Blackhawks’ Sharp to Williams: ‘I’ll fight him any day’


It’s on, apparently, between Patrick Sharp and Justin Williams.

Sharp and Williams, who had a combined eight penalty minutes in these playoffs, dropped the gloves prior to a faceoff in the neutral zone during the first period in Game 3 of the Western Conference final Tuesday night.

The linesmen broke up the scuffle before any real punches could be thrown. The two were jawing prior to the drop of the puck, before Sharp delivered a stiff cross check to Williams.

“He asked me to fight. He asks me again, I’ll (fight) him any day he wants,” said Sharp, according to Brian Hamilton of the Chicago Tribune.

Neither player is really known for their ability to throw down.

Sharp, the Blackhawks’ veteran forward, is tied with David Krejci of the Boston Bruins for the league-lead in goals these playoffs with eight.

Williams, the Kings’ veteran forward, scored Tuesday in L.A.’s 3-1 win and now has four goals in the last four games.

Bad blood has been brewing between these two teams, and it continued in Game 3.

And it went beyond the Sharp-Williams feud.

Blackhawks’ defenseman Duncan Keith was assessed a double-minor for high sticking in the second period, when he slashed Kings’ forward Jeff Carter in the face.


Report: Islanders cut first-rounder Barzal from camp

Mathew Barzal
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It seems Mathew Barzal has played in his last game in a New York Islanders’ uniform for a little while.

Barzal took part in the Islanders’ preseason finale against the Washington Capitals on Sunday, but after that contest the Islanders decided to return him to WHL Seattle, per Newsday’s Arthur Staple.

He was taken with the 16th overall pick in 2015 NHL Entry Draft. That selection was well-traveled as it originally belonged to the Pittsburgh Penguins, but was involved in the David Perron trade and then moved to the Islanders as part of Edmonton’s deal to get Griffin Reinhart.

Barzal is noteworthy for his skill and speed, but he may have slipped in the draft due to a knee injury he sustained during the 2014-15 campaign.

The Islanders also reassigned Kirill Petrov, Kevin Czuczman, Scott Mayfield, and Adam Pelech to the AHL’s Bridgeport Sound Tigers.

Torres offered in-person hearing, potentially setting up long suspension

Torres hit

What will Raffi Torres get this time?

The 33-year-old forward that has become known primarily for his controversial hits has once again put himself in the sights of the NHL’s Department of Players Safety. They confirmed that he was offered an in-person hearing following his hit on Jakub Silfverberg Saturday night. He declined the opportunity to meet with them face-to-face, but the offer itself is an important detail because it gives the league the option to suspend him for more than five games.

It certainly seems like the stage is set for a lengthy suspension. While Torres is not considered a repeat offender as his last suspension came more than 18 months ago, the NHL still retains the right to consider his history when deciding on this matter.

Among other incidents, he was once was banned from 25 games for his hit on Marian Hossa in 2012, although it was later reduced to 21 contests after an appeal. The NHL found that Torres was guilty of breaking three rules for that hit; namely interference, charging, and illegally hitting the head. The NHL is reviewing Torres’ latest incident for the same three violations.

You can see the hit below:

And here it is slowed down:

Torres got a match penalty and Silfverberg left the game. Fortunately, Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau said that Silfverberg could have returned, but was kept out for precautionary reasons.