Vancouver Canucks forward Jake Virtanen was handed a two-game suspension by the NHL for his late hit on Roman Polak in Tuesday's game. The hit, which blindsided Polak and sent him (briefly) to the locker room, earned Virtanen a game misconduct and gave the Sharks a five-minute power play. I'm choosing to forget about the power play.
Vancouver’s Jake Virtanen suspended two games for interference on San Jose’s Roman Polak. Video: https://t.co/TSMNfXW9wD— NHL Player Safety (@NHLPlayerSafety) March 30, 2016
There's not much grey area here. Virtanen's hit, which thankfully missed catching Polak's head, is extremely late and served as retaliation for having his stick knocked out of his hands earlier in the shift. The good news is the Sharks will have no one to retaliate against in San Jose's final meeting with the Canucks on Thursday.
I don't have any issue with the length of the suspension. It was late, certainly, but given that it wasn't a head shot I think the Department of Player Safety got this one right.