On Thursday night, there were two incidents that had some fans asking about supplemental discipline from the NHL: John Carlson's flailing headshot on Matt Cooke at the end of the Washington Capitals' game against the Pittsburgh Penguins, and Florida Panthers forward Sean Bergenheim's contact with the head of Mike Richards of the Los Angeles Kings that may have concussed him.
Neither hit warranted a hearing from the NHL. We were curious why that was, and reached out to the Department of Player Safety. First, on the Carlson hit:
According to the Dept. of Player Safety, Carlson's focus at this point in a one-goal game is to move the puck up ice and join the play. He's not seeking out a hit on Cooke.
Before they make contact, Carlson cringes as he sees Cooke — according to the NHL's frame-by-frame analysis — and attempts to avoid contact. He flings his arm as he's "pretty much past him" and trying to force his way through.
The NHL examined this one...