Perhaps Brendan Shanahan will have some more work to do tonight. In Quebec City as the Canadiens and Lightning were doing battle, Tampa Bay’s Ryan Malone caught Montreal’s Chris Campoli wheeling around the net with his head down, checking him in the head and putting him on the ice. Montreal’s Josh Gorges took up for Campoli dropping the gloves with Malone in a fight that Malone left Gorges a bit bloodied. You can see video of the hit here.
Shanahan has been more than doing his part to get things cleaned up around the league regarding head shots, cheap shots, and hits from behind, but he’s got a conundrum on his hands here. This hit provides for a bit more debate as Campoli appears to dip his shoulder at the last second turning what could’ve been a shoulder-to-shoulder hit into a shoulder-to-head hit.
Players do have to have more control of their body and how they dish out hits, but at this kind of speed and these sorts of reactions from players, can Malone be punished for a last second move by his opponent? On the flip side of that, Shanahan could rule that Campoli came around with his head at the same level no matter what and Malone could’ve done something to hit him differently.
One way or another, Shanahan will have something new to deliberate on. Tampa Bay won’t play another game until Friday night, opening night for the Lightning, so he’ll have time to get things sorted out. This time, Shanahan might have his toughest call to make in deciding how players handle themselves (or don’t) on the ice.
As promised, Capitals star Alex Ovechkin rocked a pair of custom skates in honor of Russian Heritage Night on Thursday.
On his right skate, he paid tribute to the United States with a custom design, and paid tribute to his home nation on his left skate while taking the pre-game warm-up prior to facing the Columbus Blue Jackets.
He’ll be auctioning off the skates, as well.
From CSN Mid-Atlantic:
The skates were painted by noted custom shoe artists Nick Avery and Polo Kerber, whom Ovechkin personally selected. The skates feature the U.S. and Russia flags as well as the Capitol Building and Moscow’s St. Basil’s Cathedral.
Sidney Crosby has made news lately for his goal scoring and his use of the stick.
He speared Sabres forward Ryan O’Reilly below the belt the other night, and on Thursday he delivered a slash to Senators defenseman Marc Methot, who has since not returned to the game.
The slash rendered a finger on Methot’s left hand bloodied and injured. It certainly didn’t look good as Method (calmly) skated to the bench.
There was no call on the play.
Updated: Methot won’t return to this game.
Toronto’s talented rookies were back at it again Thursday, as William Nylander and Auston Matthews combined to set up the Maple Leafs’ first goal versus the New Jersey Devils.
Nylander added the second assist on the power play goal, giving him 35 helpers on the season.
That’s significant for a couple of reasons: He extends his point streak to 10 games, which sets a new Leafs rookie record. And the assist reportedly secured him another entry-level bonus:
The Anaheim Ducks have been without goalie John Gibson for almost two full weeks because of injury, but head coach Randy Carlyle provided reason for optimism on Thursday.
Per reports, Gibson took part in practice and Carlyle has said that his No. 1 netminder will play again during the regular season. Anaheim has nine games remaining on its schedule.
That’s good news for Anaheim heading into the post-season.
While Gibson has been out, Jonathan Bernier has stepped beyond his back-up role and provided solid goaltending for the Ducks during the stretch drive — which should also be a bonus for this club with the playoffs quickly approaching.
Bernier has wins in six of his last seven starts. In nine games this month, he has only twice allowed three goals or more.
The Ducks have fought their way back into contention for the Pacific Division with a recent surge that has coincided with San Jose’s current skid — only four wins in their last 10 games and four straight losses.
Related: Career back on track, Bernier hopes he can re-sign in Anaheim