A hearing with the NHL Department of Player Safety on Tuesday has left Pierre-Edouard Bellemare suspended for one game. He’ll be sitting out for Game 4 of Philadelphia’s opening round series against the Washington Capitals, the NHL Department of Player Safety announced Tuesday.
The suspension is the result of a hit from behind in Monday’s Game 3 loss to the Caps. He drove defenseman Dmitry Orlov violently into the boards on a play that could have been much worse for Orlov, who stayed in the game.
Orlov not being injured on the play, as well as Bellemare having no history of fines or suspensions, played into keep the suspension at just a single game, which could be viewed as light given the nature of the hit. But that one game is a postseason game and will be very significant to Philadelphia, who is down 3-0 in the series.
There’s an argument for a single game, but the strong language of the Player Safety video is in opposition to the minimal suspension give.
“From the moment he hits the top of the circles, Bellemare sees nothing but Orlov’s numbers,” the DoPS said in their judgement. They acknowledge that the impact is made more violent by Orlov losing an edge, “but the onus is on Bellemare to not take advantage of a player in a vulnerable position.”
Watch the DoPS video below.
Dustin Nelson is the News Editor for The Hockey Writers. He’s a contributor to Hockey Prospectus, Hockey Wilderness, and writes a column for Rotowire. He’s also written for Gone Puck Wild, Wild Xtra, InDigest, Electric Literature, The Rumpus, Tiny Mix Tapes, Prefix Magazine & other publications. Have a tip? Email him at dlukenelson[at]gmail[dot]com.