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Cody Eakin Explains What He Was Thinking As He “Shoved” Joe Pavelski In Game 7

(Photo Credit: Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

It’s over, it’s done with, and there’s nothing anyone can do about it now. But the fact of the matter is that #NotAMajor will forever be a part of the Vegas Golden Knights’ story, and with that means any time anyone of significance talks about, it’s news.

Recently, Cody Eakin sat down with Gary Lawless as part of the SLGND Podcast’s offseason “Interview Series.” The interview as a whole is fascinating, but the portion about the penalty in Game 7 was particularly interesting. Eakin explained exactly what he was thinking as the entire play went down.

Draws are the game within the game. When you can start with the puck it’s easier to have the puck and play with it than to chase it. So when you lose a draw you want to make sure you aren’t losing it easily and cleanly and I kind of lost it cleanly. So I was going to make sure and give him a shove and let him know the next one isn’t going to be as easy to win. -Eakin

You can see exactly what he’s thinking as he described it as you watch the play. The draw is lost clean, so he goes out of his way to give Joe Pavelski a shove.

Over the course of the past few months, the play has kind of morphed in the mids of fans from “that’s not a major,” to “that’s not a penalty” to “he did nothing wrong.” Well, it’s hard to hear what Eakin said, see the play, and not believe he did something wrong.

I would consider it a shove, a cross-check has more intent to injure, you’re looking to leave a bruise, to hurt someone kind of. That’s why you get a penalty for it. I would call it a shove and after that, it was just unfortunate. -Eakin

Clearly, Eakin’s intent was not to cause the result Pavelski endured, however, he did mean to hurt him.

It’s a moment of truth from Eakin that shows just how tense playoff games really are. Eakin went on to explain how he was focused on getting out to the point as both Brent Burns and Erik Karlsson were on the ice.

Personally, I still can’t blame Eakin for the outcome of Game 7, I’ll still point at the horrendous refereeing and the abysmal penalty killing. However, I do feel like I have a clearer picture of what happened that fateful night.


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  1. Mark

    It’s a great example of a blown call, just unimaginable. The gutless refs called the blood on the ice, not “the shove”. It tore me apart, watching what happened afterwards. I’m still not over it. IMOP, right now Fluery, Stone, Karlsson, Smith, Reaves, Pirri, Carrier, Tuch and Co. are salavating to make things right again. A huge chip is on their collective shoulders. Our guys have pride, they will all be pulling in the same direction. I know I’m a little bit of a dreamer, it’s ok. We have as much a shot as anyone !! Also, Eakin has nothing to be sad about, he’s game, plays every minute as if he’s about to be executed and is loved by fans and teammates. Go Knights !!

    • Schonfeld

      yes, and it is no coincidence that the San Jose Striped Shirts were the benefactors of series deciding calls in all 3 series they played. only the Blues were able to overcome the hand pass cheat gift for the Sharts. But the Knights and Avs were screwed in the final minutes of game 7.

      plus, the OT Marchessault goal in game 2 vs VGK in last year’s playoff as well.

      The refs should all be given teal arm bands and teal pompoms to signify their repeated SJ bias

      • Jon

        12:51 left in the 3rd – Stone has a clean hit on Pavelski then decides to drive his elbow into Pav’s head.

        10:59 – Stastny attempts to trip Pav. When this fails, he jams his stick into Pav’s groin. This is followed by a sucker punch to the face (ends at 10:54).

        10:47 – the major penalty.

        Perhaps it’s not a huge SJ bias?

        • Evan

          Linking to a disgustingly biased ‘article’ is hardly convincing…

        • Don

          The league was forced to CHANGE the video challenge RULES this summer because of the repeated SJ bias that had 30 teams pissed off.

          THAT says it all

          • Jon

            I don’t think anyone has made an attempt to argue that the call in the Blues series wasn’t terrible. However, there have been articles that show it wasn’t bias, but bad positioning from the refs.

            As far as the major, it was a questionable call, but in the moment the refs likely saw a crosscheck, weren’t going to call it, looked away at the puck, then looked back and saw a player unconscious on the ice next to a pool of blood. The rule change is because the call in that case was inaccurate, but if you think that it had anything whatsoever to do with the fact that it was SJ, you’re crazy. It likely had something to do with the game state too, 10:47 left in the 3rd, 3 goal deficit, you often start to see more and bigger penalties called to take control of the game/avoid further injuries from retaliation/frustration.

          • vgk2019

            Golden Knights general manager George McPhee told reporters that the NHL called and apologized to him for the call on Cody Eakin during the third period of Tuesday’s decisive game.

            The NHL Department of Hockey Operations also announced that referees Dan O’Halloran and Eric Furlatt, who were on the ice for the call, have been removed, and will not officiate for the remainder of the playoffs.

            they don’t remove refs from the playoffs for a “mistake”….no, they remove them for actual and perceived bias, like they did right here.

            but SJ fanboys will never admit the truth that is staring them right in the face by the league’s actions

          • Jon

            The NHL apologizing is something that happens fairly frequently when bad calls that have an impact go against teams. I’m not arguing that it wasn’t a bad call.

            “It was above his shoulders,” Sharks coach Peter DeBoer also said. “I’m sure we’ll get an explanation and some type of apology. It doesn’t help us in the standings, but that’s usually how it works.”


            As for them getting removed from the rest of the playoffs, that’s because they made a bad call that played a role in the outcome of a series. I suspect that if the league thought it was actual bias, they’d have done more than just remove them for the rest of the postseason. I’m willing to admit that I have a bias towards SJ, but saying that it is obvious the officials were showing bias towards the Sharks is a bit much. If a player is unconscious on the ice with a pool of blood with ~10 minutes left in a game and his team is down by 3 I would be shocked if the officials didn’t try to reel in the game, regardless of what team it is. 99% of the time, even if a major is awarded, the end result is still a loss for the team that got the power play.

            With respect to the call in the Blues game, I posted an article in my other post where a former NHL ref broke down the play and showed that it was a result of bad positioning from the officials making it so they couldn’t see the hand pass. Since they weren’t allowed to look at replays they couldn’t make the call after the fact, but that also wasn’t a sign of bias.

  2. MC

    Has anyone ever explained how that hit and fall to the ice caused so much bleeding?

    Did Pavelski’s helmet fracture when it hit the ice and cut him? I never actually heard an explanation as to how a blunt-force hit caused that.

    • Dwayne

      Huh, good question. Either his helmet cut him or he had a razor blade up his sleeve and cut himself WWE style.

      • John Jacob Jingle

        Or he got cross checked in the chest, ran in-to, and took the blow of the fall to the back of his head. Who knows, though.

  3. James Buck

    I think the Statsny hit caused more damage than the Eakin cross check. Either way the penalty killing was horrible for the knights and ended up losing them the series


    Welcome to the NHL. Its a fast game and probably the hardest to call as a referee. Get used to heartbreak in nhl.

    • Justin T

      True statement. Legitimate Cup contenders have their season ended because of the nature of calling such a fast game. That’s life as a hockey fan

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