Another day, another Blues bottom-six skater getting the book thrown at him by the NHL Department of Player Safety.
After Oskar Sundqvist was handed a one-game suspension for his hit on Matt Grzelcyk in Game 2 that landed the Bruins defenseman in the concussion protocol, St. Louis’ Ivan Barbashev joined him as another Blues forward to sit out a Stanley Cup Final contest due to a ruling from the league office.
While it was not called for a penalty at the time, Barbashev found himself in the crosshairs of the NHL after he delivered a check to the head of Bruins winger Marcus Johansson at 5:24 of the first period of Game 5 Thursday night.
Ivan Barbashev with a high hit on Marcus Johansson.
While Johansson faced a much better fate than Grzelcyk and was able to remain in the game, the targeted area of Barbashev’s hit was enough evidence for the league to sit the Russian forward out for Game 6 on Sunday night.
This is the first suspension of Barbashev’s career — and the sixth time this postseason that a player has been suspended, joining Nikita Kucherov, Nazem Kadri, Charlie McAvoy,Joe Thornton and Sundqvist.