Mike Matheson has been a problem in the New York Islanders series that needs to be addressed.
We know that playoff games are physical. We know that players aren’t ready to give up even an inch of ice to their opponents. But some players take that too far. Case and point Florida Panthers defenseman Mike Matheson who’s made a number of terrible decisions versus the New York Islanders.
The Panthers series against the Islanders is only two games old and already Matheson has proven to be a problem that needs to be addressed. The NHL needs to step in and remind Mike Matherson that his actions are careless and harmful.
In two playoff games, Mike Matheson has already been an issue for the Islanders.
During game one, Matheson took out Johnny Boychuk with a questionably high-hit at the Panthers blue line. The Panthers defenseman received a two-minute minor for the play. Boychuk did not return in Game 1 and did not play in Game 2.
A few days later, Matheson was once again on the ice for the Panthers. This time, Matheson was careless with his stick as it struck Nelson up high and under his face shield. Nelson would go down and be seen bleeding from the corner of his eye after being struck by Matheson’s stick.
Both actions were penalized on the ice but both could have received further discipline, and the NHL needs to remind Matheson of that. I’m not calling for the NHL to fine him or suspend him, I’m calling on the NHL to speak with Matheson and remind him of his responsibility to everyone on the ice.
The Panthers dressed seven defensemen in the lineup for Game 2. Matheson could easily make way for one of them. With eight penalty minutes through two games, Matheson hasn’t just been a liability for the Islanders players but he’s been one to his own teammates. With that kind of negative play, Joel Quenneville might just sub him out of the lineup.