Brendan Shanahan had very busy weekend.
The NHL's disciplinary czar was given more than enough opportunity to come down hard on several NHL players who tiptoed around, or in the case of Brad Marchand of the Boston Bruins, went crashing completely over the line the past few games.
And come down hard he did. Marchand was handed a five-game suspension for clipping Vancouver Canucks defenseman Sami Salo, a hit that landed Salo on in the injured list with a concussion.
I think the best part of the mess was how Marchand and the rest of the Bruins tried to claim self-defense because the defenseman was about to check him, but Shanahan systemically broke down why that was full of hot air here in the NHL.com video.
Watch the video. It's awesome.
Marchand respond via this blog for ESPN Boston, which may have been written before he got the news but was posted late Monday night. Here's the money graf.
OK, the play with Sami Salo. It technically wasn’t a clip. Clipping is when you hit someone at the knees and I did not hit him at the knees. Anyone that has seen the video will see that I hit him in the upper thigh under the buttocks. They can call it a clipping, but they obviously don’t know the rules of hockey.
That's one way to endear yourself to Shanahan, buddy, and the referees. Nice work.
Anaheim's Jean-Francois Jacques was also handed a three-game suspension for an illegal check to the head, which will be covered more in the links after the jump. But notably for the Dallas Stars, there was no news of a hearing with Steve Ott for his questionable hit against Anton Lander of the Edmonton Oilers. Although Ott could technically be suspended today, they almost always do it the day before the next game to enable teams to make any necessary call-ups.
If we're going to hear anything about Andy Sutton for his hit to the head of Loui Eriksson, therefore, it will likely come down today. But with so little national attention to either hit, which seems to be just as much a factor as injury and repeat offender status, I kind of doubt either garners anything now.
- Kari Lehtonen has been a little bit up and down since returning from his groin injury, but the team excepts him to round back into form, as Mike Heika details in this paywalled article. [DallasNews.com]
- All the notes and numbers you need going into today's game against the Ducks. [ESPN Dallas]
- The Benn brothers made some BCHL history as Jamie Benn and Jordie Benn became the first pair of BCHL brothers to appear as NHL teammates. [The Progress]
- This was written before we knew Mike Ribeiro would miss tonight's game to get an MRI on his knee (thank you Theo Peckham), but it is a nice little roundup of how many things are trending for the better in Stars world at the moment. [DallasNews.com]
- Mac Engel argues about why the Stars should make a serious run at the face of the Columbus Blue Jackets franchise, Rick Nash, who put himself on the trading block. I'm not sure I would want to pay what it takes to get him, but it is an intruiging possibility. [Fort Worth Star-Telegram]
- And speaking of those Blue Jackets, they fired coach Scott Arniel on Monday after they got squashed by the Anaheim Ducks and replaced him with Todd Richards as an interim head coach. To their credit, several of the players did say the blame was on them (I'm looking at you, Los Angeles Kings). [Puck-Rakers Blog]
- And now speaking of those Kings, Dustin Penner just makes it too darn easy to make fun of him when he admits to straining his back while eating a plate of delicious pancakes. [Puck Daddy]
- The Stars get a brief mention in the NHL's 12 things to watch in the second half. [NHL.com]
- Mike Modano was doing good things without a lot of media attention earlier this week. Stick tap to reader DFWFan for posting this. [ScoreBoard Daily]
- In a really, really tragic development, another teenage hockey player - this time 18-year-old Jenna Privette - may have been paralyzed while playing in a high-school hockey game in Minnesota. Making this even sadder is that she was wearing the number of Jack Jablonski, the teenage boy who was paralyzed just before New Year's, on her cheek when it happened. Guh. [St. Paul Pioneer Press]
- Meet the enemy, part the first: After leaving Sunday's game with a groin injury, Jonas Hiller has been listed as day-to-day (aren't we all?) by coach Bruce Boudreau. If he's unable to start, since Dan Ellis and his problems are out four weeks with groin issues, then the wonderfully-spelled Iiro Tarkki would probably get his first career NHL start. [Ducks Daily Blog]
- Meet the enemy, part the second: The Shanahammer actually struck twice on Monday, also suspending Anaheim Ducks forward Jean-Francois Jacques three games for a really obvious illegal check to the head. Defenseman Francois Beauchemin had a hearing with the league but was not fined or suspended. [NHL.com]
- Around the Pacific Division: The Los Angeles Kings finally found their offense, and got a notable goal celebration from Jack Johnson, in a 5-2 rout of the Washington Capitals. [Los Angeles Times]
- The Royal Half might get a bit too sarcastic and goofy for my taste at times, but I had to laugh at how they made use of Penner's adventures with breakfast. It's down near the bottom. [The Royal Half]
- It slices, it dices and it might even break a misbehaving stick. Yes, it's Steve Ott bobblehead night as advertised by this fabulous commercial.