Patrick Marleau won’t face further discipline for his third period hit on Bryan Rust.
As he fumbled the puck right across the San Jose blue line, Patrick Marleau came across and leveled the Pittsburgh winger, leaving him sprawled out on the ice for a few moments as he struggled to gather his bearings.
Marleau was assessed a two-minute minor on the play at the 4:47 mark of the third for an illegal check to the head, sparking a debate as to whether he would face supplemental discipline from the NHL’s Department of Player Safety.
From Pierre LeBrun of ESPN, it appears Marleau is in the clear and will be able to play in Game 2.
Rust was able to return for one shift following the hit, but then missed the rest of the game as he was clearly still affected.
Obviously, you never like to see anyone knocked out of a game especially when the head is involved, but the hit looked relatively clean from Marleau.
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As Rust crossed the line, he struggled to corral the puck which was still in his reach as Marleau came across and delivered a body check through the body of Rust. Part of what made the hit worse for Rust was the fact he was hunched over as Marleau came through to deliver the check.
He didn’t deviate in any way or target Rust’s head. He kept his elbow tucked in and hit through Rust who’s head hit the back of Marleau’s shoulder as he finished the check.
Here’s a further look at the hit:
Again, it’s unfortunate to see Rust knocked out especially for a young player that has broken out in these playoffs. Rust opened the scoring in Game 1, knocking in a rebound for his sixth goal of the playoffs.
You hope Rust will be able to return at some point in the series, but it will be interesting to see whether he will be able to go tomorrow night, and what kind of adjustments the Penguins will make if he’s unable to.
Meanwhile, it’s big for the Sharks to know Marleau will be available for Game 2. He was engaged and into the game, and he’s probably the fastest skater for team teal which is needed against this quick Penguins team.
After waiting 18 years and 165 postseason games to finally play in the Cup Finals, Marleau’s fifth goal of these playoffs tied the game late in the second.
San Jose knows they have to be better in Game 2 tomorrow night, and now they know that one of their key cogs won’t miss any time.