Tag:Shanaban
Posted on: January 24, 2012 12:24 pm
Edited on: January 24, 2012 1:28 pm
 

Ovechkin skipping All-Star Game after suspension

Ovechkin has 20 goals and 19 assists. (Getty Images)

By Brian Stubits

It was going to be seriously awkward if Alex Ovechkin, a suspended player, were to take up the honor bestowed upon him and attend the NHL All-Star Game this weekend in Ottawa.

Well, awkwardness avoided. The Washington Capitals announced on Tuesday that he will not attend the All-Star Game, instead staying home after being handed down a three-game suspension from league disciplinarian Brendan Shanahan on Monday.

"My heart is not there," Ovechkin said on Tuesday. "I suspended, so why I have to go there?

"I'd love to be there, but I'm suspended. I don't want to be a target. I feel I'm not deserving to be there."

Caps GM George McPhee released the information, saying that Ovechkin's heart is not in it and that the team supports him.

McPhee also took it as a chance to make a little statement regarding Ovechkin's suspension.

"I was surprised and disappointed, I didn't anticipate he would be suspended for three game," McPhee said.

It was also the first time the Washington media had a chance to ask Ovechkin for his opinion on the hit since the suspension. Unsurprisingly, he didn't like the ruling much.

"I don't think it was a bad hit or dirty hit," he said. "Yeah, I jumped, but he don't get hurt, I don't get two minutes."

Speaking of suspensions and fines, will Ovechkin be facing one now for skipping the festivities in Ottawa? Remember, players in the past have, including Nicklas Lidstrom.

Well according to Darren Dreger of TSN, the NHL is disappointed but won't punish Ovechkin.

In a way, this sort of rights a wrong if you ask me. I objected to Ovechkin's nomination based on merit this season, there were other guys who deserved it more. I understand the marketing value and name recognition with Ovechkin and completely understood why he was named an All-Star, but on merit alone I didn't think he deserved it.

It was a tough situation for Ovechkin, who said that he didn't deserve to be there after being suspended and didn't want to be a distraction. He was certainly not prohibited from playing in the game because of his suspension, but as I said, it would have been a bit awkward.

However, I don't like Ovechkin skipping the game. It really comes across as being sulky more than anything else. I really don't think he would have provided much of a distraction to the All-Star Game by being there. Suspensions are pretty common these days in the NHL.

I didn't rip Tim Thomas for his decision not to visit the White House yesterday in a form of protest. I was perfectly fine with his decision. But Ovechkin is just passing on this because his heart is not in it? I don't like it all that much. It's obvious people like to watch him play.

A replacement will be named to fill his spot and there's one very notable snub still sitting out there: Penguins forward James Neal. I'd be very surprised if he's not the one to get the call to replace Ovechkin.

On an interesting side note, that means that Dennis Wideman will be the only Capital in the All-Star Game. What do you think the odds would have been on that at the beginning of the season?

More from Eye on Hockey

Ovechkin given three-game suspension
Ovechkin raps in Russian and dances
Dissecting the All-Star picks

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @BrianStubitsNHL on Twitter.

Posted on: January 23, 2012 6:41 pm
Edited on: January 23, 2012 6:54 pm
 

Alex Ovechkin suspended 3 games



By: Adam Gretz

Washington Capitals forward Alex Ovechkin has been suspended three games for a hit delivered on Sunday afternoon, the NHL announced on Monday evening.

The hit occurred early in the second period, with the Capitals trailing 2-0, and as he and Penguins defenseman Zbynek Michalek went into the corner for a loose puck Ovechkin delivered a hit to the head along the boards. There was no penalty called on the play.

"Ovechkin has Michalek lined up for what could and should be a clean, hard body check," said Shanahan on his latest suspension video. "However, he launches himself to deliver the hit on Michalek.

"Although Michalek's shoulder might be the initial point of contact for this hit, the act of launching causes contact to Michalek's head. Often on big hits or collisions a player's feet will come off the ice slightly as a result of the impact. This however is not one of those occassions. Ovechkin drives up, launching and recklessly making contact with Michalek's head."

Shanahan also added that he accepts that Ovechkin did not intend to hit Michalek in the head, but said "the moment Ovechkin launches himself in the air prior to the hit, he becomes responsible for any contact to the head."

Ovechkin's prior history was also taken into account, as he has been suspended twice and fined twice previously in his career. Back in 2009 he received a two-game ban for a knee-on-knee hit to Carolina Hurricanes defenseman Tim Gleason. He also suspended that season for a boarding incident involving Brian Campbell.

He will miss Washington's upcoming games with Boston, Tampa Bay and Florida. Obviously that game against the Panthers, which will take place on Feb. 1, is a big one as the Capitals and Panthers are currently in a back-and-forth fight for the top spot in the Southeast Division. He will be eligible to return to the Capitals lineup on Feb. 4 against the Montreal Canadiens.

Even though he's currently suspended, he will be eligible to play in next weekend's All-Star game in Ottawa.

His absence also adds to the current problems facing the Capitals as the team is already playing without center Nicklas Backstrom and top defenseman Mike Green. Washington is starving for offense right now, and this won't help.

Even though Michalek was on the receiving end of the hit from Ovechkin, he also had a disciplinary hearing with Shanahan on Monday for a hit he delivered in the same game on Capitals forward Matt Hendricks (you can watch it right here). While Ovechkin was suspended for three games, Michalek will not be disciplined for his hit, which will only add more fuel to the fire when it comes to (the lack of) consistency and NHL discipline.

More NHL Discipline news here

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @agretz on Twitter.
Posted on: January 22, 2012 4:46 pm
Edited on: January 22, 2012 11:59 pm
 

Was Ovechkin's hit on Michalek punishable?

By Brian Stubits

Alex Ovechkin is known for his scoring. Since he was selected first overall in the 2004 draft, he's reminded everybody why.

But it shouldn't be forgotten that Ovechkin is also a power forward. He is a big body who will lay the wood. Big hits from Ovechkin aren't uncommon at all.

There was one hit from Ovechkin in particular in the Capitals' OT loss to the Penguins on Sunday afternoon that drew some attention. And not in a good way for the Caps captain.

That hit on the Penguins' Zbynek Michalek drew no penalty call from the officials in the game. Seeing it on replay, it no doubt deserved one, his skates clearly came off the ice to deliver the check to Michalek.

It's close to being a situation where the principal point of contact is the head as well. But it does appear that the first contact comes on Michalek's shoulder before going through to his head.

I wouldn't be surprised if this draws a phone call from Brendan Shanahan. Right now I'd think there's no suspension coming Ovechkin's way but he could get a warning, something Shanahan has done with other players this season. It's certainly within the realm of possibility he could be punished for the hit, but my premonition is that it won't get a suspension. However I've been wrong -- many times -- before when it comes to suspensions this season.

At the least, it was a penalty that was missed in the game. And it was also a reminder about the bad blood that exists in the Pens-Caps rivalry. It's about more than Sid vs. Ovi (that's a big part of what built the rivalry).

It must be mentioned that Michalek had his own questionable hit later in the game. That one did lead to a penalty after he boarded Matt Hendricks in the corner. What goes around comes around I guess.

As is the case with Ovechkin's hit, it will garner a harder look from Shanahan. Any time a player is hit in or near the head, the league will look hard at it.

Now I'll let you make the calls.

UPDATE: Turns out each player could, in fact, be in line for a suspension as the NHL announced on Sunday that night that each player has a discipline hearing slated for Monday.

More NHL Discipline news
Recap: Pens 4, Caps 3 (OT)

H/t to Pro Hockey Talk for second video

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @BrianStubitsNHL on Twitter.

Posted on: January 22, 2012 3:19 pm
Edited on: January 22, 2012 3:34 pm
 

Bruins' Andrew Ference suspended three games

By Brian Stubits

Brendan Shanahan works on weekends too.

The NHL's chief disciplinarian handed down a three-game suspension to Boston Bruins defenseman Andrew Ference on Sunday for his boarding of Rangers defenseman Ryan McDonagh in Saturday's game.

We'll let Shanny take it from here.

This ruling is all about the hit, so the three-game punishment makes it pretty clear Shanahan didn't like it one bit. He describes the play being in clear violation of the boarding rule, highlighting the part about pushing a player from behind.

The things that Shanahan really accentuates about the hit are the factors of how far from the boards that Ference pushed McDonagh on the play and how there was plenty of time for Ference to read the situation and react differently.

The other two factors that Shanny considers -- injuries on the play and previous discipline -- are non-factors here. McDonagh doesn't appear to have suffered an injury on the hit and Ference's only discipline history in his 12-year career is a fine for a foul gesture (remember this one in the playoffs last season?)

My take: Three games is fair. The precedent for such hits falls in line here. If anything, I thought maybe two games considering factors two and three, but if the league wants to get these messages across they will have to continue to hand out stiff punishments.

More NHL Discipline news

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @BrianStubitsNHL on Twitter.

Posted on: January 21, 2012 9:49 am
Edited on: January 21, 2012 2:49 pm
 

P.K. Subban fined $2,500 for 'dangerous trip'

By: Adam Gretz

It's difficult to find the exact moment the Montreal Canadiens season went flying off the rails.

There are simply so many possibilities, and Friday's 5-4 shootout loss to the Penguins seems to be just another low in a season full of them. Even though they owned a two-goal lead with 16 minutes to play in regulation, the Canadiens still finished in the loss column for the 12th time in their past 16 games.

The game also brought some more unwanted attention to their young star defenseman, P.K. Subban, for what appeared to be a slew foot midway through the overtime period.



There was no penalty called on the play, but Subban was fined $2,500 on Saturday for what the NHL called a "dangerous trip." When compared to the play the Rangers claim was a slew foot on Brad Richards on Thursday, this one stands out as being way more deliberate and actually worthy of being called a slew foot.

Since he has taken over NHL player safety, Brendan Shanahan has not issued a suspension for a slew footing incident. He did, however, also fine Boston's Brad Marchand $2,500 for an incident involving Matt Niskanen earlier this season.

The last player to actually be suspended for a slew foot was Evgeny Artyukhin back in October, 2009, for his slew foot against, oddly enough, Niskanen during his days with the Dallas Stars. It was a three-game suspension.

The Canadiens enter Saturday's game in Toronto, one of the four teams between them and a playoff spot, nine points out of what would be the eighth and final spot, and they're in desperate need of a win, especially after letting a point slip away on Friday

"It's not even close to enough," said forward Max Pacioretty after Friday's game. "Especially against a team that's hanging around for a playoff push, both of us right now, when you look at that, if it goes the other way and we hang onto that lead ... it's frustrating that keeps happening. We have to find answers."

Previously at Eye On Hockey

Cooke won't face discipline for alleged slew foot
Brad Marchand fined for slew foot
More NHL Discipline news here

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @agretz on Twitter.
Posted on: January 20, 2012 11:12 am
Edited on: January 20, 2012 12:48 pm
 

Cooke won't be disciplined for alleged slew foot

By: Adam Gretz

Matt Cooke is probably never going to get the benefit of the doubt when it comes to any play that is even remotely close to being dirty or against the rules.

Given his history and the list of plays that make up what is basically a career lowlight film, he doesn't really deserve the benefit of the doubt at this point, either. But that doesn't change the fact that he has made a legitimate effort to clean up his game this season after numerous suspensions, including one last season that turned out to be a 17-game banishment (10 regular season games and all seven of Pittsburgh playoff games) for a hit to the head of New York Rangers defenseman Ryan McDonagh.

In 46 games this season Cooke has been issued just 14 penalty minutes, a total that over 430 players in the NHL have topped this season, including 12 of his own teammates. Because he's Matt Cooke, however, guilt is always going to be assumed when he's the focal point, as it was on Thursday night for an alleged slew foot incident during the Penguins' 4-1 win against the New York Rangers that put him squarely in the crosshairs on Friday

This is the play in question, via Empty Netters' Seth Rorabaugh:



You can see another angle (and get some expert commentary) by clicking here.

Cooke has done some bad things on the ice in his career, but this isn't even close to being one of them, even if the Rangers believe it was a slew foot. Richards did not participate in the Rangers' skate on Friday.

There was no penalty called on the play, and according to TSN's Darren Dreger, he won't face any discipline from the NHL.

And he shouldn't, because that's not a slew foot. At its worst it's tripping, at the very least it's two players getting their feet tangled up as they turn into each other going for the puck. Pretty common occurrence, and if it involved almost any player in the league likely wouldn't have even been a blip on the NHL's radar on Friday.

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @agretz on Twitter.
Posted on: January 18, 2012 1:03 pm
 

Capitals prepare to face Rene Bourque

By: Adam Gretz

Capitals center Nicklas Backstrom hasn't appeared in a game for the team since he was elbowed in the head by then-Calgary Flames forward Rene Bourque earlier this month. It was a play that resulted in Bourque earning a five-game suspension from the NHL, and had some of the Capitals, including forward Troy Brouwer, lamenting the fact they weren't going to play another game against Bourque and the Flames this season.

That all changed, of course, when Bourque was dealt to the Montreal Canadiens last Thursday in the trade that sent Mike Cammalleri back to Calgary.

And which team are the Capitals visiting on Wednesday night? You guessed it, Rene Bourque and the Canadiens.

Not surprisingly, John Erskine, perhaps the Capitals' most willing fighter, is expected to be in the lineup, and some fireworks are expected. It's pretty much a given that somebody is going to challenge Bourque, even if the Capitals are downplaying it and talking about how the two points are the important thing (and, truth be told, they are the most important thing for the Capitals right now).

“For us to say we're going go out there and take liberties at him or something like that, probably not," said forward Joel Ward, via Stephen Whyno of the Washington Times. "I think we'll definitely be playing hard for sure. I'm sure guys are going to be playing pretty hard, especially against him and let him know that what he did we thought was a pretty cheap shot.”

With all of that in mind, the folks at Capitals Blog Russian Machine Never Breaks have their own idea as to how tonight's game is going to play out ... if it were a version of the classic Nintendo game, Mike Tyson's Punch Out.



(H/T Russian Machine Never Breaks)

Previously at Eye On Hockey

Rene Bourque suspended 5 games
Bourque traded to Montreal for Mike Cammalleri

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @agretz on Twitter.
Posted on: January 16, 2012 8:01 pm
Edited on: January 16, 2012 8:17 pm
 

Blue Jackets' Byers suspended three games

By Brian Stubits

Brendan Shanahan enjoyed a few quiet days in the past week, it must have felt like the Christmas break again, minus the delicious ham or turkey dinner, of course.

But he was back at it on Monday, handing down a three-game suspension to Columbus Blue Jackets forward Dane Byers. To the video ...

The hit occurred in the Sharks zone with San Jose trying to advance the puck out. Byers came across the ice and put a hit on Desjardins. But as Shanahan notes, the principal point of contact was the head of Desjardins, an obvious no no as the NHL has made clear multiple times this season.

What Shanahan notes in giving Byers a three-game suspension is how he had the chance to deliver a body check but instead rose up and delivered a hit to the head using his shoulder and continued to drive upward through the hit.

Adding into the mix, Desjardins was injured as a result of the hit, leaving him a little groggy and leading to concussion tests.

Plus Byers, despite being a recent callup from the AHL, has a suspension on his NHL resume for starting a fight in the final five minutes of a game. So the three strikes in this case add up to three games.

More NHL Discipline news

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @BrianStubitsNHL on Twitter.

 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com