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Will Leon Draisaitl be suspended? The Oilers play under fire after a strong hit by Aleksander Barkov

The Oilers racked up 45 penalty minutes in a 4-1 loss to the Panthers in Game 2 of the 2024 Stanley Cup Finals.

A large part of this sum was due to Warren Foegele, who hit his knee in the middle of Eetu Luostarinen. The 28-year-old winger was assessed a major penalty for the hit and sent off from the competition, for which he received 15 penalty minutes in just one play.

However, the penalty that caused the most confusion after the second match was a two-minute penalty for roughing striker Leon Draisaitl. NHL fans are wondering whether he will face discipline after taking down Panthers star Alexander Barkov in the third period of Monday’s contest.

Here’s what you need to know about Draisaitl’s hit on Barkov and whether the NHL will deem the play worthy of a suspension.

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Leon Draisaitl hit Aleksander Barkov

Draisaitl was called for roughing at around 9:28 of the third quarter after hitting Barkov in the Panthers’ defensive zone.

Draisaitl attacked Barkov directly on the wall and hit a high shot to the Panthers star. Barkov grabbed his face immediately after being hit and fell to the ice. A second later, the whistle blew as Draisaitl touched the puck, and a mini scrum broke out between Edmonton and Florida players.

A closer look at the hit revealed that Draisaitl’s elbow had touched Barkov’s face. The Oilers forward also appeared to lower his skates while throwing the punch.

Barkov did not return to the game after being hit. Panthers coach Paul Maurice admitted it wasn’t because the team was being cautious with its star.

“I think it was 9:28 on the clock and the score was 2-1,” Maurice said. – I didn’t stop him.

That’s why many NHL fans are wondering if Draisaitl will face additional punishment for his actions after he only drew a minor penalty in the game.

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Will Leon Draisaitl be suspended?

It is not yet clear whether the NHL’s Department of Player Safety will impose penalties on Draisaitl.

Given the attention Draisaitl’s hit has received, it’s reasonable to assume that the NHL will at least put the Oilers star under questioning. In the end, Barkov was injured during the match, and Draisaitl only received a two-minute minor penalty.

After the hearing, the NHL could decide whether to suspend Draisaitl for his actions or simply fine him and continue the streak.

Draisaitl has never been suspended in the NHL before. He was suspended for one game for punching Andrew Copp from behind while playing for Germany at the 2013 IIHF World Junior Championship.

After the 2024 season, the NHL suspended only one player for his on-ice behavior. It was Canucks defenseman Carson Soucy, who left Game 3 of the Western Conference semifinals after being tested on Connor McDavid.

Avalanche forward Valeri Nichushkin was also suspended by the NHL, but his punishment was due to violating the terms of the NHL/NHLPA Player Assistance Program. He will be sidelined for six months because of this.