SAN JOSE, Calif. -- Blues forward Ivan Barbashev will not receive any supplemental discipline from the NHL Department of Player Safety after a high hit that helped take Sharks forward Tomas Hertl out of Game 5 of the Western Conference finals, according to a source.
In the first period, Barbashev cut across the middle of the ice and caught Hertl as he skated down the rink. Hertl's head snapped back on impact. Although the Sharks center would remain in the game and play through the second period, he didn't take a shift in the third period -- one of three key players missing for San Jose as they tried, and failed, to rally in the Blues' eventual 5-0 victory to take a 3-2 series lead.
There was no penalty on the play.
San Jose coach Peter DeBoer called the play "an arguably five-minute major on Tommy Hertl that, if it's called, maybe that's a momentum-changing play right there."
A source told ESPN that establishing that Hertl's head was the main point of contact on the hit was difficult, considering that Barbashev also connected with Hertl's arms and shoulder. There also was a question on whether the force of the hit was enough to warrant supplemental discipline, even if it might have been enough for a penalty in the game.
The decision not to give Barbashev a hearing probably won't sit well with the Sharks, who already feel that the Blues avoided a suspension on Sammy Blais's hit to the head of San Jose defenseman Justin Braun back in Game 3. Forward Logan Couture went as far as to say that the lack of punishment on that hit opened the door for this one to occur.
"I saw the Hertl hit. Just watched the replay. Yeah, that's a tough one. But they had one in Game 3 on Braun and nothing happened, so they can do it again, right?" he said after the Game 5 loss.