Last night in San Jose for Game 7 between the Sharks and the Vegas Golden Knights, there was a moment in the third period where Sharks forward Joe Pavelski and Knights forward Cody Eakin would take the faceoff against each other in thr Knights zone.
During the faceoff Pavelski and Eakin would battle eachother for the puck that saw Eakin get the physical advantage over Pavelski as he would cross check Pavelski in the chest which would foce him to lose his balance. While losing his balance Pavelski would then get tangled with Knights forward Paul Stastny who would slam Pavelski onto the ice.
As Pavelski fell to the ice, he would hit his head on the ice and would require medical attention. As a result of this play Eakin would be assessed a five minute major for cross checking and a game misconduct. At the time of this play the Knights were up 3-0 and on their way to defeating the Sharks. On the five minute powerplay the Sharks would score four powerplay goals to guide them to their eventual victory.
Now with all of that said, I have to agree with the Golden Knights fans that the call on the play was excessive and that Eakin should have been assessed only a two minute minor for cross checking. Eakin never targeted the head, and the point of contact was Pavelski’s chest, which is where Eakin hit Pavelski with the cross check.
Now as for Stastny, one could argue for a roughing penalty to be called on the same play, but at the same time it looked like a wrong place, wrong time scenario for Stastny on this play. However, a roughing call would have been appropriate on this play.
One of the biggest takeaways is this. Out of all of this, the Golden Knights defeated themselves in Game 7. Instead of focusing on the game and killing off the five minute powerplay to the best of their abilities, they imploded over the penalty call. At the end of the day, that is what costed the Knights the game and ultimately the series.