The Lightning used a 2nd period hat trick from super-sniper Steven Stamkos to catapult Tampa Bay to a 5-4, come-from-behind, overtime victory over the Chicago Blackhawks. It only took Stamkos 15 seconds for Stamkos to get the 2nd period started off on the right foot for the Lightning—it was only a taste of things to come as he was on his way towards his fourth career hat trick.
Sooner or later, teams are going to realize the 2008 #1 overall draft pick really likes that one-timer from the left wing circle. Here are all three goals for your viewing pleasure.
Brough and I were on NBC Sportstalk yesterday with Russ Thaler (who you can follow on Twitter @russthaler) discussing the four-game suspension Brendan Shanahan handed to Patrick Kaleta for his headbutt on Philly’s Jakub Voracek.
This provided an excellent opportunity say “serial headbutter” on live television:
For the second show in a row, one of us managed to cut Russ off mid-sentence. We’ve got a real streak going here!
As for Kaleta, he spoke to the Buffalo News today about his suspension.
“Obviously, disappointing I can’t be out there with my teammates,” he said. “I was going for the puck. I was trying to push the guy off the puck…sometimes you have setbacks, but you can’t let it slow you down.”
Okay sure, I’ll buy that. Kaleta was trying to push the guy off the puck…WITH HIS HEAD. Someone should tell him the explanation would have more legitimacy if he hadn’t been caught on video (twice!) doing the same thing before.
Brendan Shanahan goes in-depth on suspensions with NHL Live
Give Shanahan credit for attempting to be transparent, but the video highlights a slight concern (beyond the improper pronunciation of Wojtek Wolski – apparently it’s VOY-tek VOL-skee). My worry is that there’s an excessive dependence on reputation, which at times almost borders on amateur mind reading.
Shanny draws from his experience playing against Chris Neil along with Wolski’s lack of a history as a dirty hitter as part partial explanations for why they didn’t face suspensions. There’s definitely some sound logic behind that, but it hints at dangerous assumptions – and to conspiracy theorists, maybe even cronyism.
Ultimately, the NHL is going in the right direction and it should probably be expected that there will be some growing pains. How are you feeling about the changes so far?
Wojtek Wolski elbows Daniel Alfredsson – in the face
Brendan Shanahan is going to be a busy disciplinarian this weekend. As if he didn’t have enough questionable calls to wade through on his Halloween weekend, Rangers forward Wojtek Wolski caught Ottawa captain Daniel Alfredsson in the head with an elbow away from the play. Every single one of these plays is debatable in their own way, but Wolski looked like he wanted to star in a league video entitled: “What Not To Do.”
Here are the moving pictures for your review:
Wolski was given a two-minute minor for an illegal check to the head. From the Senators stand point, they lost their captain who was visibly injured on the play—and never returned to the game. For their part, the Sens responded with a goal power play goal 40 seconds later and tied the game with less than three minute remaining in the 3rd.
Even though they were able to escape Madison Square Garden with a 5-4 shootout victory, the long-term damage for the Sens is much more important than an average game in October (Fittingly, Wolski hit the post in shootout to give Ottawa the victory). We’ll keep you updated with any details on Alfredsson’s injury, as well as any possible supplementary discipline for Wolski.
Update (7:35 EST): Wojtek Wolski had this to say after the game: “I watched the replay and it doesn’t look like I got him on the head at all. I got him on the side. I thought it was a clean hit.”
We here at PHT would like to congratulate Carey Price on his 100th victory yesterday. Now that he has the first 100 out of the way, he can start working on the next 100. Unfortunately, this probably isn’t how he wanted to start his assault on his next milestone:
We will say this: you have to give it up to Tomas Plekanec for such an authoritative faceoff win. He beat Carey Price clean.
It’s safe to say that Patrice Bergeron will never score an easier goal for the rest of his career.
Update (10:50 EST): At least Carey Price had a sense of humor about the goal after the game. “I just Bill Bucknered it.”