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Shoulder injury may be key to the decision to suspend Draisaitl – The Hockey Writers – Edmonton Oilers

On Tuesday morning, NHL experts agreed that the possibility of Leon Draisaitl playing in the third game of the Edmonton Oilers will depend on whether Aleksander Barkov will be able to play in Thursday’s game. After the high hit was ruled a two-minute penalty, the league is looking at Draisaitl’s shot to Barkov’s jaw. If Barkov runs out of time, the Oilers’ sniper could do the same.

Several journalists and pundits agree that the hit was not entirely clean. After a nail-biting Game 3 that included some nasty hits and a few injuries that resulted in a 4-1 loss for the Oilers, the league is looking at it the same way it looks at all questionable plays in the Stanley Cup Final.

Darnell Nurse was injured early, Warren Foegele was assessed a foul after going down on his knee and Sam Carrick left the field late after delivering a spear to Dmitry Kulikov. Draisaitl hit Barkov high, Sam Bennett lunged at Philip Broberg and Evan Bouchard, and Aaron Ekblad put Bouchard in what looked like a potentially dangerous MMA choke.

Needless to say, this series has gotten feisty.

Was Draisaitl’s hit a play that could be suspended?

Asked to comment on the hit, Panthers head coach Paul Maurice responded: “This is not the Oprah Winfrey Show. My feelings don’t matter.” Although he may not share his feelings, fans and the media do not hesitate to share their impressions of the performance.

Zach Hyman Leon Draisaitl Connor McDavid Edmonton Oilers
Zach Hyman, Leon Draisaitl and Connor McDavid of the Edmonton Oilers (Photo by Jonathan Kozub/NHLI via Getty Images)

Frank Seravalli said he didn’t like the hit, especially when Draisaitl left his leg, but he probably didn’t deserve the suspension. He argued that if the NHL had to squint to find out where a suspended action occurred, that player wouldn’t be pulled from the Stanley Cup Finals. ESPN’s Greg Wyshynski noted: “I feel like Barkov’s status in Game 3 – not the injury, but whether he plays or not – could determine the suspension. But if he plays, I don’t think Draisaitl will get more than a penalty.” David Pagnotta of The Fourth Period and NHL Network notes: “It doesn’t look like we’ll see any significant discipline for Leon Draisaitl after yesterday’s goal against Aleksander Barkov.” Andy Strickland wrote: “If this was a regular season game, I think the league would probably look at it differently. Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Final presents a different scenario when you consider the lack of history on Draisaitl’s team. I don’t expect suspension.”

As for what I think, the shot wasn’t strong and Draisaitl seemed to put his feet down. That said, I don’t know if he was intentionally aiming for the head or if he intended to hurt Barkov. Similarly, if the league is going to consider suspending this game, the NHL should also look at several plays that went wrong in the first two games, as well as the players involved in this series who were involved in other rounds of the playoffs where the foul occurred worse offenses. took place.

Specifically, the Panthers have allowed Sam Bennett to run wild in these playoffs, and he’s likely crossed the line multiple times. And honestly, Ekblad’s choke on Bouchard was not a hockey play and was borderline dangerous. Bouchard’s tapping was a clear signal that he couldn’t breathe, and Ekblad not only refused to release the MMA-style hold, but held it for several more seconds. Non-Oiler fans laugh at this play, but more than Draisaitl’s hit, it seemed like the play was clearly intended to take someone out of the action.

It looks promising that Barkov is playing in Game 3

Panthers head coach Paul Maurice provided an update on Barkov’s condition today. He said: “He wasn’t worse, so that’s really good. The real assessment will come tomorrow.” If Barkov continues to make good progress, the coach says he should be in “good shape.”

For many, if Barkov is out, the NHL will take Draisaitl’s absence more seriously. If Barkov plays, Leon will probably play too. Most believe Draisaitl is playing anyway, and the NHL’s Department of Player Safety has yet to release any information or make any statements that any play from Game 2 is being assessed for any additional discipline.