After a tough Game 1 loss at the hands of the Pittsburgh Penguins on Monday, the San Jose Sharks had to wait to hear if they’d be without Patrick Marleau for any extended period of time. On Tuesday however, it was announced that the Sharks’ forward wouldn’t face any disciplinary action from the NHL following his hit on Penguins’ forward Bryan Rust.
Although it seems like Rust’s head is the primary point of contact, the league saw it differently allowing Marleau to continue on for the Sharks in the Stanley Cup Finals. Rust, on the other hand, was forced to leave the game and was listed as day-to-day with an upper-body injury.
The Penguins likely won’t agree with the league’s assessment of the incident as head coach Mike Sullivan referred to the hit as a “blindside hit to the head.”
Rust has been one of the most consistent offensive contributors for the Penguins over the past four games with four goals and one assist in just over 12 minutes per game. In 18 games for the Pens this playoffs he’s recorded six goals and nine points.
Both Rust and Marleau tallied goals for their respective teams in Game 1. While Marleau was penalized for the hit, the loss of the 24-year-old Rust could be a significant loss to the Penguins game plan moving forward.
Andrew is in his 8th year reporting for The Hockey Writers covering the Toronto Maple Leafs. He began his broadcasting with CBC’s Hockey Night in Canada team as well as being part of their coverage of the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi. He’s the former play-by-play voice of the London Jr. Knights for Rogers TV and currently hosts the Sticks in the 6ix podcast. You can follow him on Twitter at @AndrewGForbes.