After the Blackhawks 6-4 win in Game 1 over the Oilers, the NHL Department of Player Safety announced that they were reviewing a hit by Blackhawks’ Drake Caggiula.
The hit came in the second period while the Blackhawks had already established a 5-2 lead. Caggiula steps up to hit Oilers’ Tyler Ennis. Prior to making contact, Ennis gets rid of the puck, but Caggiula has already made up his mind. Caggiula’s shoulder seems to make contact with Ennis’ chin. There was no penalty called on the play.
Today the NHL Department of Player Safety deemed the hit illegal and gave Caggiula a one game suspension.
One thing the NHL Department of Safety is committed to doing is explaining their decisions in reference to the rules established by the league. The Department of Player Safety called the hit “high” and “forceful” as well as stating the “main point of contact” was to Ennis’ head.
Who Replaces Caggiula in Game 2?
Caggiula played 11:25 in Game 1 while registering four hits and one shot block. He played most of the game on the Blackhawks’ third line with Kirby Dach and Alex DeBrincat. The line played 9:09 in Game 1 with a negative Corsi rating of 43.48%, but also generated six scoring chances.
With Caggiula out, the next obvious player to fill the role is Dylan Sikura. Sikura, who would be making his postseason debut, appeared in nine games this season with the Blackhawks recording one goal and two assists. His speed will be a good compliment to the third line, but the Blackhawks will miss Caggiula’s physicality.
Game 2 between the Blackhawks and Oilers is set for Monday, August 3 at 8:30 PM CT.