Photo Credit: Aaron Doster / USA TODAY Sports

Roman Polak to receive hearing for hit on Bjorkstrand

The Toronto Maple Leafs won the hockey game on Wednesday Night,, but they may have lost a player in the process. A hit by Roman Polak in the third period of tonight’s 5-2 victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets, and for good reason.

Polak has developed a reputation for these types of grey-area or worse type hits over the past two years, which has likely caught the eye of the league as a result. In this case, he doesn’t make any hesitation before going all in on the body check which, turn or not, catches Bjorkstrand straight in the numbers. While the individual hit may or may not be suspension-worthy, there’s a chance that getting off easy in the past works against him tonight.

There is no word whether an in-person hearing has been offered, or just a phone call. An offer of an in-person hearing typically comes with a suspension of at least five games. Should Polak miss time, Alexey Marchenko will be most likely to take his place, save for the idea of playing Jake Gardiner on his off-side and bringing Martin Marincin back into the lineup.

Polak received a five-minute major and a game misconduct for the hit. The Leafs killed off the ensuing penalty en-route to victory, though thanks to Toronto’s decision to not put a player into the box, they ended up spending a little bit of extra time shorthanded; nearly two whole minutes to be exact. Mike Babcock laughed it off after the game had finished, taking responsibility and stating that the Leafs won’t make the same mistake again with him behind the bench.

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  • FlareKnight

    Well that’s unfortunate, but such is how it goes.

    There were a fair number of hits from behind in that game. This just ended up the worst of them.

    Oh well, slot in Marchenko until Polak’s suspension is up (however long it ends up being) and continue onward. Too bad since he has been pretty effective in his role, but can find a way to work around it. At least we’ve got Carrick already back in the lineup.

  • JB#1

    Quite frankly, the Sosh hit on Bergeron was way worse than this hit.

    I don’t really see this as such an egregious hit.

    If the BJ player tried to time it, he couldn’t have come up with a better result for exactly when to turn his back right towards Polak when Polak was already committed to the hit and was looking up the ice.

    • The Russian Rocket

      I agree, I think the BJ player turned at just the wrong time but given the impact and fall-out, I get the 5 + a game call on the ice.

      I do disagree with the Sosh hit being worse though. I’m a Bergeron fan but he shoulder checked and saw Sosh coming, then continued to lean forwards towards the boards as he played the puck. He positioned himself as if someone was standing behind him getting ready to pin him to the boards. On Sosh’s side of things, he came in with speed but he pushed against Bergeron’s lower back with his stick. It wasn’t a cross check and he didn’t follow through with a stiff arm or his weight, like a body check. He didn’t crunch Bergeron’s shoulders or head into the boards with his body. It was pretty much the least amount of contact Sosh could give considering his speed.

      It would have been best not to touch Bergeron but I put the majority of blame on Bergeron for positioning – which I think is strange because he’s a smart player. A TON of people think it was a terrible hit but those are my thoughts after rewatching the hit numerous times.