Boston Bruins rookie defenseman Jeremy Lauzon will have a hearing Sunday for an illegal check to the head of Arizona Coyotes forward Derek Stepan 19:39 into the first period of the Bruins’ 4-2 win over the Coyotes Saturday afternoon.
Boston’s Jeremy Lauzon will have a hearing tomorrow for an Illegal Check to the Head on Arizona’s Derek Stepan.
— NHL Player Safety (@NHLPlayerSafety) February 9, 2020
After serving a high-sticking minor at 17:27 of the first period, Lauzon came out of the box and rushed down into the play as the Bruins pressured the net. He circled behind the net and finished off a hit on Stepan raising his right arm as he followed through and connecting with Stepan’s head. Stepan went down and stayed on the ice as Lauzon was whistled off for a match-penalty and ejected from the game at 19:39 of the opening frame.
— Here's Your Replay ⬇️ (@HeresYourReplay) February 8, 2020
The Bruins allowed a Phil Kessel powerplay goal at 3:26 of the second and with 1:34 left on the five-minute Coyotes powerplay that gave the Coyotes a 1-0 lead at the time. They would go on to score three straight goals to go up 3-1 heading into the third period and allow a Jakob Chychrun goal 26 ticks into the final frame before Charlie Coyle sealed the deal with 49 seconds left in regulation.
Following the game, Bruins head coach was complexed at the lack of consistency due to the fact that Coyotes forward Lawson Crouse only received a two-minute roughing call after hitting Bruins defenseman Charlie McAvoy in the head 4:46 into the second period.
Lawson Crouse hits Charlie McAvoy right in the head.
Only a minor. pic.twitter.com/pTPoepA5mm
— Evan Marinofsky (@emarinofsky) February 8, 2020
Following the game, Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy did his best to bite his tongue about what he felt was inconsistency in the calls to Lauzon and then Crouse.
“Well, there is in this,” Cassidy replied when asked if there is inconsistency overall when it comes to headshots in the NHL? “ Clearly they’re both very similar hits and you’d like to see more consistency, but again, I don’t want to get onto that soapbox today. They’re going to look at Lauzy’s hit. Listen, I don’t even know if it’s an automatic suspension, I assume it’s a review. I don’t believe last year when he was up he had any issues with the league. I guess we’ll see down the road. That would be my only concern if there’s a suspension. Obviously he’s played well for us. That would be unfortunate.”
Cassidy noted that he would be in touch with the league and the Bruins’ AHL affiliate, the Providence Bruins, should the situation require a call-up for the Bruins.