Auston Matthews: Two Game Suspension for Cross-Checking

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Auston Matthews receives two game suspension for cross-checking Sabres player, Rasmus Dahlin during the Heritage Classic game on Sunday afternoon.

As a Leafs fan, obviously I don’t like this call. Did he cross-check him? Yes. Was the intent to injure? Personally, I don’t think so. Two games is not a huge deal, however, that isn’t the point. If the Department of Player Safety is going to assess “bad” cross-checks as worthy of missing two games, all players who cross-check should be punished in the same manner.

NHL referees are able to call a penalty or choose not to call one, which makes sense to me. If refs called every single penalty, the game would be very disrupted with calls and teams would be playing a man short for a lot of the game. However, when a player’s actions are severe enough that the NHL Department of Player Safety needs to intervene, there should be strict guidelines to be followed for assigning fines or suspensions to players.


The Department of Player Safety receives a lot of criticism, which I believe is warranted. I hope we can see more unbiased and and fair decisions being made going forward. It can be a bit disheartening for fans to see that the rules seem to apply differently for every player. Everyone and their grandma just want consistency.

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-Allison Smith (allismithx0 on twitter)

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