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Why Suspend Hertl 2 Games? NHL Explains

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Credit: Hockey Shots/Dean Tait

Tomas Hertl has been suspended for two games for this high sticking on Elias Lindholm.

Last night, at the beginning of the third period, Calgary Flames up 2-1 on the San Jose Sharks, Hertl squared off against Lindholm at the faceoff circle.

“I got cross-checked three times to the shoulder. I tried to slash his stick, but the stick flew a little high. It’s a terrible penalty,” Hertl acknowledged after the game, of the two-minute high sticking minor penalty that he received. “It looks bad, but it’s a mistake by me. You can’t do that. You never try to hit a guy high, but it happened.”

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The Flames would score a power play goal off the Hertl penalty, and two more in quick succession, racking up three goals in 1:54 to bury the San Jose Sharks on their way to a 5-2 victory.

NHL Department of Player Safety, in their video explaining the decision, noted that Hertl’s stick struck Lindholm in the head. Lindholm did finish the game.

“It’s important to note that this is not a reckless or careless use of the stick. Rather, this is a directed, retaliatory stick swing that strikes an opponent at a dangerous height,” the NHL Department of Player Safety noted. “And while we acknowledge San Jose’s assessment that this high stick is delivered without an excessive amount of force, there is sufficient force here to merit supplemental discipline for what is an intentional and retaliatory play.”

Hertl will miss the San Jose Sharks’ re-match with Calgary on Dec. 20 and their tilt against the Minnesota Wild on Dec. 22. The next time that we see the Sharks’ No. 1 centerman will be after Christmas, on Dec. 27 against the Vancouver Canucks.

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