The Athletic’s Joe Smith offers the Tampa Bay Lightning’s take on the incident between Red Wings captain Dylan Larkin and Tampa Bay Lightning forward Mathieu Joseph:
For Larkin to punch Joseph like that was a dirty play.
“Absolutely,” Stamkos said. “Sucker punching a guy while the play is going on? Obviously, he’s mad about the borderline hit. But there’s different ways you can go about it. You can grab a guy and then punch him in the face. But it’s just an unsuspecting guy. It’s a sucker punch, whether it’s hard or not. That’s what it was.”
Larkin will likely hear from the NHL Department of Player Safety.
“I mean, a punch with a glove on — I don’t know, maybe I’m old school — I don’t think I am,” Blashill said. “There’s a lot of punches without gloves on, I think it’s way different if a guy hits a guy with his gloves off than with his glove on.”
Joseph played just two shifts after serving his penalty. I asked Cooper if Joseph was OK, and he said, “We hope so.” Joseph seemed fine walking out of the building, but we’ll find out more Saturday.