Vegas Golden Knights forward Ryan Reaves was issued a two-game suspension Monday for roughing and unsportsmanlike conduct against Avalanche defenseman Ryan Graves in Sunday’s Game 1 at Ball Arena.
At 8:04 of the third period with the Avs leading 6-1, Reaves was assessed two roughing minors and a match penalty (ejection). The minors were his cross-check on Colorado goalie Philipp Grubauer and punching Graves and throwing him to the ice. Reaves, 6-foot-2 and 225 pounds, then removed Graves’ helmet and placed a knee on Graves’ head while it was against the ice.
In a video by the NHL’s Department of Player Safety, it said Reaves and the Knights acknowledge Reaves pulled out a chunk of Graves’ hair and his actions were in retaliation from Graves’ earlier hit on Knights forward Mattias Janmark.
This is Reaves’ third NHL suspension. He served a one-game suspension in last year’s playoffs for an illegal check to the head of Vancouver Canucks forward Tyler Motte.
“Reaves shoves Grubauer with his stick and begins throwing punches at Graves and takes him down to the ice,” the video narrator said. “Reaves continues the altercation, using his body weight to force Graves’ head into the ice. As both the officials and other players unsuccessfully attempt to separate the two, Reaves continues to push forward forcefully down on the vulnerable Graves, eventually ripping his helmet off. During this scrum, both the officials and Reaves acknowledge that a chunk of Graves’ hair was pulled out by Reaves. This is roughing and unsportsmanlike conduct.
“It is important to note this is retaliation for an earlier hit Graves threw on Mattias Janmark, which knocked Janmark from the game. Reaves and the Golden Knights acknowledge that, angered by the earlier hit, he takes this opportunity to send a message to Graves as payback. And while some of the actions taken by Reaves could be sufficiently penalized by the on-ice officials, the totality of Reaves’ actions, combined with the game situation and the retribution involved in the play necessitates supplemental discipline.”
Vegas’ Ryan Reaves has been suspended for two games for Roughing/ Unsportsmanlike Conduct on Colorado’s Ryan Graves. https://t.co/26pAMLIJW5
— NHL Player Safety (@NHLPlayerSafety) May 31, 2021