Another day, another suspendable hit in the NHL. This time, it's Colby Robak of the Florida Panthers, who was thrown out of Saturday's game versus the New Jersey Devils after a dangerous crosscheck that sent Tim Sestito headlong into the end boards:
I could never say I'm 100% positive something is going to get a suspension, especially after Friday, when I went 0-for-2 on my Department of Player Safety predictions, but this one looks like a pretty surefire Shanaban to me. Robak received a five-minute major for crosschecking and a game misconduct for the hit, and he's very likely to get more.
(UPDATE: Tom Gulitti of the Bergen Record reports that Robak will not be disciplined.)
It sounds like Sestito's okay. “It’s fortunate I don’t think Timmy’s too bad,” Bryce Salvador said after the game. “Those are the hits they’re trying to get out and it’s just fortunate nothing bad came of that because that’s scary.”
The replay at 1:04 makes it clear just how scary. Sestito is charging after the puck, and the sudden shove from Robak puts him completely off-balance. After a brief wobble, he goes down and into the wall. Fortunately, Sestito's able to turn his body slightly to let his shoulder, rather than his neck, absorb most of the impact.
Still, the fact that he avoided injury likely won't be enough for Robak to avoid suspension. Shanahan has shown a particular dislike for shoves of this sort in the past. Last season, Chris Stewart earned a three-game ban for shoving Niklas Kronwall into the far boards, and Daniel Carcillo got two games for doing the same to Joni Pitkanen at the end boards. In both cases, the message was clear: you can ride a guy into the wall, you can't shove him.
I would expect Shanahan to remind Robak to the tune of two or three games.