The St. Louis Blues will try to win the Stanley Cup Sunday night against the Boston Bruins without forward Ivan Barbashev who was suspended for one game by the NHL Department of Player Safety Friday afternoon. Barbashev ran afoul of the DoPS after an illegal check to the head on Bruins forward Marcus Johansson during the controversial Game 4.
Barbashev, 23, became the second young St. Louis forward to be suspended in the Stanley Cup Final. The DoPS also dished a one-game suspension to Oskar Sundqvist for his hit on Bruins defenseman Matt Grzelcyck in Game 2.
“Thursday night in Boston, Blues forward Ivan Barbashev delivered an illegal check to the head of Bruins forward Marcus Johansson,” the DoPS video explained. “As Johansson releases a shot, Barbashev delivers a high, forceful hit that makes Johansson’s head the primary point of contact on a hit where such head contact was avoidable.”
Referees declined to penalize Barbashev during the game, which was one of two controversial non-calls against the Bruins in Game 5. The other is the hotly discussed trip of defenseman Noel Acciari in the third period which directly led to the game-winning goal.
Johansson did finish the game.
Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy was not fined for his postgame comments in which he was blunt about the negative impact the officiating had on his team and the outcome of Game 5. Cassidy called the officiating, “egregious.”
St. Louis had to overcome sloppy officiating in the Western Conference Final against the San Jose Sharks, which is also something Cassidy made a point to stress in his off-day media availability. Read about that from Editor-in-Chief Jimmy Murphy who covered the off-day media scrums.
Barbashev had 26 points (14g, 12a) in the regular season but has six points (3g, 3a) in 24 playoff games. The Bruins will try to force a Game 7 Sunday night at the Enterprise Center in St. Louis. The faceoff is set for 8:00 p.m.