Leon Draisaitl comments on controversial hit on Barkov and no suspension

Sam Jones
June 13, 2024  (11:33)

To avoid suspension for hit against Barkov, Leon Draisaitl discusses the matter
Photo credit: NHL

In a pivotal moment during Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Final, Leon Draisaitl of the Edmonton Oilers delivered a controversial hit on Aleksander Barkov of the Florida Panthers.

The incident, which occurred late in the game, has sparked intense discussion among fans and analysts alike. Despite the severity of the hit, Draisaitl has not faced suspension, a decision that has brought relief but also scrutiny.
With just ten minutes remaining in Game 2, Draisaitl executed a hit that resulted in Barkov leaving the ice due to injury. The hit, described by some as "dirty," seemed to target Barkov's head as he was caught off-guard. Despite the impact, Draisaitl avoided a suspension, which he addressed in a recent media interaction.
I looked at it. First of all, I think we all know that I'm not a player that plays with intent to injure anybody by any means. I have no track record of that. I'm not a player that enjoys that part of the game, injuring other players or anything like that. I caught him in an unfortunate spot. So yeah, I'll leave it at that. Can't stress it enough, I'm not someone that plays the game of hockey wanting to injure anybody.Leon Draisaitl

Draisaitl emphasized that his intent was not to harm Barkov, suggesting the contact was largely incidental. His comments reflect a commitment to a clean game, despite the unfortunate outcome of this particular play.
Barkov, fortunately, will return to the lineup tonight, signaling a quick recovery from what could have been a more serious injury. This development is crucial for the Panthers, as losing a key player like Barkov could significantly impact their performance in the finals.
Meanwhile, Draisaitl recognizes the gravity of the upcoming Game 3. Speaking about the atmosphere at Rogers Place, he highlighted the importance of giving fans a reason to stay engaged and supportive. Tonight's game is a must-win for the Oilers, who are determined to leverage home advantage to pivot the series in their favor.
The Oilers, who have fought their way from last place this season to the finals, face a considerable challenge. With the stakes higher than ever, tonight's game is not just about winning but about setting a tone for the remainder of the series.
Draisaitl speaks on avoiding league discipline.
As the series progresses, the Oilers and Panthers continue to battle not just for the Cup but for the integrity and spirit of the game. Tonight's match-up promises to be a decisive moment in this high-stakes duel.
13 JUIN   |   167 ANSWERS
Leon Draisaitl comments on controversial hit on Barkov and no suspension

In light of Draisaitl's hit on Barkov, do you believe it was wise to not suspend him?

Yes, no suspension was the right choice12574.9 %
No, he needed to be suspended, it was bad3521 %
See Results74.2 %
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