TSN reports that NHL discipline czar Brendan Shanahan has suspended Boston Bruins forward Milan Lucic one game for boarding Philly’s Zac Rinaldo:
Lucic received a five-minute major and game misconduct for the hit, which was all kinds of contentious. Rinaldo didn’t appear hurt on the play (in fact, he jumped up and tooled on Nathan Horton) and later said he didn’t think the hit was dirty.
Lucic didn’t agree with the call, saying “I felt like I made every effort to take him out laterally” and “you can see even him, his body rotating because I took him from the right side.” B’s head coach Claude Julien said much of the same, claiming that Lucic let up and Rinaldo turned at the last second.
No matter, though.
Shanahan opted to suspend Lucic anyway, and one wonders what would’ve happened if he didn’t. Looch ran afoul of the league earlier this season after charging Ryan Miller (though he ultimately avoided punishment) and holds repeat offender status thanks to a one-game suspension for crosschecking Maxim Lapierre in the face during the 2009 playoffs.
Throw in the fact other incidents involving Bruins went unpunished — Adam McQuaid’s knee on Nick Foligno, Brad Marchand’s slew-foot on Matt Niskanen — well, it was almost too much for the conspiracy theorists to handle. (With this out of the way they can now move onto other theories, like how the DaVinci Code foretold the recent concussion pandemic.)
Of note, this is just the second single-game suspension Shanahan’s issued this year. The other went to Buffalo’s Ville Leino for an elbow to the head of Philly’s Matt Read.
NHL discipline czar Brendan Shanahan has suspended Edmonton Oilers defenseman Andy Sutton indefinitely for his hit on Carolina’s Alexei Ponikarovsky.
(Watch the hit here.)
The incident occurred in the third period of Edmonton’s 5-3 loss to the ‘Canes on Wednesday night; Sutton has the option of an in-person hearing with Shanahan to discuss the incident, according to NHL.com.
This is Sutton’s second suspension in 41 days (he got a five-gamer for a headshot on Colorado’s Gabriel Landeskog back in late October) and fourth of his career — he was suspended four games for a headshot on Darcy Tucker and a two games for boarding Pascal Dupuis.
As such, we could be entering uncharted waters with the impending Shanaban. I don’t know if you can classify Sutton as a repeat offender anymore, because he’s sorta entered serial offender territory. Remember, this was the same guy that didn’t seem overly concerned about changing his game after the Landeskog hit.
“I’ll continue to play my style,” he told the National Post. “You have to play close to the opposing player and I’ll still play aggressively.”
Mike Russo of the Minnesota Star-Tribune is reporting that Wild forward Nick Johnson will not receive any additional punishment for his alleged “headbutt” on Calgary’s Jarome Iginla last night.
The incident occurred during a second period scrap with Minnesota up 2-0:
Johnson received five minutes for fighting and an additional 10 (match penalty, intent to injure) with the headbutt coming around the 40 second mark of the video.
The big debate is if Johnson’s actions were egregious enough for a match penalty…or if the match penalty was a result of Iggy working the officials.
“It just felt I got head-butted. I haven’t had that very often in a fight. I thought the refs made the right call, and that pretty much was the end of it,” Iginla told reporters afterward. “You just kinda get fired up in a fight, and I felt like he got me there a couple of times with the head. I thought the refs saw it, made the right call, and that was pretty much the end of it.”
Wild head coach Mike Yeo disagreed with the call (Russo also disagreed, for whatever that’s worth), suggesting that Johnson was merely trying to protect himself during a fight.
I guess the tricky part for Brendan Shanahan and the NHL’s discipline/player safety department is they just nailed Buffalo’s Patrick Kaleta for serial headbutting. That said, there’s a big difference between the moves Kaleta pulled and what Johnson did last night. Johnson was jerking his head around during a fight; Kaelta was launching himself at unsuspecting opponents with his helmet on (and was caught doing it on three separate occasions.)
UPDATE: Russo also reports the Wild plan to make a formal request to Terry Gregson, NHL Director of Officiating, to rescind the match penalty.