Tag: match penalty

Dale Hunter

Hunter thinks Backstrom’s cross-check “wasn’t that bad”


Longer-term history would indicate that Nicklas Backstrom won’t be suspended for a late cross-check that generated a match penalty in Game 3, although Craig Adams’ one-game suspension makes it a more interesting question. Washington Capitals coach Dale Hunter appears confident that he’ll have the talented Swede in the lineup, as he told media members such as Sky Kerstein.

Hunter said that he expects the league to review the situation – a requirement to avoid an automatic suspension – and for the NHL to rescind the match penalty. Hunter opined that “it wasn’t that bad.”

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Not too surprisingly, Boston Bruins coach Claude Julien was less-than-thrilled. Stephen Whyno reports that Julien claims this was “the third time in three games” that a Capitals player delivered a cross-check to a Bruins player’s face.

Whether Backstrom plays in Game 4 or not, it seems like there will be quite a bit more tension in the air in DC and then Boston as this series goes along.

Nicklas Backstrom’s late cross-check could bring suspension

Nicklas Backstrom

The Boston Bruins’ increasingly tense and remarkably tight 4-3 win against the Washington Capitals got awfully chippy as the game went along. One of the surprising parties involved in the violence was Capitals star Nicklas Backstrom, who might just be in line for a suspension for this:

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Mike Vogel has the details:

“In addition to match penalty, player shall be automatically suspended from further competition until Commissioner has ruled on the issue.”

There are a few interesting things to consider. The NHL likely has the right to rescind the penalty, thus stripping the automatic suspension from the situation. Of course, the league had a similar (in some ways) opportunity in regard to Craig Adams, who received a one-game suspension.

Will Adams’ suspension serve as a precedent-setter? Could Backstrom’s star status get him out of it? More importantly, do you think Backstrom deserves to get off the hook?

The Swedish center already has an overtime game-winner in this series, so this could be another big loss for Washington after they fell in Game 3.

More on the incident

Dale Hunter doesn’t think it is suspension-worthy.

Rich Peverley tells his side of the story.

Jordan Staal will play tonight against Islanders

Pittsburgh Penguins v New York Rangers

After a fair amount of confusion this morning about what means what when it came to Jordan Staal’s match penalty last night, it’s come out that Staal will be available to play tonight against the Islanders in Pittsburgh.

Staal received a match penalty for sucker punching Brandon Prust of the Rangers last night. A match penalty comes with a mandatory one-game suspension unless the league rescinds that. NHL.com’s Dan Rosen got direct clarification on Staal’s status after some confusion over the announcement that no further action would be taken against Staal.

Colin Campbell: “We have reviewed the play and have communicated to Ray Shero that Jordan Staal is available to play tonight.”

This means that the Pens will have at least one stellar forward in the lineup tonight after it was announced today that Evgeni Malkin was retroactively put on injured reserve and won’t play tonight.

Jordan Staal gets five-minute major and match penalty for “sucker punch” to Rangers Brandon Prust


It’s just another typical Rangers-Penguins game in New York City tonight. This time around, things got a bit heated in the second period with the Rangers trailing 3-2 and a scrum erupting in front of the Rangers bench.

Rangers tough guy Brandon Prust and Penguins forward Jordan Staal came together briefly with Prust roughing up Staal initially. Staal pushed back and then punched Prust in the face with a gloved hand. Prust, however, dropped like a rock to the ice holding his face and getting the Rangers bench on their feet. Staal was assessed a five-minute major and a match penalty for roughing and was sent off for the sucker punch. Prust, got up and was back on the bench after over-selling the punch to draw the penalty.

A match penalty comes with a mandatory one-game suspension unless the NHL rescinds the penalty. The Penguins are slated to face the Islanders tomorrow so whether or not Staal ends up sitting down will be decided tomorrow.

What’s the real issue here is the egregious embellishment of the punch on the part of Prust. Prust earlier fought Penguins tough defenseman Deryk Engelland and took multiple punches to the head from Engelland’s bare fist without dropping like a rock. Either Jordan Staal is a lot stronger than he lets on or Prust needs to win an Academy Award.