TORONTO - Joffrey Lupul is in the press box again, but this time it has nothing to do with the injury bug.
The Leaf winger has been suspended two games for making contact with the head of Tampa’s Victor Hedman Wednesday night. Lupul will miss Thursday night’s game here in Buffalo and Saturday’s home date against the Boston Bruins.
Lupul got into hot water during Wednesday night’s 4-2 victory over the Tampa Bay at the Air Canada Centre when he received a two-minute minor for making contact with the head of Hedman, who has suffered concussion issues in the past. Replays appeared to show Lupul’s shoulder did strike Hedman above the chin during an open-ice collision.
“I was back checking and he kind of cut to the middle at the end,” Lupul said after the win. “I wasn’t even tracking him to truly try to hit him and he just came back into me.
“I didn’t realize I got him in the head. I’ve got to see the replay, but by no means did I go for the head.” While the contact between Lupul and Hedman may have been unintentional, league disciplinarian Brendan Shanahan took into account the fact that the Tampa Bay defenceman stands a towering 6-foot-6. In order for an opponent to make contact with Hedman’s head, Shanahan felt that Lupul had to lunge at him - or at least reach up.