Canucks Player Cross-Checks Connor McDavid’s Throat

Connor McDavid of the Edmonton Oilers was cross-checked by Carson Soucy of the Vancouver Canucks in Game 3.

Getty Connor McDavid of the Edmonton Oilers was cross-checked by Carson Soucy of the Vancouver Canucks in Game 3.

The rivalry between the Edmonton Oilers and the Vancouver Canucks is so heated that the biggest of hostilities happened after the Game 3 final horn and the latter’s 4-3 win away from home.

Game 3 featured a whole lot of physicality during the 60 minutes of play, but the dirtiest play came when the contest was already over and behind the Canucks net.

Oilers superstar Connor McDavid was pushed by Carson Soucy but avoided falling to the ice. McDavid, in response, retaliated by hitting Soucy in the legs. Soucy reacted by delivering a similar hit on McDavid’s legs.

What followed is what might have Soucy in trouble depending on the NHL’s review of the action. Soucy and teammate Nikita Zadorov teamed up to take out McDavid.

Zadorov approached McDavid from behind and cross-checked him at the height of his waist without the Oilers players knowing what was coming. More damagingly, Soucy instantly added a cross-check of his own to McDavid’s throat.

NHL Could Suspend Canucks’ Carson Soucy

Following the play, with the game already in the books and the Canucks going to sleep with a 2-1 second-round series lead over the Oilers, the NHL assessed Soucy a two-minute minor penalty.

That, of course, had no impact on the result with the Oilers losing 3-2 in regulation on Sunday, May 12, to the Canucks.

After the contest, however, Canucks Army beat writer Irfaan Gaffar reported that the NHL would consider handing out a suspension to Soucy following his cross-check to McDavid’s throat.

“Sounds like the league will be reviewing the cross-check from Carson Soucy on Connor McDavid at the end of game three,” Gaffar wrote on X after Game 3.

In a story published by The Athletic’s Eric Duhatschek after the game on May 12, the analyst states “What Soucy did was reckless and dangerous,” adding “A suspension almost certainly has to be coming.”

Canucks and Oilers Put on a Literal Fight Through Game 3

Canucks forward Brock Boeser had two goals and an assist while Elias Lindholm scored the other two goals for his team in Game 3. Rookie goalie Arturs Silovs stopped 42 shots for the Canucks.

Oilers’ Mattias Ekholm, Leon Draisaitl, and Evan Bouchard scored the three goals by Edmonton while Stuart Skinner stopped 11 of 15 shots before he was pulled ahead of the third period. Calvin Pickard finished with three saves in his NHL playoff debut in relief of Skinner.

With that out of the way, Soucy and Zadorov’s action on McDavid was just the cherry on top of a heated affair between the Oilers and the Canucks on Sunday.

Zadorov, acquired by the Canucks in November 2023 in a trade with the Calgary Flames, got the hostilities going with a monster hit on Oilers’ Evander Kane. Zadorov sent him into the bench over the fence, and not happy enough with that he pushed him so he fell inside of it.

The officials gave Zadorov a two-minute roughing penalty.

Off-Ice War of Statements Between Canucks & Oilers

After the game and Soucy’s hit on McDavid, there were more off-the-ice exchanges. Namely, between Canucks goalie Arturs Silovs and Oilers forward Leon Draisaitl.

Coming off an impressive 42-save outing, Silovs was asked by a reporter during his postgame press conference about “a key save late in the period.”

Silovs’ answer? “Which one?” the goalie joked in response, via Sportsnet’s broadcast of the game. “I actually don’t remember.”

In the opposite locker room, one reporter asked Oilers’ Draisaitl about Silovs’ performance and if it affected the shooting of Edmonton through the Game 3 loss in which they hit the posts steadily.

“Post is not good goaltending,” Draisaitl told reporters in his postgame media availability on May 12. “We can certainly do a better job of bearing down and capitalizing on our looks.”

Asked if the team needs to change anything to improve their offensive production and beat the rookie netminder, Draisaitl doesn’t believe that’s something the Oilers have to review.

“I don’t think so,” Draisaitl said, via Sportsnet. “I think we got enough guys in here that can put the puck past him. We’ve shown it so far.”

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