Here are a few of the latest hockey stories from around the league.
Detroit vs. Calgary. A lesson learned for Witkowski
What do you get when Luke Witkowski beats up Brett Kulak and then instigates Travis Hamonic? A two, five and ten. For those not all that in tune with hockey speak, that would be two minutes for instigating, five for fighting, and ten minutes for misconduct.
Now. What happens when, after hearing the ten minute misconduct with less than ten minutes left in the period, Witkowski goes to leave the game? He’s slashed by Matthew Tkachuk (Calgery).
Ah, good ol’ fashion hockey!
From there, it gets kind of crazy (as if it wasn’t crazy already). Witkowski jumps back on the ice to fight Tkachuk, a big no-no. Two more joined in on the fighting; Mantha and Hamonic, or bozo one and bozo two as I’ll call them because both fell right through the gate and onto the Red Wing’s bench. Others continue to join in, including Backlund and on and on and on.
The end result: A ten game suspension for Witkowski. The other guys? Hearings.
What do you think?
Is the ten game suspension warranted given that Witkowski was instagated? Witkowski claims that he did now know about the rule stating that once you leave the ice for a penalty, you’re not allowed back on. But when you consider that he was slashed by Tkachuk and didn’t just walk back out on the ice on his own…well…maybe ten games is a bit too harsh, yes?
Is Bruce Cassidy finally over Rask?
Ok, I think it’s a bit of a stretch to say Bruce Cassidy is completely done with Tuukka Rask. However, Rask was cleared to play on Saturday night and Cassidy still went with Anton Khudobin, sooo….could the rumors be true that Cassidy will continue to start Khudobin over Rask? Honestly, I hope so because otherwise, with Rask playing like he has been this season (he gave up four goals out of 27 shots in his last game, for example*), there is no way this team will make it back into playoff contention. This young team needs consistency and toughness at goal. That’s just not Rask this season.
Is starting Khudobin over Rask a long-term solution? No. As noted in this CBS Sports article, Khudobin is in the final year of his two year contract while Rask has three? four? years left. A long-term solution is something the Bs will have to think about…and quick.
The Blue Jackets locked Atkinson in until 2025
Forward Cam Atkinson signed a $41.125 million contract late last week. If he plays out the entire contract, there is a high probability that Atkinson will retire with the team, something Atkinson has been noted as saying he would like to see happen since he has been with the team since 2011. As we mentioned over on our Facebook page, this was a smart move by the Blue Jackets. Atkinson has led Columbus in scoring the past two seasons, including NHL and career highs of 35 goals, 27 assists and 62 points last season.
Look for more hockey talk on Wednesday!
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A born and raised Boston sports fan (please don’t hate), Colleen lives in Boston proper with her husband of 12-years. A usability expert by day and freelance writer by night, she loathes cleaning the house and burns water.