Buchnevich had never been fined or suspended prior to this decision by the NHL’s Department of Player Safety. He’s played in 300 NHL games and has a total of 112 penalty minutes. Buchnevich earned 19 of those 112 penalty minutes in last night’s chaotic game against the Capitals.
The Department of Player Safety noted in its video explanation of the suspension that Buchnevich’s actions were “defensive in nature” and that while Mantha’s actions “may have been provocative” Buchnevich is not allowed to high-stick Mantha in the face. Seems legit.
Of course, we need to point out that Tom Wilson was not suspended — but was fined $5,000 — for punching a defenseless Pavel Buchnevich in the back of the head on May 3.
And that was before Wilson slammed a helmetless Artemiy Panarin to the ice in the fracas that erupted after that punch to the back of Buchnevich’s head.
To be absolutely clear here, Buchnevich’s actions last night absolutely warrant supplementary discipline. He deserves the game he got and if he had a track record before this, he likely would have deserved more than a game. What Buchnevich did was dangerous and unacceptable. For many, it still pales in comparison to what Tom Wilson did on May 3.
So, Buchnevich will miss one of the Rangers' final two games of the season. He’s fifth on the team in scoring (45 points) and tied for second on the team in goals (20). The Rangers will have to play without him tonight in Boston against the Bruins before he is eligible to return to the lineup for a Saturday matinee game against the Bruins at 3 p.m. ET.