Griffin Reinhart, fourth overall pick by the New York Islanders, shakes hands during Round One of the 2012 NHL Entry Draft at Consol Energy Center on June 22, 2012 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
(June 21, 2012 - Source: Bruce Bennett/Getty Images North America)

IIHF hands Canada’s Reinhart a four-game suspension


The IIHF has announced that New York Islanders prospect Griffin Reinhart will be ineligible to play for Team Canada in the upcoming Bronze Medal Game and three additional matches after high-sticking America’s Vince Trocheck during the semifinals on Thursday.

The incident occurred after Trocheck and Reinhart became tangled up while fighting for the puck. While on his knees, Reinhart hit Trocheck in the head and neck area with his stick, which caused Trocheck to fall. Reinhart received a two-minute minor for high-sticking while Trocheck didn’t appear to sustain an injury.

The IIHF’s Disciplinary Panel determined that “the action was dangerous to the safety of Trocheck and was avoidable,” but Hockey Canada senior director of hockey operations Scott Salmond strongly disagrees with that assessment.

“Surprised, shocked,” Salmond said in a Toronto Sun report. “I was in the hearing today with Griffin. I read the referees’ report. Griffin stated his case and said all along it was an accident.

“I believe it was an accident. The four officials on the ice believe it was an accident. No question in my mind we will appeal.

“I never questioned the officiating. I thought it was a good call on the ice. I thought they did their due diligence, talked about the play, and today that was overruled to the point of a four-game suspension.”

An appeal would take place in mid-January, so Reinhart still won’t play for the bronze medal.

“As I was tripping, I lost balance and my stick rode up his stick,” Reinhart said. “Completely accidental. A four-game suspension is a shock but there is nothing I can do about it now.”

Canada will face Russia on Saturday with the bronze medal on the line. After the conclusion of that contest, Team USA and Sweden will compete for the gold medal.

Metro’s best? Capitals keep winning, pass Rangers for division lead

Jonathan Bernier; Matt Niskanen; Pierre-Alexandre Parenteau
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If you want to summarize the Capitals – Maple Leafs game in one sentence, you could do worse than:

“Washington is hot as Jonathan Bernier is cold.”

The Caps reeled off a 4-2 win against Toronto on Saturday, giving them five straight wins. They also jumped into first place in the Metropolitan Division today, as they keep climbing while the New York Rangers are experiencing some growing pains.

Again, James Reimer can’t get healthy and back in Toronto’s net too soon:

With this win, Washington is now 17-5-1, leading the Metro by one point with 35 standings points. They also hold a game in hand against the Rangers, and no other Metro team even has 30 right now.

Measuring stick stretch begins

Tonight’s game began a “prove-it” month-and-change for Washington.

This contest began a three-game road trip, and they’ll also play six of seven away from Washington.

It’s pretty rough through the start of 2016, really. The Capitals will only enjoy three home games through Jan. 9.

In other words, the Capitals seem like a convincing East contender, but look out if they remain hot through the next 5-6 weeks.

Video: Evgeni Malkin leaves Oilers spinning


Yes, there’s a lot of drama surrounding the Pittsburgh Penguins, whether it’s founded on serious problems or merely speculation.

It’s easy to get swept up in all of that and ignore the fact that, hey, they still have Evgeni Malkin and Sidney Crosby. Those two can really heal wounds with their on-ice play, and in Saturday’s case, Malkin is taking over against the Edmonton Oilers.

His spin-o-rama goal above was a real jaw-dropper. He also scored Pittsburgh’s second tally:

These highlights feel like Malkin’s way of saying “It’s going to be just fine.”

Update: It wasn’t enough for a win, however, as the Oilers beat the Penguins 3-2 via a shootout.

Lightning’s first fight this season: Ryan Callahan vs. Kyle Okposo

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Fighting is down more or less across the board in the NHL, but the Tampa Bay Lightning might be the franchise least interested in dropping the gloves.

Ryan Callahan vs. Kyle Okposo already has some name recognition to it, yet it gets some bonus points for being the Bolts’ first fighting major of 2015-16.

It … probably loses those bonus points in being run-of-the-mill.

Hey, be fair; the Lightning are clearly out of practice.

Oilers GM doesn’t want to force a trade for the sake of a trade

Peter Chiarelli

It must be a helpless feeling to sit idly by while your team continues to flail, but such emotions are what opposing GMs love to prey on.

Edmonton Oilers GM Peter Chiarelli hasn’t been around through much of the suffering for this hapless franchise, yet that doesn’t mean he’s immune to the calls for improvement. To his credit, he’s not buckling under that pressure.

You can see and hear his full comments below:

If you don’t feel like playing the video, the message is simple enough.

Chiarelli isn’t happy with Edmonton’s record – he hasn’t “seen progression” in ways that he was expecting, but again … he doesn’t want to force moves.

Long story short, he can “sleep at night,” even if he’s disappointed.

Is he right to take a relaxed approach, though? Maybe it’s time to blow up a part of what isn’t working? Have some fun armchair GM’ing on this one.