Should Sabres’ Carrier Be Suspended For His Hit To David Backes?

BOSTON (CBS) — The Bruins beat the Buffalo Sabres 4-2 on Thursday night after coming back from a 2-0 deficit in the first period. But the team may have suffered a bigger loss than any win could make up for: David Backes took a hard hit from Sabres forward William Carrier that knocked him out of the game with what was reported as an upper-body injury.

A concussion is the suspected injury for Backes; Carrier drove his elbow near the head area on the hit. But the question, now, is whether Carrier will receive any supplemental discipline for it. He served two minutes for an illegal check to the head penalty on the play.

Pete Blackburn of Fox Sports tweeted a GIF of the hit soon after it happened, which you can see below. Judge for yourself whether Backes’ head was the principal point of contact on the hit, and whether or not any head contact was avoidable:

Since Carrier served a penalty for the hit, it’s unclear if the NHL Department of Player Safety would feel that any further discipline would be necessary. CSNNE’s Joe Haggerty tweeted after the game that it “sounds like” Carrier will not receive supplemental discipline.

Since it’s hard to tell how much of Backes’ head was contacted at all, let alone whether the head was the main point of contact for Carrier, the hit is more of the “borderline” variety than an egregious violation. For those reasons, it doesn’t appear likely that Carrier will receive a fine or suspension.

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