The fallout from a nasty, physical Game 4 continues as Boston Bruins center David Krejci was fined $5000 by the NHL Department of Player Safety for spearing Mat Barzal in the groin during a second period scrum that escalated quickly. Krejci was cross-checked four times in the back by Barzal as a group of Bruins and Islanders scrapped for the loose puck, and normally calm playmaking Bruins center turned and quickly pitchforked Barzal between the legs after giving him a warning cross-check prior to that.
Krejci spears Barzal. It’s called as a major and reviewed, but becomes a slashing minor. pic.twitter.com/iWbywD6rXg
— Shayna (@hayyyshayyy) June 6, 2021
There was no consequence during the game as an initial major penalty was downgraded to a minor slashing penalty, and the Islanders weren’t able to score on the ensuing power play. The play led to the typical outrage mob on hockey twitter that wanted Krejci banned for life on a play that is normally called slashing with a resultant fine such as the one the Boston Bruins center received.
That’s a blatant spear on Krejci. How in the world does that get cut to a minor for slashing? Absurd.
— Mike Harrington (@ByMHarrington) June 6, 2021
But it did lead to a pretty entertaining he said/she said following the game as both players opined on what had transpired leading to the Krejci poke.
“Obviously wasn’t happy about it,” Krejci said of Barzal’s barrage of cross-checks to his back prior to him returning fire. “He went down pretty easily. But it is what it is. Yeah.”
Barzal got the last laugh with the game-winning goal in the 4-1 Game 4 victory for the New York Islanders after recovering from the spearing play and couldn’t help himself postgame.
“I was a little surprised. I haven’t seen the clip yet. I felt it was a little vicious,” Barzal said. “But it’s the ref’s call there. It’s a judgment call from them. Yeah, I thought it was a tad vicious.”
As always, these little battles within the battle should lead to an entertaining Game 5 on Monday night at TD Garden, and a raucous final three games to a playoff series that is turning nastier with each passing game.