Mathew Barzal avoids suspension for crosscheck as Islanders catch a break

The NHL on Tuesday fined Mathew Barzal $5,000, meaning he will avoid a suspension and be available for Wednesday do-or-die Game 6.

When Islanders star Mathew Barzal cross-checked Lightning defenseman Jan Rutta in the face as the second period of Monday’s Game 5 concluded, all focus immediately shifted to his pending Game 6 availability.

Now, Barzal and the Islanders can take a deep breath.

The NHL Department of Player Safety on Tuesday fined Barzal $5,000, the maximum allowable under the CBA, meaning he will avoid a suspension.

The speedy forward will have his spot atop the Islanders depth chart. The team will need him — down 3-2 in the series, they face a do-or-die Game 6 on Wednesday.

Islanders coach Barry Trotz — who has been tough on Barzal in the past — was “disappointed” in Barzal for putting his digging his team into a deeper hole. However, the franchise center’s teammates sympathized with the context of the situation.

The Islanders will have Mathew Barzal available for Game 6 with their season on the line.
Getty Images

“Emotions are running high out there,” Islanders forward Jordan Eberle said of the incident. “Sometimes things get heated and they escalate. He and the rest of the group will respond with the home crowd behind us.”

This story originally appeared on: NyPost - Author:David Lazar

Follow us on Google News