In the playoffs, it's important for a team to be at full strength. However, after an illegal hit to the head, it looks like the Los Angeles Kings and San Jose Sharks will be shorthanded in Game 2 of their first round series.
The NHL has suspended Kings forward Jarret Stoll one game for his hit to the head on Sharks defenseman Ian White, according to ESPN.com.
Stoll struck White from behind, driving his head into the boards during the first period of the Sharks 3-2 overtime win on Thursday. White did not return to the game after the hit. Although there were no penalties called on the play, replays showed that boarding should have been called.
Stoll will serve the suspension on Saturday night, as the Sharks and Kings square off in Game 2 in San Jose.
Initially, Stoll said he didn't expect a suspension.
"[White] was a little low there," Stoll said. "I don't know what he was doing, if he was reaching for a puck or what. He was right against the boards, too, and he was a little low. I just finished my check on him, and it ended up pretty bad for him.
"I hope he's all right. You hate to see a guy get hurt in the regular season or playoffs and I definitely wasn't trying to hurt him. … There wasn't a penalty on the call so I'm not expecting anything."
Sharks defensemen Dan Boyle had a different take. "I don't like it," Boyle said. "I didn't like it the first time around, and I don't like it on the replay. I don't know that Stoll is that kind of a guy but that's exactly what we're talking about and trying to eliminate [from the game]."
White hasn't been officially ruled out for Game 2, but Sharks coach Todd McLellan isn't optimistic.
"At this present time I'd say no. He didn't practice today," McLellan said after Friday's practice. "He'll come to the rink tomorrow and we'll evaluate him. We'll put his well-being and health ahead of playing."