Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Draisaitl Ejected after Spear to the Groin of Tierney

The Edmonton Oilers are getting blown to pieces by the San Jose Sharks tonight at the SAP Center in San Jose. And the frustration is starting to show.

Leon Draisaitl was given a 5-minute major for spearing along with a game misconduct after he speared Sharks' forward Chris Tierney in the groin (see video above).

Tonight's game is a lost cause, with San Jose leading 6-0, but Draisaitl could be facing discipline from the NHL for his ill-advised conduct. The German was Edmonton's second-leading scorer in the regular season with 77 points but he has not recorded a point in four games in this series. There has been some concern that Draisaitl, who took a hard fall into the boards in Game 3 in San Jose and did not practice yesterday or participate in the Oilers morning skate today, is injured.

It's also worth mentioning that Draisaitl was moved off of Connor McDavid's line during Game 3 and spent the second half of the game centering Zack Kassian and Drake Caggiula. Oilers' coach Todd McLellan told reporters after the game that the move was a promotion rather than a demotion for Draisaitl, but nevertheless the 21-year-old clearly has a lot on his plate in his first career playoff series -- maybe a little too much.

On NBC Sports, analyst Jeremy Roenick called for a suspension between periods.

"That was intent to injure," Roenick said. ... "This is without a doubt going to be a suspension. ... He is a dirty player for what he just did and he is going to pay for it from the National Hockey League."

Perhaps working in Draisaitl's favor with regard to discipline from the league is the fact that he has never been suspended as well as the fact that Tierney has returned to the game.

"I don't care if it's playoffs or regular season," said Roenick. "That kind of action is not tolerated by the National Hockey League and he should be suspended at least for one game. A terrible play by Draisiatl, that's a dirty play."

If a suspension is handed out that will make things complicated for Edmonton in Game 5. No matter how Draisaitl has played thus far in the series, he's a key player for the Oilers.