Anthony Duclair

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Anthony Duclair injured after high hit from Brad Marchand (Video)

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Oh, Brad Marchand.

The NHL’s department of player safety is likely going to have to press its big red ‘Brad Marchand’ button on its phone once again after Marchand’s latest indiscretion.

Let’s roll the tape:

Is there anyone more talented yet more frustrating than Marchand?

To be fair to Marchand, he actually appeared to try to get out of the way. Of course, in doing so he drilled Duclair in the head and Duclair subsequently came down very awkwardly on his knee (it folded underneath him).

Marchand was given an interference penalty on the play. Duclair hasn’t returned to the game, understandably.

UPDATE: 

Trying to give Marchand the benefit of the doubt in any situation is exceedingly difficult. And he does a good job of trying to make a bad hit look sort of accidental.

Of course, there’s gotta be a better way to evade a guy then jumping up and clotheslining him.

Marchand was handed a five-game ban for elbowing Marcus Johansson earlier this season.

Alright, PHT readers. How many games is Marchand getting this time?


Scott Billeck is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @scottbilleck

Blackhawks ban fans after racist chants directed at Capitals’ Devante Smith-Pelly

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The Chicago Blackhawks took action on Monday, banning a few fans from team home games after their involvement in directing racist chants at Washington Capitals forward Devante Smith-Pelly on Saturday.

In a post on the team’s website, the Blackhawks said they have “contacted the offending individuals and notified them that they are no longer welcome at Blackhawks home games.”

“Racist comments and other inappropriate behavior are not tolerated by the Chicago Blackhawks,” the Blackhawks said in a post.

Four Blackhawks fans were kicked out of Saturday’s game against the Capitals at United Center after racially-charged taunts were made toward Smith-Pelly.

Smith-Pelly, serving a five-minute major for fighting in the third period, got upset with a fan next to him who, according to the Washington Post, was chanting, “Basketball, basketball, basketball,” toward Smith-Pelly, who is black.

On Monday, Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville spoke about the incident.

“Totally unacceptable in our game, in any sport and in society,” Quenneville said. “We have to learn from something like that. (It) can’t happen. I talked to (Capitals coach Barry Trotz) yesterday, apologized to the organization and the player, Devante. We’re sorry about what happened and let’s learn from it.”

Anthony Duclair, who is black, also spoke to the media.

“It’s not ok,” Duclair said. “Whether it happens to Devante Smith-Pelly or a random person on the street, you should be comfortable in your own skin and gender and nationality or religion, your beliefs. Everyone’s equal. Everyone should love each other.”

NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman released a statement on Sunday morning:

“Last night in Chicago, individuals directed racial taunts and abuse at Washington Capitals player Devante Smith-Pelly,” said NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman. “The National Hockey League condemns this unacceptable and reprehensible behavior. The League fully supports the actions taken by the United Center and the Blackhawks to eject the offenders and would expect the same response to any similarly unacceptable behavior at any of our arenas.

“While this incident was isolated in nature, no player, coach, official or fan should ever have to endure such abuse at one of our games. The League will take steps to have our clubs remind all stakeholders that they are entitled to enjoy a positive environment – free from unacceptable, inappropriate, disruptive, inconsiderate or unruly behaviors or actions and may not engage in conduct deemed detrimental to that experience.”

February is Hockey is for Everyone month in the NHL.

Be sure to visit NBCOlympics.com and NBC Olympic Talk for full hockey coverage from PyeongChang.


Scott Billeck is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @scottbilleck

Sabres’ prospect Sam Reinhart scores twice in Canada’s win over Finland

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Sam Reinhart scored twice and Max Domi added a pair of assists as Canada defeated Finland 4-1 at the world junior championship Monday night.

Reinhart, Buffalo’s 2014 first round pick, scored the eventual game winner at 13:34 of the second period giving the Canadians a 2-0 lead.

The 19-year-old opened the scoring at 5:32 of the first period putting home his own rebound.

Finnish captain, and Montreal Canadiens prospect, Artturi Lehkonen had the lone goal for Finland.

Zach Fucale, Montreal’s second round pick from the 2013 draft, made 27 saves for the win.

Per TSN’s Mark Masters, Fucale along with teammate Eric Comrie, a Jets’ prospect, combined for a shutout streak of 158 minutes and 26 seconds passing Jake Allen and Martin Jones’ mark set during the 2010 tournament.

Nashville Predators’ 2013 fourth rounder Juuse Saros made 32 saves in the loss.

Canadian captain, and Ottawa Senators prospect, Curtis Lazar along with Rangers’ prospect Anthony Duclair had Canada’s other goals.

Canada will look to remain perfect and lockup top spot in Group A when they face the U.S. on Dec. 31st while Finland (0-2-1), who won gold at last year’s tournament, will look for its’ first win when they play Germany on Wednesday.

Rangers’ Duclair to play for Canada at World Juniors

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Rangers forward Anthony Duclair may not think he has “much to prove” in junior, but he’ll be suiting up for Team Canada anyway at the upcoming World Juniors in Toronto and Montreal.

The New York Post’s Larry Brooks reported today that Duclair will be made available to the national team for the tournament that runs Dec. 26 – Jan. 5.

Duclair has played 18 games for the Rangers, scoring once with six assists. However, the 19-year-old has been a healthy scratch the last three games after registering just two assists in all of November (11 games).

The opportunity for Duclair to play a big role on a big stage, against the best junior-aged players in the world, is clearly one the Rangers feel could benefit his development. (More than practicing and sitting in the press box, at least.)

Canada’s selection camp Thursday, at which Duclair will reportedly be in attendance.

Bo Horvat (Vancouver), Curtis Lazar (Ottawa), Jonathan Drouin (Tampa Bay), and Aaron Ekblad (Florida) are other World Juniors-eligible rookies currently playing in the NHL, but all four have been playing bigger roles for their respective teams than Duclair had been lately.

Related: Dallas prepared to let Honka play at World Juniors

Bolts ‘very pleased’ with Drouin’s development, undecided on World Juniors loan

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Jonathan Drouin’s rookie campaign has seen its ups and downs — nine points in 18 games, a couple of healthy scratches — but overall, the Bolts are happy with how he’s played so far and still undecided about lending him to Team Canada for the World Juniors.

“We’re really pleased with how he’s coming along,” Lightning GM Steve Yzerman said, per the Tampa Bay Times. “He’s doing a lot of good things. We only expect him to get better.”

When asked about Drouin’s availability for the Worlds, Yzerman replied “time will tell.”

Drouin, 19, is one of four NHLers Hockey Canada is monitoring for a potential loan for the Worlds — Vancouver’s Bo Horvat, Ottawa’s Curtis Lazar and the Rangers’ Anthony Duclair are the others. Drouin, however, plays for a Lightning team that’s loaded with depth at forward; on Thursday, the Lightning sent Vladislav Namestnikov down to AHL Syracuse not because he was playing poorly — the former first-rounder had 10 points in 23 games this year — but because playing opportunities were so limited with the big club.

“There are points in the season when you’re healthy, and there are probably more points in the season where you’re not,” head coach Jon Cooper explained, per Fox Sports Florida. “We’re healthy. We have numbers. The same thing happened to [Cedric] Paquette a month ago, and now it has happened to Vlady. Do we expect Vlady to be in the minors for the rest of the season? Most certainly not. But it’s a situation where if he’s going to be in and out of the lineup here, why not get to a situation to play games? And so, he’s a phone call away.”

It’ll be interesting to see if Tampa Bay adheres to that philosophy with Drouin. He’s averaging over 13 minutes a night this year but has seen his ice times dip recently, getting 9:37 in Saturday’s win over Minnesota and 10:19 in Monday’s win over the Rangers. With Team Canada, Drouin would be a front-line player (and a potential captain) and the loan out wouldn’t be very long — the Worlds take place in Toronto and Montreal from Dec. 26 to Jan. 5.