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A Pair of Canuck Defenders Handed Down Discipline

In the biggest news of the day, the aftermath of an end of game scrum, Nikita Zadorov and Carson Soucy received their discipline. Soucy and Connor McDavid were engaged with one another when Zadorov came in hit McDavid with a cross-check. The cross-check knocked the unexpecting McDavid off-balance, right in-line with a Carson Soucy cross-check, that would have otherwise been in the chest. Instead it appears to catch McDavid near the head or neck area. As a note, McDavid did appear fine afterward, but the message was sent. Look for the Edmonton Oilers to play with a little extra fire come Tuesday night at home. Moreover, they currently trail their second round, 2024 NHL Stanley Cup playoff series two games to one versus the Vancouver Canucks.

The Connor McDavid Hit Results in Supplementary Discipline for Two Canucks

Zadorov and Soucy combine to be a big part of the Canucks defence. With being handed down their respective punishment from the NHL’s Department of Player Safety (DOPS), both players might consider toning it down a bit. Soucy received a one-game suspension for the hit to the head/neck of McDavid. Meanwhile, Zadorov, who cross-checked McDavid in the back, was handed down a $5,000 fine.

Zadorov has been playing well these playoffs and all season long really. The hulking Russian had 20 points in 75 games, and only played 17:26 a night during the regular season. Also, he added 177 hits and tallied 125 PIMs. However, it seems the playoffs has reignited a spark in him. He already has seven points in nine games, along with 30 hits, and 14 PIMs. In addition, he is playing a more elevated role at over 20 minutes a game.

You want him to be playing with an edge, but still, he can’t be stepping across the line. Similar to when he received a roughing penalty after a clean hit in the second period of play sent Evander Kane into the Oilers bench. He then proceeded to make sure Kane couldn’t gather himself immediately. Zadorov was lucky that there was an even-up bench minor called for the Oilers on that particular play.

Carson Soucy, on the other hand, has had a quieter playoffs, and that’s just the way Rick Tocchet likes it. He is a defensive defender, and needs to go unnoticed out there, otherwise it might mean he is doing too much. He’s played all nine Canuck playoff games to this point, with 17:26 in ice time. Missing his game from the lineup will hurt the unit. Tocchet hopes for no trickle-down impact on their young goalie Arturs Silovs.

How Will this Impact the Series for Both Clubs

Be on the lookout for fireworks as a result of this play on Tuesday night. It is hard to imagine with this type of hit on their superstar, Connor McDavid, that the whole team, McDavid included, won’t come out firing on all cylinders. This could turn into a big motivator for the club as a whole. You know some of the Oilers tougher players will look to step up for their leader. Perhaps players like Evander Kane or Vincent Desharnais, will be playing with more of an edge. Also, when it comes to motivating McDavid, and his linemates, Leon Draisaitl and Zach Hyman, they tend to catch fire on the scoreboard. With game four in Edmonton, the Oilers will be doing what they can to take this series back to the West Coast of British Columbia, all tied at two games a piece.

Main photo credit: Bob Frid-USA TODAY Sports


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