Jets’ Mark Scheifele suspended 4 games for charging Jake Evans

Jun 2, 2021; Winnipeg, Manitoba, CAN; Winnipeg Jets center Mark Scheifele (55) hits Montreal Canadiens center Jake Evans (71) in the third period in game one of the second round of the 2021 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Bell MTS Place. Mandatory Credit: James Carey Lauder-USA TODAY Sports

The NHL Department of Payer Safety came down hard on Winnipeg Jets forward Mark Scheifele for his charge on Jake Evans. Late in the third period, the Canadiens forward tucked home an empty net goal when Scheifele ran him over.

Evans was unconscious and needed to be stretchered away. As he was leaving the arena, he gave a thumbs up signaling he was ok.

NHL suspends Mark Scheifele for 4 games

According to the NHL DoPS video the hit is defined as charging. Scheifele argued that he maintained his speed to make a defensive play. However the league determined his intent was not to play the puck but to make a predatory hit on a prone opponent. NHL DoPS has suspended Scheifele for 4 games.

Jake Evans injured by Mark Scheifele

There was simply no need for this. Scheifele isn’t regarded as a dirty player, but he must’ve realized that no hit was about to prevent Evans from putting home this empty-netter. After reviewing the video several times, there is no defending this play.

The NHL obviously felt the same way and to their credit issued a stiff penalty. Scheifele had not been suspended prior to this play. If so, this could’ve been a longer suspension. The Jets will not have his services until Game 6 of their series against the Habs, if they can get there.

“You never want to see that, a player down on the ice like that. We went through that in Toronto with [John] Tavares (injury in Game 1). He’s not a player in our uniform, but it’s an accident and both sides want him to feel better. I didn’t feel that from the other side when it happened.”

Dominque Ducharme, Canadiens Head Coach