It might take a season (or more) to tell if the NHL’s revamped disciplinary procedures actually deter dirty hits, but if nothing else, the league is being more vigilant in the preseason. Minnesota Wild forward Brad Staubitz is the latest player to receive a suspension while we await word regarding what will happen to Columbus Blue Jackets defenseman James Wisniewski, who was part of an incident in the same game.
The NHL suspended Staubitz for the remainder of the preseason as well as three regular season games for his hit from behind on Cody Bass on Sept. 23. The incident took place at the 4:24 mark of the third period of that game. Staubitz will lose $9,324.33 because of the games he will miss.
Staubitz already missed a Sept. 24 exhibition against the Pittsburgh Penguins as the league mulled over his punishment. He’ll sit out three other preseason games: Tuesday’s home game against St. Louis, another game against Columbus on Thursday and their final meaningless contest against Edmonton on Friday. Most importantly, he’ll miss the Wild’s season opener on Oct. 8 against (you guessed it) Columbus, an Oct. 10 match against the Islanders at Nassau Coliseum and an away game against Ottawa on Oct. 11.
Staubitz won’t be eligible to return to NHL action until the Wild host the Oilers on Oct. 13. Here’s head disciplinarian Brendan Shanahan’s explanation for the Staubitz suspension.
If you want to summarize the Capitals – Maple Leafs game in one sentence, you could do worse than:
“Washington is hot as Jonathan Bernier is cold.”
The Caps reeled off a 4-2 win against Toronto on Saturday, giving them five straight wins. They also jumped into first place in the Metropolitan Division today, as they keep climbing while the New York Rangers are experiencing some growing pains.
Again, James Reimer can’t get healthy and back in Toronto’s net too soon:
With this win, Washington is now 17-5-1, leading the Metro by one point with 35 standings points. They also hold a game in hand against the Rangers, and no other Metro team even has 30 right now.
Measuring stick stretch begins
Tonight’s game began a “prove-it” month-and-change for Washington.
This contest began a three-game road trip, and they’ll also play six of seven away from Washington.
It’s pretty rough through the start of 2016, really. The Capitals will only enjoy three home games through Jan. 9.
In other words, the Capitals seem like a convincing East contender, but look out if they remain hot through the next 5-6 weeks.
Yes, there’s a lot of drama surrounding the Pittsburgh Penguins, whether it’s founded on serious problems or merely speculation.
It’s easy to get swept up in all of that and ignore the fact that, hey, they still have Evgeni Malkin and Sidney Crosby. Those two can really heal wounds with their on-ice play, and in Saturday’s case, Malkin is taking over against the Edmonton Oilers.
His spin-o-rama goal above was a real jaw-dropper. He also scored Pittsburgh’s second tally:
These highlights feel like Malkin’s way of saying “It’s going to be just fine.”
Update: It wasn’t enough for a win, however, as the Oilers beat the Penguins 3-2 via a shootout.
Fighting is down more or less across the board in the NHL, but the Tampa Bay Lightning might be the franchise least interested in dropping the gloves.
Ryan Callahan vs. Kyle Okposo already has some name recognition to it, yet it gets some bonus points for being the Bolts’ first fighting major of 2015-16.
It … probably loses those bonus points in being run-of-the-mill.
Hey, be fair; the Lightning are clearly out of practice.
It must be a helpless feeling to sit idly by while your team continues to flail, but such emotions are what opposing GMs love to prey on.
Edmonton Oilers GM Peter Chiarelli hasn’t been around through much of the suffering for this hapless franchise, yet that doesn’t mean he’s immune to the calls for improvement. To his credit, he’s not buckling under that pressure.
You can see and hear his full comments below:
If you don’t feel like playing the video, the message is simple enough.
Chiarelli isn’t happy with Edmonton’s record – he hasn’t “seen progression” in ways that he was expecting, but again … he doesn’t want to force moves.
Long story short, he can “sleep at night,” even if he’s disappointed.
Is he right to take a relaxed approach, though? Maybe it’s time to blow up a part of what isn’t working? Have some fun armchair GM’ing on this one.