New York Rangers v Philadelphia Flyers

Happy birthday, Tom Sestito: Flyers winger gets waived, four-game suspension

Normally, Sept. 28 must be a joyous day for Philadelphia Flyers winger Tom Sestito. Barring religious limitations, it’s likely that this day has been full of cake and presents and good old-fashioned fun during his first 23 birthdays.

His 24th might not be quite as spirited (although there might be cake, too). CSNPhilly.com’s Sarah Baicker reports that the NHL suspended Sestito for the remainder of the preseason and two regular season games for a hit from behind on New York Rangers forward Andre Deveaux. Some might call the punishment surprisingly “light” – Rangers head coach John Tortorella said that it was worse than Jody Shelley’s hit, although he might be a little biased – but it’s important to note that Sestito isn’t a repeat offender.

One might argue that at this point, every new suspension sheds a little more light on Shanahan’s decision-making process. (James Wisniewski’s suspension showed that an actual contributor can get a stiff punishment, for example.) This one is interesting, though, because it shows that sheriff Shanahan will clearly pick on people with a rap sheet far more than those with a clean record.

To compound an already trying day for Sestito, the Flyers put him on waivers. Chances are he’ll be back in the AHL soon enough, which might force the minor league to consider his NHL suspension. Who knows if he’ll get many other opportunities at the NHL level in the future, but hopefully he learns from this mistake, because he’s certainly paying for it.

We’ll update this post in the likely event that Shanahan will release an explanatory video.

Update (6:45 pm ET): The suspension might cost Sestito $5,945.94 – although that gets a little tricky since he might not play those NHL games anyway. Here’s that video we were talking about.

Video: Evander Kane believes he won his fights vs. Alex Petrovic

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The Florida Panthers are beating up the Buffalo Sabres where it counts – on the scoreboard – but Evander Kane was happy to highlight his perceived victories in a couple bouts.

Buffalo’s power forward fought Alex Petrovic twice on Tuesday, and Kane wasn’t shy about holding up a “2-0.”

You can watch the second fight above, and the first one below, via Hockey Fights by way of MSG:

This GIF might just say it all, really:

Update: Apparently they fought again moments after this post went up.

Probably safe to call it a rivalry between the two, right?

Fight video: Yes, a visor-breaking punch

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Some hockey players resist the urge to wear a visor, at least if they’re given that choice.

Perhaps a few will say “Hey, Nathan Beaulieu will just punch it off anyway.”

Maybe not, but Beaulieu provided a rather unique moment in his fight with Cedric Paquette during the Montreal Canadiens – Tampa Bay Lightning game. You can watch that bout in the video above, and see a cut on the Lightning pest’s face from that blow.

Want it in GIF form? OK then:

Sending a message: Flames scratch Gaudreau, Monahan, Bouma

Calgary Flames' Sean Monahan, left, celebrates his goal with teammate Johnny Gaudreau during the third period against the Carolina Hurricanes in an NHL hockey game Wednesday, Feb. 3, 2016, in Calgary, Alberta. (Jeff McIntosh/The Canadian Press via AP)
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Sean Monahan and Johnny Gaudreau figure to be a big part of the Calgary Flames’ forward group, both in the present and the future.

That said, it the very specific present, they’ll be watching Tuesday’s game from the press box.

After an unsatisfactory practice amid flailing playoff hopes, Flames head coach Bob Hartley made a big statement tonight, taking Monahan, Gaudreau and Lance Bouma out of the lineup as healthy scratches against the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Wow.

It’s amusing timing, too, as the Maple Leafs will roll with a bit of a skeleton crew of their own after that splashy Dion Phaneuf trade.

Some background

Sportsnet’s Mark Spector was there for the practice, which was unusually short at 25 minutes.

“He wasn’t happy with the way we were practicing,” David Jones told Spector. “It’s a little embarrassing when we’re not (making) five-foot passes.

“I think he was pretty pissed off about the way things were looking.”

Call it a combination of poor execution and maybe a tardy arrival … perhaps from a Super Bowl party or two?

Bruins pay warm tribute to Milan Lucic

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Milan Lucic may or may not spend a big chunk of his career with the Los Angeles Kings, but the Boston Bruins haven’t forgotten his contributions.

(Their fans haven’t, either.)

The Bruins shared a tribute video for Lucic, decked out in a loud, retro-style Kings sweater on Tuesday. The hulking winger seemed to appreciate the nod from his former team, and also acknowledged fans who watched him develop into one of the league’s most formidable power forwards.

(H/T to the Score by way of The Hockey Beat for the video.)