Phil Kessel

Leafs’ Kessel suspended for remainder of preseason for Scott slash


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.


Sabres coach Rolston fined for line brawl vs. Leafs

Report: Clarkson to appeal 10-game ban

GM says Blue Jackets are ‘off the rails’ right now

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On Monday, PHT discussed the Columbus Blue Jackets’ troubling start, even if it felt like it may be too early to raise concerns.

Apparently Blue Jackets management is a little shaken by the second 0-3-0 start in franchise history, however.

Columbus GM Jarmo Kekalainen shared his shock and dismay with the Columbus Post-Dispatch on Tuesday.

“I’m surprised how, in just five days, we’ve gone from a very confident group to something that’s the opposite of that,” Kekalainen told The Dispatch on Tuesday. “Our confidence, our game … it’s off the rails right now.

Maybe losing to the Buffalo Sabres stings a little bit extra?

Kekalainen said “there’s no excuse for how we played in Buffalo,” pointing out that every team in the NHL is a “good team.”

Indeed, just about every squad boasts some dangerous weapons if they catch an opponent sleeping.

The Post-Dispatch goes deeper on Columbus’ recent history of stumbling out of the gate, but consider the foreboding stretch coming up.

Next four games: Three out of four at home
Eight games following that: Seven out of eight on the road.

As you can see, winter is coming for Columbus, so they best get things together. All things considered, this is the right time for a wake-up call.

For bonus chuckles, here’s a photo of Kekalainen on a railing.

via AP

Personal reasons: No Ovechkin for Caps tonight

Alex Ovechkin
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Alex Ovechkin won’t play for the Washington Capitals on Tuesday because of personal reasons, the team confirmed.

He entered the building considerably later than usual, but his presence at least opened the door for the possibility of No. 8 suiting up against the San Jose Sharks.

Instead, the Capitals will face the hot-starting Sharks without Ovechkin (personal reasons) and Nicklas Backstrom (injury).

That’s a tall order, yet it’s also an opportunity for Barry Trotz to prove his system is a difference-maker … and that the Capitals have the young players to take up the mantle when the big stars are out

This is how Washington’s forward lines may look tonight:

No, the Capitals have not shared details regarding what his “personal reasons” might be, by the way.