Connect with us

San Jose Sharks

BREAKING: Kunin Ejected for Check to Head



San Jose Sharks forward Luke Kunin was assessed a match penalty at 9:14 of the first period during tonight’s San Jose Sharks-Florida Panthers tilt.

Kunin, using his shoulder, appeared to strike Patric Hornqvist, who was stretching out for the puck, in the head.

After a review from the officials, the call on the ice stood as an illegal check to the head against Florida Panthers forward Patric Hornqvist. Kunin was tossed.

“We see here is the head snaps back,” ESPN rules analyst Dave Jackson said on the ESPN+ broadcast. “The referee’s first priority is player safety.”

Hornqvist headed back to the Panthers’ locker room during the major penalty review and still hasn’t returned. Kevin Labanc served the five-minute penalty.

“The onus is on the defender making the hit to not make contact with his head,” Jackson stated, while discussing the check to the head rule.

Kunin’s only other previous league discipline was a $1,000 fine by the NHL Department of Player Safety during the 2020 Playoff Qualifying Round. Kunin got involved from the bench with Canucks forward Michael Ferland and received an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty.

San Jose Sharks fans know the origin of the major penalty review: The Sharks’ Game Seven playoff comeback in 2019 against the Vegas Golden Knights was spurred by a controversial and non-reviewable Cody Eakin match penalty. Following that postseason, the NHL implemented a rule that every major penalty would be reviewed with the ability to either reduce the penalty to a regular two-minute minor or to keep the call on the ice.

The San Jose Sharks’ penalty kill was solid only conceding one goal at the end of the major to the Panthers captain Aleksander Barkov.

Welcome to your new home for San Jose Sharks breaking news, analysis and opinion. Like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter and don't forget to subscribe to SJHN+ for all of our members-only content from Sheng Peng and the National Hockey Now network plus an ad-free browsing experience.

Sheng’s Travel Fund

Help fund Sheng's travel! Every dollar goes to the cost of getting to and from Sharks road games.

Click here to contribute to Sheng's travel pool!

Get SJHN in your inbox!

Enter your email address to get all of our articles delivered directly to your inbox.

Hockey Shots

Extra Hour Hockey Training

Cathy’s Power Skating

Sharks Team & Cap Info

SJHN on Facebook