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Derek Ryan
Photo credit: PERRY NELSON-USA TODAY SPORTS

Derek Ryan's spear against Hoglander addressed by NHL Player Safety

Published May 11, 2024 at 2:13 PM
BY FRED MALTES
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Last night's clash between the Edmonton Oilers and Vancouver Canucks escalated in physical intensity compared to their first matchup.

The ice was a battleground, with players delivering hits left and right, contributing to a palpable tension throughout the game. However, the spotlight unexpectedly shifted towards the referees, whose performance raised eyebrows, including a controversial missed penalty involving Derek Ryan.

Ryan, a seasoned player for the Oilers, was involved in an incident where he seemingly speared Canucks forward Nils Hoglander in the groin.

This action, performed in a manner that appeared calculated to avoid detection, left Hoglander writhing in pain. Despite the apparent severity of the incident, the NHL's Player Safety Department decided against imposing additional penalties on Ryan, sparking outrage among Canucks supporters.



The call—or lack thereof—prompted discussions about the consistency of NHL officiating, especially highlighted during this playoff series. Notably, even the commentators on Hockey Night in Canada expressed their dissatisfaction with the numerous questionable penalty calls and missed opportunities by the referees to control the game effectively.


Amidst the controversy, the Oilers expressed feelings of disadvantage, hinting that the officiating had not been in their favor.

This perception is crucial considering the Oilers' reliance on their powerful special teams and powerplay strategies, which hinge significantly on drawing penalties. Contrarily, the Canucks seemed to have had more opportunities on the powerplay, despite allegedly committing more infractions than were actually called by the officials.


The debate over officiating has overshadowed the series' narrative, with both teams feeling the impact of the decisions on the ice. While the Oilers need to adapt to the heightened physicality of the playoffs, they also must overcome the frustration associated with perceived unfair officiating.


As the series progresses, both teams will have to focus on playing their game, putting the officiating concerns aside, and harnessing the energy of the playoffs to advance. The ability to adapt and persevere could very well determine the ultimate victor of this intensely contested series.
POLL
May 11   |   122 answers
Derek Ryan's spear against Hoglander addressed by NHL Player Safety

Should NHL Player Safety have suspended Ryan for this play, or should the refs have called a penalty?

Suspension2016.4 %
Penalty4032.8 %
Fine1411.5 %
Nothing4839.3 %
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