Doug Armstrong doesn’t believe Ivan Barbashev’s one-game ban was warranted.
The St. Louis Blues general manager made his feelings known after the fourth-line forward was suspended for Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Final following a hit to the head of Boston Bruins forward Marcus Johansson in Game 5.
“We feel that the suspension to Ivan is excessive for the play on the ice,” Armstrong told Jim Thomas of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. “Regardless, we need to prepare for a quality Boston team on Sunday.”
The GM did acknowledge that the referees don’t have it easy.
“The NHL on- and off-ice officials have a difficult job and we respect their integrity,” he said.
Barbashev caught Johansson up high early in the first period Thursday. Johansson remained in the game, which the Blues ultimately won to move within one win of capturing the Cup.
Game 6 is scheduled for Sunday night in St. Louis.
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