Toronto Maple Leafs forward Phil Kessel has been suspended for the remainder of the preseason — three games — for slashing at Buffalo’s John Scott during Sunday’s wild line brawl.
Kessel, who was jumped by Scott off the faceoff, had received a match penalty for intent to injure.
“While we acknowledge that Kessel’s initial motivation was self defense, he persists and swings his stick again, even after having escaped the immediate threat from Scott,” explained NHL discipline czar Brendan Shanahan.
Shanahan also notes that Kessel’s sentence included consideration of a stick-swinging incident against Philadelphia earlier in the preseason, as shown in the explanatory video:
Kessel will now miss Toronto’s game tonight against Ottawa and the Friday-Saturday back-to-backs against Detroit on Sept. 27 and 28. He will be eligible to return when the Leafs open the regular season against Montreal on Oct. 1.
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This hasn’t been the best night for St. Louis sports fans.
Obviously, the MLB’s Cardinals getting bounced from the playoffs is a bigger deal, but the Blues face bad news, too.
While they’re currently leading the Calgary Flames by a score of 4-3, they’ll need to hang on without Kevin Shattenkirk, whose night is over thanks to a lower-body injury.
There’s no word yet on how severe the issue might be.
Naturally, the Blues must hope that it’s minor, as Shattenkirk is one of the NHL’s truly underrated assets on the blueline.
Stephanie (@MyRegularFace) tracked down a moment when the injury may have happened:
It’s not all rosy for the Flames, either, as Lance Bouma suffered an injury as well.
In some ways, it really felt like their first-round series.
For all the talent on both ends of the rink with the Detroit Red Wings and Tampa Bay Lightning, each squad can really smother opponents defensively when things go that way.
Through two periods, the two teams were very quiet. Things really picked up when Justin Abdelkader unleashed a big hit, a moment that injected enough life into the proceedings for the Red Wings to eventually build a 3-1 win.
Maybe they’re slipping under the radar a bit compared to previous iterations of the team, but it’s interesting that the Red Wings are now undefeated in three games.
They’ve been impressive at times, too, outscoring opponents by a combined score of 11-4.
Call it a refreshing time after Mike Babcock or merely carryover from a subtly solid run last season, but either way, the Red Wings may just be able to keep up their end of a brewing rivalry.