The NHL's Director of Player Safety, Brendan Shanahan, delivered the news that Jared Cowen would be suspended for two games for an illegal check to the head. The hit occurred in the latter stages of regulation during last night's game and there was penalty called on the play.
For the video impaired here is Shanny's explanation:
"Tuesday night in Buffalo, Ottawa defenceman Jared Cowen delivered an illegal check to the head of Buffalo forward Zemgus Girgensons. As the video shows, Girgensons receives a pass at the offensive blue line. After closing in from Girgenson’s right, Cowen drives his left shoulder into Girgenson’s head, making it the main point of contact. This is not a full body check in which contact to the head was unavoidable. And although Cowen keeps his elbow tucked and does not elevate or extend up, he still takes an improper angle of approach and instead of hitting through Girgenson’s right shoulder and into the body, he makes the head the main point of contact and hits with enough force to elevate this to supplemental discipline. It’s also important to note that Girgensons does not make any sudden movements just prior to this hit that significantly contribute to this head contact."
To summarize the criteria for suspension:
1. This was an illegal check to the head.
2. Girgensons remained in the game and suffered no apparent injury.
3. Cowen has not been fined or suspended previously during his 121 game NHL career.
Shanahammer summary: a two game suspension
Mike Hoffman Sentdownman
A few days after Paul MacLean emphasized how pleased he has been with the way that Mike Hoffman has played, today it was announced that Hoffman had been demoted to the Binghamton Senators.
Sigh. It was only a few short days ago when Paul MacLean was saying the following:
"We only have 13 forwards, with him, so we'll keep him around as long as we need him.
"He's been in the AHL how many years now? Two or three? I think he can spend some quality time with us and continue to improve as a player.”
It’s been two days, a quality two days mind you, since MacLean’s comments and with last night’s game being in Buffalo, Hoffman lucked out and had a short shuttle back to Binghamton.
With his demotion and news that Senators defenceman Jared Cowen will be serving a suspension, the Senators roster will remain comprised of 20 players barring some corresponding promotion to lend the team an additional forward.
For a fleeting moment, it seemed like an opportunity to promote on of the team’s young centers like Derek Grant or Jean-Gabriel Pageau, but judging by the line combinations at this morning’s Binghamton’s skate, it doesn’t appear as though this will be the case.
Instead, Mike Hoffman will go down to Binghamton to just learn how to be Mike Hoffman.
"I just think he has to be Mike Hoffman, wherever that is," said MacLean. "We play him with our Top 6 guys, so what is he? He's a guy that skates and shoots the puck. That's what we want him to be.
"I think he's been fine," MacLean said of Hoffman. "He skates and handles the puck and makes plays. We just feel right now Conacher's been here and played, and with the team we're playing we need Matt Kassian in the lineup. So somebody has to come out.
"So it's not like we're displeased with how Mike is playing. We just feel other guys have been here and played ahead of him to this point.”
Whether he was given much of a fair shake is up for debate, but if you were hoping to see a warm body who could fill in at the fourth line pivot spot and provide the organization with the opportunity to keep and play Mika Zibanejad in a top six capacity, keep dreaming.