December 9th, 2013 at 3:09 PM
By Peter Dawson
Saturday night's game between the Pittsburgh Penguins and Boston Bruins was an ugly affair, that illustrated what happens when fighting and retaliatory tactics get out of control. Given what transpired, many expected punishments to be assigned to players on both sides, and on Monday, the first of what figures to be multiple suspensions was handed down by the league office.
After reviewing the film, the Department of Player Safety, under the leadership of discipline czar Brendan Shanahan, gave Penguins forward James Neal a five-game suspension for kneeing a defenseless Brad Marchand in the head while he was down on the ice.
In a video explanation Shanahan stated "With a clear view of Marchand and plenty of time to avoid him, Neal skates directly through Marchand's head with his left knee."
The hearing was conducted over the phone, and the $128, 205 fine and subsequent suspension is the maximum possible for a non face-to-face meeting. The suspension was Neal's third suspension of his career, and second in the last eight months.
There was plenty of evidence to support the league's decision, but on the other hand, it is easy to question why the office didn't even bother to review Brooks Orpik's high it on Bruins forward Louis Eriksson.Read more... Join the Conversation...
December 9th, 2013 at 2:36 PM
By Peter Dawson
On Tuesday the hits just kept coming for the Boston Bruins. On Saturday the Bruins lost forwards Louis Eriksson (concussion) and Chris Kelly (broken ankle) to long term injuries.
Kelly is expected to be out anywhere from six to eight weeks. Eriksson's situation is somewhat more precarious. The head shot from Brooks Orpik is the wingers second head injury in as many months, and as of now, no timetable is set for his return.
Sunday's game brought more bad news for Boston, as both Dougie Hamilton (lower body) and Kevin Miller (head) left the game with injuries and did not return.
Per the Boston Globe, Bruins coach Claude Julien said that Hamilton was sent home for medical tests for his injured leg on Monday, and would likely miss at least a week of action.
The hit to Miller was dished out by Leafs' captain Dion Phaneuf, who will meet with the Department of Player Safety for disciplinary action this afternoon. Julien also stated that the injury to Miller was a minor one, and that he should return to the ice when the Bruins visit the Flames on Wednesday.Read more... Join the Conversation...
December 9th, 2013 at 1:44 PM
By Peter Dawson
Just two months into this season, the Boston Bruins have been decimated by injuries, but that didn't stop them from cruising past division-rival Toronto 5-2 on Sunday night.
Boston was coming of an emotionally violent clash with the Penguins on Saturday night, so it was hard to know what to expect on the second night of a back-to-back.
After this game forward Jarome Iginla reflected on this game after Saturday night's throwdown that left the Bruins awaiting a decision from the league office on the antics of forward Shawn Thornton.
"It was (good)," he said. "Just to get the focus on just winning a game and playing. Because, yeah, it was pretty emotional. Everybody felt that from (Saturday) night."
Despite being without more than half of their defensive unit, and forwards Chris Kelly (ankle) and Louis Eriksson (concussion), the Bruins dominated a game that saw them match their highest scoring total (5) this season.
1) Bruins show mental toughness.
Nobody would have been surprised if the Bruins didn't bring their A-game against the Leads considering the injuries and potential for an emotional letdown. Instead, the Bruins brought responded from a 1-0 deficit by rattling off three straight second period goals.Read more... Join the Conversation...
December 8th, 2013 at 8:11 PM
By Peter Dawson
After suffering a broken ankle as a result of a slash from Penguins forward Pascal Dupuis, Boston Bruins center Chris Kelly was placed on long-term injured reserve. As of now, Kelly is expected to miss six to eight weeks.
The B's third line center did not travel with the team to Toronto, and after being taken off the ice on Saturday, the injury was expected to be serious.
Entering Sunday night's game against the Maple Leafs, Boston will also be without Johnny Boychuck (back spasms), Adam McQuaid (groin), and Louis Eriksson (concussion).
In addition to the injuries, the Bruins will also be without forward Shawn Thornton, who was immediately suspended for an altercation involving Penguins defenseman Brooks Orpik.
Thornton is currently awaiting a suspension for the Department of Player Safety in the league office.
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December 8th, 2013 at 2:57 PM
By Peter Dawson
On Saturday night, the Boston Bruins and Pittsburgh Penguins added another grizzly chapter to their recent rivalry. The big story in this game should have been about the Bruins remarkable third period comeback that saw the black and gold score two goals in the games' final two minutes.
The tough reality is that the biggest story in this game was actually about the antics of Bruins enforcer Shawn Thornton. In the first period, Penguins defenseman Brooks Orpik delivered a questionable hit to Bruins forward Louis Eriksson, who did not return.
Thornton then challenged Orpik to fight, but Orpik refused. Later, when Pens forward James Neal appeared to knee an injured Brad Marchand in the head, Thornton didn't waste time with pleasantries.
The Bruins' tough guy skated down the ice and beat an unawares Orpik to the ice, immediately knocking him out against the ice surface. Orpik was carted off the ice on a stretcher (amidst cheers from the Boston crowd) to Massachusetts General Hospital, and Thornton was given a match penalty.
We covered the Thornton situation here, but it is also important to remember that this was an exciting game between two of the best teams in the Eastern Conference.Read more... Join the Conversation...