SAN JOSE – The Oilers have dished out some borderline hits in their series with the Sharks so far, but forward Leon Draisaitl crossed the line on Tuesday night in Game 4 when he was caught pitchforking Chris Tierney in the groin in the second period.
Draisaitl, who has done next to nothing through four games and has been demoted from the Connor McDavid line, was issued a five-minute major for spearing and a game misconduct at 13:44 of the second period of the Sharks’ 7-0 win. He could be hearing from the NHL’s Department of Player Safety on Wednesday, too.
Tierney needed some time to recover in the dressing room, but returned.
"Just feel a stick groin in my groin, so obviously it doesn't feel well at the time,” Tierney said. “Just kind of dropped and went to shake it off. Takes a couple minutes to recover from something like that. But felt OK the rest of the game."
Logan Couture didn’t like the play.
“That’s a play that you don’t like to see as a hockey player,” Couture said. “Obviously, probably frustrating on his part. I think it’s dangerous. Any time you spear a guy like that you’re intending to injure him. I don’t like those types of plays in this game, but the refs made a good call with throwing him out.”
As is common during a playoff series, the Sharks and Oilers seem to be developing some animosity towards each other. With the game already decided by the late stages of the second period, Joe Pavelski was on the receiving end of a cross-check by Patrick Maroon a few minutes after the Draisaitl incident. Pavelski also had words with Kris Russell and Darnell Nurse during the course of the evening.
Still, the Sharks mostly kept their cool, and by the midway point of the third period there wasn’t much action with San Jose ahead by a touchdown.
"I think our team, we're not a team that likes to get into any extra curricular activities after whistles,” Tierney said. “We want to skate away and stay out of penalty trouble, stay out of the roughing after the whistles, the slashings, the stuff like that. I think we've a pretty disciplined team, so that's our game plan from the start."