Kings fortunate to have top-six forward available for Game 2 versus Oilers

Trevor Moore somehow avoided suspension despite his dangerous hit on Vincent Desharnais in Game 1 between the Edmonton Oilers and Los Angeles Kings.
Los Angeles Kings v Edmonton Oilers - Game One
Los Angeles Kings v Edmonton Oilers - Game One / Codie McLachlan/GettyImages

As the Los Angeles Kings prepare to face off with the Edmonton Oilers in Game Two on Wednesday night, you can make the case they are in a fortunate position. More specifically, because of the actions of Trevor Moore in Game One on Monday night at Rogers Place.

Late in the second period, Moore delivered a hit on Vincent Desharnais, which resulted in the former receiving a two-minute minor for tripping. On the plus side, it resulted in Leon Draisaitl scoring what turned out to be the winning goal 1:08 into the final 20 minutes, as he made it 5-2 on the way to the final scoreline of 7-4.

However, the low hit by the Kings forward was anything but minor. It was illegal and in all honesty, you can make a case that it was also extremely dangerous and irresponsible.

Despite this, no further action was taken postgame, even with the benefit of having time to review the hit properly. Instead, as per Mark Spector of Sportsnet, no additional disciplinary action was taken despite a review by the NHL Department of Player Safety.

Not taking player safety seriously enough?

The fact that the NHL Department of Player Safety took no extra action is almost in contrast to what they are meant to stand for. Objectively speaking, it's tough to quantify how they could decide Moore's hit was perfect fine and not worthy of any more discipline.

As a result, the Kings dodged the bullet of having to enter Game Two without one of their top-six forwards. Moore plays on their second line and, among other things, was first on the team during the regular season with 31 goals and fourth overall with 57 combined points.

Make no bones about the reality that if the hit by Moore had been on someone such as Draisaitl, and definitely Connor McDavid, more discipline would have been coming. Instead, Desharnais' only 'crime' was not being one of the NHL's big name players.

Aside from the Oilers managing to score their fifth goal on a power play, the other important positive was that the blue-liner was not injured despite clearly feeling the after-effects of the nasty hit. He returned in the third period and finished with 17:15 of ice time on the night.

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This has been a breakout season for Desharnais who, despite his lack of offence, is a physical defenceman not afraid to mix it up. Unveiled as the Oilers' Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy nominee, the organisation is hoping to sign him to a contract extension, although talks have been put on hold until the playoffs have finished.

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