suspension debates

Capitals think Foegele hit was dirty, Oshie expected to miss playoff time

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Warren Foegele gave the Hurricanes a 1-0 lead 17 seconds into what would be a slim 2-1 win in Game 4, but that’s not why the Washington Capitals imply that he shouldn’t suit up for Carolina in Game 5.

Instead, the Capitals are unhappy with Foegele’s hit with about five minutes remaining in the third period. While Foegele received a two-minute boarding major for his check on T.J. Oshie, plenty of Capitals believe that Foegele went over the line in a way that should prompt a harsher punishment.

You can judge the hit and fallout for yourself in the video above this post’s headline.

For one thing, Capitals head coach Todd Reirden called it a dangerous hit, and hinted that Oshie might be out for a while. The Department of Player Safety factors injuries into the supplementary discipline decision-making process (for better or worse), so Oshie being injured could play into this potential situation. Oshie certainly looked to be in serious distress after that awkward fall into the boards.

Reirden said Oshie won’t “play anytime soon.”

You can see from the hit video that Alex Ovechkin was incensed by Foegele’s hit. While Reirden’s most interesting comment seems to focus on supplementary discipline (again, indirectly), Ovechkin’s most interesting beef seems to be about the in-game penalty being a mere two-minute minor.

“It’s a dirty play,” Ovechkin said, via Isabelle Khurshudyan of the Washington Post. “It has to be not two minutes. It has to be a different call.”

See/hear more from Ovechkin and Reirden here:

For his part, Foegele explained that he was trying to lift Oshie’s stick and “give him a little nudge,” and that he wasn’t trying to “hurt him or anything,” according to Khurshudyan.

Rod Brind’Amour certainly didn’t seem to think it was too bad of a hit:

The Capitals didn’t provide an official update regarding how much time Oshie might mix, and it’s possible that more information will surface in the next few days. Of course, with this Round 1 series headed for a minimum of six games after Carolina tied things up 2-2, it also could be a while before we really know how long Oshie might be out, as teams are more secretive than spy agencies with injury information during the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Injuries have factored into this Round 1 series so far, although the bad news has mostly been on Carolina’s side. Most memorably, head coach Rod Brind’Amour was unhappy with Alex Ovechkin after a one-sided fight with Andrei Svechnikov left Svechnikov with a concussion.

We’ll see what happens regarding Foegele and Oshie, but if there were any concerns about these two teams drumming up the playoff disdain many love to see in hockey, then you can probably put those worries to bed. With that in mind, some advice: you probably shouldn’t drop the gloves with Alex Ovechkin.

The Capitals and Hurricanes will break this 2-2 series tie in Game 5 at Capital One Arena on Saturday at 8 p.m. ET on NBC (livestream)

UPDATE:

James O’Brien is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @cyclelikesedins.

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

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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

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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

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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

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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.