Bad news for T.J. Oshie and the St. Louis Blues. A team that is already without David Backes and Vladimir Tarasenko might be without another top-six forward following tonight’s game against the Minnesota Wild. Mike Rupp cut across towards an unsuspecting Oshie and made clear contact with the head.
Rupp was given a match penalty for the hit and ejected from the contest. Oshie remained down for a considerable amount of time before getting up and skating off the ice under his own power.
Rupp with a nasty shoulder to Oshie’s head. Oshie is just now getting up and headed to the #stlblues locker room. Rupp leaving game too.
— Jeremy Rutherford (@jprutherford) April 11, 2014
It was then announced by the team that the Blues forward wouldn’t be returning to finish the contest.
Oshie will not return to tonight’s game. #stlblues
— St. Louis Blues (@StLouisBlues) April 11, 2014
Oshie is among St. Louis’ top players and has scored 60 points in 78 games for the squad while averaging more than 19 minutes a game. Rupp, on the other hand was playing in his first game since February 1 and averages six minutes a night for the Wild. With Brendan Shanahan stepping down as the NHL’s head disciplinarian today, this is the league’s first chance to get a suspension call right.
That won’t help the Blues though, who are now down three of their top players with the playoffs less than a week away. Also worth of note: this contest was a potential first-round matchup.