Is there something in the water in the NHL this week where the top superstars are losing their cool a little bit?
Edmonton’s Connor McDavid was fined $5000 on Wednesday after clobbering Montreal forward Jesperi Kotkaniemi with a flying elbow on Tuesday night that seemed completely out of character for the NHL’s leading scorer. It was a little tough to decipher in the video how much it was an elbow, or if there was a possible butt-end to Kotkaniemi’s face during the incident.
Either way it was nasty with a capital ‘N’ as McDavid was giving a minor penalty for roughing in the immediate aftermath.
Well, that’s some garbage from McDavid. pic.twitter.com/ra5RYasRU5
— Scott Matla (@scottmatla) March 30, 2021
Then on Wednesday night Colorado Avalanche center and two-time Hart Trophy finalist Nathan MacKinnon gunned a helmet at Arizona Coyotes forward Conor Garland in a nasty exchange between the Avs and Coyotes. MacKinnon was slapped with a game misconduct for throwing equipment and could also be looking at some supplemental discipline from the NHL as a result of the bad-blooded incident.
This is so good because it isn’t a gag. pic.twitter.com/dmQursZ0HB
— Jason Gregor (@JasonGregor) April 1, 2021
So that’s arguably the two best players in the NHL both losing their minds in the middle of the NHL season. Perhaps it’s just a reaction to being in the dog days of the NHL season with the playoffs still a solid six weeks away, or maybe it’s part of the residual nastiness we’ve seen this season with divisional teams playing each other over and over in this COVID-influenced season?
Either way it raises eyebrows when the NHL’s best choose violence instead of lighting the lamp and let everybody know that the intensity level has been raised in the second half of the season. And in a superstar league like the NHL, stars like McDavid and MacKinnon also know they’re going to get their wrists slapped the first few times before any substantial punishments start coming their way.
So no harm, no foul in the end, right?
Now on to the BHN Puck Links:
*Speaking of the Avalanche, a hat trick in the first period is not too shabby for Joonas Donskoi. Perhaps that’s part of what led to the shenanigans later on.
Hat trick in the first period?
Not a bad night for Joonas Donskoi. 👏 pic.twitter.com/ra6stW6ajz
— NHL (@NHL) April 1, 2021
*It’s time for the Boston Bruins younger players to “turn the tide” in games and become more of a factor in the physicality and energy departments. (Boston Hockey Now)
*The Florida Panthers have signed Boston College goalie Spencer Knight to an entry level deal, so it will be interesting to see how the goalie situation unfolds moving forward with Sergei Bobrovsky sitting there with a massive contract right now. (SI.com)
*Tristan Jarry is banged up for the Pittsburgh Penguins and is being listed as day-to-day at this point headed into a series against the Bruins. (Pittsburgh Hockey Now)
*Down Goes Brown gives us a closer look at five weird NHL rules in the rulebook that you may know nothing about. (The Athletic)
*This oral history of potential disaster with the San Jose Sharks mascot is my favorite read of the day from FOH (Friend of Haggs) Kevin Kurz. (The Athletic)
*Speaking of Conor Garland, he opens up to Craig Morgan about the trade rumors in Arizona. He said his teammates having jokingly begun calling him “Mr. Trade Bait”, but admits it’s all given him something to think about this season. (Arizona Coyotes insider)
*For something completely different: I usually don’t do shameless plugs as a proud parent, but I can’t resist this one celebrating my 7-year-old hockey player making the Greater Boston Junior Bruins Elite Mites team next season. The kid worked hard and deserves some kudos.
Very proud of the little guy. He busted his butt and persevered after a sleepy first day of tryouts and made the @BostonJrBruins Mites team for next season. It turned out to be a great lesson about hard work, effort and determination for a hockey-loving 7-year-old 🏒❤👍 pic.twitter.com/W6socrEQwX
— Joe Haggerty (@HackswithHaggs) March 31, 2021