St. Louis Blues Pavel Buchnevich Gets Deserved Suspension

St. Louis Blues right wing Pavel Buchnevich (89)Mandatory Credit: Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports
St. Louis Blues right wing Pavel Buchnevich (89)Mandatory Credit: Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports /

It’s very rare in the world of sports to convince any fan that someone on their team did anything wrong. That’s why you know what St. Louis Blues forward Pavel Buchnevich did was egregious when many are on board with the outcome.

The league’s Department of Player Safety announced Tuesday that Buchnevich would receive a two-game suspension. Honestly, that’s pretty fair.

For those that missed it, in the first period of the Blues second game of the season, Buchnevich was assessed a match-penalty. Buchnevich was crosschecked to the face and proceeded to headbutt his opponent when the man got up in his face.

As a human being, it is hard to completely condemn Buchnevich. Lawson Crouse got what he deserved to a degree.

Even though we all love the sport of hockey, the amount of sticks that hit people in the face or the small of the back is getting a little ridiculous. We would all love to see someone just take it and move on for the sake of the team, but the fact is that Buchnevich is human. You reach a boiling point and logic leaves you.

Thus, the stupid headbutting incident. The reason it is stupid is not because he retaliated, but how he retaliated.

Crosscheck the guy back. Spear him in the midsection or straight up punch him in the face.

Headbutting is just this weird action that crosses a line. There are no set rules as to what that line is, but most people know that headbutting is across it.

There’s never a truly unanimous decision, but most Blues fans on social media were quite accepting of the decision. There is an argument to be made for a single-game suspension, but this is not Buchnevich’s first time on this ride.

He was suspended a game for crosschecking an opponent earlier in his career. Beyond the foolishness of the incident, you don’t want to get a reputation with the league office. You also don’t want to become known for this kind of stuff.

Tom Wilson has talent, but you’d never know it because fans around the league know he tries to hurt people. The Blues don’t need Buchnevich to go down that road or even a parallel road. Take a different path.

While it’s disappointing to lose a top-six forward so early in the season, this suspension gives the Blues another excuse to keep both Klim Kostin and Jake Neighbours in the lineup. They can insert James Neal back into the roster without sacrificing one of their youngsters. The only reason you might take Neighbours out is if you don’t want to burn all nine of his games consecutively.

Circling back to the matter at hand, two games seems about right. Buchnevich needs a message sent that sort of behavior isn’t tolerated, by his own fans or the league.

Next. Clifford may need to start packing his bags. dark

If nothing else, I’m impressed that the majority of Blues fans have not put on their rose-colored glasses. They know this was an ill-conceived act and deserved some sort of punishment.

Let’s just hope that it doesn’t derail any of the early-season success that Buchnevich seemed to be building.