The Department of Player Safety has decided to suspend Evgeny Kuznetsov for one game for his high stick last night. The Washington Capitals forward will be held out of the team’s Thursday night match against the Ottawa Senators. As the accompanying video explains:
It is important to note that this is not a careless use of the stick. Rather, this is an intentional stick swing toward an opponent that makes high contact. While we recognize Kuznetsov’s assertion that he did not mean to hit Burroughs so high, players are accountable for their stick at all times. What causes this play to rise to the level of supplementary discipline is the purposeful nature of the swing, and the location where it lands on the opponent.
When discussing Kuznetsov’s history, the video does not include his suspension for off-ice incidents, as expected. Interestingly though, it also references only one fine in his 603-game career. That is likely last season’s high-sticking infraction against Noel Acciari and means his previous fine for diving/embellishment was not taken into account as part of his relevant supplementary discipline history in this case.
After earning just a two-minute minor penalty on the play, the Capitals forward will have to sit and watch the team’s next game. With Connor Brown also missing practice with a lower-body injury, Washington could have a very different lineup on Thursday night.