• Flyers’ Simmonds booted from game after skirmish, punch to head of Rangers’ McDonagh

    Jared Clinton
    Wayne Simmonds and Ryan McDonagh (via Streamable)

    A matinee game between the Philadelphia Flyers and New York Rangers was going to mean an early day for all involved, but Wayne Simmonds was hitting the showers earlier than anyone after being ejected from Saturday’s game midway through the first period.

    Simmonds was handed a game misconduct and match penalty for a punch to the head of Rangers defenseman Ryan McDonagh shortly after the 10-minute mark of the first frame. The battle between Simmonds and McDonagh was sparked when the Flyers winger attempted to deliver a hit to the Rangers captain after he had moved the puck up ice. McDonagh, who saw Simmonds coming, caught him in the head with a crosscheck which set Simmonds off.

    Simmonds delivered a slash, McDonagh retaliated with a crosscheck and the two players separated for a brief moment before Simmonds threw a gloved left punch to McDonagh’s head that saw the defenseman hit the ice. Here’s the entire sequence: Read more

  • Flames’ Dennis Wideman to appeal 20-game suspension Wednesday

    Jared Clinton
    Dennis Wideman (Norm Hall/NHLI via Getty Images)

    Dennis Wideman has already missed two games due to suspension, but the Calgary Flames defenseman may have a shot at coming back before his 20-game ban is up if he can win an appeal.

    Wideman, 32, was handed his lengthy suspension on Feb. 3 for a hit he delivered to linesman Don Henderson. The check on Henderson was deemed abuse of an official by the league. The hit occurred on Jan. 26 and Wideman was initially suspended indefinitely pending a hearing, but the suspension wasn’t handed down until following the all-star break when Wideman met with Hockey Operations to discuss his actions.

    ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun reported that Bettman’s decision will impact where Wideman’s appeal goes. Should Bettman not reduce the suspension to less than six games, Wideman will have the right to having his appeal heard by a neutral party. According to Lebrun, the neutral party would be James Oldham, who has operated in the role of neutral arbitrator since 2004. Read more

  • Rumor Roundup: Canadiens GM Bergevin looking for offensive help

    Lyle Richardson
    (Photo by Richard Wolowicz/GEtty Images Sport)

    As the Montreal Canadiens continue to plummet in the standings, calls are rising for GM Marc Bergevin to do something to save their dwindling playoff hopes. As Bergevin has publicly stated he won’t change the coaching staff, his only option is the trade market.

    The more the losses pile up, the more the trade rumor mill buzzes in anticipation over Bergevin’s plans. There’s been talk of pursuing Carolina Hurricanes captain Eric Staal. Sportsnet’s Eric Engels recently reported right winger Dale Weise and defenseman Tom Gilbert could be shopped if the losing continues.

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  • Watch Penguins’ Zatkoff reach back to make awesome stick save on Lightning’s Condra

    Jared Clinton
    Jeff Zatkoff (via NHL)

    Pittsburgh backup Jeff Zatkoff doesn’t get to play often, so when he does, he wants to make his minutes count. And while he couldn’t help the Penguins overcome a 4-1 deficit Friday, he did make an incredible stick save during Pittsburgh’s attempted comeback.

    With the Penguins back within one goal late in the third period, the Lightning dumped the puck into the Penguins’ zone and Tampa Bay center Tyler Johnson gave chase. Johnson created some havoc below the goal line in his attempt to get the puck, which resulted in Penguins center Kevin Porter making an ill-advised pass into the middle of the ice, right onto the tape of Lightning winger Erik Condra.

    Condra had no one between he and Zatkoff and used great patience to pull the puck around the Penguins goaltender. But Zatkoff, who committed to Condra’s deke early, reached back with his goal stick and sealed the ice with his paddle to make a great save: Read more

  • Bourque, Bruins alumni reconvene for a good cause

    Ray Bourque. (Photo: Jon Chase)

    “Late in the second looking to advance their lead: O’Reilly strips Ritchie of the puck in the neutral zone and completes a cross ice pass to Middleton, who’s forced down along the boards into the corner. Pivoting, he hits a charging Raymond Bourque head on out in front of the crease and the Bruins score!”

    The game is 9-8 in the Bruins’ favor, but the year is 2016, not 1983. The setting is about 70 miles northwest of TD Garden, and the ice is peppered with Bruins grey beards out-maneuvering – and sometimes even tripping and hooking – a team of fundraising members of the community, all in good fun.

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  • Report: Penguins, Flyers to square off in outdoor game in 2017

    Jared Clinton
    The Pittsburgh Penguins hosted the 2011 Winter Classic at Heinz Field (Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)

    The Philadelphia Flyers and Pittsburgh Penguins could be taking their rivalry outdoors next season.

    According to ESPN’s Scott Burnside, the Flyers and Penguins have been in discussions for an outdoor game in 2017, but there’s currently no decision on whether or not the potential game could be a Stadium Series outing or be next season’s Winter Classic. Read more

  • Couturier out four weeks with lower-body injury as Flyers push for playoffs

    Jared Clinton
    Sean Couturier (Len Redkoles/NHLI via Getty Images)

    There hasn’t been much talk about the Flyers this season, so it may surprise some that Philadelphia is knocking on the door of a wild-card berth in the Eastern Conference and could realistically even make the post-season in a divisional spot. But if the Flyers are going to improve their chances of making the playoffs over the next month, they’re going to have to do so without Sean Couturier.

    Flyers GM Ron Hextall announced Friday that Couturier, 23, will be out the next four weeks with a lower-body injury. As one would expect, Philadelphia didn’t announce the specifics of the injury, but it was apparent something was ailing the Flyers center when he wasn’t on the ice for the third period of Thursday’s 6-3 win over the Nashville Predators.

    Couturier had been nursing a lower-body injury heading into the all-star break, but he tweaked the injury Thursday and finds himself on the shelf. Flyers coach Dave Hakstol called Couturier’s absence “a big loss,” but said he has faith in the rest of his club to step up. Read more

  • Wideman, Babcock highlight need for more powerful concussion spotters

    Ken Campbell
    Justin Abdelkader and Zach Bogosian (Photo by Tom Brenner/ Getty Images)

    If nothing else, Dennis Wideman and Mike Babcock have proved that the NHL’s protocol desperately needs to be equipped with more teeth than it now has. Well, they haven’t specifically, but the contingencies they represent have made things crystal clear.

    One is a member of the NHL playing fraternity; the other is one of the 30 men who coach the best players in the world. And as it turns out, neither can be trusted to put the player’s long-term well-being ahead of winning when it comes to injuries that could lead to concussions.

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