Colorado Avalanche forward Gabriel Landeskog has been suspended two games for an illegal check to the head of Bruins forward Brad Marchand.
Landeskog was assessed a match penalty on the play, which occurred yesterday in Boston.
Though the NHL did not consider the check to be late, it did rule that Landeskog came from the “blind side” and made Marchand’s head the “main point of contact.” Hence, the suspension.
Landeskog will miss games Saturday and Tuesday in Montreal and Toronto, respectively.
Marchand, who was not hurt on the play, was fined $5,000 for “roughing” Landeskog in retaliation.
The Detroit Red Wings have been playing better hockey lately.
Not great hockey, mind you. But better.
And tonight against San Jose, they’ll get Pavel Datsyuk back.
“I think the last three games we’ve been spending more time in the offensive end than the other team, so we’re getting better,” forward Henrik Zetterberg told NHL.com. “But obviously having [Datsyuk] back, protecting the puck and holding onto the puck, will help us.”
The Red Wings have managed to survive without Datsyuk, going 8-6-1 in their first 15 games. But if not for the goaltending of Petr Mrazek and Jimmy Howard, Datsyuk’s absence (ankle) could have been considerably more costly.
The key now will be for Datsyuk to stay healthy. That’s been a major issue for the 37-year-old in recent seasons.
Datsyuk will start on the wing with Zetterberg at center and Justin Abdelkader on the other wing. The second line will feature young Dylan Larkin between Tomas Tatar and Gustav Nyquist.
If the playoffs started today, the Chicago Blackhawks wouldn’t be in them.
Of course, the playoffs don’t start today. They don’t start for, oh, around 150 days.
Still, ‘Hawks coach Joel Quenneville is concerned.
“It’s early in the year, but at the same time, you look at our division, everybody picks up points on a nightly basis, and [when] you lose ground like you do last night, it’s tough to recapture,” he said today, per the Chicago Sun-Times. “We know how tough it’s going to be down the road. It’s not going to get any easier.”
Actually, it might get a little easier, because Duncan Keith is back. The Conn Smythe Trophy-winning defenseman will play Saturday in St. Louis. So will Michal Rozsival.
Keith missed 10 games following knee surgery. The ‘Hawks went 5-4-1 while he was gone, but they’re 2-4-1 in their last seven, including last night’s home loss to the Devils.
Related: ‘Hawks take Rozsival (ankle) off LTIR, send Gustafsson to minors
The Boston Bruins looked liked they’d turned it around.
Then came November.
With last night’s home loss to Colorado, the B’s fell to 1-4-0 on the month, and 7-7-1 overall.
Coach Claude Julien called his team’s play “unacceptable.”
“Ten minutes of good hockey isn’t enough,” he said, per CSN New England’s Joe Haggerty.
Julien was referring to the first 10 minutes of the 3-2 loss to the Avalanche. The B’s had jumped out to a 2-0 lead, only to be tied before the first period was over.
“I think as a group we have to figure it out,” Julien told NHL.com. “You’re so proud of your team one night because they come in and they play hard and you win hockey games and tell yourself this is the identity of our team, this is how we’ve got to play. And then the next night it’s not there.”
Defensive breakdowns continue to plague the B’s:
Yes, Kevan Miller had a tough night.
The Bruins will try to improve their 1-5-1 home record Saturday when they host their division rivals from Detroit.
The hole just keeps getting deeper for the Calgary Flames. After only 17 games, they’re already seven points out of a playoff position, dead last in the Western Conference.
Last night in Tampa, the Flames played well, but not well enough, leaving with a 3-1 loss and a 5-11-1 record.
“This one really hurts. I felt that our guys deserved way better,” coach Bob Hartley told the Calgary Sun.
“But hey, don’t get discouraged. Roll up your sleeves. In our situation right now, we have to battle.”
Indeed they do. Because things won’t get any easier tonight in Washington or Sunday in Chicago.
A tale of two seasons for Flames (per war-on-ice.com)
2015-16 shooting percentage: 8.4 (20th)
2014-15 shooting percentage: 10.4 (1st)
2015-16 save percentage: .873 (30th)
2014-14 save percentage: .910 (20th)