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Niskanen Has Hearing With NHL Player Safety for Hit on Gallagher

The Department of Player Safety has announced a scheduled hearing for today with Philadelphia Flyers defenseman Matt Niskanen.

Matt Niskanen Cross Check

The Department of Player Safety has announced a scheduled hearing for today with Philadelphia Flyers defenseman Matt Niskanen for his hit on Montreal Canadiens forward Brendan Gallagher.

In Wednesday’s big Game 5 win over the Philadelphia Flyers, an inspired Gallagher was cross-checked in the face by Niskanen and it’s possible Gallagher may have broken his jaw. The small but fiesty forward will have a CT scan today to assess the damage.

Flyers head coach Alain Vigneault argued that Niskanen’s hit was a hockey play, saying, “it’s not Niskanen’s fault Gallagher is a shorter player who got cut on a “hockey play.”. He added, “in my estimation Gallagher seemed fine”. The league sees it another way.

Niskanen was not penalized on the play, but it certainly was a penalty as the video footage posted by the Canadiens after the hit clearly shows Niskanen attempting to lay in a heavy cross check and in a downward motion to a crouched Gallagher.

Temporary head coach Kirk Muller says the team has sent this video (shot by their social media cameraman) to the league as an alternate angle of the play to support their belief that supplemental discipline is warranted.

Some are arguing Niskanen was aiming to hit the back of Gallagher and that Gallagher turned at the inopportune time and leaned down as Niskanen was hitting him. The cross check does seem to start before Gallagher is facing his aggressor but that argument doesn’t negate that there was an obvious cross check on the play and one that appears malicious in its intent.

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