After receiving a slashing minor, boarding major and a game misconduct on one play, Erik Johnson likely had more punishment headed his way. The league would agree, suspending the Colorado Avalanche defenseman for the team’s next two games.
The NHL’s Department of Player Safety announced the two-game suspension Sunday night, citing the lateness of the hit on Vladislav Namestnikov. Johnson will forfeit $64,516.12 during the suspension.
Colorado’s Erik Johnson suspended two games for boarding Tampa Bay’s Vladislav Namestnikov. https://t.co/lut25xraWy
— NHL Player Safety (@NHLPlayerSafety) December 18, 2017
Erik Johnson Suspended Two Games
The play would take place with 3:03 left in the second period. After a turnover at the blue line, Johnson would trail Namestnikov down the ice. After a slash across the hands, Johnson would then shove him in the back. The shove caused Namestnikov to violently crash into the boards.
“Dangerous play. You just hold your breath on those. Got a little fortunate with Vladdy, obviously didn’t get as fortunate with Callahan,” Tampa Bay Lightning head coach Jon Cooper said, referring to Ryan Callahan‘s injury last week.
The Department of Player Safety noted that Namestnikov had already fired his shot on net before he was shoved. They would also go on to mention that Johnson should have been aware of his opponent’s distance from the boards. Namestnikov was able to remain in the game
“While the shove itself may not be overly violent or forceful, the timing of its delivery sends a defenseless Namestnikov dangerously in the boards,” the league would say in regards to the suspension.
Johnson is a repeat offender, having served a two-game suspension for slashing in 2014.
Johnson has appeared in all 32 games thus far for the Avalanche. He leads the team in average ice time at 25:38, 10th most among all NHL players. He has four goals and eight assists on the year thus far.