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

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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.

Stars end Capitals’ winning streak, pass Blackhawks for West lead

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For two periods, the Dallas Stars seemed to say, “Are you sure the Washington Capitals are the best team in the NHL?”

They chased Braden Holtby and built a 4-0 lead through those first 40 minutes, and that was enough … but barely. The Stars beat the Capitals 4-3 on Saturday, which accomplished the following:

  • Dallas ended Washington’s winning streak at five games. The Stars have now won three straight.
  • This win slides the Stars ahead of the Chicago Blackhawks for first place in the highly competitive Central Division. While both teams sit at 77 standings points, Dallas holds three games in hand.
  • By passing Chicago, the Stars now lead the Western Conference as a whole.

Impressive stuff. Some might even call it a statement game, although others may hold that nail-biting ending against them (possibly arguing that the Stars’ flaws may come back to haunt them in the playoffs).

Dallas’ biggest concern likely has little to do with doubters. Instead, they must monitor the statuses of forwards Tyler Seguin and Cody Eakin.

Long story short, the Stars are red-hot, yet bigger challenges likely lie ahead.

Blackhawks fall to Ducks in OT, lose Hossa to injury

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The Chicago Blackhawks are on edge on Saturday, and it’s not because of what’s currently a close game against the Anaheim Ducks.

(Not that they’re indifferent toward a match against their opponents from last year’s conference final match, mind you.)

Instead, the Blackhawks are quite concerned about the health of Marian Hossa, who needed help off of the ice following an awkward, scary-looking crash into the boards. (Hampus Lindholm delivered the hip check that sent Hossa sprawling, in case you’re wondering.)

You can see that moment in the video above, while My Regular Face’s GIF also captures that troubling moment:

It’s too early to tell if Hossa will bounce back or miss some time from this. Stay tuned for potential updates.

Update: Joel Quenneville seems optimistic about Hossa, broadly speaking:

Ryan Getzlaf scored the overtime game-winner as the Ducks won 3-2 (OT).

Understatement: Saturday was a rough night for Panthers

Nashville Predators center Colin Wilson (33) checks Florida Panthers center Jonathan Huberdeau (11) during the second period of an NHL hockey game, Saturday, Feb. 13, 2016, in Sunrise, Fla. (AP Photo/Alan Diaz)
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If it weren’t for Mike Yeo and the Minnesota Wild, you could argue that the Florida Panthers suffered from the worst night so far.

You can see that Saturday was unpleasant merely from looking at the scoreboard: the Nashville Predators pummeled the Panthers by an unkind score of 5-0.

The pain goes beyond that … literally so.

For one thing, Quinton Howden suffered an upper-body injury and did not return. That’s no good, but if you want to feel sick to your stomach, footage of Brandon Pirri‘s likely lower-body injury (ankle maybe?) may do the trick.

(Seriously, you may be happier if you don’t look.)

The Panthers didn’t make an announcement about Pirri one way or another, so we’ll see if he somehow avoided anything significant.

Either way, it was a night this team would like to forget.

Fractured jaw from fight sidelines Chris Stewart for 4-8 weeks

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It’s unlikely that Chris Stewart will generate another 30-goal season in the NHL, but he still might be missed by the Anaheim Ducks.

The team announced that the ornery forward is expected to miss four-to-eight weeks with a fractured jaw. If that’s the recovery window, Stewart may go into the playoffs a little rusty (if he can get in any regular season games at all).

The Ducks didn’t elaborate, but the Columbus Dispatch’s Aaron Portzline believes that the injury happened during a fight with Dalton Prout of the Columbus Blue Jackets. You can see that brawl in the video above.

One bright side for Anaheim: if they believe that they need to replace what Stewart brings to the table (rugged play with a dash of offense), then at least this injury happened before the the Feb. 29 trade deadline.