Early in the Islanders’ 5-4 victory in Dallas, Mark Fistric delivered a brutal shot to the head of Nino Niederreiter that should make waves around the NHL offices tomorrow. A clearly dazed Niederreiter stumbled as he returned to his feet (aided by teammates) and headed straight to the locker room. Early reports tell us the obvious: Niederreiter is out with a concussion and will be reevaluated on Sunday.
There will be plenty of talk about Fistric’s hit from those who like to debate suspensions. From Niederreiter’s hazy nature after the hit, it certainly looked like he took a shot straight to the head. Focusing on the defenseman, it looked like Fistric left his feet to make high contact with an opposing player. That’s not a good combination for someone that would want to escape Brendan Shanahan’s wrath.
Then again, Fistric wasn’t given a penalty on the play so who knows what will happen in the supplemental discipline process.
Things aren’t going smoothly for Nino Niederreiter this season. He’s bounced between the Bridgeport Sound Tigers, New York Islanders, and the press box much more than he would have hoped this season. Now we can added the “quiet room” and possibly injured reserve to the list of locales this season.
Here’s the hit that knocked Niederreiter out of the game. Is this something that warranted a suspension? Did it warrant a penalty on the ice?
Video: Trisha Yearwood sings national anthem for Preds-Ducks
Keith Urban sang the national anthem for Game 3. Kelly Clarkson did the honors for the Nashville Predators before Game 4. Next up: Trisha Yearwood for Game 6.
The Predators hope to close out the Anaheim Ducks on Monday, and they got off to a nice start with Austin Watson scoring a quick 1-0 goal. Not long after, the Predators added another to build to a 2-0 lead.
Garth Brooks spoiled Yearwood’s appearance a bit before the contest.
Anaheim Ducks forward Nick Ritchie scored a goal in Game 4, but he won’t be able to provide such a scoring boost for his team in Game 6.
That’s because he was ejected during the first period after hitting rising Nashville Predators star Viktor Arvidsson from behind, bloodying the slick Swede.
Ritchie was whistled for a game misconduct and major. Remarkably, the Ducks killed the entire five-minute power-play opportunity, with Ryan Kesler‘s shorthanded chance being one of the better opportunities for either team.
It’s still a big blunder, but if the Ducks can get back in it, remember that big kill.
Video of the hit is coming soon. For now, check out the GIF:
Colton Sissons scored his first goal of the Western Conference Final – on his first shot on goal of the series – to make it 2-0. At that point, Bernier had allowed two goals on three shots on goal. Bernier’s made a few stops since then, but it’s a shaky start for a Ducks team facing elimination.
There’s some solace in that Anaheim’s often at its best in dire situations, though you have to wonder how many times they can bounce back from this?