Well, in maybe the most predictable suspension of the season, the NHL handed Dustin Brown a two-game unpaid vacation for his elbow on Minnesota Wild winger Jason Pominville (whose status seems day-to-day at the moment).
It’s not so much about the punishment fitting or not fitting “the crime.” Instead, it’s about a laughable league disciplinary wing that allows itself to be pushed around by outside influences to the point of being just about as aimless and pathetic as it ever was.
Brendan Shanahan might be more video-friendly and accessible than Colin Campbell, but it’s still a matter of “Meet the new boss, same as the old boss.”
(Obviously drop Brown right now.)
SMITH WON’T TANK
The Phoenix Coyotes were mathematically eliminated from the playoffs on Wednesday, but the scrappy team couldn’t transition immediately to “tank mode.” (The Edmonton Oilers just snicker “Amateurs.”)
One guy who won’t punt the last games of the season away either way is Mike Smith, which is fabulous news for his fantasy owners. He still has his next contract - probably his biggest one - to earn as a pending unrestricted free agent.
It’s been an up-and-down season and a couple extra nice games might not force GMs to run for their wallets much quicker, but throwing another win or two - or better yet, a shutout - might move the needle ever-so-slightly.
His owners wouldn’t mind.
INJURY NOTES (full list) and QUICK HITS
It looks like Roberto Luongo will play for the Canucks on Thursday, if not the last two games. Cory Schneider seems to have a lower-body injury, although hopefully it’s just a matter of resting him for the playoffs ... Ray Emery suffered a lower-body injury last night, but at least he got the win. The takeaway is that if this is a noteworthy issue, that opens the door that much wider for Corey Crawford, already Chicago’s No.1. In other words, feel more empowered to draft Crawford in playoff pools ... Want a dark horse goalie for next season? Consider making Devan Dubnyk your third guy. Despite a sub-.500 record, he managed a very nice .920 save percentage. If new GM Craig MacTavish manages to make the Oilers more than a team that merely seems appealing in Potential Dreamland, big DD could be a steal ... Brent Burns scored his ninth goal as a forward. That move seemed to work out fairly well for the Sharks, eh? ... Just when Johan Franzen was heating up, he’s day-to-day with an undisclosed issue (aka being Johan Franzen) ... Ryan Whitney is day-to-day with a leg injury ... Brooks Orpik is day-to-day with a lower-body issue, because a Penguins player hasn't been newly wounded in a while ... Barret Jackman is day-to-day with an ankle issue.