Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Gene Collier of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette,
If it’s possible to gain control of an NHL playoff series by losing a hockey game, the Washington Capitals might well have done precisely that in Game 3 Monday night.
Nobody in the visiting locker room at Consol Energy Center on the day before Game 4 would say anything close to such a thing, of course, but the notion that the Capitals somehow turned these Eastern Conference semifinals inside out, even as they were getting strangled by the brilliant rookie goalie Matt Murray, did not exactly get laughed out of the room.
“Potentially,” allowed Washington defenseman Matt Niskanen, the former Penguin. “I know we don’t like the result [Monday] night, but I know we feel a lot better than we did after Game 2, so that’s important.
“We found out some things that are gonna work for us.”
Would the Washington Capitals be better off if forward Marcus Johansson had been unable to return to the ice during Monday night’s loss to the Penguins? No one would seriously hope for such an outcome. And yet the NHL’s disciplinary process for dangerous hits at least raises such questions.
-Dan Steinberg of DC Sport Bog where you can continue reading on this topic.
Penguins coach Mike Sullivan comments on the Kris Letang hit on Marcus Johansson in Game 3.
FYI- Barry Trotz basically said let the league handle it.
If you missed the Letang hit, watch it here.
from Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,
The hits keep on coming in a series loaded with skill but dominating the headlines for the wrong reasons.
A game after Brooks Orpik leveled Olli Maatta with a high, late hit that garnered the Washington Capitals defenseman a three-game suspension, star blueliner Kris Letang of the Pittsburgh Penguins is now facing potential supplemental discipline for his high hit on Marcus Johansson in Game 3 on Monday night.
The series began with Tom Wilson's questionable leg-on-leg hit on Conor Sheary in Game 1, which netted him a fine.
There has been a constant undercurrent of hate between the two rivals. We all love tough, emotional, physical hockey -- as long as it doesn't cross the line.
This series needs to be reined in.
The question now is whether this series turns on Letang's hit or not. His absence would be a huge blow to a thin Penguins blue line.
Watch the highlights of the Pens 3-2 win over the Caps below...
Two minutes for interference.
Series is tied 1-1.
Washington @ Pittsburgh 8:00 PM ET NBCSN,CBC & TVAS
Calling the game for NBCSN will be Mike ‘Doc’ Emrick, Eddie Olczyk and Pierre McGuire.
Feel free to discuss the game as it plays out tonight.
Yohe followed up with this tweet,
Players have been suspended for a grand total of 1 game in 11 seasons for hits against Sidney Crosby, by the way.
added 2:15pm, from Frank Seravalli of TSN,
Capitals head coach Barry Trotz did not hold back on Monday when asked about the NHL’s decision to suspend defenceman Brooks Orpik three games for his late hit on Penguins defenceman Olli Maatta in Game 2.
Trotz inferred that the Penguins received preferential treatment from the NHL, that Orpik’s punishment was bigger because the Penguins were the victims.
via Tom Gulitti tweets,
Orpik said he spoke to Maatta after the game Saturday. Called him a "good friend"
Orpik called the hit "a bad decision". "There's no denying it was late.'
"Hopefully across the League they'll start punishing other guys the same way."
Orpik basically said the suspension was fair. Accepted full responsibility.
from Ron Cook of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette,
I couldn’t believe Orpik — one of the great teammates in any sport — letting down his Washington Capitals guys. He will miss the next three games of the Penguins-Capitals playoff series after being suspended for his elbow-to-the-head hit on Maatta early in Game 2. His absence will be a severe blow to the Capitals defense. They are a much lesser team without him.
I also thought about how hypocritical so many of us are. We are outraged that Orpik did that to Maatta, who could miss significant time with an apparent head injury, and wanted the NHL to come down on him even harder. Yet we loved Orpik when he delivered those dangerous hits when he played for the Penguins. It was perfectly fine that he delivered borderline-to-dirty hits to Erik Cole, Derek Stepan and Jonathan Toews — among others — and had been suspended twice. It was good, hard hockey, right? Of course, we loved Ulf Samuelsson and Darius Kasparaitis, too. It didn’t matter to us that they were dirty players. They played for the home team.
Orpik should be ashamed of himself for that hit on Maatta.
We should be ashamed of ourselves for our sanctimoniousness.
I’m not sure who should be more embarrassed.
Patrick Burke explains...
About Kukla's Korner Hockey
Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.
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