One of the dirtiest plays in the NHL season came from an unlikely source on Sunday.
Detroit Red Wings forward Gustav Nyquist will likely be suspended several games for a high-sticking incident that could’ve been a lot worse for Jared Spurgeon.
It’s the latest sign that the Red Wings season has gone off the rails and will culminate with the ending of an amazing 25-year playoff streak.
On Sunday night, it was revealed that Nyquist has been invited by the league to an in-person hearing about the incident.
That’s an indication that Nyquist is in line to receive at least a six-game suspension from the league after the incident, which thankfully only resulted in some stitches for Spurgeon.
The hit came along the boards in the first period of Detroit’s game against the host Minnesota Wild, an eventual 6-3 win for the home team.
Nyquist was cross-checked by Spurgeon from behind, and retaliated with a stab at the face with his stick.
It’s a strange sequence given that Swedish-born Nyquist is not known for dirty, or even physical, play.
Throughout his career, Nyquist has earned 92 penalty minutes in 317 games.
The play by “Gus” is just the latest bad news for the Red Wings, who are on a four-game losing streak, falling to last place in the Eastern Conference’s Atlantic Division.
Even worse, Nyquist could have been a chess piece for general manager Ken Holland to play with at the March 1 trade deadline.
All indications is that Holland and the Red Wings should be sellers for the first time in many of the players’ lifetimes.
In addition, Red Wings fans are still reeling about the death of their owner, Mike Ilitch, on Friday. Ilitch, who also owned the Detroit Tigers baseball team, passed away at 87 after battling illness for several years.
And now, an April without playoff hockey will be a new one for many Detroiters.