Despite Perreault turning up ice, Armstrong certainly came at him from a straight-ahead direction. You can see video of the hit here.
That does not change the fact, however, that Armstrong’s hit was dangerous and highly illegal. This is not a case of Perreault skating with his head down and then getting rocked, but of Armstrong needlessly leading with his hand and forearm for what should have been a big open-ice hit.
Perreault attempted to dodge the hit at the very last instant, which contributed to the hit looking pretty bad. That doesn’t change the fact that Armstrong’s hit was illegal and he should face supplemental discipline for the hit.
Look, I don’t consider myself a go-to source regarding judgment on these hits. All I can say is that it – along with the hits by Matt Cooke and Mike Richards – seemed unnecessary. It’s an irresponsible hit regardless of whether or not it is worthy of a suspension.
If the league has to be ruthless with punishments to get players to stop being foolish, then so be it.
(Also, playing it then would hopefully increase the odds of the mainstream sporting public seeingConnor McDavid in an outdoor game.)
Toronto’s turn: Friedman reports that the Toronto Maple Leafs are likely to host the Detroit Red Wings in the 2017 Winter Classic (or at least an outdoor game), almost certainly on New Year’s Day 2017.
The two teams combined for a great Winter Classic at Ann Arbor in 2014, so that could be a fun time.
Keep in mind these are reports (and well-placed ones at that) rather than official announcements for the NHL. These things could always change.
For two periods, the Dallas Stars seemed to say, “Are you sure the Washington Capitals are the best team in the NHL?”
They chased Braden Holtby and built a 4-0 lead through those first 40 minutes, and that was enough … but barely. The Stars beat the Capitals 4-3 on Saturday, which accomplished the following:
Dallas ended Washington’s winning streak at five games. The Stars have now won three straight.
This win slides the Stars ahead of the Chicago Blackhawks for first place in the highly competitive Central Division. While both teams sit at 77 standings points, Dallas holds three games in hand.
By passing Chicago, the Stars now lead the Western Conference as a whole.
Impressive stuff. Some might even call it a statement game, although others may hold that nail-biting ending against them (possibly arguing that the Stars’ flaws may come back to haunt them in the playoffs).
Dallas’ biggest concern likely has little to do with doubters. Instead, they must monitor the statuses of forwards Tyler Seguin and Cody Eakin.