LAS VEGAS – Center Joe Thornton was suspended for a game by the NHL Players Safety Department on Monday, leaving the Sharks without one of their biggest leaders and most productive players for Game 4 of their playoff series. first round against the Golden Knights of Las Vegas.
Thornton was suspended for an illegal check at the head of Golden Knights striker, Tomas Nosek, in the second period of Game 3 on Sunday, a defeat by 6-3 Sharks. Thornton, who had an audience with the league the previous Monday, will be eligible to return to Game 5 in San Jose on Thursday.
When Nosek went back to the final line of the Golden Knights at the end of the second period, rejecting a check from Brenden Dillon, Thornton came in behind the Las Vegas net and cut off Nosek's head with his left shoulder. Nosek had just released the puck.
The player's security department ruled that after Nosek pbaded the record, Thornton "delivers a shoulder directly to Nosek's head, causing him to fall to the ice.
"It is important to keep in mind that the head is clearly the main point of contact in this shot, and that contact with the head is avoidable."
The NHL also noted that while Nosek was in a low position at the time of pbading the disc, he did not materially change the position of his head or body just before contact. Thornton received an illegal check in the minor penalty of the head for the infraction at 16:54 of the second. The Sharks followed the Golden Knights 4-1 at that time.
The only time Thornton was suspended in his 21-year career in the NHL was in November 2010, when he was given two games by a stroke to David Perron's boss, and then to St. Louis Blues. In March, he and Golden Knights forward Ryan Reaves were fined $ 2,500 for their high performance.
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