Milan Lucic was suspended for two games on Sunday for his punch on the Blue Jackets Kole Sherwood Saturday. It was deemed that Lucic hit Sherwood from behind, and that Sherwood was unable to defend himself.
The Flames disagreed with the suspension, stating that Sherwood had slashed goaltender David Rittich and Lucic was only doing what any teammate would do and defend his goalie.
The NHL disagreed with that synopsis.
The real question that comes up was: Why did the Flames deal James Neal, a proven 20-plus goal scorer to Edmonton and get back only Lucic in return. The Oilers also get a conditional third round pick in 2020. The Flames wanted some toughness to help the team but surely they could have picked up someone at the salary minimum, rather than the $6 million cap hit Lucic has (less the $750,000 the Oilers retained). The draft pick clicks in if Neal scores more than 21 goals and Lucic is more than 10 goals behind him. That looks like a no-brainer since Neal has 11 in 15 games while Lucic has none.
Good news on the Scott Sabourin front as the 27-year-old first year player was stretchered off the ice after his helmet and head hit the ice, following a collision with David Backes of the Bruins. Backes immediately motioned over to the bench to get some medical staff on the ice. Sabourin suffered a broken nose and was released from the hospital Sunday after spending the night there. Backes was quite upset about the incident and he did not return from the first period collision as he apparently suffered an upper-body injury at the same time.
Patric Hornqvist is out longer-term (that’s the new phrase in the NHL when dealing with injuries) after he suffered a lower-body injury in a loss to the Oilers. Bryan Rust took his spot on the second line in practice Sunday, playing alongside Alex Galchenyuk and Evgeni Malkin.
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WASHINGTON 4 CALGARY 2
As mentioned above, Lucic sat out Sunday’s contest, serving the first game of his two-game suspension.
Jonas Siegenthaler had five hits and five blocked shots in the win.
John Carlson was held pointless but managed six shots on net.
Ilya Samsonov turned aside 25 shots to pick up his fifth win of the season against only one defeat.
Cam Talbot was the losing goaltender for Calgary, stopping 28-of-32 shots.
Johnny Gaudreau has not scored in his last 12 games and saw his four-points streak end Sunday at the hands (and pads) of Samsonov.
Ovechkin was held pointless as well and was a minus-two in his 1,100 career NHL game.
CHICAGO 3 ANAHEIM 2 (Overtime)
Toews had a couple of assists and that gives him five points in 13 games, a far cry from last season when Toews had a career-best 81 points and teamed up nicely with Kane on the top line.
Erik Gudbranson picked up his first of the season in the second period. Nick Ritchie scored his second of the season as the Ducks finally connected on the power play. Sam Steel assisted on both to give him five helpers this season. He is still looking for his first goal of the season.
Robin Lehner picked up the win, stopping 36 shots to go to 3-2-2 with a 2.22 GAA and a .939 save percentage. By comparison, Corey Crawford is 1-4-1 with a 3.74 GAA and a .892 save percentage. Seems like a no-brainer as to who should be the starting netminder but both have started six games for Chicago.
Ryan Miller made 34 saves in taking the overtime loss.
Alexander Nylander had seven shots on goal as well as an assist.
Congratulations are in order for Ryan Getzlaf who played in his 1,000th NHL game Sunday, all with Anaheim. He drew an assist to extend his scoring streak to five games. It was the first game in five that he did not find the back of the net.
Jakub Vrana -3
Tom Wilson – 2
Jonathan Toews – 2
Sam Steel - 2
Shots on Goal
John Carlson – 6
Carter Rowney - 6
Jakub Vrana – 5
Garnet Hathaway - 6
Tom Wilson - 5
Jonathan Toews – 4
Hampus Lindholm - 4