Update — Scheifele will receive a four-game suspension for his hit, the NHL announced. This means the Jets forward could be done for the season if Winnipeg gets swept by the Canadiens. Game 2 is Friday.
Update — Scheifele will have a phone hearing with the League after his hit on Evans on Thursday. The maximum suspension in 5 games. After looking at the entire play, there’s reason to believe Scheifele may not get the full amount, but the force of the hit on someone who was defenseless should warrant at least a game or two for Scheifele. The issue becomes the aftermath of the hit and what happens as retaliation on the ice from Montreal when Scheifele is back in the lineup.
The Montreal Canadiens were on their way to a big win in Game 1 of the second round vs. the Winnipeg Jets. With under a minute left, Jets forward Mark Scheifele hit Canadiens center Jake Evans with a dirty, vicious hit that was totally inexcusable. Evans was defenseless and Scheifele will almost certainly get a suspension for this hit. The Jets forward was given a charging major and the Habs would go on to win the game 5-3. Evans had just scored an empty-net goal to seal the win as well. Here’s a look at the scene.
Evans was one of five goal scorers for the Habs, who just a few nights ago won Game 7 against the Toronto Maple Leafs to pull off a huge upset and advance. Goaltender Carey Price stayed hot for the Habs with 27 saves for another big victory. Brendan Gallagher scored what would turn out to be the game-winning goal on the power play in the third period.
Update: Habs D Joel Edmundson had some comments after the game on the Scheifele hit. If the Jets forward does return in this series, things could get ugly.
Joel Edmundson: "It was a dirty hit, but the league's going to take care of it. If he gets back in the series, we're going to make life miserable for him."— Eric Engels (@EricEngels) June 3, 2021
On Evans and Scheifele.
It was surprising to see the big hit on Evans come from someone like Scheifele, who isn’t known for being a dirty player. Still, the Jets are going to have to plan on playing without Scheifele for the foreseeable future. There’s no way he plays in Game 2 on Friday night and the Habs have already stolen home ice advantage with the win in the opener. The only thing Scheifele has going for him is pretty much zero suspension history, but he should still be suspended for the rest of this series, if we’re being honest.
Evans, 24, was playing in just his first full NHL season for the Canadiens. The Toronto native had 13 points in 47 games in 2020-21 and entered Wednesday night’s Game 1 with just 1 point in 9 Stanley Cup Playoff games. We hope Evans is OK and he can return for Montreal this postseason.
The Canadiens had entered Game 1 as pretty big underdogs at +123 on the moneyline, seeing only 12 percent of the bets on DraftKings Sportsbook. The Habs were also only getting around 30 percent of the bets on the puck line at +1.5 against the Jets on the road.