Blues’ Barbashev To Have Hearing For Hit To Head Of Bruins’ Johansson

RJOFMAUCOYI6TOCQJ55XSOEIQM.jpg

(Photo: John Tlumacki / Boston Globe)

By: Patrick Donnelly | Follow me on Twitter @PatDonn12

The National Hockey League’s Department of Player Safety announced this morning that St. Louis Blues winger Ivan Barbashev will have a hearing for an illegal check to the head of Boston Bruins winger Marcus Johansson.

Officiating has been a hotly contested topic throughout the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs and Thursday night’s Game Five of the Stanley Cup Final at TD Garden was no different. While the game saw its fair share of controversy with officiating, Barbashev’s hit seemed to start it all early on in the first period.

Barbashev did not receive a penalty for the hit, and Johansson was not injured as a result of the play. The hit caused Johansson to spin around as a result of the extremely high contact and came after Johansson had already shot the puck on Blues goaltender Jordan Binnington.

The announcement of Barbashev’s hearing comes after a game that saw plenty of contestable choices by officials, including a high hit on Torey Krug by Zach Sanford, a blatant hold on Torey Krug by Oskar Sundqvist, and a textbook, egregious slew-foot on Noel Acciari by Tyler Bozak, which led to David Perron’s game-winning goal.

The Case For New Bruin Kenny Agostino

dez18031736griffins_at_wolves(Above Photo credit:  Patrick Gorski/Icon Sportswire)

By: Karen Still          Follow Me @bluinsfan2017

That’s a pretty sick ‘n’ sweet sort of goal, isn’t it? Wouldn’t you like to see more like that?

I know I certainly would.

Some players have a bumpy road to the NHL, especially in their quest to find a team in which they find a perfect fit.  One player in particular that comes to mind is the man who scored that OT goal this past preseason vs. the Flyers, Kenny Agostino.  

The 6’ ft., 202 lb. Left winger signed a one-year, one-way deal with the B’s over the summer for the sum of $850,000.  A lot of folks in Boston might not know much of him and hence would rightfully have their doubts.  But I can assure you that he’s worth it.  

Please permit me to make my case:  last year with the Blues, he played only 7 games, spending the rest of the time with the Chicago Wolves, who was their AHL affiliate at the time.  While in the minors, he was teammates with Ivan Barbashev and they played on the same line while with the big club.  They made so much of a good impression that people were referring them by their AHL nicknames ‘Ken and Barbie’ (no I’m not making that up, check out the replies to this):

I was very impressed by their play and like many others, couldn’t understand just why they would ‘fix what wasn’t broken’ when they kept Barbashev up but sent Agostino back to the Wolves–it simply didn’t make any sense.  

Despite the Wolves’ second-round exit in the Calder Cup playoffs last season, he won both John B. Sollenberger Trophy for the AHL’s leading scorer and the Les Cunningham Award for the league’s MVP, the latter of which is voted on by his fellow players as well as the AHL media.  

I’ll be sincere:  I was stunned that he was placed on waivers on September 29th (not the most wonderful thing to wake up to).  I was really pulling for him, not just because of the aforementioned, but I wanted to see him prove to the Blues that they made a mistake in not handling him better.  Salty much me?  Probably.

Thankfully, he cleared and is now down in Providence among the Baby B’s:

I wonder as well. It’s been speculated that he could be one of the first to be called up in an emergency but obviously not 100%.  I am delighted however to see that the Boston Faithful are beginning to see what they have acquired in him.  If some are still on the fence, however, they could ask the Chicago Wolves: