Tag: suspension debates

WASHINGTON, DC - MAY 02: Alex Ovechkin #8 of the Washington Capitals warms up before a game against the New York Rangers in Game Three of the Eastern Conference Semifinals during the 2012 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at the Verizon Center on May 2, 2012 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images)

Report: Alex Ovechkin won’t face a hearing for Dan Girardi hit


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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Report: Dwight King won’t face discipline for boarding Alex Pietrangelo

Dwight King

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.

Milan Michalek might miss Game 7 thanks to allegedly kicking Dan Girardi

Milan Michalek

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.

Chris Neil’s hit leaves Brian Boyle concussed, out for Game 6


To some, it’s amazing that Ottawa Senators tough guy Chris Neil was even able to land a controversial – and according to New York Rangers head coach John Tortorella, concussive – blow on red-hot forward Brian Boyle. Earlier in Game 5, Neil was the victim of this knee-to-knee hit by Rangers newbie Chris Kreider:

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That hit wasn’t the subject of much discussion. Instead, it was Neil’s hit on Boyle later on in the third. Boyle actually looked pretty good in the limited time he played after leaving the ice briefly from the hit – he registered one of New York’s best chances – but Tortorella said that he has a concussion and that “he’s out” for Game 6.

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Naturally, Tortorella wasn’t happy with the hit and even compared it to Raffi Torres’ infamous check.

Torts says that the league has “blueprint to follow” for how to handled Neil hit after similar hit by Raffi Torres on Marian Hossa.

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Meanwhile, Arthur Staple caught up with Neil, who called the hit “clean.”

“The hit was clean,” Neil said. “When you’re cutting through the middle with your head down, you’ve got to expect to be hit.”

Again, we’ll have video of that hit soon enough, but feel free to start the debate if you’ve already seen it. Should Neil get a suspension? If so, for how long?

Going further, should Kreider sit for his knee-to-knee on Neil? Do tell.

Willie Mitchell on Torres suspension: “It’s about time they got aggressive”

Willie Mitchell
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When Willie Mitchell was looking for a contract in the summer of 2010, the red flags were obvious: his concussion issues absolutely threatened his career. Eventually the Los Angeles Kings signed him to a “risky” two-year contract and he’s been a helpful part of a great defense. With his history of head injuries, Mitchell had a lot of interesting things to say about the big Raffi Torres suspension, as he told Rich Hammond.

“First of all, I just want to say that it’s just not Raffi,” Mitchell said. “It doesn’t matter who it is. If you’re a repeat offender, it’s about time they got aggressive. I give Brendan (Shanahan) and the league compliments, because they’ve done a good job in the regular season. I think, in the playoffs, they maybe got away from it early on, and they set a precedent that was tough to get away from.”

Mitchell believes that Byron Bitz probably deserved more than just a couple games for boarding Kyle Clifford, calling it a “five, 10, 25 thing.” Yet perhaps the most interesting material comes when Mitchell speaks from experience when it comes to how this will affect Marian Hossa – both on and off the ice.

“It hurts the team, but the No. 1 person it hurts — and I’ve been through three of them — is Marian Hossa,” Mitchell said. “That’s his life. His life is changed. There’s no doubt about it. It’s changed. Obviously it’s changed, where he’s not healthy and he’s in pain every day, but it’s changed from the fact that he’s much more susceptible to another one. It’s changed that maybe he might have issues for the rest of his life.”