Sharks forward Joe Thornton will have a hearing Monday regarding his illegal check to the head in San Jose's 6-3 Game 3 loss to the Golden Knights in Round 1 of the Stanley Cup Playoffs, the league announced.
San Jose's Joe Thornton will have a hearing today for an Illegal Check to the Head on Vegas' Tomas Nosek.— NHL Player Safety (@NHLPlayerSafety) April 15, 2019
Thornton was called for an illegal check to the head after hitting Golden Knights forward Thomas Nosek with just over three minutes remaining in the second period.
The Sharks veteran defended his actions after the game, saying he believed the contact was largely incidental.
"I honestly thought I barely touched him," Thornton told reporters in Las Vegas. "He came right back. It was just one of those plays. It is what it is. I think my son hits me like that six times a day. It was just a weird position [Nosek] put himself in, that's all."
Thornton could face a hefty fine or suspension for the hit. This isn't his first incident with the Golden Knights, too. In late March, he was fined $2,500 for high-sticking Golden Knights forward Ryan Reaves.
The Sharks look to even up the series in Game 4 on Tuesday in Las Vegas.