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Barkov Injury Could Be Key in Draisaitl Suspension Decision – Hockey Writers – Edmonton Oilers

The consensus among NHL insiders Tuesday morning is that Leon Draisaitl's ability to play in Game 3 for the Edmonton Oilers will be determined by whether Aleksander Barkov can start in Game 3 on Thursday. After hitting a highlight reel that was considered a two-minute penalty, the league looked to Draisaitl who scored on Barkov's jaw. If Barkov misses time, he could be the Oilers' shooter.

Many journalists and insiders agree that the song was not very clean. After a grueling Game 3 that saw some bad hits and a few injuries that ended in a 4-1 victory over the battered Oilers, the league is looking at every questionable play in the Stanley Cup Finals.

Darnell Nurse was injured early on, Warren Foegele was given a game misconduct for a knee, and Sam Carrick left late after delivering a spear on Dmitry Kulikov. Draisaitl floored Barkov, Sam Bennett ran through Philip Broberg and Evan Bouchard, and Aaron Ekblad put Bouchard in what looked like potentially lethal MMA strikes.

Needless to say, this series has been a mess.

Did Draisaitl Hit a Catching Play?

When asked to comment on this song, Panthers coach Paul Maurice replied, “This is not the Oprah Winfrey Show. My feelings don't matter.” Although he may not show his emotions, fans and media have never been shy about sharing where they stand on the game.

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 getting hit, especially Draisaitl leaving his feet, but he probably didn't deserve a suspension. He pointed out that if the NHL has to investigate to find out where the hanging game happened, that player will not be ejected from the Stanley Cup finals. ESPN's Greg Wyshynski said, “My sense is that Barkov's condition in Game 3 – not the injury, but whether he plays or not – could stop this thing.” But when he plays, I don't think Draisaitl gets more than a penalty.” David Pagnotta of Fourth Period and NHL Network notes, “It doesn't sound like we'll see any significant discipline coming to Leon Draisaitl for last night's hit on Aleksander Barkov.” Andy Strickland wrote: “If this was a regular season game I think the league would look at this differently. Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Finals presents a different situation considering the lack of history with Draisaitl. I didn't expect to be stopped.”

As for what I believe, the hitting wasn't good and Draisaitl seemed to leave his feet. That said, I don't know if he was aiming for the head on purpose or if he intended to hurt Barkov. Likewise, if the league is going to consider a suspension in this game, the NHL should also look at the few games that went down in the first two games and the players involved in this series who participated in the other rounds of the playoffs when the violations were egregious. it happened.

Specifically, the Panthers let Sam Bennett run in these playoffs and he arguably crossed the line many times. And frankly, Ekblad's choke on Bouchard was not a hockey play and was borderline dangerous. Bouchard's tap was a clear indication that he couldn't breathe and Ekblad not only refused to release the MMA-style hold but held it for several seconds. Non-Oilers fans are laughing at the play, but more than Draisaitl's song, that play seemed to have a clear purpose to get someone out of the action.

It looks promising that Barkov will play in Game 3

Panthers head coach Paul Maurice provided an update on Barkov's status today. He said, “He wasn't too bad, so that's a really good thing. The real test will be tomorrow.” If Barkov continues to improve the coach says they should be in “good shape”.

For many, if Barkov is out, the NHL will take a hard look at Draisaitl missing a game. If Barkov is playing, Leon is probably playing too. Most believe Draisaitl is playing anyway, and the NHL Department of Player Safety has not released information or made any statements yet that any Game 2 plays are being evaluated for any type of additional discipline.

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