards, then after that I’m trying to get body position on him and my stick gets caught, so it was good to see him out there right after.”
Spurgeon played 22:16 and recorded an assist in the win.
“I haven’t really seen a replay or anything. I’m sure something will happen and the league will do something” Spurgeon said according to the Minneapolis Star Tribune. “I’m just happy it didn’t go in my eye or something like that.”
Spurgeon’s teammates also wondered why Nyquist didn’t receive a harsher punishment from officials.
“I just don’t understand how that’s not a five-minute penalty. Obviously he’s not a player that is going to, I want to say do it on purpose except anybody watching the game, … it’s a five-minute penalty regardless,” Minnesota goaltender Devan Dubnyk said. “There’s four guys out there that didn’t see it. But it’s good on us to go get one and make sure that we didn’t let it bother us. but it’s a dangerous play. Again, it’s not a guy that’s trying to do it, but it’s a retaliatory thing and it should be a five-minute penalty.”
Nyquist doesn’t have many previous dirty plays on his NHL record, aside from a $2,000 fine for diving/embellishment last season.
TSN’s Bob McKenzie referenced the six-game suspension Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Duncan Keith received last season for high-sticking Wild forward Charlie Coyle as a potential similar punishment Nyquist could receive.
OTTAWA, ON – DECEMBER 29: Gustav Nyquist #14 of the Detroit Red Wings skates against the Ottawa Senators at Canadian Tire Centre on December 29, 2016 in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. (Photo by Jana Chytilova/Freestyle Photography/Getty Images) *** Local Caption ***