The Department of Player Safety has decided to suspend Evgeny Kuznetsov a game for his high stick on Monday night. The Washington Capitals forward will be dropped from the team’s Thursday night game against the Ottawa Senators. Like video with explanation:
It is important to note that this is not careless use of the club. Strictly speaking, this is a deliberate stroke towards a high-contact opponent. While we recognize Kuznetsov’s assertion that he didn’t mean to hit Burroughs too high, the players are always responsible for their sticks. The reason this play elevates to an additional level of discipline is the purposeful nature of the shot, and the position in which it lands on the opponent.
When discussing Kuznetsov’s history, the video does not include him being suspended for an out-of-band incident, as expected. Interestingly, however, it also only mentions one fine in his 603-game career. That could be last season’s high stick violation against Noel Acciari and means that his previous fine for diving/decoration was not taken into account as part of his relevant additional disciplinary history in this case.
After earning a small penalty just two minutes into the game, the Capitals forward will have to watch the team’s next game. With Connor Brown also missed practice because of a lower body injury, Washington could have a very different lineup on Thursday night.