Posted on: March 8, 2012 9:01 pm
Edited on: March 9, 2012 12:28 am
By: Adam Gretz
There haven't been many suspensions in the NHL over the past couple of months, but Washington Capitals defenseman Mike Green may have given Brendan Shanahan a reason to fire up another one of his (now rare) disciplinary videos.
Late in the second period of Thursday's game against Tampa Bay, a pretty important game in the Eastern Conference playoff race, Green delivered an elbow to the head of Lightning forward Brett Connolly (as he was being held up by Dmitry Orlov), dropping him to the ice.
There was no penalty called on the play, but Green has been suspended previously in his NHL career, missing three games for elbowing Michael Frolik in the head last season.
After the game Connolly said that it was a hockey play by Green and that he put himself in a bad position. Lightning coach Guy Boucher, however, said that he feels the NHL needs to look at it.
"The league has to look at that. It's right at the head, the head's targeted. For me it's clear.
"The ref didn't see it. But you know, the refs are on the ice, they can't see everything. It happens so fast there's people beside them so I don't blame the refs. To me it could have been a five [minute major] and the head was targeted, it's clear. We just watched it on the video."
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Posted on: March 7, 2012 11:00 am
Players know that one of the cardinal sins in hockey -- and sports -- is touching officials in an aggressive manner. You just don't do it, it spells trouble every time.
As a result, we don't see it happen often. But it happened on Tuesday night. Twice.
One incident involved Washington Capitals defenseman Dmitry Orlov after he and his teammates felt like he was slew-footed by Jeff Skinner of the Hurricanes. Tensions were high when the whistle blew and the scrum ensued, eventually Orlov shoves linesman Jean Morin who was trying to restrain Orlov.
Have a look.
Is it a lot? No, not really. But it still isn't tolerated by the league. It's a line that the NHL has to keep 100 percent clear and you would think this fits the bill. You'd think.
Then again, Bob McKenzie notes that Orlov was not written up for abuse by the linesmen, so that helps Orlov. That doesn't mean he is out of the woods, however. The league could still punish him in some way.
While the league looks at the Orlov incident you know that the Skinner slew foot will also be looked at. The NHL has been punishing players for that this season.
“We were going into the corner, I think he tried to sort of back up and I felt like he tried to come and hit me,” Skinner said after the game. “I think he may have slipped. I don't know. I looked at the replay when I was in the box and it sort of looked like I finished with my hands forward, but that was my momentum. I don't know. I think he just slipped.”
I can buy that, it doesn't seem completely malicious to me (everybody is bound to see that one differently). Apparently the league bought it too.
The other player-official push last night came from renowned Predators pest Jordin Tootoo for a small cross check to the back of a linesman stepping between Tootoo and Matt Greene. Like Orlov, Tootoo was given a 10-minute misconduct but was not written up for abuse of the officials after the game.
Here's an animated .gif of the Tootoo incident so you can watch for the contact over and over and over ...
Posted on: February 22, 2012 8:36 pm
Edited on: February 22, 2012 9:05 pm
By: Adam Gretz
There are so many beautiful things about this Milan Michalek goal during the first period of Ottawa's game against Washington. If you're a Senators fan, that is.
The pass from defenseman Erik Karlsson that covers nearly three quarters of the ice. The move by Michalek to dangle through defenseman Dennis Wideman, a move that Michalek attempted earlier in the period against Dmitry Orlov and nearly pulled off. The casual way he beats Capitals goalie Tomas Vokoun to score his 26th goal of the season.
It also perfectly sums up the way both teams have been playing over the past week. The Senators look like a buzzsaw that is just ripping through people. The Capitals? Well, the less said about them right now, the better.
For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @agretz on Twitter.
Posted on: January 16, 2012 5:32 pm
I would love to write about Mike Green the defenseman again. But it's been a long time now since he has played for any period longer than two games in a row.
That's not going to change anytime soon.
For those keeping score this season, he has had an ankle injury that cost him a few weeks, returned to the lineup in time to injure his groin and sit out another few weeks. He finally came back to play two games after the groin injury before he was sidelined again. Now comes the abdominal surgery.
Go back to last season when Green missed a big chunk of the season due to a concussion and you see a trend developing here, and it's not good for Green.
Where this gets so interesting is what happens with Green in the coming weeks and months. There is no doubt that he's a very talented offensive defenseman whose game was growing in his own zone. But he will become a free agent this summer and the Capitals have obviously learned to play without him and find some other defensemen in their system.
Doing the math, the timeline at the long end brings him back just before the trade deadline. That could make for an interesting decision for general manager George McPhee. The Caps actually have a slew of defensemen who have played in Green's absence, including rookies Dmitry Orlov and more recently Tomas Kundratek.
Considering how little he has been healthy and the $5 million salary he is making this season, you wonder if the Caps can commit to keeping Green around. He has played in only 20 games (including playoffs) since early last February. That's just about an entire year and $250,000 a game.
Photo: Getty Images