Chicago Blackhawks forward Ryan Hartman will not face supplemental discipline from the NHL for his hit on Predators forward Craig Smith in Game 2 on Saturday night, reports Chris Hine of the Chicago Tribune.
Hartman executed a brutal cross-check to Smith’s face during the Blackhawks’ 5-0 loss, which drew a two-minute roughing penalty and 10-minute game misconduct penalty. Here’s the play:
The absence of additional punishment from the NHL isn’t surprising. Once the Department of Player Safety only suspended Blue Jackets forward Matt Calvert one game for essentially attacking an opponent with a pair of hits near the end of a game, it became clear this postseason wouldn’t involve aggressive enforcement of illegal hits with supplemental discipline.
So Hartman will be available for Game 3, and if he suits up, hopefully he’ll be able to show more discipline. Penalties were a question mark for the rookie entering this season, but he showed signs of progress with just two penalty minutes in his first 24 games. He had a team-high 68 penalty minutes over the final 52 games of the season, though, and now has 14 penalty minutes in two playoff games.
Rule No. 1, Ryan: No touching of the hair or face.