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Wednesday, October 13, 2010

POINT SHOTS, news and commentary Wed. Oct. 13, 2010

From around the league.....

The sordid case of Mark Hardy seems to have come to a quiet close.  "Family squabble that got out of hand"?  Indeed.  While I'm glad nothing more is going to result from this, it  by no means absolves Hardy.  I'm aware that TMZ was all over this, but this isn't the way for the NHL to stay relevant, with lurid misadventures like these happening. Speaking of which....

New York Islanders defenseman James Wisniewski was suspended by the NHL for 2 games as a result of his obscene gesture towards New York Rangers' forward Sean Avery in their recent contest. Puck Daddy gives his thoughts on said suspension in his blog.  Agree or disagree?  Post your opinion if you have one.  My thoughts?  There's no place for this garbage in our game.  And, in other sports, punishment is handed out all the time for this type of behavior.  The problem with the NHL, as is so often the case, is that there's no consistency--what should warrant a suspension, a fine, a reprimand and so forth.  Other leagues, and the National Football League is the best example, have a strict code of conduct.  There's no reason why the NHL can't have one too, one that all players, coaches, and other employees are subject to.

Much has been made of the New Jersey Devils' inability to ice a full roster as of late.  No one seems to disagree that the team got themselves into this mess.  Personally I think they're punishing themselves enough without any further action being warranted, by either the league or the NHLPA.  In case you're a Devils' fan (what are you doing here?) here is a version of their side of the story from the In Lou We Trust blog.  My take on all this?  It's a sad thing to see for sure.  But again, they had it coming as they brought it on themselves.  And it's really hard for me to feel sorry for a team that perpetrated this mess 22 years ago.  Not to mention the crap they pulled Saturday night against the Caps.

So the Capitals are a perfect twelve for twelve on the penalty kill. It will be interesting to see how long they can keep this up. I've been trying like heck to find any sort of a confirmation for the team record for most consecutive times shorthanded without a goal against. I'll update this if I find it.  In the meantime, their power play is an abysmal one-for-thirteen.  They can hardly do anything else but improve upon this.  I said in an earlier post that I believe that a good penalty killing unit can lead to success in the playoffs.  Here is the Die By the Blade (Buffalo Sabres) blog with an interesting take on that premise.

Finally, in another incident that was reviewed, Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Niklas Hjalmarsson was suspended two games for his actions in Monday's game against the Buffalo Sabres.  While not exactly a "head shot" per se, it did result in a head injury.  Should the league explore supplementary discipline for actions that cause head injuries? Discuss.

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