The Rangers will be down a man for the first two games of the Play-in-Round when play returns on August 1st. The NHL has suspended Brendan Lemieux two games for an illegal hit on Avalanche forward Joonas Donskoi back in March. The suspension comes now cause no one had any clue on when or even if the season would resume back in March. There were bigger fish to fry for the NHL at that point in time so this went on the back burner until now. The hit deserved consequences, but there was no point announcing what they were without a concrete plan on a return to play.
Just an unbelievably dirty hit by Brendan Lemieux. Awful pic.twitter.com/6fntzFI1Hm — Fitz (@FitzGSN_) March 12, 2020
A dirty hit, plain and simple. Two games seems fair for a hit like that. At least normally. When the Play-in-Round is a best of five instead of seven it feels a bit unfair. Not due to the amount of games. Two game suspension for that hit is fine. The issue is how many games are played in the Play-In-Round. Lemieux’s two game suspension is 40% of the Play-in-Round, 66% if someone is swept. Normally a two game suspension in the playoffs would be about 28% of a full series and 50% of a series sweep. So if you want to listen to numbers this suspension is “longer” than a normal suspension because less games are played. Two games is two games, but when you are looking at gambling lines you over analyze how this will affect the puckline, the over/under, the money line, and bets on who the series winner will be. The suspension is still justified but it’s neat to look at how this will affect the Play-in-Series between the Rangers and the Hurricanes.