The Boston Bruins and Montreal Canadiens engaged in some good, old-time hockey warfare on Thursday night and predictably it resulted in a suspension for one of the combatants. Bruins energy forward A.J. Greer has been suspended for one game by the NHL Department of Player Safety after cross-checking Mike Hoffman in the face during a faceoff in the first period of Thursday night’s 4-2 win for the Boston Bruins over the Montreal Canadiens.
The high crosscheck was the punctuation mark to an exchange between Greer and Hoffman that quickly escalated after a couple of quick jabs with the stick before the Bruins forward ended things with a play that earned him a five minute major and a game misconduct.
Boston’s A.J. Greer has been suspended for one game for Cross-checking Montreal’s Mike Hoffman. https://t.co/SZkcAlo8qk
— NHL Player Safety (@NHLPlayerSafety) March 24, 2023
After the game, Boston Bruins head coach Jim Montgomery admitted it was probably a moment where Greer’s emotions got the better of him.
“We talk about playing with emotion, which is great, but not getting emotional,” said Montgomery. “Unfortunately, Greersy that stick rode up. I don’t know if it rode up the stick or the shoulder pad and it cut him. It’s something we can learn from because you can’t take those kinds of penalties in playoffs.
“Whenever I do talk to him, because we’re going to be off [Friday], I’ll talk to him about the necessity of controlling his emotions and that he needs to learn from it, that’s all. We’re going to move past that.”
Certainly a Bruins/Canadiens rivalry game can cause the emotional dial to be running a little high, but that will pale in comparison to the emotional and intensity levels once the Stanley Cup playoffs arrive in a couple of weeks.
But it’s also got to be confusing for Boston Bruins fans to watch Greer serve out a one-game suspension for an admittedly dirty, dangerous move, and then watch Rem Pitlick walk away unpenalized after throwing a very late, high hit on Patrice Bergeron in the first period that was at the heart of things getting heated throughout the hockey game.
Under the terms of the Collective Bargaining Agreement and, based on his average annual salary, Greer will forfeit $4,121.62. The money goes to the Players’ Emergency Assistance Fund. This is the first fine or suspension for Greer in his 99-game NHL career.