James Wisniewski regrets making obscene gesture toward Sean Avery, ‘hurting’ his team

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Honestly, I thought the NHL went overboard in handing New York Islanders defenseman James Wisniewski a two game suspension for making the international gesture for fellatio toward Sean Avery. Sure, it was childish and embarrassing, but isn’t that how you’d describe just about every post-whistle scuffle and bit of trash talking? He simply translated that nonsense into a hand gesture.

Sure, it’s not as ridiculous as giving Sean Avery (Wisniewski’s “victim” besides THE CHILDREN) a six game suspension for using high school gossip lingo to talk about his ex-girlfriend, but handing out the same punishment for a hand motion as the league does for a dangerous hit sends a strange message. It actually reminds me of the general theme of the documentary “This Film was not yet rated”; NHL executives give violence a ton of rope but cringe at the slightest hint of sex.

(Then again, while violence is inherent to the sport, sex isn’t really a part of hockey. At least, I hope not.)

Regardless of my feelings on the subject, Wisniewski expressed the fact that he regrets what he did to Chris Botta of NHL Fanhouse.

Back in the lineup after watching his team in a loss in Washington and overtime loss in Pittsburgh, Wisniewski did not want to leave it unclear just who was wrong on Monday.

“You can’t do stuff like that,” said Wisniewski, who had a goal and two assists in his first two games of the season. “You have to keep your emotions cool. You have to keep your emotions in check. People are watching. You have to be professional. You have to be responsible for your actions.”

Considering Wisniewski’s troubles the last couple seasons – he was also suspended eight games for a regrettable charge on Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Brent Seabrook last season – so maybe this bit of shame will inspire him to clean up his act. The Islanders are actually off to a good start, as they’re currently tied with the Pittsburgh Penguins at six points (and they’ve played in one less game, too). Having a focused Wisniewski could be a great asset for the Islanders, who are considerably banged up already this season.

Erik Karlsson played through hairline fractures in foot to help Sens advance

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Remember when many were keeping an eye on Erik Karlsson after he was seemingly cramping up after logging more than 40 minutes in an OT contest against the Boston Bruins.

It’s possible he was also dealing with that sort of ailment, but he earned some “hockey tough” kudos on Sunday after word surfaced that the Ottawa Senators defenseman was dealing with hairline fractures in his left heel through the series.

Sportsnet’s Jason York refers to the issue as “two small fractures” while ESPN’s Joe McDonald went into specifics, noting that Karlsson explains that the injury happened on March 28 (and was why he missed some games late in the season).

There’s some optimism as the Senators ready for the New York Rangers, at least according to Karlsson.

Hmm.

Either way, that’s impressive stuff from the Senators defenseman, and the sort of information that usually only surfaces after a team has been eliminated. We’ll see if he’s hindered by such issues as the playoffs go along.

Gaudreau, Granlund and Tarasenko: 2017 Lady Byng finalists

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The NHL officially announced the nominees for the 2017 Lady Byng on Sunday, and they’re a star-studded bunch: Johnny Gaudreau, Mikael Granlund and Vladimir Tarasenko.

The PHWA determines “the player adjudged to have exhibited the best type of sportsmanship and gentlemanly conduct combined with a high standard of playing ability.”

(Did Tarasenko help eliminate Granlund’s team in a gentlemanly fashion?)

For more on the three finalists, click here.

MacArthur, Senators end Bruins’ season in OT after controversial calls

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It’s a feel-good story, especially if you can look beyond questions of officiating.

Clarke MacArthur could have very well never played another NHL game considering his lengthy battles with concussion symptoms. Instead, he drew a penalty on the Boston Bruins in overtime of Game 6 and then managed to score the series-clinching goal.

Now, this isn’t to say that MacArthur didn’t rightfully draw a penalty; it most clearly was. And, in the bigger picture, it’s one of those stories that almost makes you wonder if real-life sports actually do follow Hollywood scripts.

People just wonder about some other decisions during that overtime, in particular, making it frustrating for some Bruins fans to see the season end in such a way.

Whether they like it or not, that is the case, though.

The Senators took Game 6 by a score of 3-2 (OT), winning their series 4-2. They can breathe a sigh of relief in avoiding a Game 7, an especially valuable bonus since Erik Karlsson had been pushed hard lately, logging more than 40 minutes in a recent game.

Ottawa avoids a do-or-die contest. Instead, they’ll face the New York Rangers in the next round while the Bruins enter the summer following an up-and-down campaign.

Bergeron takes advantage of slow Sens change, sends Game 6 to OT (Video)

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Every game in this Senators – Bruins series has been decided by one goal, so why not send Game 6 to overtime?

Oh, and speaking of overtime, this contest going beyond regulation makes it 17 OT games, tying an NHL record for the most in a single round.

Ottawa appeared to take a “lazy change” with a 2-1 lead, and Patrice Bergeron made the Senators pay, putting in a rebound to collect the goal that eventually sent this contest to overtime.