The NHL is cracking down on slashing with more penalties – at times to almost an extreme – but suspensions might not come from them. At least not yet.
That point seems clear enough based on the league’s latest decision, as Buffalo Sabres defenseman Marco Scandella was fined (but not suspended) for a pretty gnarly slash on Patric Hornqvist of the Pittsburgh Penguins. To be precise, Scandella received a $5K fine, while the league didn’t provide an explanation for the decision.
(Generally, slashes don’t get a video, and the league is most likely to produce a full-fledged explanation when a suspension occurs. There are exceptions, but that’s usually how it goes.)
Video of the slash isn’t easy to find, but here it is in GIF form, if you feel like cringing:
The Sabres have to be relieved that Scandella avoided sitting out a game or more, as their defense is already dilapidated with Rasmus Ristolainen among those injured. It doesn’t seem like Hornqvist suffered an injury from the slash.
Again, the lack of a suspension follows the general pattern of NHL decisions, but it was worth noting.
There were some testy moments from last night’s game, with the most memorable moment coming when Jack Eichel was eager to drop his gloves after Ian Cole landed a huge hit on Sam Reinhart. The Penguins ultimately got the last laugh by rallying for a 5-4 overtime win against Buffalo.
The Sabres’ next game comes against the Red Wings in Detroit on Friday. After that, they get an opportunity to make some gains, as they play six of their next seven games in Buffalo.
After Thursday’s game in Ottawa, the Penguins also enjoy a home-heavy schedule going forward.