Brayden Schenn, Arron Asham

Asham surprised by suspension length, thought Backstrom’s cross-check was “a lot worse”


Another day, another critique of the NHL discipline.

This time, though, the critique comes not from an organization (here’s looking at you, Washington and New York) but rather a suspended player — Pittsburgh’s Arron Asham.

The 34-year-old forward was suspended four games for cross-checking Philadelphia’s Brayden Schenn in the face during Game 3, meaning Asham would miss the remainder of the opening playoff round.

On Thursday, the Pens forward expressed dismay over his punishment.

“I was surprised by the number of games,” Asham told Dave Molinari of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. “I thought [Nicklas] Backstrom’s was a lot worse.”

Backstrom received one game for his cross-check to the face of Rich Peverley. In light of Asham’s comments, let’s do a video review of both incidents!

Asham on Schenn:

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Backstrom on Peverley:

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Not sure what constitutes “worse” in a discussion of facial cross-checks (both were pretty bad) but Asham punctuated his by punching Schenn afterward…so there’s that.

There’s also the not-so-tiny issue of Asham being the guy that put Jay Beagle to sleep — a clip with horrible optics that got a lot of airtime. When it came time to punish for the Schenn cross-check, it probably didn’t play into Asham’s favor that he was the instigator of another highly-publicized act of violence.

Dropping like flies: Johnson, Killorn hurt in Bolts’ exhibition

Montreal Canadiens v Tampa Bay Lightning - Game One
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You probably know the drill: injury updates are murky in the NHL basically from the moment a puck drops.

We’ll learn more once the 2015-16 season begins, but at the moment, Saturday might have served as a costly night for the Tampa Bay Lightning. Both Tyler Johnson and Alex Killorn went down with injuries stemming from a 3-2 pre-season win against the Florida Panthers.

“Guys were dropping like flies,” Steven Stamkos told the Tamba Bay Times.

These could be minor situations – just about any ailment will sideline a key asset this time of year – yet one cannot help but wonder if the Lightning might limp into this campaign.

Nikita Kucherov is dealing with his own issues, so that means at least minor issues for one half of the Bolts’ top six forwards.

It’s believed that more will be known about these banged-up Bolts sometime on Sunday.

Raffi Torres gets match penalty for being Raffi Torres

Raffi Torres

With knee issues still limiting him, Raffi Torres isn’t as mobile as he once was. Apparently he still moves well enough to leave the usual path of destruction.

It’s the pre-season, so it’s unclear if we’ll get a good look at the check, but Torres received a match penalty for his hit on Anaheim Ducks forward Jakob Silfverberg.

Most accounts were pretty critical of the San Jose Sharks’ chief troublemaker:

It’s too early to tell if Silfverberg is injured. If he is, that’s a significant loss for the Ducks, as he really showed signs of fulfilling his promise (especially during the 2015 playoffs).

As far as Torres goes, he’s hoping to play in the Sharks’ season-opener. Wherever he ends up, he’ll certainly make plenty of enemies on the ice.

Whether it was because of that hit or just the general distaste shared by those sides, it sounds like tonight’s Sharks – Ducks exhibition is getting ugly, in general:

This post will be updated if video of the hit becomes available, and also if we get a better idea of Silfverberg’s condition.

Update: Bullet dodged?