| Sports

Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

Penguins notebook: Players have mixed feelings on league discipline for hits

About Josh Yohe
Picture Josh Yohe 412-664-9161 x1975
Penguins Reporter
Daily News

By Josh Yohe

Published: Saturday, Oct. 26, 2013, 12:01 a.m.

The NHL disciplinary department has been busier than usual this season. Not counting two recent incidents that are certain to produce NHL discipline — Buffalo forward John Scott's elbow to the head of Boston Loui Eriksson and the Rangers' hit from behind against Philadelphia's Max Talbot — the league has suspended 14 players in the preseason and the early portion of the regular season. The Penguins have mixed feelings on whether the NHL is doing enough. “I actually think the suspensions are enough and I do think guys are still respectful of one another,” left wing Tanner Glass said. “It's a learning curve. The game is happening at a fast pace. These hits were legal a few years ago. (Former New Jersey defenseman) Scott Stevens made a living on these kinds of hits that you're seeing.” Defenseman Brooks Orpik wasn't critical of the league's disciplinary work, but has a problem with some of the hits he has witnessed this season. “We see it with NFL guys too,” Orpik said. “Guys in the NFL get suspended and fined all the time. I've heard so many of them say that they're going to keep doing what they're doing because they have to provide for their family, and they have a small window to do that. It just throws respect for your opponent out the window.” Glass and Orpik agree that there isn't necessarily more dirty hits taking place than in previous seasons, but that the game is simply receiving more exposure than it ever has. “There's no doubt about that,” Glass said. “Now you've got Tampa and Florida on primetime. There are more games for people to dissect.” Orpik said he believes the analysis of questionable hits is positive. “We're paying a lot more attention to the hits now,” he said. “You've got brain studies now and more information. Everyone is more conscious of it.”

Deryk Engelland is becoming a fixture on the right wing. The Penguins experimented with Engelland at right wing against the Flyers last Thursday, and he has since played four games there. Coach Dan Bylsma was asked about Engelland at the right wing, and he explained that he doesn't view the veteran as strictly an enforcer on the fourth line. Rather, he likes what he has seen from Engelland so far.

Defenseman Robert Bortuzzo, roundly praised for his work by coaches this season, was a healthy scratch again. Center Dustin Jeffrey was the team's other scratch. The Islanders played without one of their best players, forward Michael Grabner, who was serving the second game of a two-game suspension.




Show commenting policy

Most-Read Penguins

  1. Pens insider: Penalty killing a concern in Stanley Cup playoffs
  2. Undersized rookie Gibbons is blur on ice for Penguins
  3. Plum native Umberger inching closer to making return for Blue Jackets
  4. Penguins’ Bylsma and Blue Jackets’ Richards know each other well
  5. Penguins notebook: Vokoun playing in regular-season game a possibility
  6. Penguins coach Bylsma’s system will be put to test in Stanley Cup playoffs
  7. Penguins’ Malkin expects to play in Game 1
  8. Penguins notebook: Vokoun remains behind Zatkoff on goalie depth chart
  9. Play of the game: Sutter’s goal completes rally
  10. Physical Columbus team is a hit in playoff opener against Penguins
  11. Penguins notebook: Tomas Vokoun ‘open-minded’ as AHL stint begins
Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.