Colorado Avalanche v Vancouver Canucks

Video: Porter knees Booth, Shanahan hearing next?


Midway through the first period of Vancouver’s 6-0 win over Colorado last night, Avalanche center Kevin Porter caught Canucks LW David Booth with a knee-on-knee hit:

Porter was tagged with a five-minute kneeing major and game misconduct; Booth left the contest immediately and didn’t return (he’s scheduled for an MRI today.)

With the factual stuff out of the way, you know what comes next:


Colorado head coach Joe Sacco felt the call on Porter was marginal, a view he expressed in a less-than-cordial postgame interview with the Vancouver Sun’s Elliott Pap (courtesy the Denver Post):

Pap: “You thought the Porter hit on Booth was a marginal call?”

Sacco: “Yeah.”

Pap: “Oh, really.”

Sacco: “Yeah.”

Pap: “Did you see a replay of it?”

(Two, three seconds of looking at Pap … )

Sacco: “Did I what?”

Pap: “Did you see a replay of it?”

Sacco: “Yes, I did.”

Aaaaand scene.

Meanwhile, Canucks coach Alain Vigneault told reporters he didn’t see the hit and therefore couldn’t pass judgement (to which the Vancouver Sun’s Iain MacIntyre wrote “makes you wonder if he’s watching M*A*S*H* reruns between periods or game film.”)

Finally, here’s the latest update from ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun.

“I certainly didn’t like the look of that hit,” LeBrun writes. “The league will definitely take a look at it — the league reviews all controversial plays — although whether or not Sheriff Shanny believes it’s worth a hearing was still undetermined as of this morning when I checked with the league.”

For what it’s worth, Shanahan hasn’t issued a suspension for kneeing yet. He’s punished boarding, elbowing, headbutting, checks to the head, checks from behind, high-sticking and leaving the bench to fight — but not kneeing. This could end up being like a medical drama, where the surgeons clamor for different types of surgeries so they can say they’ve done them. I guess this would make a kneeing suspension the equivalent of endovascular aortic repair. You just don’t see that every day.

Preseason stats: Five goalies with good numbers, five goalies with…not

Anders Nilsson
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Yeah, yeah, it’s a small sample size and it’s just the preseason, but here are some goaltending stats anyway.

Five goalies with good numbers

Anders Nilsson, Edmonton — zero goals on 53 shots. His solid play a likely factor in the decision to waive Ben Scrivens, who actually wasn’t that bad in the preseason (4 goals on 56 shots).

Martin Jones, San Jose — three goals on 100 shots. The Sharks are rolling the dice on a couple of cheap goalies. Jones and Alex Stalock have a combined cap hit of just $4.6 million.

Jacob Markstom, Vancouver — three goals on 79 shots. Can he finally get over the NHL hump? If so, he could make it a real competition with Ryan Miller.

Sergei Bobrovsky, Columbus — five goals on 122 shots. The Blue Jackets have scored a ton of goals in the preseason, but there remain questions about their blue line. Bobrovsky has the ability to make a so-so defense look good.

Anton Khudobin, Anaheim — two goals on 67 shots. A good early sign for the Ducks, who have Frederik Andersen in the starting role and want to give young John Gibson more time to develop in the AHL.

Five goalies with bad numbers

Thomas Greiss, Islanders — 14 goals on 94 shots. Has to be a bit of concern in Brooklyn. The Isles got below-average backup play last season from Chad Johnson. They wanted to fix that with the Greiss signing.

Robin Lehner, Buffalo — 11 goals on 95 shots. Tim Murray paid a hefty price to get the 24-year-old out of Ottawa. With the aforementioned Johnson in the backup role, the goaltending story is worth watching.

Jeff Zatkoff, Pittsburgh — 11 goals on 74 shots. Granted, Marc-Andre Fleury and Matthew Murray weren’t particularly sharp either. The Penguins conceded 28 goals in eight games.

Kari Lehtonen, Dallas — 15 goals on 84 shots. For a Stars team that desperately needs better goaltending, that has to be worrying. Antti Niemi wasn’t a whole lot better either, allowing eight goals on 65 shots. Fair question to ask — how many of all those goals were attributable to poor defensive play?

Pekka Rinne, Nashville — 12 goals on 91 shots. Has earned the benefit of the doubt, but thought we’d point it out anyway.

Flyers waive MacDonald, he of the $30M contract

Andrew MacDonald

In April of ’14, the Flyers signed d-man Andrew MacDonald to a six-year, $30 million extension.

Less than 18 months later, they’re placing him on waivers.

Philly GM Ron Hextall confirmed the move Monday morning, announcing that MacDonald would hit the wire at Noon ET. The decision comes with MacDonald still having five years and nearly $26 million left on his contract.

It’s a tough situation for both MacDonald and the club.

The Flyers acquired the 29-year-old from the Isles at the ’14 trade deadline and, at the time, MacDonald was one of the NHL’s biggest bargains, carrying just a $550,000 cap hit.

Philly thought it’d found a diamond in the rough, even though underlying possession metrics — and pundits that specialize in them — suggested otherwise. After watching MacDonald play just 19 regular-season and seven playoff games, then-GM Paul Holmgren made a big splash to retain his services.

From there, things went badly.

McDonald had a rough ’14-15 campaign, sitting as a healthy scratch on a number of occasions. Following the year, he expressed his dismay with how things went.

“It was disappointing,” MacDonald said, per the Philadelphia Inquirer. “Obviously, it’s not nearly the way I envisioned things going and I was pretty disappointed in myself and my own play, and just felt like things kind of snowballed throughout the year and really just didn’t work out.”

As for the future, it seems highly, highly unlikely MacDonald will be claimed on waivers. Should he clear, Philly will have the option to send him to the AHL, and receive $950,000 in salary cap relief.

That would, however, still leave the team with roughly $4 million of dead money.