When the Ducks (losers in two of the last three) and Blue Jackets (dead last in overall standings) were set to face each other this evening, most expected a fairly testy affair.
Well it’s certainly been testy…and then some.
Regardless of the final outcome, the story of this game will be the fisticuffs. The two teams combined for eight fighting majors and 54 penalty minutes in the first two periods alone, though to be accurate all the fighting occurred in a span of 26:39. We here at PHT are nothing if not accurate when it comes to time counts.
As for the scraps, the most noteworthy combatants were Columbus’ Derek Dorsett and Anaheim’s Sheldon Brookbank, who threw down twice. Here’s their first tilt:
That bout was followed by a rather unexpected brawl — Andrew Cogliano vs. Kris Russell. According to hockeyfights.com, this is just the third scrap of Cogliano’s career and the fifth of Russell’s. (Translation: Get ready for some visor-fueled grappling.)
Less than a minute after Cogliano-Russell, here comes Ryan Getzlaf vs. Cody Bass!
Finally, Dorsett vs. Brookbank II occurs with just under two minutes remaining in the second period:
Scraps aside, this game’s had a really nasty feel to it. There have been several post-whistle scrums around both goals while Corey Perry and Fedor Tyutin have been going at each other all night.
Looks as though slumping Dallas winger Valeri Nichushkin could be a healthy scratch tonight when the Stars host the Oilers at American Airlines.
Per the Morning-News, Nichushkin — who barely played in the second and third periods of Saturday’s 6-3 loss to Colorado — is likely to be replaced by Colton Sceviour in the lineup.
Stars head coach Lindy Ruff was fuming after the Avs defeat, calling it “embarrassing, worse than disappointing.” It didn’t take a genius to realize one of the players in his doghouse was Nichushkin, who had just 2:02 of ice time in the second period and 3:24 in the third.
Yesterday, Ruff dropped Nichushkin to the fourth line in practice.
“I’ve been trying to help him by shifting him around,” the head coach explained. “He had some struggles early in camp on right wing, so I put him on left, and he doesn’t seem real comfortable at left right now.
“His game, everything has got to get a little bit quicker.”
The 10th overall pick in 2013, Nichushkin has struggled to build on the form shown in his rookie campaign, when he scored 14 goals and 34 points in 79 contests.
He missed nearly all of last season with a linger hip ailment and has been a virtual non-factor through the first two games this year.
When the Los Angeles Kings announced they’d settled with Mike Richards, it didn’t take long for the accusations of salary-cap circumvention to materialize.
And though NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly was adamant that the settlement was “far from” circumvention, apparently not everyone agrees with the league in that regard.
“Privately, other teams are screaming bloody murder and are threatening to make an issue about it at December’s Board of Governors’ meeting,” Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman reports.
Friedman goes into more detail in his story, so click the link to read more.
But remember how we wrote that the issue in this case was precedent, and that the “NHL and NHLPA can’t allow teams to escape onerous contracts through a back door”?
Well, one agent posed a good question to Friedman: “What’s to stop other teams from trying this?”