Late in Game 4 the emotion of the series finally caught up with Alex Pietrangelo. After a missed empty net bid by Leon Draisaitl, Pietrangelo rose his stick above his head and chopped down on Draisaitl’s wrists in a vicious manner. He was assessed a five minute major ending his night and then subsequently was suspended by the Department of Player Safety for Game 5.
It is what it is, I’m not going to sit here and dwell on it. The league took care of it, so we’ll move on and use it as a day to get some rest and get ready for tomorrow. There have been a lot of shots both ways, I’ll just say that. -Pietrangelo
The former Stanley Cup winning captain stood behind a podium today to speak to local media about the incident and he came with a fairly clear message.
It’s pretty obvious what’s going on, there’s some premeditated stuff coming at me but (the Department of Player Safety) didn’t really seem to care in the meeting. I’ll get up and take it. I’m not going to lay on the ice like we’ve been seeing. I’ll get up and play the game the way it needs to be played. At the end of the day, we’ve got a job to do, they’ve got a job to do, and we need to close it out tomorrow. -Pietrangelo
He says he absolutely has extra motivation when he makes his return to the lineup for Game 6.
I’m sure the rest of the guys do too, right? I’m sure the guys had a little extra motivation last night. We’re a tight group in there, we’ve got each others’ backs. -Pietrangelo
One thing he may not have been expecting were the rigors that come with watching playoff games rather than playing in them. Pietrangelo watched the game from ice level and said he definitely has a new respect for fans, coaches, management, and anyone who can’t control the outcome.
Sitting there watching the game, man, I was sweating. It’s an emotional rollercoaster, that’s for sure. I love it, I love the emotion, it’s just tough when you are there watching and you can’t do anything about it. You appreciate the sport and how exciting it is when you sit back for a second and watch it from a different perspective. -Pietrangelo
The stress every Golden Knights fan has watching the final seconds tick away last night was shared by one of the team’s unquestioned leaders.
Oh man, oh yeah, I was excited, ask the guys. The guys that were watching with me thought I was crazy. -Pietrangelo
Ben Hutton stepped in amicably for Vegas in Game 5, but there’s no doubt the Golden Knights will welcome back their leader in ice time for Game 6. And he’ll be coming back into the series with a vengeance.