John Tortorella was none too pleased about the hit that knocked Vancouver defenseman Ryan Stanton out of Tuesday’s game versus Minnesota.
And he was equally displeased with the guy that threw the hit — Wild forward Zenon Konopka.
“It shouldn’t have been a minor,” Tortorella said of Konopka’s two-minute tripping penalty, as per the Vancouver Sun. “That’s what I thought. We are trying to get that play out of the game and look at the person who is doing it.
“I just thought it should have been more than a minor.”
Konopka, 32, has a reputation as a tough, hard-nosed checking forward that’s not afraid to fight — and he has had brushes with the NHL’s Department of Player Safety. He was fined $2,500 for verbally abusing Brian Boyle during pregame warmups in the Rangers-Senators playoff series of ’12 but, it must be noted, has never been suspended during his eight-year, 320-game NHL career.
As for Stanton, he returned briefly after crashing hard into the boards feet-first on the Konopka hit (his ankle looked to have turned awkwardly.) Stanton played just one more shift before shutting it down for the night, re-emerging postgame in a walking boot.
“I don’t know what it is,” Tortorella said of Stanton’s injury. “He is going to get evaluated.”
UPDATE: If you want to see the trip, click here and FF to the :35 mark. Thanks to PHT commenter kgod30 for finding the link.
UPDATE 2: Stanton has been sent back to Vancouver for evaluation, meaning he’s out for the remainder of the trip (at Dallas on Thursday, at Chicago on Friday.) It’s likely that Andrew Alberts will draw back into the lineup.
The Buffalo Sabres have recalled forward Justin Bailey from AHL Rochester.
It’s the first time Bailey, a second-round pick in 2013, has ever been called up to the NHL. The 20-year-old joins the big club after piling up 11 points (5G, 6A) in his last eight games for the Americans.
Most Sabres fans will know that Bailey is from Buffalo (technically, Williamsville), the son of former Bills linebacker Carlton Bailey. (To learn more, click on this Buffalo News story from July.)
The Sabres play Thursday in Philadelphia, where Bailey will reportedly make his NHL debut.
To make room for Bailey on Buffalo’s roster, Zemgus Girgensons (lower body) was placed on injured reserve.
Thing have gone from bad to weird in Minnesota, where embattled Wild coach Mike Yeo was “disappointed” to see Zenon Konopka’s rabbit holding a sign that read, “YEO MUST GO.”
Hey, we told you things had gotten weird.
Konopka, a former Wild player, took to Twitter last night after Minnesota’s latest loss.
Here’s what Konopka tweeted:
And what did Yeo think about that?
“I really don’t care what he says,” he told the Star Tribune, apparently adding with a laugh, “I will say I was very disappointed to see Hoppy holding that sign.”
Now, according to the newspaper’s Michael Russo, “Konopka and Yeo had a lot of issues behind the scenes and that’s why [Konopka] ended up on waivers two Januarys ago.”
Still, that doesn’t change the fact that a lot of Wild fans agree with Hoppy, er, Konopka, and it doesn’t change the fact that the Wild could really, really use a win tomorrow at home to Washington.
Nice work from Artem Anisimov and Matt Niskanen this week, but Connor McDavid‘s tally is on a different level.
You can pretty much bank on McDavid being in Goals of the Year, too. Just saying.
Laurent Brossoit is getting another crack at the NHL.
On Wednesday, the Oilers announced they demoted Anders Nilsson — who, earlier this year, was carrying the starting gig in Edmonton — and recalled Brossoit from AHL Bakersfield.
Brossoit, 22, is an interesting story. Taken in the sixth round of the 2011 draft (164th overall), he’s really made strides over the last year. He made his big-league debut at the end of last season and performed extremely well, making 49 saves on 51 shots in a loss to San Jose.
This year, Brossoit was named an AHL All-Star. He’s posted a 14-8-3 record for the Condors thus far, with a 2.70 GAA and .921 save percentage.
As for Nilsson, his demotion comes after losing the starting gig to Cam Talbot. Nilsson has also struggled to find the good form shown in November, when he made 10 starts and posted a .915 save percentage.
In his last outing, the lanky Swede allowed three goals on 10 shots in an embarrassing 8-1 loss to the Isles.