Multiple reporters (including Katie Strang and Arthur Staple) quote high-ranking but unnamed sources who claim that the Washington Capitals won’t need to worry about losing Alex Ovechkin for a pivotal Game 5 against the New York Rangers.
His hit on Dan Girardi produced divisive reactions from the two teams and scorn from Mike Milbury. Meanwhile, PHT readers are currently against the idea of a suspension by a rate of about two to one.
Keep in mind that these are just initial reports, but considering a) Ovechkin’s star status, b) the importance of the teams’ next match and c) the fact that Girardi kept playing, it’s not shocking that the NHL won’t suspend him (if the reports are correct). That doesn’t mean it’s the right choice, though, so feel free to share your thoughts about the league’s likely non-suspension in the comments.
Here is video of the hit for your quick reference.
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Last night’s incident that saw Blues defenseman Alex Pietrangelo boarded and knocked out of the game thanks to L.A. forward Dwight King will reportedly not be investigated further by the NHL.
Los Angeles Times beat reporter Helene Elliott says the Kings have yet to hear from the league about the hit and they’re not expecting any further discipline for King.
The NHL’s head of officiating for the series, Kay Whitmore, explained the result saying referees Eric Furlatt and Stephen Walkom missed seeing Pietrangelo bleeding after the hit, something that would’ve turned King’s minor into a major.
Walkom has already been involved in two other high-profile incidents in the playoffs: Game 2 of the Rangers-Senators series that saw Matt Carkner go after Brian Boyle and Game 3 of the Coyotes-Blackhawks series where Marian Hossa was hit viciously by Raffi Torres, a play that resulted in no penalty called at the moment but a 25-game suspension for Torres.
According to Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun, the NHL is looking into an incident late in Game 6 where Milan Michalek reportedly kicked at Rangers defenseman Dan Girardi with his skate.
Sources confirmed to the Sun Tuesday morning Shanahan has acquired the CBC footage of the play. If Giradri’s claim is verified, Michalek could face a fine or suspension before Game 7 of the series on Thursday in New York.
Video replay of the incident (which we’re working on getting for you) shows Michalek on his stomach with Girardi on top of him. Michalek then kicks at Girardi with his skate to urge him to get off of him. Believe it or not, kicking isn’t something new to deal with in hockey or the playoffs.
A similar incident like this occurred this season with Carolina’s Jeff Skinner getting a two-game suspension for doing virtually the same thing. There was also an incident in 2002 between Shayne Corson and Eric Cairns that saw Corson suspended for Game 7 of the Maple Leafs series against the Islanders as Corson kicked Cairns in Game 6.
If there’s anything to Michalek kicking Girardi, the Senators could be looking at missing a major offensive contributor in a crucial game.