Wednesday night in Edmonton, Vegas Golden Knights defenseman Alex Pietrangelo made a very dangerous play that should never happen in an NHL game.
He took his stick and baseball-swung it down like a sword at Edmonton Oilers forward Leon Draisaitl. After it made contact with him, Draisaitl went down in pain and stayed there for a few seconds.
Eventually, he got up and skated back to his bench, as it looks like he is going to be okay. Draisaitl currently leads the 2023 Stanley Cup Playoffs in goals and points, so you know the Oilers need him to be okay.
Pietrangelo received a five-minute major and a game misconduct penalty for his actions. It was very late in the game, so it naturally caused a stir between both teams.
The Vegas Golden Knights needed Alex Pietrangelo to be smarter.
On Thursday morning, we learned that Pietrangelo was having a hearing with the NHL’s Department of Player Safety. He was always going to get some sort of supplementary discipline for his actions.
Following the hearing, the DoPS decided that they were going to suspend Alex Pietrangelo for one game. He is going to miss game five of this series that is tied at two games apiece. Obviously, this is very bad news for the Vegas Golden Knights.
In addition to the Pietrangelo suspension, Edmonton defenseman Darnell Nurse was automatically suspended (rule 46.21) for one game, and head coach Jay Woodcroft was fined 10,000 dollars because Nurse was instigating in the final five minutes of regulation.
Now, both of these teams will be missing key parts of their blue line. Each team has a few very good defensemen, but this hurts worse for Vegas. They need Pietrangelo in order to shut down the dynamic offense of the Edmonton Oilers.
For Nurse, this is just sort of a bad break because of a bad rule. For Pietrangelo, he just needs to be smarter. That was not a wise decision on his part at all. He is normally a very smart player, but that was not on display in this sequence.
There are sure to be some issues that come from this on the ice in this game five. Both teams are angry, but they need to keep their focus on the task at hand. We will see Pietrangelo and Nurse in game six.