Ottawa Senators forward Austin Watson will have a hearing with the National Department of Player Safety Sunday after being called for a two-minute minor for interference on Boston Bruins rookie defenseman Jack Ahcan in the Bruins’ 2-0 win Saturday.
Ottawa’s Austin Watson will have a hearing tomorrow for Interference on Boston’s Jack Ahcan.
— NHL Player Safety (@NHLPlayerSafety) February 12, 2022
Watson drilled Ahcan with a late hit to the head after the Boston Bruins defenseman had cleared the puck out from the corner 8:09 into regulation. Surprisingly Watson only got slapped with an interference minor despite the play resulting in a headshot. Boston Bruins forward Anton Blidh immediately came to the defense of his teammate and received a two-minute minor for roughing. While referees Kyle Reaman and Gord Dwyer appeared to miss the primary contact to Achan’s head, the Department of Player Safety appears to have seen that or something more than an interference infraction.
Forget the fact that refs Kyle Reaman and Gord Dwyer should be suspended for failing to call a major on Austin Watson, if Watson doesn't get a suspension for that targeted headshot, the @NHLPlayerSafety should reevaluate what the point of their job is. https://t.co/JzOl9uBXs1
— MurphysLaw74 (@MurphysLaw74) February 12, 2022
Thankfully for Ahcan and the Boston Bruins, the rookie defenseman was able to return to the game and played 15:15 in the win that snapped a two-game losing streak for the Bruins.
Watson ended up playing 11:48 with one shot and five hits. The Senators winger has been suspended 27 games before but not for any on-ice incidents. The rugged Senators winger was suspended for the first 27 games of the 2018-19 season by the NHL due to “unacceptable off-ice conduct” stemming from a domestic assault incident. Watson also was suspended in January 2019 for alcohol abuse and was placed into the NHL/NHLPA substance abuse and behavioral health program.
After the humiliating 6-0 loss to the Carolina Hurricanes on Thursday, the Boston Bruins needed a fast and passionate start Saturday against the Senators in Ottawa. That’s exactly what they got as goalie Jeremy Swayman (30 saves) earned his second shutout of the season and the depth players rose to the occasion in a 2-0 win to begin a three-game road trip.
Trent Frederic knocked home a rebound of a Craig Smith shot 45 seconds into regulation to give the Bruins a 1-0 lead and Curtis Lazar took a feed from Anton Blidh at 13:26 of the opening frame to make it 2-0. Swayman did the rest standing on his head in the final minutes of both the second and third periods.
Matt Murray prevented the game from getting out of hand and made 35 saves for the Senators in the loss.