Bruins defenseman Charlie McAvoy did not receive a match penalty Monday for his hit on Blue Jackets forward Josh Anderson in Boston’s 3-0 win, but that doesn’t mean he won’t face repercussions for his actions.
McAvoy will have a hearing with NHL Player Safety on Tuesday to discuss the hit and likely faces a suspension for the contact made.
Boston’s Charlie McAvoy will have a hearing today for an Illegal Check to the Head on Columbus’ Josh Anderson.
— NHL Player Safety (@NHLPlayerSafety) May 7, 2019
On the play in question, McAvoy made contact with the head and neck area of Anderson in the waning moments of the second period of Game 6.
Charlie McAvoy and his filthy head-first hit on Josh Anderson. Worse than that: Four men in stripes huddled and concluded it was a minor penalty.
— Dejan Kovacevic (@Dejan_Kovacevic) May 7, 2019
The hit was deemed a two-minute minor rather than a match penalty, a call that was certainly controversial.
Had McAvoy been given a match penalty, which many believed he should have, the Blue Jackets would have been handed a five-minute power play and McAvoy would have been out for the rest of the game, as well as either a potential Game 7 of the series, or Game 1 of the Eastern Conference finals.
Ultimately, the call may not have determined the outcome of the game — the Blue Jackets had problems solving Boston goaltender Tuukka Rask — but if Game 7 of the Western Conference series between the Sharks and Golden Knights is any indication, then a major penalty can flip a game on its head.
In that game, Cody Eakin was given a match penalty for his hit on Joe Pavelski with Vegas holding a 3-0 lead in the third period. San Jose would go on to score four unanswered goals on the penalty to take a lead and eventually won the game and series, 5-4, in overtime.
Who knows if that’s what happens in this game if McAvoy, 21, is given the major, but it’s certainly an argument that can be made especially considering he probably is the Bruins’ best defenseman.
Now McAvoy likely faces at least a one-game suspension for his hit on Anderson, meaning he would miss just the first game of the Eastern Conference finals against the Hurricanes. That’s not nearly as costly as missing a Game 7 would have been had the Blue Jackets won Game 6.