Awful hit by Bennett on Coleman that is worthy of a major penalty. Charging + boarding. Only gets two minutes.. pic.twitter.com/Arg2Qz6gRx— NHL Safety Watch (@NHLSafetyWatch) May 17, 2021
Unsurprisingly, Bennett was officially suspended Monday afternoon and will miss Tuesday's Game 2 showdown between the clubs.
"From the moment Bennett hits the faceoff dot, he sees nothing but Coleman's numbers," the department explained in a video, per Emily Kaplan of ESPN. "With ample time to make a better decision, the onus is on Bennett to deliver this hit in a legal fashion, avoid it entirely, or at the very least minimize its force. Instead, he drives directly through Coleman's back with speed, driving him forcefully into the boards."
Bennett was neither fined nor suspended until now, and Coleman remained in the contest following the hit and suffered no serious injury. That combination may have prevented Bennett from receiving a longer ban.
Tampa Bay holds a 1-0 series advantage following Sunday's thrilling 5-4 win over Florida.