Author: Mike Halford

Vancouver Canucks v Calgary Flames - Game Three

Burrows’ instigator suspension rescinded, allowed to play Game 4


Sounds like Vancouver forward Alex Burrows will have his instigator-related suspension from late in Sunday’s loss to Calgary rescinded, meaning he’ll be eligible to play Game 4.

The report, per Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman, comes just hours after Burrows was given a five-minute fighting major, a two-minute boarding minor and the aforementioned instigator penalty following a scrap with Calgary d-man Kris Russell in Game 3:

Though NHL rules state that instigator penalties levied in the final moments of games can be grounds for suspension, it’s possible that Burrows’ ban was rescinded because he wasn’t judged to have been sending a message, or exacting retribution.

It’s also worth noting that the league has already rescinded an instigator penalty in this series — the one called against Flames defenseman Deryk Engelland in the waning moments of Game 2.

Update: NHL confirms it:

No hearing scheduled for Hamhuis after Bennett headshot


Vancouver defenseman Dan Hamhuis does not have a hearing scheduled following his illegal check to the head of Sam Bennett on Sunday night, per an NHL spokesman.

Here’s the hit in question, which earned Hamhuis a two minute minor:

Bennett, 18, returned to the ice shortly afte and was on for Jannik Hansen’s goal at 17:41 that cut Calgary’s lead to 4-2. Bennett didn’t play another shift following the goal.

The illegal check to the head was the second incident Hamhuis’ been in the middle of in as many games. During the brawl at the end of Game 2, he was the third man in a fight between Derek Dorsett and Deryk Engelland and received a game misconduct.

As for this latest incident, it’s worth nothing that NHL discipline czar Stephane Quintal could still schedule a hearing with Hamhuis for the Bennett hit. That said, it would need to happen rather quickly (and probably already would’ve) as the Flames and Canucks are right back in action tomorrow at the Saddledome.

Abdelkader set to make series debut for Wings

Detroit Red Wings v Philadelphia Flyers

The Detroit Red Wings are back at home, and returning a key piece of the lineup.

Justin Abdelkader, who missed the first two games of the playoffs with a hand injury, will draw back in for tomorrow’s Game 3 at the Joe when the Wings host the Lightning with the series tied 1-1.

Getting Abdelkader back will be a big boost for Detroit, especially after getting spanked 5-1 in Game 2. The 28-year-old scored a career-high 23 goals this season and averaged just under 18 minutes per night — 17:55, also a personal best — and, what’s more, has a wealth of playoff experience with 54 games on his resume.

Based on this morning’s skate, Abdelkader will play on a line with Henrik Zetterberg and Gustav Nyquist, which allows Pavel Datsyuk to center a unit featuring Darren Helm and Tomas Tatar. Abdelkader was also in his familiar spot in front of the net on the power play, where he scored eight times this season.

It looks as though veteran Stephen Weiss will be dropped from the lineup to make room.