Deryk Engelland suspension: Penguins defenseman gets 5 games

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sport

The Pittsburgh Penguins, riddled with injuries and suspensions already, will see another roster player gone for five games after Engelland's head shot on Abdelkader.

The Pittsburgh Penguins front office may as well move to New York City with how often they have to represent their players in suspension hearings. The NHL's Department of Player Safety has handed out nearly 30 games worth of suspensions since James Neal started things off with his knee to the head of Brad Marchand, including 15 games for Shawn Thornton from the same game.

Patrick Burke explains the reasoning for the 5 game ban in the NHL's suspension video:


The suspension leaves Pittsburgh with Engelland and Neal out to suspensions, along with Evgeni Malkin, Kris Letang, Paul Martin, Tomas Vokoun, Rob Scuderi, Beau Bennett, Tanner Glass, Andrew Ebbett, Brooks Orpik, and Jayson Megna out due to injury or illness.

You could argue that their entire top 4 defensive core is out of the lineup right now, and somehow they're still managing to pull off wins. But maybe they should stop with the dirty hits? Just a suggestion.

On the hit, you can actually see Engelland look at Justin Abdelkader's head, bring his shoulder up, and drive through the head. I'm sure that many people will note that Abdelkader leaned forward and put himself in danger, but the problem with this play is that Engelland didn't choose what play he wanted to make until it was too late.

If Engelland wants to hit Abdelkader, he has to alter his approach and cut a narrower path, and take out his body. If he wants to play the puck, he can't stick his shoulder out and pick Abdelkader's head when he realizes he won't be the first to it.

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