The Edmonton Oilers will be without a key blue liner Saturday in Game 5 against the Vegas Golden Knights.
Darnell Nurse has been shockingly suspended by the NHL for apparently instigating a fight late in the third period Wednesday, despite Nic Hague actually asking Nurse before the face-off to drop the gloves, as Mark Stone said after the game, per Frank Seravalli.
This is a puzzling decision by the league. To make matters worse, Jay Woodcroft was also fined $10,000.
According to section 46.21 of the NHL’s rule book, “a player who is deemed to be the instigator of an altercation in the final five (5) minutes of regulation time or at any time in overtime, shall be suspended for one game, pending a review of the incident.”
The scrap undoubtedly happened due to Alex Pietrangelo’s ruthless slash on Leon Draisaitl. He’s expected to be suspended as well. After that incident, the Oilers were livid and that’s part of the reason Nurse decided to fight.
The whole part about an automatic suspension in the final five minutes of a game makes sense, but Stone literally said that his teammate instigated it by asking Nurse. Now, you can’t even stand up for yourself in a sport where fighting is allowed? Ridiculous.
Darnell Nurse has been suspended one game FOR THIS: pic.twitter.com/lfrftYtZBG
— Dustin Nielson (@nielsonTSN1260) May 11, 2023
Nurse has been an important player for the Oilers all season long and in the playoffs, registering four assists in 10 games played in the postseason. He’s one of Edmonton’s toughest guys and will surely be missed for Game 5. Let’s just hope Pietrangelo gets a far worst punishment for his inexcusable actions.
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