There’s being an agitator in a tough second-round Stanley Cup playoff matchup, and then there’s whatever the hell Ryan Reaves did on Sunday night.
In the third period of Game 1 against the Colorado Avalanche, the Vegas Golden Knights forward was given a match penalty and ejected from the game for attempt to injure.
With his team down 6-1, Reaves was at the center of a massive netfront scrum that all started with Reaves giving Colorado goaltender Phillip Grubauer a crosscheck and defenseman Ryan Graves trying to pry the Vegas winger off of his netminder.
Graves was then sent crashing to the ice with a move that belongs in professional wrestling and before all 225 pounds of Reaves was sent to the box, it was on top of the Avalanche defenseman’s head.
After everything was said and done, Colorado was given a nine-minute power play en route to a massive 7-1 Game 1 victory.
“I don’t think you can call that physicality to be honest with you,” Avalanche captain Gabriel Landeskog said about the scrum. “Reaves is on a mission to hurt somebody in the third and that’s what he goes out and does. I’m sure the league will take a look at it, intent to injure.”
As Landeskog mentions, the NHL’s Department of Player Safety will be looking at the incident and determining whether or not Reaves deserves additional discipline.
Outside of the violence, the Avalanche put on a display that cemented their position as Stanley Cup favourites. Piling up goals like it was nothing in the first two periods and taking full advantage of a fatigued Vegas team that went the full length against the gritty Minnesota Wild in Round 1.
Game 2 will take place on Wednesday, with or without Reaves in the Golden Knights’ lineup.
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