Ovechkin hearing in progress; suspension likely?


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A decision on whether Alex Ovechkin is suspended because of
yesterday’s hit will come down within hours, as Alex Ovechkin is
currently in a hearing with Colin Campbell, the NHL’s dean of

Whether he deserves a suspension is the subject of
intense debate right now, as it seems the mitigating factor has to do
with Brian Campbell’s potentially season-ending injury. It seems that
the NHL had originally decided not to suspend Ovechkin but has possibly
changed it’s mind after the news of Campbell’s injury came out this
morning. That the severity of the injury should affect the punishment is
one I cannot agree with, but it’s certainly a factor in Colin
Campbell’s decision-making.

Here are some of the highlights of the Twitter debate waging as
we speak, from some of the best hockey writers around, after the jump.

TSN’s Bob McKenzie: 

I will be
surprised if Ovechkin is not suspended for a couple of games. Campbell’s
injury is the big factor now.

As for whether
injury should be a factor, debate it all day, but it is a primary
consideration. In life, as well as the NHL.

Pick your example:
DUI, lose ur license. Injure somone while DUI, maybe jail. Bar fight?
Simple assault. Injure someone badly. All bets off.

Greg Wyshynski:

Suspending b/c of

We’re really bringing “real world”
criminal examples into a sport that features simple assaults every
night, Bob?

Elliote Friedman: ough day for NHL
— Savard injury is more serious than Campbell’s, but league can’t say
there’s nothing in rules about hitting from behind.

Doesn’t help that
this involves Pittsburgh (Cooke) and Washington. Two teams are very
sensitive about how each other is treated.

Damien Cox:

NHL had no plans
to suspend Ovechkin on Sunday. If they’ve changed their minds now, Caps
should appeal.

Blackhawks are
obviously squawking to the league over Campbell injury. They may get
their way. Some teams have more pull, I guess.

This is the new
NHL “code.” No matter what, scream for the other guy to get suspended.
It just might happen.

I feel for Colie
Campbell. It’s an impossible job. But without a set of parameters, it
looks like making it up as they go along.

Niemi blanks Pens, notches two assists in Stars debut

Antti Niemi, Sidney Crosby, Patric Hornqvist

DALLAS (AP) — Antti Niemi recorded his 33rd career shutout and assisted on two goals in his Dallas debut, as the Stars beat the Pittsburgh Penguins 3-0 on Thursday night in the season opener for both.

Ales Hemsky had a power-play goal and an assist.

Rookie Matthias Janmark scored on his first shot on his first shift in an NHL game to make it 1-0. The Stars acquired Niemi and Janmark in trades earlier this year.

Dallas scored on two of five power plays. Jamie Benn, the NHL’s leading scorer last season, had a power-play goal in the third period.

Niemi made 37 saves to improve his career record against the Penguins to 5-1-1. He withstood a flurry in the final minute after Pittsburgh pulled goalie Marc-Andre Fleury for an extra skater.

Fleury had 21 saves.

The Stars are 4-0-1 in their last five home games against Pittsburgh, and have won three in a row overall.

Janmark skated down the slot, took a pass from Hemsky and shot between Fleury’s legs at 1:39 of the first.

The Penguins dominated the latter half of the period, but couldn’t score. Niemi’s best stop was a reaching glove save of Rod Scuderi’s drive from the blue line with less than 3 minutes remaining. Pittsburgh outshot the Stars 10-4 in the first.

Hemsky scored at 5:42 of the second on Dallas’ first power play. His shot from the top of the right faceoff circle went in over Fleury’s right shoulder.

The Penguins again had an advantage in shots, 13-11. Pittsburgh had chances in close, but Niemi turned those away. Midway through the second, John Klingberg cleared away a loose puck from in front of the net.

Seven seconds into the Stars’ fourth power play of the third period, Jamie Benn tipped in Jason Spezza‘s shot from the right point.

NOTES: Dallas acquired Janmark as part of a March trade that sent Erik Cole to Detroit. The rookie had been playing in the Swedish Hockey League. . San Jose traded Niemi’s rights to the Stars in June for a seventh-round draft pick. Also making their Dallas debuts were LW Patrick Sharp and D Johnny Oduya, teammates with Chicago’s Stanley Cup champions last season. . In his first game for the Penguins, Phil Kessel played in his 447th straight game. . Pittsburgh was 0 for 3 on the power play.

Fabbri’s first spoils McDavid’s debut as Blues down Oilers

Robby Fabbri, Justin Schultz
1 Comment

ST. LOUIS (AP) — Rookie Robby Fabbri scored the tiebreaking goal midway through the third period to help the St. Louis Blues beat Edmonton 3-1 Thursday night, spoiling Oilers rookie Connor McDavid‘s NHL debut.

Vladimir Tarasenko had the tying goal for the Blues near the midpoint of the second period, and Troy Brouwer added an empty-netter with 18 seconds remaining in the third. Brian Elliott finished with 23 saves.

Ryan Nugent-Hopkins scored in the first period for Edmonton and Cam Talbot had 28 saves.

McDavid, the No. 1 overall pick in this year’s draft, took 22 shifts, played 18:07 and was on the ice for Brouwer’s goal. He had two shots on goal, and struggled on faceoffs – winning only three of 13.

Fabbri, a 19-year-old forward — and McDavid’s childhood friend — was also playing in his first NHL game. The Blues’ first-round pick in 2014 was one of three rookies in the St. Louis lineup, joining defensemen Colton Parayko and Joel Edmundson.

Nugent-Hopkins gave the Oilers a 1-0 lead late in the first period with a fluke power-play goal. He lost a face-off but when Blues defenseman Alex Pietrangelo tried to clear the puck it bounced off Alexander Steen and past Brian Elliott. Nugent-Hopkins was credited with the unassisted power-play goal with 2:38 remaining in the period.

Tarasenko tied it a 9:10 of the second after getting loose on a breakaway with a stretch pass from Alex Pietrangelo and beating Talbot through his legs.

Tarasenko, who signed an eight-year, $60 million extension in the offseason, was the last Blues player to score in his debut.

NOTES: McDavid and F Anton Slepyshev made their NHL debuts for the Oilers. … St. Louis Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina dropped the ceremonial first puck. … The attendance was announced as standing room-only 19,327.