[UPDATE: Reaves has been suspended two games.]
The only time the Vegas Golden Knights were noticeable in their no-show Game 1 blowout 7-1 loss to the Colorado Avalanche on Sunday night was when they tried to resort to some message sending late in the game.
It resulted in Ryan Reaves getting a match penalty for intent to injure, and ignited a line brawl that gave Colorado a whopping nine-minute power play to close out the game.
You can see the entire sequence in the video above.
The story here is Reaves.
With 10 minutes to play he helped kick off a brawl around the Colorado net when he cross-checked Avalanche goalie Philipp Grubauer in the head. He then punched Avalanche defenseman Ryan Graves in the back of the head, before tackling him to the ice. As Graves was on the ice, Reaves could be seen kneeling on Graves’ head and holding him down on more than one occasion.
Graves was injured as a result of the sequence.
The match penalty for intent to injure means he is automatically suspended pending a league review. It remains to be seen if that suspension will be upheld or added to, or if it will be rescinded. Reaves has been walking a fine line this postseason, and escaped punishment in Game 7 against the Minnesota Wild for an ugly hit from behind that sent Ryan Suter face first into the goal post.
Instead of a suspension they should have to play him 20 minutes a night for the rest of the series 😂
— Evander Kane (@evanderkane_9) May 31, 2021
[NBC 2021 STANLEY CUP PLAYOFF HUB]
As for Sunday’s events, it had been building all night long, not only with the Avalanche routing the Golden Knights on the scoreboard, but for the physical play that started to escalate throughout the game.
Earlier in the game Graves was given a minor penalty for interference when he caught Vegas’ Mattias Janmark with a high hit that the Golden Knights did not like. It is a hit that could be absolute result in supplemental discipline.
Vegas’ Max Pacioretty also had a high hit on Colorado’s Sam Girard that could also get a look from the league.
AVALANCHE VS. GOLDEN KNIGHTS (COL leads 1-0) – series livestream link
Game 1: Avalanche 7, Golden Knights 1
Game 2: Wed. June 2: Golden Knights at Avalanche, 10 p.m. ET (NBCSN)
Game 3: Fri. June 4: Avalanche at Golden Knights, 10 p.m. ET (NBCSN)
Game 4: Sun. June 6: Avalanche at Golden Knights, 8:30 p.m. ET (NBCSN)
*Game 5: Tues. June 8: Golden Knights at Avalanche TBD
*Game 6: Thurs. June 10: Avalanche at Golden Knights TBD
*Game 7: Sat. June 12: Golden Knights at Avalanche TBD
Adam Gretz is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter @AGretz.