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New York Islanders: Ian Cole Deserves Suspension for Brock Nelson Hit

GLENDALE, AZ - JANUARY 22: Brock Nelson #29 of the New York Islanders reacts during the third period of the NHL game against the Arizona Coyotes at Gila River Arena on January 22, 2018 in Glendale, Arizona. The Coyotes defeated the Islanders 3-2 in overtime. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
GLENDALE, AZ - JANUARY 22: Brock Nelson #29 of the New York Islanders reacts during the third period of the NHL game against the Arizona Coyotes at Gila River Arena on January 22, 2018 in Glendale, Arizona. The Coyotes defeated the Islanders 3-2 in overtime. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) /
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New York Islanders Brock Nelson left the game after a knee-on-knee hit versus the Colorado Avalanche and did not return. The aggressor, Ian Cole, served 30 seconds in the penalty box. Looking at the play, Cole deserves a suspension.

New York Islanders center Brock Nelson left the game in the second period against the Colorado Avalanche after receiving a knee-on-knee hit from Ian Cole. Cole was assessed a two-minute minor on the play. The Isles scored on the resulting power play. So it’s all good right?

No. Ian Cole deserves a suspension on this play.

Just in case you didn’t see the play.

Here’s a gif of the hit for you to watch

a million times over. After watching it you’ll likely come to the same conclusion I did. Ian Cole deserves a two-game suspension for this hit.

Less than two weeks ago the NHL’s Department of Player Safety ruled that Mark Giordano kneed Mikko Koivu on this play. He got a two minute minor for the play and earned a two-game suspension from the DoPS afterward.

While no two plays are exactly the same there are a number of similarities in both plays. Brock Nelson, like Koivu, has a clear lane past the defender (Cole). Cole, not wanting to allow Nelson to get a clear break recklessly sticks his knee out.

The contact was no fault of Nelson’s but is a clear and direct result of Cole sticking his knee out. That’s kneeing. There’s no other way to look at it.

Just in case you want to hear what the league thinks kneeing is, here’s the Department of Player Safety explaining kneeing.

At the very least, based on that last video from the DoPS explaining kneeing, Ian Cole deserves a fine for his action. But according to Arthur Staple today, it seems that the DoPS might not give Cole further discipline.

There’s no word yet on Brock Nelson’s status. He left in the second period and did not return to the game and the Islanders have yet to release a statement on his status.

Nelson has been one of Barry Trotz most trusted players so far this season. Nelson has benefited immensely from that trust and has become a great two-way player this season. Losing him for any period of time would be a huge blow for the New York Islanders.

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The DoPS set a precedence that it needs to keep in order to remove these lazy knee-on-knee plays from the game. They almost always injure the recipient and are always due to a bad defensive play. Ian Cole deserves a two-game suspension. But with the consistency of the DoPS, I doubt he gets it.

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