Flyers Vs. Penguins ECQF: Pittsburgh's Asham and Neal to Face Disciplinary Hearings
Sportsnet's Nick Kypreos reported on Monday that two Pittsburgh Penguins will face disciplinary hearings on Tuesday morning for their actions in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals.
James Neal will have two hearings at 10am - one for his 3rd period hits on Sean Couturier and Claude Giroux.
Neal left his feet on the hit on Couturier, a hit that was unfounded and unnecessary as the rookie did not have control of the puck and it was nowhere near him. Neal targeted Couturier's head and left the 19-year-old dazed. Couturier left the ice for a few minutes to be tended to, but thankfully returned to finish the rest of the game.
It looked like a blatant attempt to take Couturier out, but Neal claimed it wasn't intentional.
"I haven't looked at it again, but I'm going through a lot of guys with a lot of speed," Neal told reporters. "I don't know if I just clipped him, or.. I didn't mean to hit him."
Later on in the 3rd period, Neal targeted Claude Giroux, who has 8 points in 3 games against the Penguins. Neal elbowed Giroux in the back of the head, and Giroux was spun to his feet. He appeared dazed for a few moments after the hit, but was able to continue to play.
Arron Asham received a match penalty for crosschecking Brayden Schenn in the 1st period. Schenn had just laid a big hit on Pittsburgh's Paul Martin, and though it would have been enough for Asham to 'retaliate' with a crosscheck, he punched Schenn in the back of the head once Schenn was already down on the ice.
It will be interesting to see the rulings from these hearings. Neal's actions were unnecessary and had nothing to do with the game itself. Asham went over the line by adding injury to insult.
At this rate, the rulings may not mean much for the Penguins and will instead serve as a message to the rest of the league.
An early exit from the playoffs and a long summer to think about what they've done will be punishment enough for Pittsburgh.