Following a vicious knockout of Washington’s Patrick Wey during Sunday’s 4-3 shootout win, Preds tough guy Rich Clune discussed the series of events that led to the fight — and the aftermath.
“I reached out to the kid on Washington just to express the fact that I hope he’s OK and it wasn’t my intention to hurt him,” said Clune, per the Tennessean. “He was the one kind of engaging me, and I had no idea who he was. I don’t even look at the other team’s roster before the game.
“I just see the names they write on the board. The kid said he was OK.”
Here’s the fight:
Clune’s response came after Washington voiced displeasure with how the scrap went down. Head coach Adam Oates and forward Troy Brouwer both remarked that Clune shouldn’t have gone after a fighter as inexperienced as Wey — he had one prior career tilt, back in his junior days — and Tom Wilson was upset Clune didn’t engage him in a subsequent fight.
Clune said he didn’t want to fight Wilson because the Preds had a lead and he didn’t want to risk taking a penalty, but understands why Wilson, Oates and Brouwer reacted they way they did.
“I can understand the Washington organization and the Washington fans being mad, but there’s not much more I can say other than we’ll see each other at another date,” Clune said. “Patrick is going to bounce back.”
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.