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PHT Morning Skate: Where Gryba insists his hit was ‘shoulder-to-shoulder’

May 5, 2013, 9:15 AM EDT

Gryba hit

PHT’s Morning Skate takes a look around the world of hockey to see what’s happening and what we’ll be talking about around the NHL world and beyond.

Pittsburgh was perfect against the New York Islanders at Nassau Coliseum during the regular season, but Penguins coach Dan Bylsma warned that beating the Islanders at home will be an entirely different story in the playoffs. “It’s going to be loud and it’s going to be a pretty crazy building,” Bylsma predicted. (Newsday)

21-year-old rookie Vladimir Tarasenko remains upbeat despite being a healthy scratch for the St. Louis Blues’ first three playoff contests. (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)

James Neal (lower body) only joined the Pittsburgh Penguins’ practice for a few minutes on Saturday. (

Roberto Luongo praised Brent Burns‘ efforts in the San Jose Sharks’ game-winning goal on Friday. Luongo and his Vancouver Canucks are now down 2-0 in the first-round series. (CSN Bay Area)

Speaking of the Vancouver-San Jose series, Sharks coach Todd McLellan wants to make sure his team doesn’t lose their sense of urgency. He knows Vancouver is more than capable of battling back. (San Jose Mercury News)

Minnesota Wild goaltender Niklas Backstrom (lower body) practice with the Wild on Saturday. He’s questionable for today’s game. (

Ottawa Senators defenseman Eric Gryba maintains that he delievered a “shoulder-to-shoulder body check” on Montreal’s Lars Eller. Gryba is “disappointed” with his two-game suspension. (Ottawa Citizen)

Highlights from the Toronto Maple Leafs’ 4-2 victory over the Boston Bruins on Saturday:

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  1. bnmonster - May 5, 2013 at 9:25 AM

    I still think Gryba got enough body contact to warrant it a clean hit. Thought 2 games was a bit ridiculous if anything they should’ve called him and told him to be more careful around unsuspecting players. Not a hit you want to see every game but not sure it was suspension worthy, rather more of a play gone wrong as one of the coaches said. Then again… It is Shanahan i’m still convinced he rolls a dice do hand out suspensions.

  2. 1943mrmojorisin1971 - May 5, 2013 at 9:43 AM

    With the Gryba suspension the NHL has basically declared that if a player receives a hospital pass with his head down in the middle of the ice the onus is on the opponent to do god-knows-what. If you can’t hit a guy in Eller’s position there you can’t hit at all.

    • 19to77 - May 5, 2013 at 12:20 PM

      Damn straight. What was he supposed to do, leap aside and give Eller a breakaway? You’re responsible to hit the player with the puck when you see an opportunity to do so cleanly – which Gryba did. He was just being a good defenseman. Jesus, why not suspend the ICE, since that’s what hurt Eller so badly? Stupid, stupid suspension. =/

  3. dumbassgreg - May 5, 2013 at 11:32 AM

    lmao people actually think shanhan has freedom to decide. please little gary and owners do. they want it both ways. my guy gets hurt throw the book at them. my hurts your guy not his fault no suspension. most fans are same way. lmao a real person who thinks his own ( ted nolan) type and not a brownnoser old boys hockey type is never getting this job. shanahan will be rewarded in few years with gm job if he wants it.lmao

    • 19to77 - May 5, 2013 at 12:17 PM

      Hit the nail on the head (well, maybe not the conspiratorial GM thing, but the rest). This is why when people say Shanahan should be replaced, I say it’s pointless. He receives his marching orders based on what Bettman wants to portray to the media – and anytime you see a lot of blood in a high-exposure game like a playoff match, you can basically assume a suspension is coming – whether the hit is clean or not is literally irrelevant. It’s all about managing the NHL’s image to these dickbag lawyers.

  4. valoisjoeybfeld69 - May 5, 2013 at 2:24 PM

    Shanny, Gary, etc…. whoever is screwed now. They set the bar for a suspension giving Gryba two games.. Abdelkaker’s hit was worse than Gryba’s, so what will they give Abdelkader? Two games for concussing a player, fracturing his face, huge pool of blood, and a stretcher. All this on a clean and legal hit with terrible consequences. Shoot. Abdelkader is either not suspended because the consequences were less, or he gets more than 2 games because the hit was worse. What a mess.

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