Florida Panthers defenseman Erik Gudbranson was ejected from last night’s 3-2 shootout victory after delivering a crushing blow to Washington’s Eric Fehr in the second period.
Forward Troy Brouwer immediately fought Gudbranson over the incident and once that scrap was over, the 21-year-old blueliner was handed a match penalty. It looks like he won’t face any further discipline though, reports Sportsnet’s John Shannon.
There were questions raised as to whether or not Gudbranson should be suspended, given that he appeared to hit Fehr’s head, but Panthers coach Peter Horachek strongly disagrees with that assessment.
“It was directly his shoulder that hit [Fehr] in the chest first and the follow through might hit him on the chin as it’s going through, but it’s straight on,” Horachek said, according to the South Florida Sun-Sentinel.
As for Fehr, he temporarily left the game, but returned for the third period.
“I don’t know what his intent was exactly, I haven’t seen the replay so I’m not going to comment on that. It didn’t feel good,” Fehr told the Washington Post. “That was a close call, definitely. It definitely stung me. I think I dodged a bullet there.”
If you want to view the hit for yourself and the fight that followed, you can do so below:
Mike Babcock’s reign with the Detroit Red Wings ended in another first-round defeat, yet it may be lost in time just how close that series was.
Yes, the Tampa Bay Lightning shut down the Red Wings to win Game 7 at home, but Ben Bishop deserves a ton of the credit. The Red Wings snagged the puck for much of the contest, just not enough to beat the big goalie.
While change is in the air in Detroit, the Bolts are largely the same squad that generated a nice showing in the 2015 Stanley Cup Final. We’ll get to see if the Red Wings gain a measure of revenge on NBCSN tonight, with home-ice advantage this time around.
Damon Severson was a healthy scratch on Saturday.
It’s the last game he wants to miss this season.
“I had a good chat with a few people and just pretty much said, ‘I want to be in the next 80 games,’” Severson said, per The Record. “I sat out my game and that’s all I want to be out for for the year.”
Severson is one of the Devils’ most important young players. But this is also the 21-year-old defenseman’s sophomore season, and that’s when slumps can occur.
Hence, the early message he was sent by the coaching staff.
Severson is expected to be back in the lineup tonight when New Jersey hosts Nashville.
“He doesn’t have to be perfect,” coach John Hynes told reporters. “We’d just like to see him have a high compete level. We know he’s ready to go. We had a couple of good meetings with him. He’s in a good spot mentally. I know he’s ready to roll.”