Stars’ Benn suspended two games for cross-check on Golden Knights’ Stone
DALLAS — Dallas Stars captain Jamie Benn was suspended two games by the NHL on Wednesday after an ugly hit on Vegas captain Mark Stone in a Game 3 loss that left Dallas on the brink of being swept out of the Western Conference Final.
Benn will miss the must-win Game 4 for the Stars on Thursday night, and Game 5 as well if they win. If Dallas is swept, the suspension would extend to the opener next season.
Benn got a game misconduct for his cross-check less than two minutes into the Tuesday night’s game after the captains collided near the blue line. After Stone fell to the ice, Benn lunged forward with both hands on his stick and made contact near Stone’s neck as he was sliding over the center line.
In a video announcing the suspension, the league noted Benn is in control of the play and made the decision to cross-check Stone, who was in a vulnerable position.
“This is simply an unnecessarily dangerous decision by Benn, and it is delivered with sufficient intent and force to merit supplemental discipline,” the league said.
Benn had been fined four times but never suspended before in his 14 NHL seasons. Before his hearing Wednesday afternoon, Benn said he wished he hadn’t used his stick “as a landing point” during the play.
“Just heat of the moment. … I need to be more responsible with my body and my stick,” Benn said. “My first shift of a game on home ice when you’re pretty jacked up and down 1-0, so you want to try to get your team going. Emotions are high and, you know, it was just an unfortunate play.”
Vegas scored on the ensuing power play, doubling its lead, before going on to a 4-0 win to take a 3-0 series lead. With a win Thursday night, the Knights would advance to the Stanley Cup Final for the second time in the franchise’s six seasons.
“I didn’t love what transpired, but it got handled the right way and we stayed focused as a team,” said Stone, who also spoke before the suspension was announced.
The Stars had hoped for a strong Game 3 but instead saw the Golden Knights score three times in the first 7 1/2 minutes to chase inconsistent goalie Jake Oettinger amid a series of ugly penalties and even fans pelting the ice with debris.
Stone said he was “a little bit surprised” at that kind of play happening when it did.
“It was early in the game, my first shift of the game,” he said. “I didn’t expect to get stomped on like that.”
Asked what he could have done differently in that moment, Benn said he obviously didn’t want to take a five-minute major penalty.
“But the game happens fast, emotions are high, and obviously would have liked to not fall on him and, I guess, use my stick as a landing point,” Benn said.
Dallas coach Pete DeBoer had said the Stars were prepared for the possibility that Benn wouldn’t be available for a game that they must win to extend their season.
“The bottom line is that there’s consequences for actions and he’s paying the consequences for that,” DeBoer said. “From our group’s perspective, I think everybody wants to see Jamie Benn play again. I think we all want to make sure his season doesn’t end on a note like that.”
DeBoer said that Oettinger would be back in net for Game 4, even after losing three starts in a row. He has lost four of five, but the win was in Game 7 over Seattle last week.
Along with Benn, the Stars could also be without forward Evgenii Dadonov. He left with a lower-body injury in the first period, and DeBoer said he was doubtful for Game 4.
Max Domi, who got a 10-minute misconduct at the end of the second period, was fined $5,000 by the NHL for slashing Stone in the closing minutes of the game; no penalty was called.
The earlier misconduct came when Domi, after cross-checking Nicolas Hague, started throwing punches with 21 seconds left in the second.
Fans reacted to penalties being called on Domi by throwing water bottles, food and other items on the ice. With extended time needed to clean up the playing surface, officials sent both teams to their locker rooms early and finished those final seconds after the intermission before playing the third period.
Dallas Stars president Brad Alberts issued an apology to the Golden Knights and the NHL for “the actions of a few of our spectators at last night’s game. Their actions were unacceptable and put the safety of the players and fans at risk.
“We take pride in providing the best experience for everyone who enters our arena,” he said. “The actions of these individuals certainly do not reflect our great city, organization and loyal fan base.”
Watch Game 4 of the series on Thursday at 8 p.m. ET / 5 p.m. PT on Sportsnet or Sportsnet NOW.
Canadiens Prospect Owen Beck Clutch At Memorial Cup – Montreal Hockey Now
Montreal Canadiens prospect Owen Beck has enjoyed a rather wild ride since the OHL playoffs started.
Not only did the Peterborough Petes, who finished the regular season with just 74 points, eliminate the league-leading Ottawa 67’s and the powerhouse London Knights to capture the OHL Championship, but thanks to their never-say-die attitude, they managed to once again avoid elimination at the Memorial Cup.
Before we get into the game details, which include a fantastic drive to the net by Beck to set up the game-winning goal, I’d like to once again take to my soapbox to discuss the entertainment value provided by Junior hockey.
I’ll keep it short, this time, I promise.
However, in exchange for not rambling at length about the unmatched excitement you’ll witness during most games, I need you to make an honest effort to catch a Junior hockey game at your local rink.
It’s easily the best bang for your hard-earned buck available when it comes to hockey.
You won’t be disappointed.
Beck Plays The Hero
The tie-break game between the Petes and the Kamloops Blazers featured everything you look for in a hockey game.
There were dramatic goals, great saves, momentum swings, big hits, and for those who partake in the sweet science, a rather nasty knock-out punch by New Jersey Devils prospect Chase Stillman.
We’ve got a fight at the #MemorialCup!
Chase Stillman obliterates Matt Seminoff with a big hit (charged), then obliterates Caedan Bankier in a fight.
Big knockout punch for the Petes forward. pic.twitter.com/2J4JnSTL6T
— Marc Dumont (@MarcPDumont) June 2, 2023
Despite allowing the Petes to score first, the Blazers quickly took control of the game by scoring four answered goals. As exciting as Peterborough’s Cinderella run had been, it seemed inevitable that their fun had come to an end.
They needed a little magic.
And they got it from New York Rangers prospect Brendan Othmann, who cut the lead to 4-2 thanks to a fantastic individual effort midway through the second period. Peterborough then quickly tied the game following goals from Samuel Mayer and Brian Zanetti.
New York Rangers prospect Brendan Othmann scores for the Petes after a great individual effort.
Cuts the Kamloops lead to 4-2. #MemorialCup pic.twitter.com/kvZxsnPY9X
— Marc Dumont (@MarcPDumont) June 2, 2023
Both teams played a very safe style of play in the third period, giving the Petes, who have now played a total of 96 games this season, an opportunity to play the underdog role to perfection once again.
And that’s where Beck, who had been quiet up to that point, took matters into his own hands.
The cerebral Canadiens prospect cut through the neutral zone, using his speed and positioning to open up a lane toward the net.
Everyone in the building expected Beck to shoot, which would have been a reasonable decision considering he was in a high-danger shooting area.
But Beck, who had drawn the attention of both Blazers defencemen, knew his teammate, JR Avon, had plenty of time and space to take a shot that had a better chance of fooling Dylan Ernst.
It was a play that combined offensive awareness, great skating, vision, and anticipation, which is exactly what we’ve come to expect from an intelligent prospect such as Beck.
WHAT A GAME!#GoHabsGo prospect Owen Beck drives the net, draws the defenders, and sets up JR Avon for the game-winning goal.
Peterborough simply refused to die.
The Petes will face Jared Davidson and the Seattle Thunderbirds in the #MemorialCup semifinal. pic.twitter.com/BYpBTDuj6X
— Marc Dumont (@MarcPDumont) June 2, 2023
On The Docket
Beck’s heroics have set up a Canadiens prospect vs. Canadiens prospect semifinal at the Memorial Cup.
The Petes, who seem to have been blessed by hockey gods, will face Jared Davidson and the Seattle Thunderbirds on Friday.
The puck drop for this must-see event is scheduled for 10 PM ET.
Toronto Maple Leafs: Treliving Hiring Shows Shanahan's Incompetence – Editor in Leaf
The problem isn’t that Brad Treliving is the newest GM of the Toronto Maple Leafs, but instead, it’s Brendan Shanahan’s explanation of it.
As previously mentioned, Brad Treliving is a good executive with a long hockey career, but he never should have been hired as the Toronto Maple Leafs GM.
Reports already indicate that the core-four will remain the same next year, which is fine, but why hire someone new if they’re going to do the same thing and not at least scare the roster that they could be moved?
A new GM is supposed to ignite change and bring a new approach to the game. It’s not someone who’s just going to re-do the job that Kyle Dubas just did.
When Shanahan fired Dubas, he wanted someone who had experience, which is what Treliving brings, but it’s not like he has a ton of winning experience. He’s never been to a Stanley Cup Finals before and only advanced to the second round twice in nine years in Calgary, so what’s really the difference between him and Dubas?
Nothing, at least not in terms of experience or success.
The only difference is that Shanahan is a bitter old-man who was scared that the young buck in Dubas was getting too much attention and that he might take his job one day.
Toronto Maple Leafs: New GM Brings Nothing Different From Dubas
If you look across the league, it’s crazy how much esteem Dubas has. By the way Shanahan described Dubas during his firing, it’s like he was only in the league for 10 minutes and didn’t have the respect of his peers.
Shanahan’s statement was actually hilarious when you compare his words to what other people have said about Dubas. Here’s what Shanahan said during his press conference:
“Treliving earned tremendous respect during his time in the NHL and built excellent relationships … We are confident that Brad’s leadership and strategic vision will elevate the Maple Leafs in our continued pursuit of a championship.”
As for Dubas, if you read Pierre LeBruns’ article in The Athletic last week, the same words were essentially said about him, here are some quotes from that article:
- Jarmo Kekalainen (Columbus Blue Jackets): “I have the utmost respect for Kyle, both as a professional and as a person. He’s always a straight shooter to deal with. No bulls—. Just an all-around really good person and a professional. All our discussions were straightforward and analytical. I think he has a very thorough approach to everything; you have to be prepared when you talk to him because he’s going to look at things from every angle. I have a lot of respect for him.”
- Bill Zito (Florida Panthers) : “Obviously, a very bright man. And a guy that I have a lot of faith in his character. He’s a guy you could do a deal with. And if it wasn’t papered, you could tell the (player) go ahead get on the plane. As an agent, we used to say if you did a deal with a GM and you didn’t have a contract back yet, would you send your player on the plane? That’s a level of respect I have for Kyle’s integrity. Obviously, I’m very fond of him. I think he did a hell of a job there.”
- The GMs of Nashville, Tampa and Edmonton were all quoted as saying really nice things about him as well.
All of these old-school and experienced GM’s said nothing but great things about Dubas, yet the Leafs didn’t want him. They explained all of the attributes that Shanahan wanted in a GM, yet they decided to move on and hire Treliving instead.
Shanahan took a bitter approach and gassed one of the most thoughtful and intelligent hockey minds of this generation and instead hired a guy who hasn’t doesn’t seem to be an improvement in any way.
No disrespect to Treliving because I think he’s going to do a fine job, but the explanation of Dubas’ firing gets dumber with every second and continues to show the incompetence of Shanahan as the President of the Toronto Maple Leafs.
How much are Stanley Cup Final tickets? – ESPN – ESPN
The Stanley Cup Final will return to Las Vegas and South Florida for the Florida Panthers vs. the Vegas Golden Knights. For fans of the Knights, who reached the Stanley Cup Final in 2018, tickets to the first two games at T-Mobile Arena are a bit cheaper this time around.
The average price for a ticket to Game 1 is $763, according to Vivid Seats data. In 2018, during the franchise’s first trip to the Final, the average was $1,062. That was the highest in recent years for a team making its Final debut or returning after a long drought. Last year’s Game 1 between the Tampa Bay Lightning and Colorado Avalanche had an average price of $1,052. The Avalanche, who hosted Game 1, were playing their first Final game since 2001. When the St. Louis Blues hosted their first Final game in decades in 2019, the average was $869.
For Saturday’s opening game, the lowest-priced available ticket is going for $405 on the Knights’ website, while TickPick lists a no-view, standing room only ticket for $311. The most expensive ticket is $9,750. These prices don’t reflect taxes or fees.
For Game 3, the Panthers’ first Stanley Cup Final home game since 1996, the average price for a ticket at FLA Live Arena is $628, according to Vivid Seats. At Ticketmaster, the Panthers’ ticket-seller, the lowest-priced ticket is $538. The most expensive ticket is reselling for $9,000 before taxes and fees. The average price for Game 4 is a bit higher at $689.
If the series goes to seven games, fans might need some extra casino winnings to get into the arena. Prices via the Knights’ website range from about $900 to $25,000.
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