Marcus Johansson expressed disappointment Sunday morning over the NHL’s decision to fine Mark Stuart rather than suspend the Winnipeg defenseman.
“It’s not really my thing to have any impact on it,” Johansson said after the morning skate at United Center. “But seeing [Mike Green] and [Alex Ovechkin] get three games for something that’s pretty similar, I think it’s weird.”
Replays show Stuart driving his arm into Johansson’s head along the end boards. The hit was a step late and hard enough to knock off Johansson’s helmet. After missing a portion of the second period, Johansson returned and finished the game.
“It’s over now and it’s not much to look back at,” he said. “I’m good to play, so it’s all right.”
Asked if he was surprised the NHL’s explanation of the fine only made mention of “interference” and a “late hit” but not a headshot, Johansson said: “I think he obviously hit my head, but it’s their thing to call. I’m pretty happy it’s not worse than it was. I feel 100 percent now.”
Coach Dale Hunter said he’s glad the NHL acknowledged the hit.
“At least they recognized that it should have been a penalty,” he said. “We should have had a 5 on 3. It could have been a big part of the game.”