Carcillo might get automatic 10- or 20-game suspension


Most of the time, the length of a suspension is left to the discretion of the NHL’s department of player safety, but the punishments are much stricter when it comes to any physical aggression on a player’s part towards an official.

Consequently, Rangers forward Daniel Carcillo’s playoff run might be over because of his actions during Montreal’s 3-2 overtime victory last night.

Here is the incident in question:

If it is determined that he “applied physical force” against an official “in any manner,” but didn’t intend to cause an injury, then he will be handed a suspension of at least 10 games. If Carcillo “should have known” that his actions “could reasonably be expected to cause injury,” then his suspension will be a minimum of 20 contests. That’s per rules 40.2 and 40.3.

TSN’s Darren Dreger’s “sense” is that one of those two rules will be applied to Carcillo.

The Rangers have a maximum of 11 games left in their postseason run.

There’s also a chance he might get a less severe three-game suspension if they decide that he physically demeaned or deliberately used “physical force to an official solely for the purpose of getting free of such an official.”

That’s rule 40.4 and the least likely to be applied out of the three, in the opinion of TSN’s Bob McKenzie.

“Well, he can’t do that, obviously, what he did there, but we’ll let the league handle that,” Rangers coach Alain Vigneault said.

He went on to argue that if the league called a penalty on Canadiens forward Brandon Prust for his questionable hit on New York’s Derek Stepan, then Carcillo’s actions “probably wouldn’t have happened.”

Campbell’s perfect snipe sinks Wings in OT


Brian Campbell doesn’t score as many points as he used to, but he came up with a huge goal against the Red Wings on Sunday afternoon.

With the game tied, 1-1, in overtime, Campbell skated into the slot and beat Petr Mrazek with a perfect wrister to end the game.

It was also a pretty nice passing play between Jussi Jokinen, Jonathan Huberdeau and Campbell.

Dylan Larkin opened the scoring in the second period before Reilly Smith leveled the score with just over five minutes remaining.

The Wings have blown a lead in three straight games.

Detroit was up 2-0 and 3-2 in their last game, against Edmonton, before they finally closed the game out with an overtime goal by Niklas Kronwall.

They weren’t so fortunate against the Bruins on Wednesday, as they lost 3-2 in OT after leading 2-1 with under two minutes remaining in regulation.

This was the first meeting of the season between Detroit and Florida, but they’ll see each other three times between Feb. 4 and Mar. 19.

With Jonathan Bernier sputtering, we’ll meet Garret Sparks

Garett Sparks
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You can’t blame Mike Babcock for siding with the relatively unknown when the other option is Jonathan Bernier, a goalie who’s 0-8-1 so far in 2015-16.

With that in mind, meet Garret Sparks, the Toronto Maple Leafs’ expected starter for Monday’s game against the Edmonton Oilers.

Sparks was a seventh-round pick (190th overall) in 2011, a guy who was off to a great start in the AHL. That much wasn’t lost on Babcock.

Let’s face it, though; this is as much about the Leafs’ other two goalies as it is about Sparks (whose name inspired a very obscure reference in this post’s headline).

In Bernier’s case, there’s an “enough’s enough” feel:

Meanwhile, James Reimer‘s not quite healthy enough to play yet, so the window of opportunity is open for Sparks … a little bit.

Sparks will get a chance to make an impression, even if it’s just a small one.

Video: Dylan Larkin adds to his rookie goals lead

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So far, the 2015-16 crop of rookies is living up to the hype, if not exceeding it. Connor McDavid‘s unfortunate injury hasn’t even derailed this year’s crop.

The Detroit Red Wings are watching their own blue chip blossom, as Dylan Larkin is making an instant impact.

No. 71 scored his 10th goal of the season against the Florida Panthers on Sunday, fattening his rookie goals lead.

He still needs five points to match rookie points leader Artemi Panarin, though.

Latest report leaves Carey Price’s injury timeline fuzzy

Carey Price
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There’s one thing we seem to know about Carey Price‘s injury situation: he first got hurt stepping on a puck on Oct. 29, according to Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman.

Contrary to earlier reports about him missing about a month, it sounds like his window of recovery is still up in the air (which, to be fair, could mean that he’ll still miss about a month when it’s all said and done).

ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun reports that Price underwent testing with Montreal’s team doctor on Saturday and is expected to go through more; we may not know more about his expected injury timeline until early this coming week.

So, basically, Price’s situation is fuzzier than his mustache right now.

Leg injuries can be tricky anyway, so we shouldn’t be too surprised that there are mixed signals regarding Price, and this may remain a fluid situation for some time.

(But we’ll hopefully know more soon enough.)