Tuesday afternoon, the NHL announced a one-game suspension for Penguins defenseman Kris Letang. The linchpin of Pittsburgh’s blueline delivered a head shot to Capitals forward Marcus Johansson in Washington’s offensive zone during the first period. Letang was given a two-minute minor penalty for interference.

Johansson left the game and returned at the start of the second period, playing over 18 minutes. He passed concussion tests, but complained of neck pain. Tuesday morning, Johansson was held out of practice due what the Capitals termed an upper-body injury.

The Department of Player Safety explains their decision below.

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Photo: Patrick Smith

Thursday morning, the NHL announced one-game suspensions for Alex Ovechkin and Jonathan Toews for withdrawing from this year’s All-Star Game in Nashville. Ovechkin, who played the entirety of last night’s game against the Flyers, says he is suffering from a nagging lower-body injury that he suffered in mid-November. Meanwhile, Toews suffered an illness against the Carolina Hurricanes on Tuesday and did not finish the game.

Via Wikipedia, it’s Ovechkin’s fourth suspension of his career. In 2009, Ovechkin was suspended for two games after a knee-on-knee hit to Carolina Hurricanes defenseman Tim Gleason. Later that season, Ovechkin was suspended for another two games after a dangerous hit to Blackhawks defenseman Brian Campbell in March. On January 23, 2012, Ovechkin also received a three-game suspension for a hit on Zbyněk Michálek of the Pittsburgh Penguins. The following day, Ovechkin announced he would skip the 2012 NHL All-Star Game due to the suspension.

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Zach Sill Gets Suspended Two Games, No One Cares


You may not have heard, but Capitals center Zach Sill has been suspended two games for boarding Boston’s Adam McQuaid. The news was buried by an afternoon of crazy wild hockey news which included Nicklas Backstrom being named to his first All-Star Game, the Caps signing Mike Richards, and Nashville trading Seth Jones to Columbus for Ryan Johansen.

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Photo credit: Eric Hartline

On Tuesday night, Washington Capitals rookie forward Tom Wilson delivered a crushing hit on Philadelphia Flyers forward Brayden Schenn. Wilson was given a five-minute major for charging, a five-minute major for fighting, and a game misconduct. Schenn needed help leaving the ice and did not return to the game.

George McPhee and Adam Oates have made several protestations that it was a clean hit, and the Department of Player Safety has agreed. Tom Wilson will face no supplemental discipline.

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John Erskine suspended 3 games

Saturday night, John Erskine was suspended for three games and fined $24,324.33 for his elbow to the head of Philadelphia Flyers forward Wayne Simmonds. Erskine, whose play has earned him a sweater in five consecutive games, will sit out Sunday’s game at home against the Penguins, Tuesday’s game against Toronto, and Thursday’s game in Pittsburgh.

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Alternate Cut of the Alex Ovechkin Suspension Video

Our Russian spies have infiltrated NHLHQ and recovered this alternate cut of Brendan Shanahan‘s suspension video for Alex Ovechkin. This video, archived by RMNB contributor Max Duchaine, contains several revelations about Shanahan’s mental state.

What we find is a broken man at the edge of madness, hated by all, who retreats to a lonely room to watch teen dramas and weep quietly. Do not loathe this man. Pity him.

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