(Juan Ocampo/Getty Images)
During Saturday night’s game between the Jets and Kings, Winnipeg winger Anthony Peluso was absolutely levelled by Kings winger Kyle Clifford. Clifford was given a minor penalty for charging, but the Department of Player Safety will likely be taking a look at the hit.
With the Winnipeg Jets leading the Los Angeles Kings 3-0 in the first period of the Saturday night tilt between the clubs, Kyle Clifford attempted to shift the momentum back in the Kings favor with a big hit. The hit, however, may land him on the sidelines.
Jets winger Anthony Peluso was carrying the puck down the left wing boards and was forced behind the goal. When he came out the other side, Clifford was there to meet him with a booming body check that sent Peluso flying.
Clifford was given a minor penalty for charging and a minor for roughing on the ensuing dust up between the two teams. Joining Clifford in the box was Jordan Nolan, who got two for roughing. The Jets immediate response to the hit landed Peluso and Chris Thorburn in the box for roughing, as well.
The case for suspending Clifford: The Kings winger came in with one intention, and that was to try and destroy Peluso. It’s a dangerous and reckless hit, and one that the league will likely look at. When the Department of Player Safety talks about blindside hits, this is exactly that. Clifford leaving his feet, another reckless play, will also be something the Department looks at.
The case against suspending Clifford: There was no contact with the head, Peluso seemed no worse for wear, and the referees on the ice did a good job controlling the situation and handed down a minor for charging to Clifford. Without the injury to Peluso and the lack of contact with the head, it’s going to be tough to justify a suspension.