Nashville Predators forward Vernon Fiddler was a hero in Game 1 but put his team in a bad place with a game misconduct in Game 2.
The veteran center was forechecking deep in the St. Louis Blues’ zone in the second period when Blues defenseman Colton Parayko carried the puck out from behind the net. Fiddler met him, went to lay a hit, and caught Parayko knee-on-knee.
Parayko was shaken up but returned for the ensuing five-minute Blues power play. Fiddler got a five-minute major for kneeing and a game misconduct.
It could not be more clear.— On The Forecheck (@OnTheForecheck) April 29, 2017
Game misconduct is automatic when assessed a major penalty for kneeing. pic.twitter.com/JL4HkOpvM5
Fiddler might expect a suspension for the hit, but it’s the playoffs and the NHL is notoriously hard to pin down on discipline expectations this time of year. If he is out for a game or two, it might not be a big deal; Fiddler hadn’t played since early April due to injury and is a fourth-line center at most these days.
Though, with winger Kevin Fiala out for the season, it would hurt Nashville’s depth even more.