Leo Komarov has never been suspended but that’s likely about to change after he levelled Ryan McDonagh with a dirty elbow.
[Update: On Friday, Komarov was handed a three-game suspension.]
After missing four games due to a concussion, the New York Rangers were thrilled to have captain Ryan McDonagh back on Wednesday night against the Blackhawks. Less than 24 hours later, it looks like he’s on the shelf again.
Late in the first period of Thursday’s game against the Toronto Maple Leafs, McDonagh was on the receiving end of a brutal elbow from Maple Leafs center Leo Komarov. There was a scramble just inside the Leafs’ blueline with McDonagh ending up with the puck. Komarov comes from outside the zone and heads straight for McDonagh, then at the last second lifts his elbow squarely into McDonagh’s face.
Here is a closer, damning look at Komarov’s elbow making contact with McDonagh.
Komarov penalty pic.twitter.com/P0aenCXdmv
— Stephanie (@myregularface) February 19, 2016
It’s pretty obvious that the initial point of contact is Komarov’s elbow on McDonagh’s jaw. Komarov has never been suspended, but this seems like a no-brainer to be his first. It’s a reckless, completely unnecessary move by Komarov, who could have easily kept his elbow down and just hit McDonagh square in the chest. McDonagh’s head is down simply because he’s trying to find the puck in a scramble. Komarov also probably could have just stripped him of the puck and turned back the other way.
McDonagh, inexplicably, spent the final 62 seconds of the period on the bench, but did not return for the second period. He just returned to the lineup after missing four games with a concussion after being suckerpunched by the Flyers’ Wayne Simmonds.
Komarov received a match penalty and was ejected. The Leafs’ next game is Saturday against the Flyers. Don’t expect to see Komarov, their only All-Star Game representative, in that one.