Scheifele shocked by suspension length: 'Pretty excessive'
"Pretty excessive. I wasn’t expecting that, and I was pretty shocked," Scheifele said in his first public comments since the hit, according to ESPN's Greg Wyshynski.
Scheifele added he reached out to Evans and is hoping the Canadiens forward can make a quick recovery.
"My intention on that play was to try and negate a goal. There's no intent or no malice there," Scheifele said.
Scheifele skated nearly the entire length of the ice and drilled Evans as he tucked in an empty netter to secure Montreal's Game 1 victory. Evans laid unconscious on the ice and was stretchered off. The 25-year-old's since been diagnosed with a concussion and is sidelined indefinitely.
The 28-year-old had no prior suspensions through his eight seasons as an NHL regular. Scheifele's eligible to return to the second-round series in Game 6 if it goes that far.
Game 2 goes Friday night in Winnipeg.