During Game 3 of their Round 2 playoff series, New Jersey Devils forward Jack Hughes and Carolina Hurricanes forward Sebastian Aho got into a scuffle, resulting in Hughes receiving his first playoff penalty. In his 10 playoff games, Hughes has managed to avoid the penalty box, and during the regular season, he only racked up 6 penalty minutes in 78 games played. This impressive level of sportsmanship earned him a spot as a Lady Byng Award finalist.
The Lady Byng Trophy is awarded to the player “adjudged to have exhibited the best type of sportsmanship and gentlemanly conduct combined with a high standard of playing ability.” Despite the on-ice altercation in Game 3, Jack Hughes’ chances for the Lady Byng remain unaffected, as the award is based on regular-season performance. Nonetheless, NJ Devils coach Lindy Ruff couldn’t resist making a light-hearted comment after the game, jokingly saying, “I think that kills his chances for the Lady Byng.”
Though the scrum may have been out of character for Hughes, he has continued to showcase his skills in the playoffs, recording 5 goals and 4 assists in 10 games. The Devils managed to secure a Game 3 victory against the Hurricanes, narrowing the series deficit to 2 games to 1.