NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Brian Boyle won’t be suspended for his thunderous overtime check on Islanders defenseman Thomas Hickey on Tuesday night.
Boyle was not subject to a hearing with the league’s Department of Player Safety on Wednesday, according to multiple reports.
Islanders coach Jack Capuano said after his team’s 5-4 overtime loss in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference semifinals at the Barclays Center that he believed the high hit warranted a suspension for Boyle.
Hickey had just released a pass from the Isles’ blue line when Boyle appeared to lift his elbow and hit him. Just after Hickey fell to the ice clutching his face, Boyle corralled the puck and began the Lightning’s odd-man rush that led to Boyle’s game-winning goal.
Capuano reiterated Wednesday his opinion that it was a direct hit to the head.
“I had a chance to watch it, and I just feel the hit was high,” Capuano said on a conference call, the Daily News reported. “To me, it’s a position where it’s an odd-man rush going the other way, too. It’s one of those calls that (the referee’s) got a split-decision to make. But I’m going to stand by what I said. I thought the hit was high, and it led obviously to a really good scoring chance for them.”
Capuano did not provide an update on Hickey’s status for Game 4. He said the defenseman would be evaluated by the Islanders’ medical staff Wednesday afternoon.
Capuano also argued that Boyle’s hit should not be compared to the shoulder check Hickey delivered in the second period on Jonathan Drouin, which also was not subject to an league hearing.
“When Jonathan Drouin cut to the middle, (Hickey) hit him right in the chest,” Capuano said. “So that’s an open-ice hit. We’ve seen plenty of those and it’s directly right in his chest, where the hit on Thomas Hickey, you can see his head snap back and you can see the shoulder lead and the elbow up into the head area. So totally two different hits. In the angles that I have, it’s not even close.”
Game 4 will be played Friday night at the Barclays Center. Tampa Bay leads the series 2-1.