Saturday, March 23, 2019
Lightning's Gourde Banned for Two
This is another easy one for the NHL Department of Player Safety, as the picking of one's head is now an automatic 2-game suspension with the league's disciplinarians. Yanni Gourde of the Lightning picked the head of Carolina's Jordan Staal on Thursday night and on Friday evening, the Player Safety group came down with a ban on the Tampa player, an open-and-shut case.
The suspension means that Gourde will now miss Saturday night's game in St. Louis and Monday night's game, at home to Boston. He will be eligible to return for next Saturday's game, at home to Washington, after an extended break during the week.
The Lightning have already clinched the top spot in the overall standings this season, so there is no real peril in this suspension, if anything it is somewhat of a break for the forward, who has played in 75 games this season, registering 20 goals and 44 points in the process. As of Saturday morning, he ranks 146th in pool scoring, a very impressive year.
John P. was actually very apt with his pick at the draft, taking the Tampa forward in the 6th round, 144th overall, getting an approximately bang on return for the forward, but unfortunately, that was one of his few excellent picks. His team was unable to string it all together this season, now ranking 18th this year, 90 points out of the money.