The good news for the Pittsburgh Penguins is that Alexei Ponikarovsky will be available for the beginning of the playoffs. The bad news is that the Ukrainian winger has been suspended for two games because of his hit on New York Islanders forward Josh Bailey. NHL.com has the news.
Pittsburgh Penguins forward Alexei Ponikarovsky has been suspended for the final two games of the regular season for a hit from behind Thursday against the New York Islanders.
Early in the third period, Islander center Josh Bailey turned to play a puck in the Pittsburgh end. Ponikarovsky came directly from behind on Bailey and cross-checked him into the boards.
… Under the terms of the Collective Bargaining Agreement, and based on his average annual salary, Ponikarovsky will forfeit $21,813.48. The money goes to the Players’ Emergency Assistance Fund.
Ponikarovsky will miss Saturday’s game at Atlanta and Sunday’s game at the Islanders.
The suspension seems about right. I discussed the hit and its possible repercussions earlier today, if you’re interested in such things. How do you feel about the league’s decision? Did the punishment fit the crime?