Ekblad chokes Bouchard after Draisaitl hits Barkov with a headshot

Sam Jones
June 11, 2024  (7:51)

Ekblad chokes Bouchard after Draisaitl hits Barkov with a headshot
Photo credit: LHN

In a pivotal moment that could have swung momentum in their favor, the Edmonton Oilers instead found themselves grappling with controversy and a widened deficit.

With just ten minutes remaining in the third period of Game Two, Leon Draisaitl's decision to deliver a contentious hit has become the focal point of discussion.
As the Oilers aimed to eliminate a one-goal deficit, Draisaitl targeted Florida Panthers' star, Aleksander Barkov, in what appeared to be a reckless manner.
The hit, executed as Draisaitl seemingly left his feet and led with his hands to Barkov's face, drew immediate concern and criticism.
Barkov was visibly shaken, remaining on the ice under the trainer's attention, which prompted a review from the referees. Eventually, Draisaitl was handed a two-minute minor penalty—a decision that sparked further debate among fans and analysts.
What was intended as an aggressive push to level the score turned into a costly error. The Panthers, seizing the opportunity presented by the Oilers' diminished manpower, ended their penalty kill with a crucial goal, extending their lead to 3-1.
The tension escalated further as Panthers' captain lay incapacitated. The scene quickly devolved into a scrum, with Panthers' defenseman Aaron Ekblad ensnaring Oilers' Evan Bouchard in a chokehold, an act that led Bouchard to physically tap out due to breathing difficulties.
As the series is set to return to Edmonton for Game Three, the physicality is expected to not only persist but intensify.
The events of this game have laid the groundwork for burgeoning rivalries and a fiercely competitive atmosphere that promises to deliver even more drama and heart-pounding hockey action.
The remainder of this series is poised to be a battleground, where every check and every play carries the weight of this burgeoning rivalry. The Oilers and Panthers are not just playing for a win but for supremacy in a contest marked by physical and strategic warfare.
The question now looms: how will the Oilers respond to this setback? And can the Panthers maintain their composure and capitalize on their current advantage? As the stakes escalate, so too does the anticipation for what is sure to be an explosive continuation of this playoff saga.
JUNE 11   |   190 ANSWERS
Ekblad chokes Bouchard after Draisaitl hits Barkov with a headshot

In your opinion, will Draisaitl face more punishment for his strike on Barkov?

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