Justice was sort-of served this week as Florida Panthers defenseman Mike Matheson received a two-game suspension for his mauling of hotshot Vancouver Canucks rookie Elias Pettersson. Matheson was already back in the lineup Saturday for his team’s 4-3 overtime loss to the Detroit Red Wings (Mo-town’s first win of the season), however, while Pettersson reportedly “responded well to a light skate,” he continues to rehab from the concussion he received.
Young Swedish phenoms are the only ones getting banged up. Since the NHL decided to reign in the size of goalkeepers’ arm protection this offseason, a chorus of goalie voices has arisen to complain of painful saves and bad bruises. Sergei Bobrovsky of the Columbus Blue Jackets joined Dallas Stars netminder Ben Bishop and the Flyers’ own Brian Elliott in complaining about the shrunken equipment. Bobrovsky even went so far as to say that, “you start to be afraid of pucks, actually, especially in the practices.”
No word on if bruise-fear is contributing to this season’s goal totals, which remain high. But red lamps and soaring point totals aren’t the only areas of intrigue in this young season. Let’s zoom around the league again for this week’s Around the NHL.