Kaleta hit

Kaleta suspended five games for ‘extremely dangerous’ Richards hit

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Buffalo Sabres forward Patrick Kaleta has been suspended five games — the maximum sentence following a telephone disciplinary hearing — for his hit on New York’s Brad Richards.

Kaleta had a telephone hearing with NHL discipline czar Brendan Shanahan Monday afternoon.

“In spite of the fact that Kaleta does not shove Richards with great force, he does so at an extremely dangerous distance from the boards,” Shanahan explained via video. “Kaleta is in full control of this play and has ample opportunity to make a better decision.”

Shanahan also notes Richards didn’t turn his back at the last minute, and did nothing to contribute to being hit.

Here’s Shanahan’s full video explanation:

The incident occurred early in the third period, earning Kaleta a five-minute checking from behind major and game misconduct. Richards left momentarily, but was able to return to the contest.

Kaleta will be out of action until Saturday, Mar. 16, missing games against the Hurricanes, Devils, Flyers, Rangers and Senators — meaning yes, he’ll be held out of action when New York and Buffalo renew acquaintances on Mar. 12.

The Rangers were visibly upset with the hit. Head coach John Tortorella called it “one of the most dangerous hits I’ve ever seen,” while Richards classified it as “stupidity.”

Kaleta himself said he felt like a “bag of garbage” about the incident, but did say he’s “changed his game.”

In addition to missing the next five games, Kaleta will forfeit $76,219.25 in salary to the Players’ Emergency Assistance Fund.

TSN’s Bob McKenzie notes the monetary fine is higher than usual because Kaleta’s a repeat offender.

Watch the Blackhawks’ Patrick Sharp tribute video

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Over the years, the Chicago Blackhawks have been forced to let some important players leave to keep their core together, which ultimately meant parting ways with Patrick Sharp.

The talented winger now wears a Dallas Stars jersey, so Blackhawks fans must face the reality of watching Sharp ply his trade for a formidable Central Division opponent.

Even if that might feel awkward, Blackhawks fans gave Sharp (and Johnny Oduya) a warm reception in Chicago on Thursday.

CSNChicago.com provides video of that ovation, which you can see in the clip above.

The Stars currently lead the Blackhawks 4-2, thanks in large part to Patrick … Eaves.

Wild must overcome Alex Ovechkin’s 14th career hat trick

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Death, taxes and Alex Ovechkin winning the Maurice Richard Trophy.

OK, the third thing on that list isn’t technically inevitable. It just feels that way lately in the NHL.

It’s unclear if the Washington Capitals can hold on against the Minnesota Wild, but we know for certain that Ovechkin already has a hat trick, the 14th of his high-scoring career.

This propels Ovechkin to the goals lead as of this writing, as he already has 34. As impressive as Patrick Kane has been, No. 8 is heating up, and may just edge No. 88 if Ovechkin can remain healthy.

One has to feel a little sympathy for the struggling Wild. They played well but lost against the Dallas Stars earlier this week and now must deal with Ovechkin and the just-as-hot Capitals.

Bylsma believes league will look at Gudas’ hit on Catenacci

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Rugged Philadelphia Flyers defenseman Radko Gudas may get in trouble with the league once again.

At least, it will be that way if Buffalo Sabres head coach Dan Bylsma has his way regarding Gudas’ five-minute charging major hit on Daniel Catenacci.

“I think there’s no question it’s head hit,” Bylsma said, according to the Buffalo News’ John Vogl. ” … I know the league will look at that hit and deal with it.”

As far as the injury portion of possible suspension considerations go:

Marcus Foligno‘s analysis of Gudas was … well just check it out.

The Flyers ended up winning 5-1. Gudas was a busy man overall, racking up 17 penalty minutes.

Fight video: Patrice Bergeron vs. Blake Wheeler (seriously)

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Regular Selke winner Patrice Bergeron can do it all on the ice, it seems. Apparently that means he’ll even drop the gloves.

That was the unlikely scene during Thursday’s Boston Bruins – Winnipeg Jets skirmish, as Bergeron fought fellow finesse forward Blake Wheeler.

Perhaps unusual feisty behavior was just in the air, as Tyler Myers squared off with Matt Beleskey.

(Not as unlikely, but still.)