For much of the off-season, it seemed like the Boston Bruins would pull a “Wade Redden/Cristobal Huet” and sneak Michael Ryder’s approximate $4 million cap hit under the radar. Yet with Marc Savard’s issues with post-concussion syndrome becoming very public, it seems like the cap “solution” might be to put the talented-but-injury-ravaged pivot on the long term injured reserve (or LTIR).
Bruins blog Stanley Cup of Chowder provides some quotes from a conference all with GM Peter Chiarelli, who admitted the possibility of putting Savard on the LTIR.
“That could happen. It is a little early to tell, but based on what he is going through: the post-concussion syndromes, the time he has been experiencing [post-concussion symptoms], the time he hasn’t been doing anything, it’s tracking that way.” [Chiarelli said.]
Beyond the salary cap implications, the next big question involves how, exactly, the Bruins will replace their No. 1 center (or whom will step in the open spot as Patrice Bergeron and David Krejci move up a level).
“That spot is open and we’re going to have a look at Wheels (Blake Wheeler) in that spot. We’re going have a look at Zach [Hamill] in that spot. Some other different combinations. You may see Tyler [Seguin] go back to that spot. There’s a hole there. Even [Ryan] Spooner. He is making a case. He is young and in his first pro camp, but each day, each game he is getting better and he is such a smart player. He might be able to fill in.”
“I’m looking internally right now. We have a real promising and good supply of players right now…I’m not looking externally right now and I don’t anticipate it, but that may change.”
Placing Savard on the IR would leave the Bruins with a little under $1 million in cap space with 21 roster spots filled, according to Cap Geek.com. You could do worse than Bergeron, Krecji with Wheeler and/or Seguin at center, but there’s little doubt that Boston would be improved with a healthy Savard in the mix.
Sadly, a healthy Savard might be a pipe dream at this point.
If Marc-Andre Fleury suiting up bothers Matt Murray, then the rookie goalie channeled those feelings into a masterful performance on Monday.
The Washington Capitals absolutely dominated Game 3, but Murray was even better, stopping 47 shots as the Penguins stole one 3-2 to take a 2-1 series lead.
(Capitals fans might see some parallels to Washington’s Game 5 loss to the Philadelphia Flyers; they fell 2-0 despite a 44-11 shots on goal edge thanks to Michal Neuvirth‘s heroics.)
Murray stopped chance after chance before Alex Ovechkin finally broke through for his first goal of this series. Justin Williams then brought the Penguins’ lead down to 3-2 to make for a hold-your-breath final minute.
A driven Ovechkin and strong overall play from the Capitals (despite this defeat) aren’t the only reasons why Game 4 might present some twists.
First things first: Kris Letang might get suspended for Game 4 (if not for more than one game) thanks to this controversial check on Marcus Johansson.
Beyond that, there could be some bumps and bruises from this contest.
Bryan Rust left during the first period and didn’t return to the game after blocking a shot. Brian Dumoulin seemed shaken up after an Alex Ovechkin hit in the third period. The Capitals might have a player or two to look at, as well.
In other words, the Penguins could really lack for quality defensemen with Letang possibly suspended and possible injury absences for Dumoulin and Olli Maatta.
This series is living up to the hype … and really building up the hate.
It remains to be seen if Kris Letang will get suspended for his hit on Marcus Johansson … and if he does, for how long.
(You can read initial reactions and some analysis about the specifics of the check vs. the one that got Brooks Orpik suspended here.)
There are a few things we do know already.
For one thing, the NHL’s Department of Player Safety is reportedly looking into it.
Another factor that could help Letang avoid a suspension or limit the duration of supplemental discipline: Marcus Johansson returned during the second period.
In fact, Johansson delivered some hits on Letang.
There have been some nasty moments in Game 3, and more might be coming. The Penguins lead 2-0 with a few minutes remaining in the middle frame.
Update: Reports indicate that the NHL’s Department of Player Safety is indeed looking into the hit.
As thrilling as this Pittsburgh Penguins – Washington Capitals series has been, it seems like every game presents another controversial hit.
Game 3’s most noteworthy entry (so far?) came when Kris Letang was whistled for interference on Marcus Johansson.
Penguins fans griped that Brooks Orpik didn’t get a major penalty for his hit on Olli Maatta … now Capitals fans likely feel the same about the check Letang delivered.
Watch it in the video above. Also, Stefanie “My Regular Face” has it in GIF form:
Things could get ugly in Game 3:
One factor in a suspension happening – or at least the duration of the suspension – would be what the point of contact was:
Also, lateness of the check:
The Penguins ended the first period up 2-0 against the Capitals, even though Washington played one of its best 20 minutes of the series. Expect more drama.
The Brooks Orpik hit on Olli Maatta isn’t the only factor in lineup changes for Game 3 between the Washington Capitals and Pittsburgh Penguins.
Maybe the most interesting change starts on the Penguins’ bench … where they likely hope that tweak will stay for at least one night.
Marc-Andre Fleury is apparently healthy enough to suit up for the Penguins, although it appears as though Matt Murray will start:
That’s a clear sign that “The Flower” is healthy enough to play, as Murray would be an injury or a coach’s pull away from giving up the net to Fleury. (One would assume.)
Murray has been fantastic for the most part since taking over for Jeff Zatkoff during this postseason, yet you know how the playoffs can be; people may clamor for Fleury after a loss even if it’s not really Murray’s fault.
Circling back to that Orpik hit, the dominoes seem to fall this way:
Penguins: Derrick Pouliot replaces injured Maatta.
Capitals: Dmitry Orlov in for suspended Orpik.
PHT will make note if there are any swerves.