Author: Mike Halford

No hearing scheduled for Byfuglien after Pominville hit


Winnipeg blueliner Dustin Byfuglien doesn’t have a disciplinary hearing scheduled after boarding Minnesota’s Jason Pominville on Sunday night, an NHL spokesman confirmed.

Byfuglien was given a boarding minor late in the third period for the hit, which left Pominville momentarily woozy but able to finish the contest.

Byfuglien, 30, has a history with the NHL’s Department of Player Safety, having been suspended four games last year for a cross-check on Rangers forward J.T. Miller.

While he escaped supplemental discipline following Monday’s game, his Jets teammate wasn’t so fortunate. Alexander Burmistrov was fined just over $4K for his elbow on Minnesota blueliner Jared Spurgeon, a ruling that came down this afternoon.

The Jets are back in action tomorrow night, when they host the Kings at the MTS Centre.

Banged-up Blues get Fabbri (concussion) back after six-game absence

Robby Fabbri, Mattias Janmark-Nylen

ST. LOUIS (AP) — In the St. Louis Blues’ first game without top forwards Jaden Schwartz and Paul Stastny, it took players a while to adjust.

Coach Ken Hitchcock pointed out that his players have no choice.

Stastny is out at least another month with a broken right foot and Schwartz will be re-evaluated in three months after surgery for a fractured left ankle sustained in a freak practice accident on Friday. Schwartz had 63 points last season and Stastny had 46 points, and had five points in five games this season.

A third forward, Patrik Berglund, isn’t expected back until January after shoulder surgery.

Some help is on the way. The Blues anticipate activating All-Star defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk (groin) and promising rookie Robby Fabbri (concussion) in time for Tuesday night’s game against Tampa Bay. The 19-year-old Fabbri was a first-round pick in 2014 and has been a high scorer in juniors.

Still, it’s going to take a group effort to compensate for all of that lost offense.

The Blues turned up the intensity across the board on Saturday, erasing a two-goal third-period deficit before losing 3-2 in overtime to the Islanders. They outshot New York 15-2 in the third.

“I think we’re going to have to get a little creative with what we do with our roster, and we’re going to have to get more from certain people,” Hitchcock said. “But if we keep up with our work ethic, we keep our spirit up, we’re going to get through this thing and hopefully come out better.”

The malaise was evident at the start of the Islanders game when the Blues won just 5 of 15 of face-offs in the first period. Hitchcock noted a lack of aggressive checking.

“We weren’t sharp off the bat,” goalie Brian Elliott said. “We did a great job just kind of settling down and kind of taking over the game.”

The bottom line is that they salvaged something, and that’s important right now.

“To lose in overtime is a disappointment but you have to be happy with the one point and kind of move on from it and learn from that start,” Elliott said. “We had a lot of good things so you can’t hang your head too much.”

Besides Shattenkirk and Fabbri, the Blues will lean heavier on young Dmitrij Jaskin. They can give increased roles to veterans Scott Gomez and Scottie Upshall, too. Both made the team as tryouts.

“We’ve got to manufacture points, we’ve got to manufacture goals,” Hitchcock said. “It’s not going to come as smooth and as easy as it once did.”

Upshall was supposed to be in the lineup Saturday but became ill about an hour before game-time.

“We know we’re anticipating that Shattenkirk and Fabbri will be back in on Tuesday,” Hitchcock said. “I’m sure Upshall will be back in, so we’re going to get a little bit of stability.”

Rookie defenseman Colton Parayko has stepped in from the start, showing a knack for offense along with solid play on the back line. He had a goal and assist in the Saturday surge. The Blues can always lean on strong net-minding with Elliott and Jake Allen sharing duties.

“It’s just about guys stepping up and filling roles,” Elliott said. “We lost some big-time players and now it’s opportunities.”

Jets’ Burmistrov fined for elbowing Spurgeon


From the NHL’s Department of Player Safety:

Winnipeg Jets forward Alexander Burmistrov has been fined $4,166.67, the maximum allowable under the Collective Bargaining Agreement, for elbowing Minnesota Wild defenseman Jared Spurgeon during NHL Game No. 118 in Winnipeg on Sunday, October 25, the National Hockey League’s Department of Player Safety announced today.

The incident occurred at 13:11 of the second period.

Burmistrov was assessed a minor penalty for elbowing.

Spurgeon was able to continue playing after the elbow, and finished last night’s game with nearly 19 minutes of ice time.

This isn’t the first time Burmistrov’s landed on the disciplinary radar since returning from a two-year stint in the KHL.

In Winnipeg’s season-opening win over Boston, the 24-year-old Russian caught Boston’s Patrice Bergeron with a headshot. Burmistrov was given a illegal check to the head minor on the play and didn’t receive any suspension or fine; that said, CSNNE’s Joe Haggerty reported Burmistrov did receive a warning from the DoPS.

Update: No surgery for Barkov (broken hand), out 2-4 weeks

Aleksander Barkov
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The Florida Panthers needed some good news after yesterday’s report that Aleksander Barkov suffered a broken hand.

On Monday, they got some.

Barkov’s injury won’t require surgery, per the Miami Herald, meaning he’ll be able to return to the lineup once he’s got the strength to properly grip his stick (estimated 2-4 weeks).

The Finnish center was off to a terrific start this year, playing on Florida’s top scoring line between Jonathan Huberdeau and Jaromir Jagr.

With Barkov out, the Panthers will turn to another good youngster — Nick Bjugstad — as their No. 1 pivot.

That upward shuffle means additional opportunities for depth centers Vincent Trocheck, David Bolland and Derek McKenzie.

Per the Herald, here’s what the new lines could look like:

Buffa-woe: Sabres lose Kane (MCL) for 4-6 weeks after Schlemko hit


There was concern the hit Devils d-man David Schlemko put on Evander Kane this weekend may have caused serious damage to Kane’s knee.

And with good reason.

On Monday, the Sabres announced that Kane would miss the next 4-6 weeks with a left MCL injury. It’s a pretty tough blow for a team that’s struggled out of the gate — 2-6-0, tied for last in the Atlantic — and struggled to score goals this year.

Buffalo has just 16 through the first eight games.

Kane hadn’t been lighting it up — just a goal and three points this season — but was averaging over 20 minutes per night while playing with a variety of different forwards. Head coach Dan Bylsma has juggled his lines a fair bit, looking to find some chemistry in a group that was completely remodeled this offseason by GM Tim Murray.

In the wake of Kane’s injury, here’s what Buffalo’s lines may look like:

The Kane injury is also the latest to hit the Sabres, who’ve had little luck in the health department this season. Defenseman Zach Bogosian has yet to suit up while dealing with a lower-body injury, and No. 1 netminder Robin Lehner has been sidelined since Oct. 10 with an ankle sprain.

As for a return date? Should Kane miss the full six weeks, he’d be in line to come back around the first week in December — meaning he could miss up to 15 games.