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November 25, 2015
by Jonathan Bombulie

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St. Louis pregame


Lots of talk this season about scoring being down in the NHL and the excitement level of games falling with it. That’s why it’s nice when a kid like Vladimir Tarasenko comes to town.

I think his highlight reel might be the best in the league in the last season or two. Here’s a particular favorite of mine. Here’s one from just the other night against Detroit:

Coach Mike Johnston talked after morning skate about how to defend Tarasenko.

“He’s the type of player that’s really dangerous when he gets isolated one-on-one and you don’t have a lot of back pressure on him. For him, he’s one of those game-breaker type players. They get open ice and they capitalize. He’s had a great start to the season. We have to make sure we know where he is and make sure we get a lot of pressure on him.”

Some other notes from morning skate:

— Marc-Andre Fleury was the first goalie off and Daniel Sprong and David Warsofsky were the last skaters on the ice, so no lineup changes are expected tonight.

— St. Louis is the only NHL team Sidney Crosby hasn’t scored a goal against (not counting the Penguins, of course).

Crosby talked this morning about how to attack the St. Louis penalty kill, but the same principles could probably apply at even strength too.

“They block a lot of shots. They’re pretty aggressive. Knowing those things, you’ve got to execute, make a good first pass when you get in there and try and settle things down. When you get shooting opportunities, you’ve got to find a way to get it through and find rebounds. Nothing that you don’t focus on against other teams, but it’s good to be aware of what they do.”

— One other quote from Crosby this morning that I’m going to have to throw a penalty flag on.

“We want to get to our game and use our speed.”

Fifteen yards for using the catchphrase of a previous coaching regime.

— I don’t know if the Penguins will face a bigger D corps this season that St. Louis’. Their first pair is 6-4, 212 Jay Bouwmeester and 6-3, 210 Alex Pietrangelo. Their third pair is 6-5, 226 Colton Parayko and 6-4, 215 Robert Bortuzzo. Those are some hosses.

A Johnston quote on the St. Louis D:

“I don’t think it’s necessarily getting physical with their defense that’s the key thing. I believe it’s competing on loose pucks with them. You’ve got to get in on loose puck battles with them, make sure you’ve got good body position, make it hard on them to get around you.”

— Bortuzzo stepped out onto the St. Louis bench before morning skate started and greeted a few former teammates that came by for a stop and chat. It’s not surprising. He was always a well-liked player during his time with the Penguins organization. These days, he seems to really fit in with what St. Louis is trying to do on defense.

Bye for now,



November 25, 2015
by Jonathan Bombulie

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Maatta, Sprong and more


I think the news with the biggest impact coming out of today’s Penguins practice was the following assessment of Olli Maatta’s condition from coach Mike Johnston. Maatta skated this morning:

“It’s just the progression of going from the therapy to getting on the ice to seeing where he’s at. I’m hoping that it might progress over the next few days, but as of right now, he’ll just probably skate before the morning skate tomorrow and continue that over the next few days.”

When Maatta was hurt a week ago, the play looked brutal and the projection was that he’d miss three to four weeks. He still might, but the idea that Johnston is “hoping it might progress over the next few days” certainly sounds an optimistic tone.

Two other notes:

— People get very upset when Daniel Sprong only plays a few minutes a game, and I get that. He’s one the few wingers on the team with God-given goal-scoring talent, so why not see what he can do in a bigger role?

That’s a question Johnston is going to have to answer as the season goes on, of course, but for now, I think his explanation of the minutes Sprong and Sergei Plotnikov are getting at least makes sense.

“We’ve used Spronger in there and we’ve used Plots in there and that’ll probably be the way it is. It’s not going to be a true rotation or anything like that, but you’ve got them with Cullen and Fehr, two really responsible guys. Where they lose out a little bit is those guys kill a lot of penalties, so sometimes they don’t get as many minutes in a game if there’s a lot of power play or penalty killing.”

It’s not just that Sprong and Plotnikov aren’t playing special teams. It’s that their linemates are, and that more or less takes them out of the equation for the next shift or two as well.

— When looking ahead to tomorrow’s game with St. Louis, Johnston said the Penguins don’t want to get into a track meet with the Blues. On the surface, I’m not sure I agree. The Penguins have the personnel to win a track meet, don’t they?

But look at the full quote to see what he means.

“They have a set style. You have to be willing to patient with the puck and smart with the puck or else you get into a little bit of a track meet with them and you don’t want to play that type of way. They clog it up in the neutral zone. They’ll turn over pucks. They’re very good in transition. We have to be careful that we don’t make passes in the neutral zone that aren’t there and don’t force pucks through there.”

When Johnston talks about a track meet, he isn’t talking about trading chances. That might work out for the Penguins. He’s talking about racing into the neutral zone, running into a trap, and racing back the other way to chase the St. Louis transition game.

That’s a game no team can win.

Bye for now,



November 22, 2015
by Jonathan Bombulie

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Optional blog post


The Penguins had an optional skate today in Cranberry. There were 12 players on the ice. I can list them if you’d like. Pascal Dupuis, Sidney Crosby, Chris Kunitz, Beau Bennett, Sergei Plotnikov, Daniel Sprong, Brian Dumoulin, Ben Lovejoy, Ian Cole, Adam Clendening, David Warsofsky and Jeff Zatkoff.

They took the skate seriously, running through drills with assistant coaches Rick Tocchet and Gary Agnew, but as far as serious sports journalism — which I, of course, always pride myself on — not much happening.

So let’s empty out the notebook.

— I’ll have a story in tomorrow’s Trib about Brian Dumoulin and Ben Lovejoy emerging as a shutdown defense pair. At, you can rank NHL defensemen based on the goals per 60 minutes of their opponents. Check out the top 10.


Based on these numbers, you could easily make a case that the Dumoulin-Lovejoy has faced the toughest even-strength minutes of any D pair in the league.

— Along those same lines, how about a mini Q-and-A with Lovejoy:

Q: How challenging was it facing the Duchene-MacKinnon-Landeskog line Thursday?

A: That was the best line we faced this season. They could do it all. They had a ton of speed, could make plays, all three of them, had the puck on a string. They had chemistry. They were very good. They made our job incredibly difficult. I have a lot of respect for that line and I don’t like talking about how good they are because I don’t particularly like them.

Q: Duchene scored twice, but one on the power play and one with the goalie pulled.  What was the secret to your success five-on-five?

A: We wanted to keep them in front of us. They have so much speed, so much creativity and talent, that they can get behind you and when that happens, they’re even more dangerous. They’re going to make you uncomfortable with their speed. We did our best to keep them in front of us. We had some good forward play, which you can’t play a line like that successfully without. You need your forwards because they’re constantly hitting the third guy or their defenseman that’s up in the play. I thought our forwards did a good job. When we did have some breakdowns, Marc’s been our best player all year and continued that streak.

Q: Is being asked to play a shutdown role something a defenseman can really take pride in?

A: I’ve taken pride in that since my second year pro. It’s, off and on, been my job throughout my career and it’s something I definitely take pride in. I feel like I’ve developed a great chemistry with Brian Dumoulin because he has the same attitude. Oftentimes, you see young, high-profile defensemen come up and feel their self-worth is completely tethered to how many points they put up. He’s come in and not only done a great job playing against those top lines, but also has the attitude and mindset that he’s out there to play defense. He hasn’t once cheated for offense. I think both of us having that mindset has really helped.

— Still along those same lines, check out this ranking of the Penguins defensemen this season by even-strength goals allowed per 60 minutes of ice time. It paints the Dumoulin-Lovejoy pair in a very favorable light.

I COLE 2.46

— I wrote this story the other day about Adam Clendening. I wanted to share an angle that I had to edit out for space reasons.

I think Clendening is an underrated prospect in the Penguins organization because he came up with Chicago and was traded to Vancouver. Like, if the Penguins had drafted him, I think people would be as excited about his potential upside as they have been about some other top Penguins prospects in recent years. Here are three notes to back that up:

When Kris Letang was drafted in 2005, he was ranked the 44th-best North American skater by NHL Central Scouting. When Clendening was drafted in 2011, he was ranked 45th.

In his first two seasons at Boston College as one of the most highly touted defensemen in the country, Brian Dumoulin totaled 55 points. In his first two years at Boston University, Clendening had 59 points.

Derrick Pouliot was one of the top-scoring defensemen as an AHL rookie last year, racking up seven goals and 24 points. When Clendening was in his first season in the AHL in 2012-13, he had nine goals and 46 points. Their AHL points per game in their first two pro seasons are pretty comparable — Pouliot .80, Clendening .71.

OK. The notebook’s empty and the Penguins are off tomorrow. So expect the next update here on Chipped Ice on Tuesday.

Bye for now,




November 22, 2015
by Jonathan Bombulie

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San Jose postgame


Check out a couple of quotes from the Penguins after tonight’s 3-1 loss to San Jose:

PHIL KESSEL: “I think we had some good looks. They just didn’t go in tonight.”

SIDNEY CROSBY: “The difference in the game is two pucks off of guys, really, at the end of the day. That happens sometimes.”

MATT CULLEN: “By no means was tonight all bad. There was a lot of positives. By the time we grow as a team here, this is a game that we’re pretty content with.”

If the Penguins had said those things after losing two games last weekend, it would have sounded like they were trying to convince themselves. You wouldn’t have believed them.

But two convincing wins over Minnesota and Colorado earlier this week bought them a lot of capital. Frankly, I think their remarks are spot on.

They outshot San Jose 39-29. They had a 68-50 advantage in shot attempts. They were only deficient in a couple areas. First, they didn’t deal with San Jose’s obsessive shot blocking particularly well. The Sharks held a 20-8 statistical edge in that area. Second, they didn’t have a killer instinct in the offensive zone. You know the one I mean. The one Evgeni Malkin had the last two games.

Mike Johnston explains:

“I thought we were moving pucks to the net. Our shot attempts were high. If there’s one thing in our game for me, it’s our loose puck recovery around the net, some of those rebound chances. I thought we had to be hungrier. There were some loose rebounds there. When we’re on, we’re jumping on those pucks quicker.”

Some other notes from tonight:

— Whenever somebody asks Crosby about why it’s so hard to score in today’s NHL, he always mentions shot blocking. I’m sure tonight’s game was more evidence in his file.

— Paul Martin scored against his old team in the third period on a shot that banked in off Marc-Andre Fleury’s blocker and Ben Lovejoy’s upper body. The thing that strikes me about Martin is how drama-free he is. He plays his game, performing critical tasks for his team in all three zones, but does so quietly.

Even his departure from Pittsburgh was handled in a calm and orderly fashion. The Penguins wanted to keep him but San Jose had more cap space to work with, so everyone basically shrugged their shoulders and said, “Yeah. Makes sense. Good for him. Good for the Sharks.”

— A neat bit of trivia from the Penguins’ post-game release: “Marleau is just the second player to record his 1,000th point against the Penguins, joining New Jersey’s Joe Nieuwendyk on Feb. 23, 2003.”

Bye for now,



November 21, 2015

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San Jose pregame


It isn’t an issue yet and the Penguins hope it doesn’t become one, but playing with a lead has not exactly been a strength of the local hockey club recently.

During Tuesday’s 4-3 win over the Wild, the Penguins had a 4-1 lead but let two in. They held leads of 3-1 and 4-2 during Thursday’s 4-3 victory over the Avalanche.

Again, the Penguins are still 6-0 when leading after one period, 9-0 when leading after two and 9-3 in one-goal games. So, relax. Just saying it’s got their attention.

“We need to get better at a couple things — puck management in those last couple minutes, especially when we’re up two,” Nick Bonino said. “You might think the game’s out of reach, but it’s not.”

Going back a year, the Penguins were actually really good when leading after two. They finished 30-2-2, giving them a winning percentage of .882 that ranked seventh in the NHL. They were 25-5-4 when leading after one, a .735 winning percentage that ranked 18th.

The biggest issue this season have been stupid penalties, often hooking or high-sticking. Things that can be avoided with more skating and more compete.

Both of Minnesota’s goals came on the power play, but even if they had killed off every penalty, it’s still neutering the Penguins’ ability to add to that lead.

“We can’t sit back,” Sidney Crosby said. “We have to find a way to try and add to that lead without taking chances or at least make better plays so we’re not constantly giving them the puck back.

“The more you’re in those situations, the better you get. It’s good to have leads. It’s good to practice. That’s obviously what we want to improve in.”

Things don’t get any easier tonight, with the San Jose Sharks in town.

Good to see Paul Martin, as always. Great dude. He’s missed here, both as Kris Letang’s partner and for my own musical interests.

No surprise to see Martin’s pairing with Brent Burns has worked out well, either.

Couple nuggets here before I hit the road:

=Sharks center Patrick Marleau has 999 career points. He’ll become the 83rd player to get 1,000 when he does it. He’s played 1,348 games in his career. Just some insane numbers. Feels like yesterday he was drafted second overall in the 1997 NHL Draft at Civic Arena.

=Penguins are 7-2 in their last 10 home games, 12-4 since Oct. 15. … They’re 4-0-2 in their last six home games against the Sharks. … They have 40 wins against the Western Conference since the start of the 2013-14 season. That’s now tops among Eastern Conference clubs.

=Evgeni Malkin has 3-2–5 this week to lead the NHL in scoring. … Thirteen of his 17 points this season have come at Consol Energy Center, too.

Be GRATEFUL to each other,



November 20, 2015
by Jonathan Bombulie

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More power


In the first month of the season, the Penguins played 14 games. Referees gave them 3.14 power plays per game during that stretch.

In the second month of the season so far, they’ve played five games. Refs have awarded them 4.60 power plays per game.

Time will tell, of course, but that looks like a trend to me, that refs are calling the game closer recently, perhaps in response to complaints about a lack of offense in the NHL.

Mike Johnston, it’s worth noting, isn’t so sure it is a trend.

“I think varies a lot, for me, on the referees you get for the game, how they call the game,” he said. “Some refs tend to call it very tight and other refs tend to let it go a little bit more and they wait for the right call. The last two games, there has been a lot of power plays. Sometimes, as you’re watching the tape afterwards, you’re watching closer to see where the penalty was on both sides. That’s the way the game is called and you just deal with it as it is.”

Regardless, it stands to reason that the more power plays are awarded, the better off the Penguins will be. When they score at least one PPG, they’re 7-1 this season. When they don’t, they’re 5-6.

The resurgence the last two games has been sparked by Evgeni Malkin, sure, but being even more specific, it’s been sparked by Malkin on the power play. In bad losses to Columbus and New Jersey, they went 0 for 9 on the power play. In wins over Minnesota and Colorado, they went 3 for 10. Malkin figured in on all three of the goals, scoring two and earning the primary assist on the other.

Some other notes from practice today:

— Kris Letang, Patric Hornqvist and Matt Cullen had the day off of practice for maintenance. Letang, who played 23;28 last night, including 9:04 in the third period, could probably use the rest.

“It’s a fairly busy schedule, so the trainers know if there’s anybody with something nagging them, they’re going to keep them off,” Johnston said. “Make sure they’re rested and ready to go to play.”

— Johnston said the Penguins, by their internal count, had 12 scoring chances during their four power plays last night. He said they usually get about once scoring chance per power play.

— Johnston explained why Beau Bennett was taking the faceoff that led to David Perron’s goal in the second period last night. He said the Penguins were about to go on a power play, so he wanted to save Sidney Crosby and Malkin for that. Nick Bonino had just come off the ice. So he decided to take a chance that a couple of offensively skilled wingers, Bennett and Perron, could handle an offensive-zone faceoff without incident. He was right.

— Johnston said Bryan Rust skated with a puck for the first time since suffering an injury Oct. 22. He said Rust still has to progress to shooting the puck, so his return is still a ways away.

Bye for now,



November 20, 2015
by Jonathan Bombulie

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Colorado postgame


The Penguins pair that gets the headlines tonight is Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin.

Malkin played his second straight outstanding game after the now-famous 4-0 loss in New Jersey, scoring the middle goal of a three-goal second-period flurry. Crosby scored a critical goal in the third period after Colorado had pulled within 3-2. It was his first even-strength goal of the year and it turned out to be the game winner.

You can read all about those two in the game story.

The Penguins pair I’d like to focus on here, though, is Brian Dumoulin and Ben Lovejoy.

When Olli Maatta was injured Tuesday night, the Penguins had an opening on the top D pair with Kris Letang. They chose to fill it with Rob Scuderi, and one big reason for that was that they didn’t want to break up the Dumoulin-Lovejoy pairing.

After tonight’s game, it’s easy to see why. Dumoulin and Lovejoy were on the ice against Colorado’s top line of Matt Duchene, Nathan MacKinnon and Gabriel Landeskog almost every shift.

Duchene scored once on the power play in the first period and again with the goalie pulled in the third, but for the vast majority of the game, five-on-five, Dumoulin and Lovejoy gave them little. It reminded me of the game last last month when the same pair shut down Alex Ovechkin’s line in a 3-1 win at Washington.

I know what you’re thinking. Dumoulin is just a kid and your eyes can’t un-see the way Lovejoy played down the stretch last season. But maybe it’s time to forget all that and recognize these two as a legit shutdown D pair.

A couple of Dumoulin quotes from after the game that colleague Jason Mackey passed along:

“We did pretty well. It was good to get the win. They’ve been a hot team the last five games, so we knew that line was going to have a lot of speed. They’re really, really skilled. It was a good matchup. Glad we came out with the victory.”

“It’s good experience to get. That’s one of the best lines in hockey. Just playing against them, they’re a young line with a lot of speed. It was fun going against them and matching up against them tonight.”

There’s a good chance the topic of those two will go from a blog post tonight to a full-blown story in print in the next few days, so when you see it in the paper, act surprised.

Some other notes:

— The Penguins’ first goal came when Beau Bennett won a faceoff and an Ian Cole shot deflected in off David Perron. The third goal came when Chris Kunitz and Nick Bonino forechecked goalie Reto Berra into an error behind the net. So if you think I focused too much on Crosby and Malkin in the gamer, I’ll understand.

Coach Mike Johnston’s take on that question:

“I thought it was more spread out tonight. If you really look at it, Bonino, Kunitz and Bennett had some really good scoring chances tonight. I thought Sid’s line consistently … they had a lot of shifts against MacKinnon. Sid played head-to-head against MacKinnon quite a bit. I thought our scoring chances were fairly well spread out throughout our lineup.”

— Crosby didn’t wear a helmet for warm-ups. Since he’s the superstitious type, a reporter asked him after the game if that meant he’d be going without a helmet for warm-ups going forward.

“We’ll see. I don’t know what you’re talking about anyway,” he said, playing dumb.

— There was a time in this nation’s history when Pittsburgh was considered the western frontier. At least I think that’s true. Well, whatever, the Penguins might want to petition for inclusion in the Western Conference anyway. From the team’s post-game stat pack: they now have 40 wins against Western teams since the start of 2013-14, more than any other Eastern Conference team.

— While we’re talking about petitions, Malkin might want to start one to get all 82 games played at Consol Energy Center. From the same team release, all seven of his goals this year have come at home.

— The past two games, despite some really explosive stretches of offense, the Penguins had to cling to one-goal leads in the third period. Johnston said he wasn’t too worried about that.

“When we have the lead, we’ve been one of the best teams in the league. We feel really confident when we have the lead in the third period. That’s a good group they had on the ice there at the end of the game. They made a nice play. I thought in the third period as a whole we managed the game really well.”

— He was a little more concerned about the fact that the Penguins took six penalties.

“The ones that bug me are the stick penalties. You’ve got to skate. You can’t get your stick up. You can’t reach in with you stick. The one on Duper, if they reviewed it 100 times, it would never be called again on Duper. He just skated through the slot, took MacKinnon’s stick out, he fell over. That was a bad call, but those things happen in a game.”

— I’m old. I almost typed Steve Duchesne instead of Matt Duchene twice tonight.

Bye for now,



November 19, 2015

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Pregame: Penguins vs. Avalanche, 7 p.m.


Rob Scuderi and Kris Letang.

I can type more stuff here, but that’s probably what you’re going to remember the most.

Looks like it’s happening tonight.

We’ll see. I have my doubts, but I’ve certainly been wrong before.

Personally, I was intrigued by Brian Dumoulin getting the promotion. Thought he’s earned it. Would be interesting to see how he’d fit next to Letang — long, rangy, good stick, gaining confidence, etc.

One of the biggest misconceptions about Letang is that he wants, as coach Mike Johnston said this morning, an “anchor” next to him. He doesn’t. But he’s also never been a minus-11 before.

(I know, I know. Flawed stat. It’s easier than explained scoring chances for an against, etc. Know this, though: Those numbers aren’t glorious either. Here’s what I tweeted before Tuesday’s game:

Anyway, back to tonight. Here’s what we know besides Scuderi and Letang playing together:

=David Warsofsky was called up from Wilkes-Barre/Scranton this morning but will be a healthy scratch, unless something crazy happens.

Colleague Jonathan Bombulie passed this along from the Warsofsky scrum:

“My style of play is moving the puck, jumping up in the play and obviously, being responsible defensively,” Warsofsky said. “The forwards on this team are highly skilled players, so I think getting the puck in their hands as much as possible is going to be productive.

“If you look at a lot of teams right now, they’re built from the back end out. We have six, seven solid defensemen out there (in Wilkes-Barre). Even when a guy’s not playing, any other team, he’d be in the lineup. It’s tough decisions the coaches have to make. I think the back end and the goalies, and obviously the forwards, have been a big part of the winning streak they’re on.”

=Expect Daniel Sprong to be a healthy scratch tonight. He was on the ice way late.

=Top-six stays the same. Nick Bonino will return from a one-game absence and likely center Chris Kunitz and Beau Bennett on the third line. Your fourth line looks like Sergei Plotnikov, Matt Cullen and Eric Fehr.

=From the Avalanche room, Gabriel Landeskog return from a two-game suspension. Colorado’s top two lines are as good as any around the league, I think.

=The Avs’ best performer this season has been Sidney Crosby’s best friend, Nathan MacKinnon, who has 4-6–10 in his last seven games. He leads Colorado in points (20), assists (12), game-winning goals (4), plus/minus (+9) and shots (66).

Here are a few quotes on MacKinnon’s start:

“We’ll see. I’m happy for him that he’s doing well. Obviously when you go out there, you’re competing against one another. He probably understands that more than anybody. Neither of us is expecting an easy night. We’re out there to compete, to put the friendship aside and try to go out there and win a game.”

Jarome Iginla
Getting to see him up close, it’s no surprise. His speed, his hands. He’s a competitive guy. He’s strong, too. You can see his strength is going up. He’ll battle you in the corners. He can play any style. It’s fun to watch.

“When you get your confidence up, you start playing well, you see pucks going in early. I think it’s tough when you don’t get off to a good start. I had a bad start last season. It kind of drags through if you can’t snap out of it. This year it’s bene good from the hop. We’ve been playing better lately, winning three of four. Everybody’s been chipping in.”

=Speaking of Iginla, what a wonderfully pleasant man. I didn’t cover the Penguins when he played here but had heard nothing but good things. All backed up today.

I thought he was especially fascinating talking about that 2013 playoff run, when the Penguins were swept by Boston in the Eastern Conference Finals. Iginla said he was discussing that postseason with Colorado assistant Tim Army this morning.

“The first game against the Bruins, I thought we actually played pretty well. It was a close game. I think (Tuukka) Rask played great. We just couldn’t buy one. All of a sudden we’re down, 1-0.

“Second one, we kind of laid an egg. They had a great game. I think that one really hurt us. Down 2-0 going there, all of a sudden we’re swept, and it looks like we just got dominated. But it didn’t really feel like that. Three out of the four, it could have went either way.”

All from me for now. Talk to you tonight.

Be GRATEFUL to each other,



November 18, 2015

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Why the NHL won’t suspend Niederreiter


The choice to suspend or not suspend Minnesota Wild forward Nino Niederreiter came down to what a league source described to me as a play that was “unfortunately coincidental.”

Niederreiter, of course, hit Penguins defenseman Olli Maatta from behind at 10:04 of the second period Tuesday night during a 4-3 Penguins win.

Maatta was helped down the visitor’s runway, loaded onto a stretcher, taken to a local hospital and kept overnight for observation. In fact, he’s still there, and the team said a little bit ago he suffered an upper-body injury unrelated to anything he’s dealt with in the past.

Translation: His shoulder’s fine.

As far as the suspension, the league source explained it to me like this:

=Niederreiter shoved Maatta up the boards.

=It very easily could have been called interference; however, it was not.

=If Wild backup goaltender Darcy Kuemper hadn’t simultaneously opened the bench door, then we’re talking about Maatta going into the boards on a hit that may have been from behind, wasn’t terribly hard and was away from the puck.

It’s not ideal, but the injury came into play because the door was open.

“If that guy doesn’t open the door,” the source said, “this is nothing.”

You’re also going to wonder about the NHL and injuries triggering suspensions.

Here’s how I was told it works: If the guy’s going to get suspended, then they look at the injury. If he’s not, then they don’t. And the NHL didn’t view this as a suspension-worthy hit. So they didn’t look at the injury.

Criticize the policy or the rationale all you want, but that’s what went into this.

Be GRATEFUL to each other,


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