Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Suspensions in the Pool

The Pittsburgh Penguins will be without James Neal for their elimination game against the Washington Capitals on Wednesday night, as he was suspended for this game by the NHL Department of Player Safety for a couple of infractions in Game Three.  Neal was running around like a mad man in frustration and it has cost him his participation in the most important game for the Penguins in this series.

The explanation of the suspension has been included with the video below.

ImplicationsWell, the greater implications of this suspension is that Neal won't be able to help his Penguins' teammates stay alive in these playoffs, which will see a lot of players eliminated.  The short-term damage of this suspension will fall on only four teams in the pool that chose Neal as more of a depth player in Box 15.  Those four teams are likely going to miss Neal a lot, especially since this series has been high scoring for the first three games.

The Washington Capitals are down two games to one to the Boston Bruins and now they will be without one of their best players for Game Four, as Nicklas Backstrom has been suspended for one game, following a high-sticking incident with Rich Peverley at the end of Game Three.  Backstrom was assessed a match penalty on the play and that automatically warranted a review, which you can see below and get the result of the process.

ImplicationsThe Capitals were the least popular team in the pool this year, matching up against the reigning Cup champions and no one had actually taken Nicklas Backstrom, so there is no real immediate impact.  There are 20 selections for the Capitals this year, so there is a small trickle down effect, especially if the Capitals drop Game Four and find themselves behind the 8-ball.

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