Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Brent Seabrook was suspended three games for “interference and charging” against St. Louis Blues captain and forward David Backes during Saturday’s Game Two of the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs series at the Scottrade Center in St. Louis. The National Hockey League’s Department of Player Safety announced the suspension on Sunday afternoon.
NHL Director of Player Safety explained why Seabrook was suspended:
“As Backes continues on his path toward the corner, well away from the puck and past the timeframe in which he is eligible to be checked, Seabrook drives up and into Backes delivering a blow with his right shoulder that causes Backes to slam violently into the glass and boards.”
With the defending Stanley Cup Champions leading 3-2, Seabrook laid the vicious hit on the Blues forward 15 minutes into the third period. A brief scuffle broke out between the teams, with a dazed Backes even struggling to his feet to try and join the fray. The scrum was quickly broken up by officials. Shortly after, the Blues tied the game on a 6-on-4 power play with just over six seconds remaining to force overtime. Blues forward Vladimir Tarasenko scored the tying goal.
Seabrook was sent to the penalty box with a 5-minute major and game misconduct after the hit. Backes had to be helped to the Blues locker room and did not return for the extra period.
After the game, Seabrook told reporters, “I was just trying to make a play on Backes. I thought the puck was there. I was on (Alexander) Steen. I was just coming down the wall and I just tried to finish my hit.”
“I feel bad seeing a guy like that on the ice. I’ve been there myself, and I’m not trying to target his head. It doesn’t feel good to see a player lying there like that, and knowing that I hit him.”
This is the first suspension in Seabrook’s NHL career.
The Blues went on to win the game 4-3 when defenseman Barret Jackman, The Blues now lead the best of seven series 2-0. Both Blues victories are the result of 4-3 overtime victories over the struggling Blackhawks.
Game Three is set for 7:30 PM tonight at the United Center in Chicago
There is no word yet on whether Backes will play. The latest on his condition came from Blues coach Ken Hitchcock on Sunday.
“All I know is he’s upright, and that’s about it right now. We don’t have any further information and probably won’t have until late tomorrow.”