UPDATE MONDAY, SEPT.23.13 7:56 PM:
Forward Zack Kassian has been suspended for the team's final three preseason games and for five regular-season games for high-sticking Edmonton Oilers forward Sam Gagner. For a full explanation of the decision, complete with video, click here.
Forward Dale Weise has been suspended for the team's final three preseason games for delivering a check to Oilers forward Taylor Hall. For a full explanation of the decision, complete with video, click here.Zack Kassian isn’t sure if he’ll be in the Vancouver Canucks line-up Monday night when they host the Phoenix Coyotes in pre-season action.
Kassian, who was involved in an incident with Sam Gagner Saturday night in a 5-2 loss to the Edmonton Oilers, received a double-minor for high-sticking and could face a suspension. He was part of a phone hearing with the NHL Monday morning and doesn’t know when his fate will be determined.
The 22-year-old skated on a line with Daniel and Henrik Sedin Monday morning; he’s hoping that’s the case come puck drop, but will respect the league’s decision.
Kassian did not go into specifics about the incident or the hearing during media availability, instead turning his thoughts to Gagner. The Oilers forward suffered a broke jaw and is out indefinitely.
“That’s tough, obviously you never want to see someone go through that and it was definitely accidental and I hope he gets back sooner than later,” said Kassian.
Dale Weise was also involved in an incident against the Oilers and could receive a suspension as well. His status for tonight remains in question.
BRING ON THE COYOTES
While Vancouver’s line-up has some question marks, the fact that the Canucks, who sit 0-3-0 in pre-season action, have struggled during dress rehearsal can’t be argued.
Friday morning at the Canucks for Kids Fund Jake Milford Canucks Charity Invitational Golf Tournament, coach John Tortorella stressed the process and not the results.
His players have taken that to heart and are doing their best to make strides every shift, regardless of the outcome. The wins will certainly be there once the system is in place and fully understood.
“I thought only playoffs mattered in this town, right?” joked Henrik Sedin, when asked about the winless start to pre-season.
“No, it doesn’t matter. We have a new system, we play a lot of young guys and you can’t look at these games and the results, it’s a matter of us getting to where we want to be system-wise.”
That being said, Henrik acknowledged that the intensity has picked up with each game so far this pre-season as the Canucks get more familiar with expections, systems and new teammates.
“With the way we’ve been practicing the last couple of days and going through systems and working on our power play and PK and everything like that, it makes it easier to get up for games because you’ve got something to work on and work towards.”
LUONGO THE BRAWLER?
A massive brawl broke out between the Toronto Maple Leafs and Buffalo Sabres Sunday night and it was all the talk of the Canucks dressing room Monday.
Alex Burrows, for one, didn’t enjoy it and said those melees have no place in hockey.
Roberto Luongo agreed, both players prefer to watch highlights of goals, saves and great plays over fights, but Luongo acknowledged that sometimes the dukes must go up.
They almost went up for Luongo, back in the day.
“There was an incident in Florida with Pittsburgh. It’s on YouTube, it’s pretty funny.”
Yes it is, watch for yourself.
“I casually go in to break up and the guy shoves me, I go flying into the corner,” laughed Luongo. “I get back up and I start throwing my blocker at him, then the other goalie [Sebastian Caron] comes down, but we didn’t fight, we were just talking.”
“Is this a real game day scrum?” questioned Luongo, tongue-in-cheek.
Luongo will start Monday night’s game and is penciled in to play all three periods.