Wednesday: Dillon indeed has been suspended for one game for the slash. As the video explanation notes:
It is important to note that this is not a slash delivered as part of a hockey play. Dillon is not attempting to alert an opponent to his presence, or to make a defensive play on a player with the puck. This is simply a frustrated player delivering a retaliatory and forceful slash to a vulnerable area of an opponent’s body.
Tuesday: TSN’s Bob McKenzie predicted it this morning and now it has come to fruition: San Jose Sharks defenseman Brenden Dillon will have a hearing with the NHL Department of Player Safety this evening regarding his actions in last night’s game against the Washington Capitals. The incident is question was a slash by Dillon on the Caps’ Madison Bowey late in the contest.
With just five seconds remaining in the game, a 4-1 Washington win, Dillon hit Bowey with a two-handed slash. The action earned him a five-minute major and game misconduct – serious albeit meaningless penalties with nearly no time left. Should Dillon receive a suspension, that could very well play a role in the decision. However, the overall intensity of the game could play in his favor. It was a chippy affair throughout, including a questionable hit by Joe Thornton on T.J. Oshie and even a roughing penalty for Bowey in response to Dillon’s slash. An outburst at the end of a combative game may not be seen as an individual attack by Dillon that warrants a suspension. It also helps Dillon’s case that Patrick Kane was just recently given only a fine for a similar two-handed chop.
While the Sharks await word on whether they will lose Dillon to suspension or not, they’ll need a contingency plan. San Jose has worked hard to climb back into playoff position in the Pacific Division and don’t want to drop one or more of their upcoming games against the Carolina Hurricanes, Ottawa Senators, and Minnesota Wild because they couldn’t properly replace Dillon, given the recent injury to frequent backup Tim Heed. A strong defensive rearguard and a left shot, Dillon has been regularly skating alongside Brent Burns one the top pair this season, especially with Paul Martin sidelined. While the easy fix, should he miss time, would simply be to move Marc-Edouard Vlasic up a pair, but that could leave the bottom four too weak. Instead, moving Joakim Ryan up to the top pair and/or calling up young Jeremy Roy could be the solution.