You wouldn’t have blamed New Jersey Devils GM Lou Lamoriello for being agitated given what’s transpired over the last week.
Last Wednesday, Dainius Zubrus caught an elbow from Buffalo’s Tyler Myers and last night, Florida’s Shawn Matthias nailed Anton Volchenkov with a high hit.
Even though both hits were questionable, neither Matthias nor Myers received suspensions — something NHL discipline czar Brendan Shanan was acutely aware of. Rich Chere of the Star-Ledger notes that Shanahan called Lamoriello to explain why the hits weren’t punished.
“It doesn’t escape me that this is the same ruling,” Shanahan said. “It would be upsetting to me to have two of these in one week with a team in the East and a team in the West. The fact that it’s happened to the same team, although Lou has said to me I never have any reason to call him, I still reached out to Lou and called him and spoke to him today about both hits.
“Just out of respect for the fact it’s the same team, whether it was New Jersey or the Florida Panthers. I would’ve done the same thing to (Panthers GM) Dale Tallon. When you have a couple of players on your team– important players — get banged up with hits that are not suspensions I think it’s important to call that GM and talk to him. Lou was great in our conversation.”
Lamoriello said he appreciated the call, though it wasn’t necessary — “Brendan knows me and I know Brendan,” he explained. “I respect the job they have to do.”
This incident is noteworthy because of Shanahan’s personal relationship with Lamoriello and the Devils organization. Lamoriello was team president when New Jersey took Shanahan second overall at the 1987 Entry Draft and one of the key figures in bringing Shanahan back to the Devils at the end of his career.
Remember, one of the primary concerns when Shanahan took the player safety gig was if he was far enough removed from his playing days to rule without bias.
Buffalo Sabres defenseman Carlo Colaiacovo has experienced plenty of bad injury luck in his winding career, but Saturday presented one of his worst scares.
As you can see from the video above, Colaiacovo received a scary cross-check from Viktor Arvidsson of the Nashville Predators, who received a major penalty and game misconduct.
Sabres head coach Dan Bylsma said that Colaiacovo was hospitalized with a “dented trachea” yet is OK, the Buffalo News’ John Vogl reports.
Frightening stuff from an eventual 4-1 Sabres win.
PHT will keep an eye out for additional updates regarding Colaiacovo’s health (and a possible suspension for Arvidsson).
Patrick Kane set an American scoring record, and added another assist to make it more impressive, but the Los Angeles Kings just wouldn’t be denied.
In the end, Marian Gaborik‘s big night meant more than Kane’s; he scored the tying and then overtime game-winner, both assisted by Anze Kopitar, for a rousing 4-3 overtime Kings win.
Gaborik’s first goal:
And here’s video of the OT-GWG:
Noticing a theme tonight? Yeah, it’s been an evening in which it’s dangerous to assume a lead would stand.
With that, the Kings stick to the No. 1 spot in the Pacific Division, but Chicago shouldn’t feel all bad. The Blackhawks were able to piece together a decent run during their dreaded “circus trip.”
When it comes to point streaks for U.S.-born NHL players, Patrick Kane now stands alone.
With a power-play goal early in Saturday’s Blackhawks – Kings game, Kane extended his streak to 19 games, breaking a tie with Phil Kessel and Eddie Olczyk (who finished with at least a point in 18 straight).
As of this writing, Kane has 11 goals and 19 assists during this 19-game streak. He also leads the NHL in scoring.
Bobby Hull’s 21-game point streak stands as the Chicago Blackhawks’ overall team record, by the way.
You know what they say: it’s easy to bash a strategy in hindsight.
Slam that NFL head coach for going for it on fourth down … or settling for the field goal. Bury that MLB manager because he kept a pitcher in too long. And so on.
“Score effects” settle in during almost any lopsided hockey game, yet the Dallas Stars present quite a conundrum: what’s the best way to put a way a team with this much firepower?
Tonight may have presented the greatest evidence that this team won’t go away easy, as it seemed like the Minnesota Wild had the best of a tired Stars team* when they built a 3-0 lead.
Instead, the Stars scored three third-period goals while Tyler Seguin capped the comeback with an overtime-winner.
It was one of those bend-and-then-break moments for Minnesota. Dallas generated a 44-26 shot advantage, including a ridiculous 35-15 edge in the final two periods.
Does that mean that Mike Yeo may have tried to play too conservatively with a healthy lead? It’s a possibility.
On the other hand, would the Wild be wiser to try to run-and-gun with one of the most dangerous offenses in the NHL?
It sure seems like a pick-your-poison situation. Which way would you lean, though?
* – To be fair to Minnesota, each team was on back-to-backs.