Islanders Casey Cizikas deserved one-game suspension for boarding

New York Islanders v New Jersey Devils
New York Islanders v New Jersey Devils / Rich Graessle/GettyImages

Very early in the third period, New York Islanders forward goes in hard on Hurricanes Brendan Smith. Cizikas got a two-minute minor on the play for boarding while Smith did not return to the game after the hit.

On Saturday, the NHL's Department of Player Safety tweeted out that Cizikas would have a hearing for the play. That hearing turned into a one-game suspension for Cizikas. Something that has never happened to the Isles center.

New York Islanders Casey Cizikas deserved the one-game suspension

So did he deserve that suspension? Yes. Without question, Cizikas deserved that suspension. Consider that Cizikas is responsible to make sure that hit is made legally. And boy did he not do that.

Cizikas sees Smith's numbers the entire way. Not once does Smith turn to face Cizikas, even if Smith's head does look back to see where the forchecking Isles center is.

I know Cizikas tried to explain that he thought Smith would turn into the hit (then making it a legal hit), but that's one hell of an assumption. I'm sure Cizikas has had a similar thought on a similar play and it panned out, but he can't assume that's going to be the case every time for the rest of his NHL career.

As he saw with the Smith play. That assumption can go south real quick. He made a reckless play and deserved more than a two-minute minor.

Hopefully, this one-game punishment will snap Cizikas out of his penalty-taking craze of late. With two minor penalties on Friday, Cizikas is up to 46 penalty minutes on the year. His previous career-high was 42 from the 2019-20 season.

But, he picked up three fighting majors that year. He doesn't have a single fighting major this year. To say he's having an undisciplined year is an understatement. Again, hopefully, this "time out" has him change that.