The NHL Player Safety has suspended Vegas Golden Knights forward Ryan Reaves for one game for a check to the head of the Vancouver Canucks‘ Tyler Motte. Reaves will now miss Game 1 of the Western Conference Final against the Dallas Stars Sunday.
Vegas’ Ryan Reaves has been suspended for one playoff game for an Illegal Check to the Head on Vancouver’s Tyler Motte. https://t.co/cHK4FbkvnF
— NHL Player Safety (@NHLPlayerSafety) September 5, 2020
Golden Knights Ryan Reaves Suspended 1 Game
Reaves received a five-minute match penalty for the hit in Game 7 of the Western Conference Second Round Friday. This is Reaves’ second career suspension, his first coming in 2016 with the St. Louis Blues.
Prior to being suspended, Reaves had four assists and 14 penalty minutes in 15 games with the Golden Knights. Reaves makes his presence known in the hits category, as going into Saturday he was leading all postseason players with 74 hits. Additionally, Reaves has a 56.82 Corsi For, ranking fourth-worst on Vegas.
Originally drafted by the Blues in the fifth round of the NHL draft, Reaves has found a permanent home with Vegas. Reaves spent his first 419 NHL games with the Blues but has now played his last 172 with the Golden Knights over the past three seasons. Reaves has 48 goals, 48 assists, and 910 penalty minutes in 649 NHL games.
Reaves is a bottom-six player who plays a heavily-physical game. With his 6’2, 225 lbs. frame out of the lineup, the Golden Knights could be lacking some energy in the early going. Game 1’s typically are about setting the tone for the remainder of the series, as we saw between Reaves and Canucks’ forward Antoine Roussel last round.
Without Reaves Sunday, Vegas will likely look to Nick Cousins to come back into the lineup. Cousins had played in all 14 Golden Knights’ postseason games prior to getting scratched in Friday’s Game 7. He has four assists in the bubble.
Patrick Brown is another option for Vegas. In two postseason games this summer, Brown has one goal. Vegas has only dressed 14 forwards in the bubble so far — health/avoidance of suspensions has been going in the Golden Knights’ favour so far.