Stay classy, Dallas Stars.
While it is understandable that you were frustrated over getting your clocks cleaned last night by a team that has been your whipping boy for years, the Edmonton Oilers, it was a poor show of sportsmanship by Jamie Benn when he blindsided Ryan Jones late in the third period last night. Benn deserves to be suspended for his hit.
Moments before, Jones was following through on a drive to the net and ran into Stars goalie Kari Lehtonen. It was a minor collision and was far from intentional, and Jones was already going to be penalized once the play stopped, but Dallas had the puck and so a delayed penalty was called. Lehtonen skated off the ice and when Benn came off the bench, he took the phrase “extra attacker” too far by cheap-shotting Jones from behind.
Obviously, the Stars, and Benn in particular, were frustrated and wanted to send the Oilers a message for next time.
Message received. Jones was down on the ice for a couple minutes before he was able to skate to the bench under his own power. Benn is fortunate Jones does not appear to have sustained a serious injury on this hit. That said, the hit was a dangerous one and was completely premeditated as Benn swooped off the bench and plowed right into Jones.
Whether retaliation for a perceived attack on Lehtonen or not, this is uncalled for and Benn will be suspended. Taylor Hall‘s recent collision with Cal Clutterbuck was head-on and a first-time offense, and he got two games for his actions. Benn doesn’t have a history of this sort of thing from what I can tell, but considering the hit was blindsided and premeditated, a three-game suspension is not out of the question here.