You can understand why Caps forward Marcus Johansson might be a bit confused about how the league works. After seeing Winnipeg’s Mark Stuart get slapped with a $2,500 fine for his late, head-high hit on him, Johansson was left wondering just what’s going on.
Tarik El-Bashir of the Washington Post hears from Johansson about his disappointment with the league’s lack of suspension for what on all appearances looked to be the kind of hit they want to eliminate from the game.
“It’s not really my thing to have any impact on it,” Johansson said after the morning skate at United Center. “But seeing [Mike Green] and [Alex Ovechkin] get three games for something that’s pretty similar, I think it’s weird.”
Weird is a good way to describe it when you don’t want to get the league’s attention for criticizing their decision. After seeing the kinds of hits his teammates have gotten nailed for, Johansson makes a good point.
The suspensions given to Green and Ovechkin involved plays that were eerily similar to what Stuart did. You could argue that it’s Stuart’s first offense and he shouldn’t get the same treatment, but Green was given three games on his first offense. And you wonder why Brendan Shanahan’s job is the hardest one in the league.
Taylor Hall is sick and reportedly “doubtful” for tonight’s game in Dallas.
Hall did not skate with the Oilers this morning. If he can’t play, Edmonton’s top two lines against the Stars could feature Ryan Nugent-Hopkins between wingers Teddy Purcell and Benoit Pouliot, followed by Connor McDavid centering Lauri Korpikoski and Nail Yakupov.
The Oilers — forced to start the season without top-six winger Jordan Eberle — have scored just once in their first two games, losing 3-1 in St. Louis and 2-0 in Nashville.
Edmonton returns home after tonight’s contest to play St. Louis on Thursday. Then it’s back out on the road for games against Calgary and Vancouver.
Buffalo has put blueliner Matt Donovan on waivers, per Sportsnet.
Donovan, 25, signed a one-year deal with the Sabres on the opening day of free agency after spending his entire professional career with the Isles organization.
The fact he’s being waived isn’t a huge shock. Donovan failed to draw into a single Sabres game this year despite a whittled-down blueline; Jake McCabe, recently called up from AHL Rochester, drew into the lineup for Monday’s win over Columbus at the expense of Carlo Colaiacovo, who played the first two games of the year.
The fact both McCabe and Colaiacovo were ahead on the depth chart didn’t bode well for Donovan. Today’s move could also suggest that Zach Bogosian, who hasn’t played this year due to injury, is ready to return.