Florida Panthers

Kerry Fraser: Orpik hit on Boyle was legal

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We all saw the hit Brooks Orpik put on Dan Boyle last night:

After the game, Rangers coach Alain Vigneault reportedly thought Boyle would be fine. But the 38-year-old didn’t look particularly fine trying to skate off the ice, and he didn’t return to the game.

Many observers felt Orpik deserved to be penalized for a hit to the head.

Ex-referee Kerry Fraser, however, deemed the hit legal.

Fraser’s full explanation is here at TSN.ca. But it boils down to Rule 48, which was reworded in 2013 to clarify that only “avoidable” contact to head would be punished.

According to Fraser, the contact to Boyle’s head was not illegal, because:

– Boyle placed himself in a vulnerable position.
– The Rangers player materially change his body and head position immediately prior to the hit delivered by Orpik.
– Orpik attempted to hit squarely through his opponent’s body and did not “pick” Boyle’s head.

The NHL has applied the reworded Rule 48 before. Remember when Radko Gudas was not suspended for a hit on Scottie Upshall?

Fraser, for the record, does not like the fact that Orpik’s hit was a legal one. In fact, he feels it’s “time to rethink the end game and re-draft” Rule 48 to outlaw hits that are “designed to inflict excessive punishment on a vulnerable player.”

Canada thumps Austria, remain undefeated at Worlds

Jason Spezza and Matt Duchene each had two goals and two assists as Canada thumped Austria 10-1 on Tuesday at the World Hockey Championship.

Mike Smith made 14 saves in the victory.

With the win Canada finished the round robin a perfect 7-0 while scoring 45 goals and is the top seed in Group A.

The Canadians will now play Belarus on Thursday in the quarterfinals.

Canada elected to rest captain Sidney Crosby for the game and defenseman Dan Hamhuis wore the ‘C’ as the team’s captain.

Duchene, Tyson Barrie, Taylor Hall and Aaron Ekblad scored first period goals giving Canada a 4-0 lead after 20 minutes.

Spezza and Jordan Eberle made it 6-0 after two periods.

Dominique Heinrich spoiled Smith’s shutout bid early in the third getting Austria on the board.

Spezza, Duchene, Nathan MacKinnon and Brayden Schenn added third period goals for Canada.

Thirteen members of Canada’s roster had at least a point in the win.

PHT Morning Skate: IIHF reporter tries to put a Sabres shirt on Jack Eichel

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PHT’s Morning Skate takes a look around the world of hockey to see what’s happening and what we’ll be talking about around the NHL world and beyond.

As the consensus No. 2 pick at this June’s NHL Draft Jack Eichel is likely headed to the Buffalo Sabres. An IIHF reporter decided to see what the Boston University product would look like in some Sabres’ gear during a recent interview and things got a bit awkward. (Bar Down)

Devan Dubnyk, Andrew Hammond and Karri Ramo are among goaltenders set to become unrestricted free agents. Brian Costello sizes up this summer’s free agent goalie class. (The Hockey News)

During an off-day practice at the World Hockey Championship Jaromir Jagr’s teammate Jakub Klepis decided to wear a vintage Jagr Penguins’ jersey perhaps in the hopes to have the 42-year-old’s skill rub off. (Bar Down)

Henrik Lundqvist received the team’s broadway hat from captain Ryan McDonagh following Sunday’s Game 6 win.

Here’s a look at the goals of the week courtesy of Sportsnet:

Stunner: Unbeaten Americans fall to Belarus at Worlds

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USA Hockey’s feel-good story has taken a rough turn at the 2015 World Hockey Championships.

The Americans, who got off to an impressive 3-0-0-0 start in the Czech Republic, dropped a shocking 5-2 decision to minnows Belarus at CEZ Arena on Thursday.

Belarus has never defeated the U.S. and its current squad is devoid of NHLers, though it does feature two former players in brothers Andrei and Sergei Kostitsyn. The pair proved vital in today’s win, combining for four points, while Alexander Kitarov scored what proved to be the eventual game-winner in the second period.

As for the Americans, today’s loss comes after arguably its biggest win at the tourney — a 4-2 win over Russia, in which the club knocked off a powerhouse team featuring the likes of Evgeni Malkin, Vladimir Tarasenko, Sergei Bobrovsky, Dmitry Kulikov, Artem Anisimov and Ilya Kovalchuk.

The U.S. goals versus Belarus were scored by Brock Nelson and Torey Krug, with Boston University product Jack Eichel assisting on both tallies. It was a forgettable game for goalie Jack Campbell, who allowed five goals on 23 shots.

Campbell’s counterpart, Belarus’ Kevin Lalande, stopped 28 of 30 shots for the win and continued his stellar run of play at this tournament. The former Flames draftee now boasts a .938 save percentage and 1.74 GAA.

Lightning prospect DeAngelo named OHL’s best d-man

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Tampa Bay prospect Anthony DeAngelo has joined a list that includes some of the top blue-liners in the history of the game.

DeAngelo has been awarded the Max Kaminsky Trophy, given to the OHL’s best defenseman, after racking up 89 points in 55 games for Sarnia and Sault Ste. Marie.

Past winners of the Max Kaminsky Trophy include Denis Potvin, Larry Murphy, Al MacInnis, Chris Pronger, and Drew Doughty. More recently, it’s been awarded to Jake Muzzin, Ryan Ellis, Dougie Hamilton, and Aaron Ekblad.

DeAngelo was drafted 19th overall last summer, an honor that came not long after being suspended eight games for making “a most inappropriate statement to a teammate.”

“I made a mistake in what I did and know I was wrong for the comment I made,” DeAngelo told NHL.com. “I was deserving of disciplinary actions.”

DeAngelo’s 89 points were 18 more than the second most by a d-man (Owen Sound’s Chris Bigras, Colorado Avalanche).

Related: In DeAngelo, Bolts say they got draft’s top offensive d-man