Hansen hit

Fraser: I’d be surprised if Hansen suspended for Hossa hit; Olcyzk: I’d be surprised if he’s not


A former NHL referee and player have weighed in on Jannik Hansen’s hit on Marian Hossa during Chicago’s 4-3 shootout win over Vancouver on Tuesday night — and, unsurprisingly, the two see things differently.

Kerry Fraser said he’ll be taken aback if Hansen is suspended for his hit on Hossa.

“Stranger things have happened but I would be surprised if Hansen receives a suspension on this play,” Fraser wrote in his most recent TSN mailbag. “I have seen far worse hits that have gone unpunished this season.”

Meanwhile, former Blackhawk and current NHL on NBC analyst Ed Olczyk told a Chicago-area radio station he’d be surprised if Hansen wasn’t suspended.

“To me, there’s no doubt in my mind,” Olczyk said on 670 The Score. “Once he didn’t play the puck, he had one thing in his mind, and that was to put his forearm or elbow in the back of the head of Marian Hossa.

“If you go by what happened with Duncan Keith last year with Daniel Sedin where the principle point of contact was the head, you would assume that Jannik Hansen would get suspended.”

Here’s more, from Fraser:

I do not believe that there was any deliberate or malicious intent on the part of Jannik Hansen to hit Marian Hossa in the head as both players went up for an airborne puck that had been flipped out of the Hawks zone by Jonathan Toews.

The resulting contact to the back of Hossa’s head was not worthy of anything beyond the minor penalty for roughing that was eventually assessed by the referees; albeit well after play was whistled dead for the Hossa injury. 

And more, from Olcyzk:

It was a really quick play. How eerie is it that where Hossa got hit last night is probably within a foot and a half of where he got hit last year in the playoffs.

I would think that with the call and the rules and making sure that players are in control of their actions, I would be surprised if he did not get suspended.

Hansen will meet with NHL officials at 3:30 p.m. ET on Wednesday to decide his fate.

Video: Evgeni Malkin leaves Oilers spinning

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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.”

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.

Slump busters: Simmonds, Couturier end long scoring droughts in win over Rangers


It’s been a good few days to be a fan of the Philadelphia Flyers, as their team delivered not once, but twice during Thanksgiving weekend.

The Flyers picked up a 3-2 OT win over the Predators on Friday before shutting out the New York Rangers, 3-0, on Saturday.

It was a good afternoon for three players in particular.

Both Wayne Simmonds and Sean Couturier ended long scoring slumps.

Simmonds’ two goals were his first in seven games, while Couturier scored for the first time in his last 13 contests.

Goaltender Steve Mason also had a solid outing against the Rangers.

The 27-year-old turned aside all 24 shots he faced including this great save on Dominic Moore:

The Flyers lost defenseman Nick Schultz to an upper-body injury in the first period after he took a big hit from Dylan McIlrath.

Luke Schenn defended his fallen teammate by dropping the gloves with McIlrath, which didn’t go unnoticed by his teammates.

The Rangers are now on a season-high three-game losing streak. Their lack of effort has to be concerning for their head coach Alain Vigneault.

The Flyers outshot the Rangers 30-14 over the final 40 minutes.