Sam Bennett Given a One Game Suspension

Bennett Given

SUNRISE, FL - APRIL 19: Sam Bennett #9 of the Florida Panthers skates towards the Columbus Blue Jackets net during first period action at the BB&T Center on April 19, 2021 in Sunrise, Florida. (Photo by Joel Auerbach/Getty Images)



Late in the 3rd period of game one between the Lightning and the Panthers, Sam Bennett delivered a hit from behind on Blake Coleman. That hit landed Bennett a 2-minute boarding penalty. Then 41 seconds into the Tampa powerplay Brayden Point evened the game at 4.  Bennet was scheduled to have a hearing today for his hit on Coleman. After the hearing, Sam Bennett was given a one-game suspension for boarding. He will miss game 2 of the series but will be expected to return for game 3 in Tampa.

Sam Bennett

The Florida Panthers had acquired Sam Bennett from the Calgary Flames at the 2021 trade deadline. Bennett played in 10 regular-season games for the Panthers. In those 10 games, he scored six goals and tacked on nine assists. He also had 33 penalty minutes in those 10 games. He only had 19 PIMs in 38 games for Calgary this year. But I guess that’s what happens when you join the 2nd most penalized team in the league. Bennett does not have any prior history of suspension or discipline from the league.

The Hit

The hit on Coleman took place late in the 3rd period with the Panthers up by a score of 4-3. With under 8 minutes to play in the 3rd period, there should be the same mentality among all the Panthers skaters. Stay out of the box. The Panthers had racked up 16 total penalty minutes in the game up to that point. And with Tampa’s 2nd and 3rd goals coming on the powerplay the Panthers should know to not take any dumb penalties. That exactly the opposite of what Bennett did. Bennett’s penalty costed the lead which eventually led to Tampa scoring the game-winner with 1:14 left on the clock.

Should Tampa Have Had a Hearing

There is a lot of talks online about Bennett’s hit on Coleman. But simultaneously while Bennett is getting a one-game suspension Ryan McDonagh is getting nothing for his hit on Anthony Duclair. Here is the hit from McDonagh on Duclair.

Both hits are very similar and one guy got a suspension while the other just got a two-minute boarding call. If you ask me you either give both of them a hearing and a suspension or not. You can’t give it to one and not the other. But we have our theories as to why one was called and not the other. It’s not like the NHL needs to help the defending Stanley Cup Champions for than they already have. But I am just a fan who watches these games from my couch deleting beers.

What are your thoughts on the Sam Bennett hit? Was this a valid suspension valid? Should Ryan McDonagh have also gotten a suspension?

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