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Knoblauch speaks about Draisaitl suspension for a hit on Barkov


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Sam Jones
June 11, 2024  (12:44)
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Knoblauch speaks about Draisaitl suspension for a hit on Barkov
Photo credit: Sportsnet

In a pivotal moment of last night's intense matchup, the game took a dramatic turn when Leon Draisaitl of the Oilers delivered a contentious high hit on Aleksander Barkov.

The impact of the hit was severe enough to send Barkov to the ice, clutching his face in evident distress, and subsequently exiting the game due to the injury. This incident, caught vividly on camera, has since ignited a firestorm of debate among fans and analysts alike.
Despite the gravity of the collision, Draisaitl was penalized with a mere two-minute minor.
This leniency has stirred a torrent of calls from the hockey community, with many asserting that such a dangerous play merits at least a one-game suspension. The prevailing sentiment is clear: it was a reckless and unsafe act that could have serious repercussions for Barkov.
In the aftermath, Oilers coach Kris Knoblauch faced the media, addressing the potential ramifications of losing key players like Draisaitl and Darnell Nurse, who is also grappling with an injury. Knoblauch emphasized the critical role both players hold within the team's framework:
Asked Knoblauch about potentially not having Darnell Nurse and/or Leon Draisaitl for Game 3.

"It would be huge. They're a big part of our team. Big part of the team is quite an understatement, taking either one of those two out. But whatever happens, we'll assess it."

Despite the outcry, the likelihood of Draisaitl facing a suspension remains slim. Factors such as the high stakes of the Stanley Cup Final and Draisaitl's stature as one of the league's premier players contribute to this perception.
Notably, even after a referee's review, the decision to impose only a minor penalty might indicate the NHL's reluctance to classify the hit as severely as the public does. Yet, the volume of voices demanding accountability is hard to ignore.
As the situation unfolds, the hockey world waits with bated breath for an official response from the NHL regarding Draisaitl's controversial action. With the series' momentum possibly hanging in the balance, the decision could have far-reaching implications for both teams.
However, those expecting a stringent penalty might find themselves disappointed, given the league's historical approach to disciplining its marquee talents during critical playoff moments.
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Knoblauch speaks about Draisaitl suspension for a hit on Barkov

After this hit on Barkov, do you believe Draisaitl deserves a suspension?

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