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NHL suspends Jody Shelley two games for check from behind on Adam McQuaid

As we mentioned during the weekend, the NHL held a disciplinary meeting with Philadelphia Flyers tough guy Jody Shelley today regarding his hit from behind on Boston Bruins defenseman Adam McQuaid.

The league made a pretty reasonable decision, handing the Flyers enforcer a two-game suspension for the hit. You can view video of the suspension-worthy boarding check at the bottom of this post.

Shelley received a five-minute major and game misconduct for the hit during the game itself. He will give up $11,827.96 in salary, which will go to the Players’ Emergency Assistance Fund, according to the league. The two games Shelley will miss via suspension are Tuesday’s game versus the Pittsburgh Penguins and Wednesday’s match against the Montreal Canadiens.

He will be eligible to return during Saturday’s game against the New York Rangers, if the team decides to dress the limited fighter.

To his credit, Shelley apologized for the hit. To just about everyone’s relief, it also sounds like McQuaid might be OK (he at least is saying it isn’t a head injury).

Shelley apologized to McQuaid at the time of the incident and in the hallway outside the dressing rooms. The 24-year-old defenseman did return to the ice in the third period.

“You know, he was saying to me, I could hear him on the ice saying that he didn’t mean to, so I guess, I’m not sure if maybe I don’t know if he hit a rut or what happened, but he was saying he didn’t mean to,” McQuaid said. “When I was coming off the ice, (Shelley) was waiting for me there. He said he was sorry and he didn’t mean to, so I just kind of got to take what he says.”

McQuaid said he was a little sore and stiff, but reiterated to reporters after the game that it was not a head injury.

“They did a few tests and I got checked out and everything,” he said.

It seems like the NHL made the right call compared to previous rulings, but what do you think? Is the punishment too light, too severe or just right? Let us know in the comments.

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PHT Morning Skate: Sharks name stray cat after captain Joe Pavelski

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PHT’s Morning Skate takes a look around the world of hockey to see what’s happening and what we’ll be talking about around the NHL world and beyond.

–The stray cat that ran onto the ice prior to Game 1 between the Sharks and Preds has been named after Joe Pavelski. (Associated Press)

–Speaking of that black cat, here’s a mountain of pucks shaped like the cat. (The Score)

–When Lukas Head was younger, he played with Steven Stamkos and P.K. Subban. Here’s his story. (Toronto Star)

–Watch the highlights from yesterday’s game between the Stars and Blues. (Top)

–A look behind the scenes of the NHL draft lottery. (Canadian Press)

–Two-time Olympic gold medalist Sharon Szabados loves curing and the Oilers and she was forced to make a tough choice on Saturday. (Sportsnet)

Pascal Dupuis, who was named one of the Masterton Trophy finalists, is adjusting to retirement. (NHL.com)

Pavelski’s late goal helps Sharks grab 2-0 series lead over Preds

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The San Jose Sharks became the only team in the second round to jump out to a 2-0 lead in their series. The Sharks did it by beating the Predators 3-2 in Game 2 on Sunday night.

San Jose opened the scoring in the second period when Logan Couture buried a rebound by Preds goalie Pekka Rinne. Brent Burns took the initial shot from the point and extended his playoff point streak to four games.

The Predators finally got on the board at the 12:56 mark of the third period when Mattias Ekholm tied the game at one.

Here’s the goal:

Nashville’s good fortune didn’t last very long. Sharks captain Joe Pavelski gave San Jose a 2-1 lead less than five minutes later.

Pavelski also picked up two assists in the game. The 31-year-old has at least one point in six of his seven postseason games in 2016.

Joe Thornton then added an empty-netter in the final minute of play before Ryan Johansen scored with four seconds remaining.

Despite the loss, Preds head coach Peter Laviolette wasn’t too disappointed by the way his team played.

The Predators outshot the Sharks (39-25), they outhit San Jose (46-26), but they just couldn’t outscore them.

Like the old saying goes: “you’re not in trouble until you lose a game on home ice.” The Preds still haven’t done that, which means they’re not done yet.

The series now shifts to Nashville for Game 3, which will be played on Tuesday night.

Video: Marc-Edouard Vlasic saved by his visor after taking Shea Weber shot to the face

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It’s a scary night for players getting hit in the head with pucks.

After Brian Elliott was hit in the head by a Jason Spezza slapshot, it was Marc-Edouard Vlasic‘s turn to narrowly avoid disaster.

In the third period of Sunday’s game against the Predators, Vlasic took a puck to the face. The end result could have been catastrophic had Vlasic not had a visor.

You can see the incident by clicking the video at the top of the page.

It’s nice to see that Vlasic was in a joking mood after the game:

Hockey Twitter breathed a collective sigh of relief after Vlasic got back up:

It sounds like Olli Maatta won’t be ready for Game 3

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You’ve all seen it by now (if you haven’t, click the video at the top of page). Penguins defenseman Olli Maatta was forced to leave Game 2 against the Capitals after taking a late hit from Brooks Orpik. Not only was the hit late, but Orpik also caught Maatta in the head.

After the Penguins’ optional skate on Sunday, Penguins head coach Mike Sullivan wasn’t optimistic about Maatta’s chances of playing in Game 3 on Monday night.

“Olli’s being evaluated as we speak, so I don’t have any real update as far as his status is concerned,” Sullivan said, per the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. “He’s being evaluated today, we’ll probably have more information in the morning.

“I don’t have a lot of sense of his availability. I’m probably not optimistic, though.”

After the game, Capitals coach Barry Trotz stood up for his defenseman.

“We’ll let the league handle it,” Trotz said, per CSN Mid-Atlantic. “If you know anything about Brooks, he plays hard, he plays clean. He’s not a dirty player.”

And the league certainly did handle it, as they suspended Orpik for three games.

Related:

Penguins coach takes issue with late, high Orpik hit on Maatta