Dustin Byfuglien will have a hearing tomorrow morning for his hit Sunday on Canadiens forward Brendan Gallagher.
The hearing was expected by many, but not confirmed until today by the NHL.
Byfuglien received a 2-minute minor for elbowing Gallagher. Though Byfuglien did not, upon further review, lead with his elbow, the NHL may decide that he made Gallagher’s head the main point of contact, similar to today’s decision to suspend Ottawa’s Mark Stone.
This is not the first time a Byfuglien hit has come under the microscope this season. The big Winnipeg defenseman received only a minor penalty for boarding Minnesota’s Jason Pominville on Oct. 25. He was also penalized (charging) for leveling St. Louis defenseman Jay Bouwmeester with a big hit on Oct. 18.
Byfuglien was suspended in April for a “dangerous crosscheck” on Rangers forward J.T. Miller.
Related: Is Dustin Byfuglien going over the line?
A healthy scratch in the Kings’ first game of the season, Brayden McNabb is now logging over 20 minutes a night on a top pairing with Drew Doughty.
We only point out that out because McNabb’s ability to handle such a dramatic increase in workload — from an average of 15:54 last season to 21:35 this season — has helped the Kings win seven in a row heading into tonight’s meeting with the Blackhawks in Chicago.
“I absolutely love playing with Nabber,” Doughty told L.A. Kings Insider a couple of weeks ago. “I think he’s a hell of a player, and he’s just getting better and better every game, and I also think I can help him a lot.”
Coach Darryl Sutter has similarly been impressed with the 24-year-old. And that’s no easy task, impressing Sutter.
“It’s the toughest position to learn at this level,” Sutter told the Daily News. “Goalies don’t come in until they’re really ready. It’s a little bit of a baptism by fire for (defensemen).”
Even after the Kings signed Christian Ehrhoff, the consensus was that somebody would have to step up to help fill the void left by Slava Voynov.
McNabb has done his part. At even strength, he’s only been on the ice for three goals against. And while he may not put up the offensive numbers that Voynov did, if he can eat up even-strength minutes and kill penalties, that leaves Ehrhoff, 33, fresher for the power play.
Canucks defenseman Luca Sbisa was seen in a walking boot today. He won’t play tonight at home against Philadelphia, and according to Vancouver coach Willie Desjardins, it’s more than a day-to-day injury.
Sbisa has been placed on injured reserve. He played Friday in Arizona, so he’ll miss at least a couple of games. Vancouver hosts Pittsburgh Wednesday before starting a seven-game road trip Saturday in Buffalo.
The Canucks didn’t have to call up a defenseman, as Dan Hamhuis is ready to return from his three-game injury absence. Alex Biega was called up last week and remains on the roster, giving Vancouver seven healthy d-men.
Senators forward Mark Stone has been suspended two games for an illegal check to the head of Detroit’s Landon Ferraro.
The NHL ruled that Stone made Ferraro’s head the main point of contact, calling the hit a “reckless shoulder to the head of an opponent.”
Ferraro was not injured on the play and Stone has no disciplinary history.
Stone will miss tomorrow’s game in Montreal and Thursday’s home game versus Winnipeg.
The 23-year-old leads the Sens with 13 points in 11 games.
James Reimer will try to improve on what’s been a tough season to date when he gets the start tonight in Toronto versus the high-powered Stars.
Reimer may not have received the assignment if Jonathan Bernier were feeling better.
“Bernier got bumped in the last game (Saturday night against Pittsburgh) and isn’t feeling as good, so we’re going to go with Reimer,” coach Mike Babcock said, per the Toronto Sun.
Reimer is 1-1-1 with an .876 save percentage. A week ago, the last time he played, he allowed four goals on 24 shots in a 4-3 loss to Arizona.
The Stars, led by Jamie Benn and Tyler Seguin, are the NHL’s third-highest scoring team.
Antti Niemi is expected to start for Dallas.
— Corey Crawford for the Blackhawks. No word on a Kings starter. Los Angeles also plays tomorrow in St. Louis, so Jonathan Quick and Jhonas Enroth could both see action. It’s presumed Quick will start tonight.
— Ryan Miller for the Canucks. No word on a Flyers starter. Philadelphia also plays tomorrow in Edmonton, so Steve Mason and Michal Neuvirth could both see action.