The NHL announced that it had fined Mathew Barzal $2,000 for diving in a game against the Washington Capitals last week. The sum of money isn’t the issue here. It’s how it seems the NHL is going out of its way to punish Barzal.
NHL fines New York Islanders Mathew Barzal for…reasons
In the announcement, the NHL indicated that Barzal had been warned earlier this year for divining against the Philadelphia Flyers on Jan 30, and so, according to its rule book, now that Barzal was caught embellishing again, he is subject to that $2,000 fine.
Along with that justification, the NHL also included a video that, according to them, shows Barzal diving at 4:47 of the second period on April 22. Let’s see that video shall we:
As Islanders legend Butch Goring says in the video: “C’mon!”
That’s a clear hook. Clear as day. Carl Hagelin gets his stick in Barzal’s midsection (on purpose might I add). When Hagelin tries to retrieve his stick Barzal goes to ground.
Is Bazal holding on to Hagelin’s stick a bit there? Yeah. Yeah, he is. Because that’s what 100% of NHL players do in that situation to make sure they get the call that should be rightfully awarded.
This fine confirms one of two things. First, the league and its officials have Barzal listed as a diver and second, that’s why he isn’t getting the calls he rightfully deserves. Just look at the constant drop in his penalties drawn per 60 since he entered the league (full-time) in 2017-18:
- 17-18: 1.65
- 18-19: 1.31
- 19-20: 1.19
- 20-21: 1.11
Meanwhile, Barzal received more than his fair share of trips, hooks, crosschecks, and high sticks that are uncalled. Remember that time he let Shannon Hogan know he looked like Kylie Jenner? That was from two clear high sticks to the face that went uncalled.
Look I know Mathew Barzal is constantly jawing at refs for missed calls, but let’s not act like that’s somehow unique to Mathew Barzal. This fine is absolutely ridiculous and is a reach by the NHL. I know my title says Barzal was fined for “absolutely no reason” but it’s clear the reason is actually to try and get Barzal “in line”. Ridiculous.