We could talk about this ad nauseam, but the suspension to Randy Jones has been deemed fair by most people in hockey circles. I have to say, I wholeheartedly disagree. I do not particularly care that Jones is not a dirty player. Furthermore, I don’t exactly understand how Colin Campbell can decipher whether someone “intended” to hurt someone or not. I saw the hit, and Jones drove Patrice Bergeron’s head straight through the end boards. There was no let-up, no backing off; instead, he clearly followed through with a punishing hit from behind. As well, Bergeron did not turn at the last second as some have suggested; rather, he was standing with his back to Jones the entire time. A suspension of two games sends little if any message to the rest of the NHL players. I have just one question: Would Jones have only received a two game suspension if Bergeron had been paralyzed?
Here are the the Eastern Conference mornings papers:
- The Capitals were having trouble getting on the scoresheet until Monday night’s game versus the Leafs in which they scored four goals in the first period; the Caps won the contest by a final score of 7-1.
- Penguins’ coach Michel Therrien think this is the right time for the Pens to go on the road and come together as a team writes Dave Molinari of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Pens’ forward Gary Roberts, who has been out of the team’s lineup with a respiratory infection, is close to returning to the lineup.
- Flyers’ GM Paul Holmgren was disappointed that Randy Jones was suspended at all writes Tim Panaccio of the Philadelphia Inquirer. Here are some notes about the Flyers from this morning’s Inquirer.
- The Leafs’ next four games are thankfully on the road writes Paul Hunter of the Toronto Star. Damien Cox of the Star believes the Leafs are a “terribly vulnerable” team . In some positive Leafs’ news, both Darcy Tucker and Kyle Wellwood appear to be making progress in their respective attempts to return from injury.
- Not even the return of Dan Boyle to the lineup could spark the Lightning to their first road victory, as they were defeated 3-1 by the Rangers at MSG.
- If Dean McAmmond is ready to return to the lineup on Thursday versus Atlanta, youngster Nick Foligno would most likely find himself demoted to the AHL. Meanwhile, it looks like Jason Spezza is looking for a similar contract to the one his teammate Dany Heatley received from the Senators writes Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun. Garrioch also tells readers that Peter Forsberg will be using his time at the Karjala Cup in Finland to gauge his ability to play at a high level.
- Jaromir Jagr demonstrated his leadership skills last night against the Lightning as he lost all his front teeth and stayed in the game to score the game winning goal. Jagr sure earned his “C” last night writes Larry Brooks of the NY Post.
- Habs’ rookie goaltender Carey Price will be starting his second consecutive game tonight, but more importantly, it is Price’s first home game for the Canadiens.
- Panthers’ defenseman Mike Van Ryn says his team needs to demonstrate “a sense of urgency.” Florida coach Jacques Martin says you will continue to see different line combinations until one of the team’s lines can demonstrate some good chemistry.
- Hurricanes’ forward Andrew Ladd could be sidelined another week with his lingering ankle injury.
- Patrice Bergeron has been released from hospital but he is still experiencing headaches and substantial neck pain writes Stephen Harris of the Boston Herald. Apparently the youngster is expected to be out of the lineup for a month or more.
- Over in Atlanta, it looks like Thrashers’ general manager Don Waddell is in no rush to hand-over his interim coaching duties.
Here are the Western Conference morning papers:
- Steve Macfarlane of the Calgary Sun has all the details surrounding the Miikka Kiprusoff contract extension. With Kiprusoff done, it didn’t take long for the Calgary media to start discussing the other Flames’ players coming up on free agency. In other Flames’ news, defenseman Dion Phaneuf has no problems with his increased workload this season under new coach Mike Keenan.
- Chris Kuc of the Chicago Tribune reports that the Blackhawks are finally going to show a regular season home game on television in Chicago.
- The line of Chimera-Malhotra-Fritsche has been terrific for the Blue Jackets since being reunited by coach Ken Hitchcock a few games ago. Meanwhile, it looks like Fredrik Modin is ready to return to action tomorrow night, however, his teammate Duvie Westcott is not.
- The Stars gave away their 2-1 third period lead to the Sharks last night and were defeated 4-2. Stars’ legend Mike Modano is now one point away from becoming the all-time leading United States born NHL scorer.
- The Oilers’ trade of Tommy Salo for Tom Gilbert is sure looking like a winner now writes Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal. With Gilbert and his fellow youngsters playing well along the Oilers’ blueline, it looks like Dick Tarnstrom is the odd man out. The Oilers face quite the challenge tonight, as the powerhouse Red Wings are in town.
- Wings’ forward Johan Franzen is expected to return to the lineup tonight in Edmonton after injuring his knee in the team’s first game of the year. Wings’ netminder Dominik Hasek hopes to be back on the ice in the next few days.
- Jason LaBarbera of the Kings gives the NHL just another reason to get rid of these awful new jerseys.
- With the Penguins in town, Michael Russo of the Minneapolis Star Tribune profiles Sidney Crosby in this morning’s paper. The Wild will be without all three of Demitra, Gaborik and Backstrom for tonight’s game versus the Pens.
- Predators’ forward Martin Gelinas is expected to miss the team’s next three games with a shoulder injury.
- It looks like Blues’ defenseman Erik Johnson will be back in the lineup for the Blues’ game versus the Wild on Thursday.
- Radim Vrbata is doing his best to stay positive during his early season offensive struggles writes Jim Gintonio of the Arizona Republic.
- Sharks’ rookie Devon Setoguchi was the star of the night for San Jose, scoring two goals to lead his team to a 4-2 comeback victory over Dallas.
For Illegal Curve, I’m Richard Pollock.