According to Renaud Lavoie of RDS, Max Pacioretty will not be suspended or disciplined of any form for his hit on Ryan McDonagh during last night’s 3-0 defeat in Montreal. At this point Brendan Shannahan has not released his customary videos explaining his thought process to today’s events.
Special thanks to big-time Rangers fan and social media extraordinaire, Stefanie Alva, for finding this photo. If you’re not following her on Twitter, make that correction now.
Here’s what we know.
Pacioretty was suspended for 3 games last season for a hit to the head of Penguins’ Kris Letang. So he is not a first-time offender, which usually guarantees some sort of discipline be it a suspension or fine.
Pacioretty was driven into the boards in front of Montreal’s bench by Ryan McDonagh prior to the illegal. So one can call this a retaliatory hit, which also usually guarantees league discipline.
As evidence by the photo above, his skates left the ice to make this illegal hit, another wrinkle often cited in disciplinary actions.
As evidence by the video below, Max makes contact with Ryan McDonagh’s head. Stop the video at the 35 second mark.
Most importantly, and although I disagree with the league’s weighting scheme here, McDonagh was injured and didn’t return to the game. In most disciplinary issues, injury plays a major role in the league’s thought process.