By Matthew Geagan, CBS Boston
BOSTON (CBS) — It’s probably too little, too late for Bruins fans to be happy, but the NHL is going to have a word with St. Louis Blues forward Ivan Barbashev over his high hit on Marcus Johansson in the opening period of Game 5.
Barbashev will have a hearing with the NHL Department of Player Safety on Friday, the league has announced. The Blues winger hit Johansson up near his head after the B’s forward took a shot in the first period Thursday night, leaving Johansson a bit shaken up.
No penalty was called on the play. That would usually be a bit surprising, since those are the kinds of hits the NHL is trying to get rid of. But then we all saw what happened later on with that group of officials, who may have had malfunctioning whistles Thursday night. No word on if the NHL will be chatting with Tyler Bozak about his trip/slew-foot of Noel Acciari.
But just because there was no penalty on the play doesn’t mean Barbashev will avoid a suspension. Blues center Oskar Sundqvist was slapped with a one-game suspension for Game 3 after he delivered a high hit on B’s defenseman Matt Grzelcyk in Game 2.
Barbashev has one goal this series, coming in Boston’s 7-2 victory in Game 3, and six points (three goals, three assists) during St. Louis’ playoff run. He has been credited with 80 hits this postseason, second-most in the NHL.
So maybe there will be a little justice for the Bruins and their fans, though nothing will really make up for the blatant missed trip that led to St. Louis’ second goal Thursday night. After their 2-1 victory in Boston on Thursday, the Blues now own a 3-2 series lead with Game 6 set for Sunday night in St. Louis.