Ristolainen has served his three-game suspension for his hit on Pittsburgh forward Jake Guentzel in a March 21 contest. The power-play distributor from the blue line will be all systems go for Sunday's home clash with the Islanders. He'd been in a minor rut offensively -- one point (an assist) in five games -- leading up to the suspension, so with any luck, the brief ban has afforded him the chance to clear his head.
Ristolainen was suspended three games Thursday for his interference play on Jake Guentzel. The league determined Ristolainen's hit on Guentzel was malicious enough to warrant the Buffalo defenseman missing three games -- essentially four, considering he played just 3:04 of Tuesday's contest before being assessed a game misconduct. Barring a successful appeal, the Finnish blueliner will have just five games left to play upon his return before the season comes to a close.
Ristolainen is scheduled to have a hearing with the league Thursday for his questionable hit on Pittsburgh's Jake Guentzel on Tuesday, per the NHL Department of Player Safety. Reactions to Ristolainen's ejection were mixed following the game, with some insisting the blueliner was already in the process of completing the check, while others went as far to call it a dirty play. The 22-year-old is not a repeat offender; however, Guentzel did suffer a concussion, and both of those things will factor into the Department of Player Safety's decision.
Ristolainen was kicked out of Tuesday's game against the Penguins for a "hit on an unsuspecting player," in this case a hit that gave Jake Guentzel a concussion, one that will likely cause the Pittsburgh forward to miss some time, The Buffalo News reports. The league's Department of Player Safety will likely want to have a word with the star defenseman. Ristolainen isn't known as a dirty player and claims he thought a puck that never made it through traffic was going to land on Guentzel's stick, thereby making him fair game. We'll see what the league has to say about it, but owners in weekly leagues may be playing short-handed for the scoring period.
Ristolainen picked up an assist on the power play and added two blocked shots in Monday's 2-1 win against the Red Wings. Ristolainen struggled on the team's west coast swing but still has four power-play helpers over his past nine outings. He has been a little bit erratic in March on the offensive end, but remains a constant source of blocked shots -- Ristolainen has stepped in front of 156 shots to rank inside the Top 10 in the NHL.
Last 7 Games
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