After going down 6-0 through 40 minutes, the New York Islanders weren’t too pleased about their situation. And Mathew Barzal let that energy get the best of him after the whistle went for the end of the second period.
We already knew that Barzal had a bit of a temper. He runs hot and it sometimes gets him in trouble on the ice. But what Barzal did to Jan Rutta was something else.
As the period comes to an end, Rutta and Barzal and gliding to a halt, and they “chat” quickly. It devolves just a fast when Barzal crosschecks Rutta in the face.
New York Islanders gets game misconduct for crosscheck to the face of Rutta
Rutta goes down hard to the ice and doesn’t come up for a while. You can’t argue that Barzal caught him in the face. He did. Is it worthy of a major penalty and the subsequent game misconduct that is automatically given? I’m not entirely sure about that.
Jan Rutta did not return for the start of the third period. That fact alone could spell extra discipline for the Islanders star center.
(Rutta wasn’t back when this was filled with 11:20 left in the third period.)
Now the question turns to, what happens next? We know that Mathew Barzal didn’t return for Game 5 because of the game misconduct but will he face a fine or even a suspension? He could very well. Hopefully, it’s just a fine. But he could very well face a single-game suspension because he injured Rutta. That could absolutely be disastrous for the Islanders as they head to the Nassau Coliseum for an elimination game.
How about what Barry Trotz thinks of this? Surely, he’s not a fan of losing his star player for no good reason whatsoever, even if his team was already losing 6-0.
Barzal is gonna have to think long and hard about how he conducts himself on the ice. This is becoming a liability the Islanders can’t afford.