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THE NHL'S DEPARTMENT OF PLAYER SAFETY REVEALS ITS DECISION ON MAT BARZAL'S CROSS-CHECK ON RUTTA

JUN 22, 2021  (16H08)      MIKE ARMENTI
Following the Tampa Bay Lightning's 8-0 blowout win over the New York Islanders in Game 5 of their third round series, there was a lot of speculation on social media over what Mat Barzal's violent cross-check to the head of Tampa's Jan Rutta would mean for the Isles' forward's status for Game 6 on Wednesday.

In case you missed it, with the Bolts already up 6-0, Barzal and Rutta exchanged words on the way back to the benches at the end of the second period, when a frustrated Barzal stuck the Tampa defenseman up high with his stick, sending him crashing to the ice and effectively taking him out of the game. Barzal was issued a 5-minute major penalty and a game misconduct on the play.


Given the fact that Barzal used his stick as a weapon out of sheer frustration, resulting in an injury to Rutta, it left many wondering whether or not Barzal would earn a hearing with the NHL's Department of Player Safety for the dangerous play.

On Tuesday afternoon, New York Islanders head coach Barry Trotz met with the media, who inquired as to whether or not the Isles were anticipating a hearing for Barzal. Trotz had indicated that the league had not reached out to him and that, typically in these types of events, the Department of Player Safety will tip off the team if there is any supplemental discipline coming down the pipe.

"I don't anticipate anything," Trotz told reporters on Tuesday. "But like I say it's not what I think, it's really what they think."

Ultimately, Barzal was issued a $5,000 fine for the incident, which is the maximum allowable amount under the current CBA.

Trotz was admittedly displeased with the lack of composure and discipline that his star forward showed on a play that he says made it more difficult on the team.

"It wasn't going well and he just sort of dug it a little deeper for the guys," Trotz said after the lop-sided loss on Monday night, obviously frustrated by both by the Barzal incident and the end result of the pivotal game.

The Isles now trail the Lightning 3-2 in the series with Game 6 set to take place back at the Nassau Coliseum in Uniondale, NY on Wednesday in a potential elimination game. Fortunately for the Isles, Barzal has escaped a suspension and will have an opportunity to redeem himself with a big game on Wednesday as the Isles look to force a Game 7.

On Rutta, Tampa Bay head coach Jon Cooper said on Tuesday that he had no updates on Rutta and fellow injured defenseman Erik Cernak, leaving their availability for Wednesday's game up in the air.



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NHL STATS
PLAYOFFS
2020-2021GPGAPTS
NIKITA KUCHEROV
2382432
BRAYDEN POINT
2314923
STEVEN STAMKOS
2381018
VICTOR HEDMAN
2321618
ALEXANDER KILLORN
198917
WILLIAM KARLSSON
1941216
NICK SUZUKI
227916
NATHAN MACKINNON
108715
DAVID PASTRNAK
117815
MATHEW BARZAL
196814
TYLER TOFFOLI
225914
MIKKO RANTANEN
105813
GABRIEL LANDESKOG
104913
JOSH BAILEY
196713
ANTHONY BEAUVILLIER
195813
JEAN-GABRIEL PAGEAU
1931013
ONDREJ PALAT
235813
BRAD MARCHAND
118412
CHARLIE MCAVOY
1111112
ALEX PIETRANGELO
194812
  COMPLETE STATS
NHL STATS
YESTERDAY
JULY 7, 2021 G A PTS
ROSS COLTON
1 - 1
RYAN MCDONAGH
- 1 1
DAVID SAVARD
- 1 1
JOSH ANDERSON
- - -
JOEL ARMIA
- - -
PAUL BYRON
- - -
COLE CAUFIELD
- - -
ERIK CERNAK
- - -
BEN CHIAROT
- - -
ANTHONY CIRELLI
- - -
  COMPLETE RESULTS