Brett Ritchie

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Stars’ Ritchie ejected after ugly hit from behind on Coyotes’ Goligoski

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It’s hard to imagine what Dallas Stars forward Brett Ritchie was thinking here.

Chasing after a puck in deep in the Arizona Coyotes zone with a little over two minutes left in the second period, Ritchie decided to not let up on Coyotes defenseman Alex Goligoski, whose numbers were the only thing former saw as he drove the latter dangerously into the end boards.

The video isn’t kind to Ritchie, and there appears to be little room for debate on how dumb and unsafe this hit was.

Goligoski was at the mercy of Ritchie, and the latter failed to show him any.

Ritchie, unsurprisingly, was given five-minute major for boarding and a game misconduct for the hit.

It would be surprising if that’s all he got, too. This sort of thing is bound to pique the interest of the NHL’s Department of Player Safety.

Let’s review:

  • The hit was dangerous;
  • It was unnecessary;
  • Goligoski was in a vulnerable state;
  • It left a player injured, one who did not return to the game (the Coyotes announced he has an upper-body injury)

The NHL is trying to get a couple of hits out of the game, and this is certainly one of them.


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

Video: Stars’ Ritchie with high hit on Flames’ Monahan

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The Calgary Flames’ breakout line of Johnny Gaudreau, Jiri Hudler and Sean Monahan keep scoring and scoring this season. You never know when an ill-fated hit could mess that up, though.

Monday produced a scare in the form of this highly questionable hit by rugged Dallas Stars forward Brett Ritchie, which only produced a two-minute minor:

Puck Daddy’s Greg Wyshynski labels the hit as “predatory.” Is that accurate?

On the bright side, it seems like Monahan is OK.

Stars place Seguin and Eaves on IR

The Dallas Stars have placed forwards Tyler Seguin (lower body) and Patrick Eaves on injured reserve the club announced Saturday.

Both suffered injuries in the third period of Friday night’s 2-0 win over the Florida Panthers.

In a corresponding move the club recalled Brett Ritchie and Travis Morin from the American Hockey League’s Texas Stars.

Panthers’ defenseman Dmitry Kulikov was assessed a major penalty for clipping and a game misconduct for his hit on Seguin late in the third period.

According to Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman, the league is reviewing the Kulikov hit.

“It’s a dirty shot. It’s just something that ends up taking your best player out of the game,” said Stars coach Lindy Ruff postgame. “Not only out of the game, it is taking him out of the lineup for a little while for us.

“(We will) just let the league deal with it. I used to yell and scream about it but that doesn’t do any good. It’s just a shot that didn’t need to happen.”

Moments later Eaves took a puck to the head and left the game.

“(Patrick) Eaves is on his way to the hospital to get x-rays,” said Ruff. “He took a pretty hard shot to the head. He’s had a previous injury there so we’re fairly concerned.”

Eaves suffered a concussion and a broken jaw after being hit by a Roman Josi slap shot in November 2011.

The Stars will also be without Ales Hemsky tonight when they visit the Colorado Avalanche.

Hemsky (lower body) played just three shifts in the first period Friday night.

“Hemsky is going to stay back (in Dallas) too,” said Ruff. “He’s going to miss some time so it’s been a tough night on the injury front.”

Colorado has won all three meetings between the two clubs this season including a 3-2 shootout victory 11 days ago.

Stars recall Curtis McKenzie and Jyrki Jokipakka

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The Dallas stars recalled forward Curtis McKenzie and defenseman Jyrki Jokipakka from the American Hockey League’s Texas Stars the club announced Saturday.

In a corresponding move, forward Brett Ritchie was placed on injured reserve retroactive to Dec. 15.

According to Mike Heika of the Dallas Morning News, Jokipakka could be an option on the blue line tonight when the Stars play host to the Washington Capitals.

Trevor Daley is out due to an undisclosed injury so either Jokipakka or David Schlemko will draw in says Heika.

Up front, Ales Hemsky is available to the Stars meaning McKenzie could be a healthy scratch.

McKenzie, 23, has appeared in 14 games with Dallas this season registering a goal and 19 penalty minutes. In 16 AHL games, McKenzie has four goals and 13 points. He was the Stars’ sixth-round selection (159th overall) in 2009.

Jokipakka has three assists in 16 games with Dallas this season. The 23-year-old has also appeared in 15 AHL games where he has three goals and four points with Texas. Jokipakka was Dallas’ seventh round pick (195th overall) at the 2011 NHL Draft.

The Stars and Caps meet tonight for the first of two meetings this season.

Stars injury update: ‘The one guy, it’s kind of mid-body,’ says Ruff

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We know this: Vernon Fiddler (lower-body injury) is expected to play for the Dallas Stars on Saturday, according to head coach Lindy Ruff in a report on the Stars’ website.

That club is also dealing with a list of injuries to Trevor Daley and forwards Ales Hemsky and Brett Ritchie, although, as you might expect, specific details about their respective ailments were lacking.

In one case, Ruff even diverted away from the typical lower-body/upper-body descriptions.

“Well, the one guy, it’s kind of mid-body,” said Ruff, as per the Stars’ website. “I think the one guy, depends where he carries it, it could be lower or upper. The other guy is lower. We might as well get a little more detail. I give you guys mid-body now. One guy’s mid. One guy’s lower and one guy can be anyplace.”

Mid-body, eh?

Reminder: Two years ago, former Canucks coach Alain Vigneault said goalie Cory Schneider was out with a “body injury.”