Oilers' Leon Draisaitl ejected after spearing Sharks player in the groin

BY Pete Blackburn • April 19, 2017

Leon Draisaitl had a pretty awful night in San Jose on Tuesday.

Not only did Draisaitl's Oilers get stomped by the Sharks in a 7-0 Game 4 blowout, but the 21-year-old forward didn't even get to see it through. He was sent to the showers early following a dirty, brutal spear to the groin of an opponent.

While trailing by five goals in the second period, Draisaitl's frustration boiled over when he drove his stick right into the privates of the Sharks' Chris Tierney. That turned out to be unwise when he was caught and penalized with a five-minute major and game misconduct for spearing.

Considering the blowout was well underway at that point, Draisaitl's loss wasn't necessarily a big one for the team. However, if the Department of Player Safety decides that the incident is worthy of a suspension, that's where this could really bite the Oilers. The series is currently locked at two games apiece and Draisaitl was Edmonton's second-leading scorer during the regular season.

Draisaitl may be able to escape a suspension since lower-body spearing isn't typically answered with bans unless you've got a rap sheet like Brad Marchand's. The league also tends to be more lenient during the playoffs and Tierney did Draisaitl a favor by returning to the game after a brief absence.

However, Matt Calvert was suspended for one playoff game after delivering a couple of cheap shots in a game that was all but over last week. The NHL's Department of Player Safety felt that Calvert's actions fell into the category of "message-sending" heading into the next game, and it's possible that Draisaitl's incident could possibly be viewed in a similar light.

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