Ryan Getzlaf, Bobby Ryan, Teemu Selanne

Wednesday’s controversial hit: Ryan Getzlaf dings up Dan Hamhuis

No doubt about it, the Anaheim Ducks were glad to have their big and talented captain Ryan Getzlaf back last night.

But for the rest of the NHL, the Ducks welcomed back yet another power forward with a considerable mean streak, making them a very difficult team to play against. That point became clear after Getzlaf laid out Vancouver Canucks defenseman Dan Hamhuis behind Vancouver’s net last night. (Video is not yet available of the hit, but you can find it on Youtube among other places.)

Here’s a quick explanation of the hit: Getzlaf hit Hamhuis at an awkward moment, after the Canucks defenseman released the puck and turned his back. It seemed like Getzlaf tried to deliver a shoulder-to-shoulder check, but Hamhuis hit his head against the glass.

Hamhuis laid on the ice for several minutes and needed his teammates to help him off the ice, but coach Alain Vigneault indicated that he seemed fine “other than a large red mark on his face.”

Let’s hope that Hamhuis ends up being OK, because the Canucks are in a tough spot with defensemen dropping like flies.

Keith Ballard is out three to four weeks with a sprained MCL in his right knee after being taken down from behind early in Monday’s game against Ottawa.

Vancouver is already missing top defenseman Alex Edler, who had back surgery last week and rookie Lee Sweatt broke his foot in practice Saturday.

“I didn’t really see the hit but it was scary to see him on the ice,” Vancouver goaltender Cory Schneider said. “(Hamhuis) has been a big part of our core since we starting losing guys and logging big minutes. Hopefully it’s nothing too serious.”

Veteran Sami Salo was on his way back Wednesday from a three-game conditioning stint in the American Hockey League after missing the entire season with a torn Achilles’ tendon. Vigneault spoke with Salo before Wednesday’s game and said Salo will practice on Friday with the plan that the veteran will return Saturday against Calgary.

It doesn’t sound like Getzlaf will receive any discipline from the league, especially if Hamhuis isn’t injured as it currently seems. Yet the question is: should he be suspended or fined? Let us know how you feel in the comments.

PHT Morning Skate: Adam Henrique wants to make NHL 17 great again

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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.

Martin Jones is a calming presence in the Sharks’ net. (Sports Illustrated)

–The Rangers should go after Blues defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk. (The Hockey News)

–Some people have pretty wild hockey tattoos. (BarDown)

–Watch the highlights of last night’s game between the Penguins and Capitals. (Top)

–A great piece on how Bruce Boudreau impacted the Ducks and Capitals. (Sportsnet)

–It should be an interesting off-season for the Anaheim Ducks. (Daily Breeze)

Adam Henrique is a funny guy. He took to Twitter to try and get himself on the cover of NHL 17:

Capitals accuse Letang of leaving his feet, hitting Johansson in head

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Get this: the Washington Capitals and Pittsburgh Penguins seem divided on the legality of Kris Letang‘s hit on Marcus Johansson.

(Take a moment to gather your thoughts amid this shocking revelation.)

You can watch the hit over and over in the video above. This post features some takes on that check, which the NHL’s Department of Player Safety is reportedly reviewing.

Generally speaking, the three things people discuss regarding the check is how late it might be, if Letang used his feet and if Johansson’s head was the principal point of contact.

Letang told his side of the story:

The Capitals disagree:

While Barry Trotz pleads the Fifth after his previous comments about Brooks Orpik‘s suspension:

No doubt about it, Letang’s status is the top story to follow in this series between Games 3 and 4. We’ll find out soon enough how it all shakes out.

Penguins ride Murray’s masterpiece to 2-1 series lead vs. Capitals

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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.

Yes, NHL is reportedly looking at Letang’s hit on Johansson

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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.