2014 NHL Stadium Series - Pittsburgh Penguins v Chicago Blackhawks

‘Our team wasn’t at the level we needed,’ says Penguins coach Bylsma


The Chicago Blackhawks were the better team on Saturday, in a snowy Stadium Series game against the Pittsburgh Penguins at Soldier Field. And Penguins’ head coach Dan Bylsma knew it.

He was blunt in his remarks of his team’s play in a 5-1 loss to the host Blackhawks, not using the wintery conditions as an excuse – even if the constant snowfall made it next to impossible for the skilled players to handle the puck.

“It wouldn’t have mattered if we played this game inside or outside or if there was snow or no snow. They were better and
more prepared to play, whatever the conditions were. And the first half of the game was a large indication of that,” Bylsma told reporters after the game.

“They played to their advantage of being in the offensive zone, they executed better getting there, and they were that team, and we were not.”

The lone Pittsburgh goal was credited to James Neal, although it was Blackhawks defenseman Brent Seabrook who one-timed the puck into his own wide open net in the third period. For the Penguins, Sidney Crosby and Chris Kunitz, two of Pittsburgh’s most dangerous offensive players, were held off the score sheet.

“Our team wasn’t at the level we needed to be, and they were. And you saw that. You saw that pretty much right from the get-go in this game,” said Bylsma.

Sens demote former first-rounder Puempel

Matt Puempel
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Looks like Matt Puempel won’t be making the leap after all.

Puempel, the subject of Ottawa’s “looking to make the leap” profile during our Team of the Day series, has been sent down to AHL Binghamton one day prior to the Sens’ opener against Buffalo.

Puempel, taken by Ottawa in the first round (24th overall) at the ’11 draft, made his big-league debut last season and looked as though he’d stick around — only to suffer a high ankle sprain after 13 games, and miss the rest of the season.

The 22-year-old came into this year’s camp looking to secure a full-time position at the big league level, but was beaten out by Shane Prince for the final forward spot on the roster.

To be fair, contract status probably played a role. Prince would’ve had to clear waivers to get down to Bingo, whereas Puempel didn’t.

A former 30-goal scorer in the American League, Puempel is expected to get another look with Ottawa this season.

Report: Torres won’t appeal 41-game suspension


Sounds like Raffi Torres is accepting his punishment.

Per Sportsnet, Torres won’t appeal his 41-game suspension for an illegal hit to the head of Anaheim’s Jakob Silfverberg.

The report comes just days after the NHL’s Department of Player Safety levied one of the longest disciplinary rulings in league history, citing both the severity of the Silfverberg hit and Torres’ lengthy history of suspensions, fines and warnings.

There was some thought, however, that Torres would try to challenge the ruling.


He does have a history of success in that department. In 2012,Torres successfully appealed his suspension for a headshot on Chicago’s Marian Hossa, and had his punishment reduced from 25 games to 21.

Torres also isn’t considered a “repeat offender” under the current collective bargaining agreement, as his last suspension came in 2013.

Of course, part of that clean record is due to the fact he hasn’t played much. Torres has largely been sidelined by injury for the last two seasons, missing all of last year with knee problems.

Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman delved further into the repeat offender thing in his latest 30 Thoughts column:

If you read the relevant sections of the CBA, the league takes the position that the repeat offender status is only applicable to fines. Repeaters are fined on a per-game basis, non-repeaters on a per-day basis. (The former is more expensive, because there are fewer games than days in an NHL season.) However, if you go to Section 18.2, among the factors taken into account are, “the status of the offender and, specifically, whether the Player has a history of being subject to Supplementary Discipline for On-Ice Conduct.”

So, in the NHL’s view, a player’s history is relevant, even if longer than 18 months ago.

Should the report prove accurate and Torres doesn’t appeal, he will be eligible to return to action on Jan. 14, when the Sharks take on the Oilers.