It was during Game 4 in the second-round series between the Vegas Golden Knights and Edmonton Oilers when Alex Pietrangelo handed out a dirty slashing on Leon Draisaitl.
Draisaitl is the point leader in this year’s playoffs, and he attempted to score an empty-netter in Game 4, as the Oilers were up 4-1 in the game. Draisaitl missed his backhand attempt on the empty net, and seconds later, Golden Knights’ Alex Pietrangelo skated against him and slashed him over his hands.
Connor McDavid was furious after the game and claimed that the NHL had to suspend him. It’s not often that McDavid calls out opponents, but he really took offense to Pietrangelo’s slashing, and the NHL’s Department of player safety agreed.
On Thursday, they announced a one-game suspension for Pietrangelo. Darnell Nurse, who received instigator and misconduct penalties for fighting Nic Hague after Pietrangelo’s slash, got the same sentence.
As the instigator penalty came in the final minute, it carried an automatic one-game suspension, and the NHL upheld the decision.
The fact that both Nurse and Pietrangelo will be suspended the same amount of games has sparked outrage among some fans in the league. And it’s not only fans. NHL insider Greg Wyshynski took to Twitter to rant about Pietrangelo’s one-game suspension.
”I don’t think the NHL Dept. of Player Safety got this one right.
Alex Pietrangelo deserved at least 2 games for his slash on Leon Draisaitl. When the intent is that clear — late in the 3rd, in a losing effort — and the target is the other team’s leading scorer? C’mon,” he said.
”I understand there’ll be a counterargument from Pietrangelo about how hard the slash wasn’t and how it targeted a padded area on Draisaitl.”
”The lack of injury was a factor in it only being one game. If Drai’s arm was broken? Petro’s done for the series, at a minimum,” he continued.
Greg Wyshynski also claimed that the NHL Department of Safety took the easy way out when suspending both players for the same amount of games.
”George Parros made two decisions today: Upholding Darnell Nurse’s instigator suspension and only giving Pietrangelo a 1-game ban. They even out for Game 5.
State of play seems like the biggest factor here: 2-2 series, 2nd round. Not intent to injure.
This was the easy way out.”