The NHL has suspended Philadelphia Flyers left wing Jody Shelley two games for a hit from behind on Boston Bruins defenseman Adam McQuaid on Saturday night. The hit came with 14:52 remaining in the second period as both players were chasing a pick behind the net. While McQuaid had has back to Shelley, Shelley pushed him from behind, causing him to lose his balance and go crashing head first into the boards.
McQuaid laid on the ice for several minutes, and was eventually helped off, but later returned to the game. Shelley received a five minute major for boarding and a game misconduct. Shelley handled the incident in a classy manner, as he immediately apologized to McQuaid as he was on the ice, and later reiterated his regrets as McQuaid was making his way to the locker room. Still, the suspension is warranted, as there is no place for hits from behind in hockey, even if there is no malicious intent.
Need we be reminded about the vicious hit Bruins forward Patrice Bergeron took from then Flyers defenseman Randy Jones in 2007. It is only a matter of time until some is seriously injured, or worse, on a hit from behind. The NHL needs to do all they can to take these hits out of the game. Suspending Shelley is a step in the right direction.