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?
WATCH LIVE: Stanley Cup Final Game 1 – Sharks at Penguins
The wait is finally over. The 2016 Stanley Cup Final is about to begin.
Both the Pittsburgh Penguins and San Jose Sharks received some time to lick their wounds after three grueling playoff rounds, so expect Game 1 to be fun, even if there might be a subtle bit of rust here or there.
The star power is considerable. The beards are burly (at least on the Sharks’ side). It’s time to get cracking.
Game 1 airs on NBC. You can also stream it via the link below and enjoy some “NHL Live” coverage leading in.
Plenty of people believe that the San Jose Sharks’ defense is superior to the Pittsburgh Penguins’ personnel, but it’s one thing to be better on paper. When you’re on the ice, against a speedy and talented team, can you really stop the Penguins?
Vlasic, a former Team Canada teammate of Crosby (as you can see from this post’s main image), realizes that he’ll have his hands full. In fact, he seems to believe that this will be an even tougher challenge than trying to solve St. Louis Blues sniper Vladimir Tarasenko.
Sharks D-man Vlasic on Crosby: "In the first three rounds, put all their top players together and that would be Crosby.” -MC
The fantastic all-around defender isn’t exactly expecting to reinvent the wheel in his strategy against Crosby.
“It will be the same as in the first three series,” Vlasic said, via The Hockey News. “We’re playing against the top players on every time – Sid, (Evgeni) Malkin and those types of guys for Pittsburgh. Me and (Justin Braun) will just keep doing what we did, taking away time and space and hopefully it works out.”
This summer looks like it could be one of changes for the Detroit Red Wings, even beyond the most obvious storyline of Pavel Datsyuk‘s future.
One area where the Red Wings would like to make some tweaks is in net, namely in trading Jimmy Howard. The Detroit Free-Press points out that GM Ken Holland admitted that moving the former franchise netminder “might be good for the organization.”
It’s reasonable to wonder what kind of market there will be for Howard, whose deal ($5.29 million cap hit through 2018-19) looks pretty tough to stomach on paper.
Maybe it’s best to consider the Red Wings’ options if Howard starts the 2016-17 season off on a strong note, or something of that nature. Perhaps an expansion draft could “solve” that problem if Detroit cannot find any takers?
The Red Wings remain forward-thinking and patient, which likely explains why the Free-Press focuses on their confidence with prospect Jared Coreau.
“In the big scheme of things, he’ll play in Grand Rapids for another year, but now we know he can play a lot of minutes if needed,” Goalie coach Jeff Salajko said. “Jimmy Howard played four years in the minors. We’re not rushing Jared, but he is going to be an NHL goalie, there is no doubt in my mind about that.”
In other words, a pairing of Petr Mrazek and Coreau wouldn’t just be a cost-effective duo … it might just be the Red Wings’ ideal scenario in the not-too-distant future.
Stanley Cup Final referees: McCauley, O’Halloran, O’Rourke, Sutherland