Colten Teubert

Rookie game fight leaves Oilers prospect Colten Teubert on sidelines at start of camp

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When the Oilers traded Dustin Penner to Los Angeles last year they were able to get top defensive prospect Colten Teubert from the Kings as part of their bounty. Teubert was the Kings first round pick, 13th overall, back in 2008, the same year they drafted Drew Doughty second overall. Now with Teubert part of the Oilers system, he’ll have a chance to bring his big body and physical presence to Edmonton.

He’ll be able to better do that if he can avoid getting his head taken off in poorly chosen fights during rookie camp.

During the Oilers rookie camp in Penticton, British Columbia, the Oilers kids were taking on the Vancouver Canucks prospects when Teubert and Canucks defenseman Adam Polasek decided to put on the foil. Polasek was a fifth round pick of Vancouver in the 2010 draft and while the kids want to impress, Polasek was able to show Teubert that he’s not the only kid that can throw a big punch as he knocked Tuebert out with a crushing right hand.

Polasek’s punch broke Teubert’s nose and gave him a concussion, the latter injury of which is keeping him off the ice at the start of Oilers training camp and something that leaves him frothing at the mouth to get back on the ice quickly as Joanne Ireland of The Edmonton Journal finds out.

The good news is that Teubert, acquired from the Los Angeles Kings in exchange for Dustin Penner last season, said he felt real good on Saturday, so good that he felt like he was ready to go.

“It’s definitely frustrating to watch, but we’re just trying to be smart with it,” he said. “We’re trying to take the safe road and think about the future, too.

“I just have to be patient.”

Patience is tough to have when you’re a highly touted 21 year-old kid and hoping to break through into the NHL. It’s even more frustrating when other defensemen drafted in the same year have already broken out and gotten their chance to prove themselves in the NHL.

The 2008 draft could prove to be the one where defenses were built. Doughty, Luke Schenn, Alex Pietrangelo, Zach Bogosian, Tyler Myers, Erik Karlsson, and John Carlson are all big time stars and starters that came out of that draft just three years ago. Add in guys like Michael Del Zotto and Luca Sbisa to the mix and that’s a ton of talent that’s already shown themselves off in the NHL. Teubert wants to be the next one to make his mark on the league and being with the Oilers gives him the chance to make a big impression at camp and potentially win a job in Edmonton.

It’s tough to make that impression when you’re sidelined with a concussion though and earning it in a foolish rookie camp squabble makes it all the more frustrating for him. He’s still young and he plays the sort of physical game where fights are going to happen, but saving that kind of feisty play for a preseason game or even the regular season in the AHL or NHL would be more beneficial for him. Then again, making sure you don’t take a straight right to the middle of your face would help too.

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.

Kris Letang may face suspension for hit on Marcus Johansson

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Update: Reports indicate that the NHL’s Department of Player Safety is indeed looking into the hit.

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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.

Update: The Penguins won the game 3-2.

Read reactions to the check here.