The Philadelphia Flyers feature an interesting mix of tough guys and talented players, so perhaps it makes sense than undersized forward Danny Briere keeps getting in the biggest trouble so far this season.
Earlier in 2010-11, Briere received a three-game suspension for a cross-check on New York Islanders forward Frans Nielsen. The small scorer received another bit of discipline from the league today, as the NHL handed him a $1,000 fine for his involvement in an odd incident yesterday (according to the Philadelphia Sports Daily).
Despite being on the team’s bench, Briere and Scott Hartnell took swings at New York Rangers forward Brandon Prust after he nailed Kimmo Timonen with a slightly late hit in the waning moments of the Flyers’ 3-2 win on Sunday.
Briere said that he threw punches from the bench because getting on the ice would have resulted in an “I-don’t-know-how-many-games suspension.”
“There was a few guys yelling at him, but what are we gonna do?” Briere said. “We can’t jump on the ice because it’s an I-don’t-know-how-many-games suspension, and there’s not much we can do at that point other than hoping Kimmo would get up and be fine.”
Video evidence appears to show otherwise.
“Certainly he was trying to hit Kimmo as hard as he could, and our guys didn’t like that,” Ville Leino said. “They gave a little bit back, but I think it’s just part of a tough hockey game.”
It’s another example of the fine and suspension oddness of the NHL. Apparently Hartnell got off without any discipline because his punch was less accurate than Briere’s punch (or something). Was the fine appropriate, should he have received a suspension or nothing at all? Let us know in the comments.
Last night in Los Angeles, Kings forward Milan Lucic received a match penalty after skating the entire width of the ice to give San Jose’s Logan Couture a two-hand shove to the face.
Lucic didn’t hurt Couture, who had caught Lucic with an open-ice hit that Lucic didn’t like. Couture’s smiling, mocking face was good evidence that the Sharks’ forward was going to be OK.
This morning, Lucic was still in disbelief that he was penalized so harshly.
“I didn’t cross any line,” Lucic said, per Rich Hammond of the O.C. Register. “Believe me, if my intentions were to hurt him, I would have hurt him.”
While Lucic knew he deserved a penalty, he said after the game that he didn’t “know why it was called a match penalty.” His coach, Darryl Sutter, agreed, calling it “a borderline even roughing penalty.”
And though former NHL referee Kerry Fraser believes a match penalty was indeed warranted, Lucic said this morning that he hasn’t heard from the NHL about any possible supplemental discipline.
Nor for that matter has Dustin Brown, after his high hit on Couture in the first period.
In conclusion, it’s good to have hockey back.
Related: Sutter says Kings weren’t ‘interested’ in checking the Sharks
A statement from Raffi Torres:
“I accept the 41-game suspension handed down to me by the NHL’s Department of Player Safety. I worked extremely hard over the last two years following reconstructive knee surgery to resume my NHL career, and this is the last thing I wanted to happen. I am disappointed I have put myself in a position to be suspended again. I sincerely apologize to Jakob for the hit that led to this suspension, and I’m extremely thankful that he wasn’t seriously injured as a result of the play. I also want to apologize to my Sharks teammates and the organization.”
A statement from San Jose GM Doug Wilson:
“The Sharks organization fully supports the NHL’s supplementary discipline decision regarding Raffi. While we do not believe there was any malicious intent, this type of hit is unacceptable and has no place in our game. There is a difference between playing hard and crossing the line and there is no doubt, in this instance, Raffi crossed that line. We’re very thankful that Jakob was not seriously injured as a result of this play.”
Silfverberg says he expects to play Saturday when the Ducks open their regular season Saturday in San Jose.