Sharks center and alternate captain Joe Thornton has been suspended one game for his illegal check to the head on Golden Knights winger Tomas Nosek in Sunday’s Game 3 of the Western Conference series.
Thornton was subjected to a league hearing earlier Monday.
San Jose’s Joe Thornton has been suspended for one game for an Illegal Check to the Head on Vegas’ Tomas Nosek. https://t.co/05ZmQEc7D6
— NHL Player Safety (@NHLPlayerSafety) April 15, 2019
The hit occurred at the 16:54 mark in the second period of San Jose’s 6-3 loss at Las Vegas when Thornton appeared to blind-side check Nosek.
Thornton was assessed a two-minute penalty on the play, while Nosek returned in the third period.
BREAKING NEWS- Joe Thornton #SJSharks will have a hearing today for this hit. As per @NHLPlayerSafety pic.twitter.com/c8upFrcamh
— SiriusXM NHL Network Radio (@SiriusXMNHL) April 15, 2019
“I honestly thought I barely touched him,” Thornton said after the game, via the Mercury News. “He just came right back; it was just one of those plays that it is what it is. I think my son hits me like that six times a day, it’s just a weird position to put himself in. That’s all.”
While Thornton doesn’t have a history of questionable hits or suspensions, the NHL doesn’t take hits to the head lightly, even with postseason implications at stake.
The Golden Knights hold a 2-1 series lead as they prepare to host the Sharks for Game 4 at 10:30 p.m. ET Tuesday.