The NHL has suspended Edmonton Oilers superstar Connor McDavid for two games after he made an illegal check to the head of Islanders defenseman Nick Leddy in a 4-3 Oilers win on Thursday night. McDavid’s shoulder made contact with Leddy’s head on a hit where head contact was avoidable, the NHL says in its explanatory video. In the game itself, McDavid was served with a minor penalty, and went on to score the game-winner in overtime.
As the NHL notes in the video, McDavid has been neither fined nor suspended in his career for any dirty hits, which makes the two-game ban feel a bit extreme. But the discipline does track as fairly consistent with Erik Karlsson’s two-gamer back in December for a hit to the head—another case of an A-list first-time offender. McDavid will be out on Saturday against the Ducks and Monday against the Predators, which will further dampen Edmonton’s already minute (5 percent) chance of making the playoffs.