Here’s the hit in question, which occurred during Ottawa’s 4-1 win on Saturday:
The incident happened early in the second period, with Cowen receiving an interference minor. Jokinen appeared to be shook up initially but didn’t miss any time, finishing the game with 16:21 TOI.
Cowen, 24, did have a history with the NHL’s Department of Player Safety as a repeat offender. Back in December of 2013, he was suspended two games for an illegal check to the heat of Buffalo’s Zemgus Girgensons:
As a result of today’s suspension, Cowen will miss Ottawa’s next three games: Wednesday in Anaheim, Thursday in Los Angeles and Saturday in San Jose.
Jared Cowen on suspension: “I’m disappointed. I think 3 games is a bit much. I didn’t hurt anyone and I didn’t mean to hurt anyone.”
The Buffalo Sabres haven’t been that much better as a team lately – at least as far as any reasonable stat goes – but Michal Neuvirth is on such a hot run that it’s not as safe to write them off as an easy win.
Yes, the Nashville Predators won 2-1 via a shootout on Sunday, but they had to sweat this one thanks almost entirely to Neuvirth’s efforts. They trailed for most of the third period until Mike Ribeiro was the only Predator who could thwart Neuvirth in regulation (and on the power play, to boot).
Overall, Neuvirth stopped 37 out of 38 shots. While he’s still not really winning, just look at what the 26-year-old goalie’s done in February:
1-3-2 record, .944 save percentage, 1.93 GAA.
One almost wonders if Neuvirth might just play himself out of Buffalo, as his strong work may just be a threat to what many believe is a tank job.
In other words, there’s at least some room for concern that the Sabres’ bid for a guaranteed top-two pick could even hit a wall:
“Sometimes you’re mature in certain things. Sometimes you’re not. Unfortunately, we’ll have to deal with him,” said Ted Nolan per The Buffalo News. “We had a number of discussions, and then another thing happened this morning. We’ll just talk to him again.”
“I think the trade was a good thing,” he said. “I’m looking forward to having a fresh start with a new team and a new city. So far everybody has been really nice and I’ve been welcomed in a real positive way here.”
The 23-year-old had surgery to repair a torn labrum in his left shoulder this month and won’t make his Sabres debut until next season.
Kane, who had 109 goals and 222 points in 361 games over six seasons with the Atlanta/Winnipeg franchise, expects to be ready for training camp.
“I’m really looking forward to getting healthy and back next year. Hopefully turn this thing around in Buffalo,” said Kane. “I have more than enough time to hopefully get this shoulder back to 100 percent and really looking forward to training in the summer.”
Kane says he plans to meet with his new teammates and take in Sunday’s game against the Nashville Predators while in Buffalo.