Update: Armstrong suspended for two games

UPDATE: NHL suspends Colby Armstrong for two games for hit on Capitals’ Mathieu Perreault. Evander Kane will take his place in the lineup. MORE TO COME.

Original blog:

One play that got lost in the Thrashers’ 2-1 defeat to the Capitals on Thursday night could mean a suspension for Colby Armstrong under the NHL’s new hit to the head rule.

In the second period, Armstrong collided with the Capitals’ Mathieu Perreault. Armstrong’s hand appeared to come in high and hit Perreault in the head.

“I just banged a forecheck on him,” Armstrong said after the game. “I had a pretty good line on him. He’s a pretty good little shifty player and I think he kind of bailed out there at the end. I saw the replay. If anything I just tried to get a piece of him. I didn’t mean to get my arms up in his kitchen like that. It just happened so fast. I just tried to get a piece of him. I talked to the ref afterward and he said he ducked out of the way and fell backward.”

Armstrong was given a holding penalty, as was the Capitals’ Shaone Morrisonn, in the ensuing fracas.

As for a possible suspension, Armstrong said: “I don’t know. It’s a tough call. I’m sure [the league] will look at it. I think it was just one of those plays where you go over the guy. I don’t know what they are going to do. We’ll see what happens.”

The hit was not a blindside, but the league could find there was intent to injure as stated in the rule, which was only recently enacted.

“It was a clear elbow to the face,” Capitals coach Bruce Boudreau said. “Anytime it’s an elbow to the head. It was flagrant. An elbow to the head is an elbow to the head.”

What do you think?

44 comments Add your comment

For the Record

April 2nd, 2010
1:20 am

I think I won’t shed a tear if Army isn’t resigned. If anyone has looked like they’re just going through the motions during this playoff race, it’s him. He’s constantly out of position, hardly moving his legs and can’t hit the friggin broad side of a barn right in front of an empty net. He marks a guy and tries to take him down for some kind of YouTube Glory.

He hit the guy in the head with an elbow. If that’s not an intent to injure, then what is? Cormier was suspended for the rest of the season for going after a guy with the elbow. In any case, it was STUPID when you’re trying to get a couple of points and take a playoff position. Why can’t he be thinking about how to get the freakin puck into the net instead of who he can knock out with an elbow?

Suspend him, send him to counseling, get him some basic hockey skills training…..Makes no nevermind to me. Just DON’T RE-SIGN HIM. What a turd who thinks he smells like a rose…

Cornbread

April 2nd, 2010
2:02 am

Bottom Line: It was a border line hit with his forearm and not an elbow. It was a natural reaction when Armstrong raised his arm. If Armstrong had hit Perrault with his shoulder instead, which clearly would have been legal, Perrault would have been helped off the ice or wheeled off on a stretcher. Perrault was lucky to skate away from this one. With that in mind, he and the Capitals should be thankful to Armstrong.

stendek

April 2nd, 2010
2:41 am

Hey For The Record jerkoff Crapital fan: At least Colby Armstrong played like he was TRYING to win! Maybe you want him to be like the other compliant passive sheep. The ones who simply do not give a dam! Hades, if he knocked Alexander O out for a while so what. Hockey is a physical game. It ain’t dam tiddly winks. Moron. That said…A team with heart would have found a way to win! A team with pride would have found a way to win. A team with desire would have found a way to win! Played team with most points in NHL. Boo hoo! Irrevelant! The Caps dam coasted to give the quitters an opportunity for two points. Trashers said no thanks. We will let Pavs Lehtonen allow just enough goals to lose and net an obligatory goal but ensure no more by missing the net on prime scoring chances. Trashers in their pink uniforms had Caps covered! Crapitals and their fans appreciate the cooperation scumballs. Another disservice to your own fans. A few of the more braindead ones who shelled out big bucks to watch you frauds play out the string! All of you except Johan Moose Hedberg are prima donna jerks ready to start your off season. I KNOW IT! ANY FANS WITH ANY SENSE KNOW IT! So spare us your one goal loss drivel. What do 1-0 and 10-1 defeats have in common? They are losses which result in no points. Zilch. Zippo. Thanks for nothing bums. Do us all a favor and stay in Washington. Being with lazy corrupt politicians seems to suit all of you save one. Sorry you were sentenced to NHL purgatory in Atlanta Moose! Hope you bolt to winner next season. Hope rest of team just dam bolts. Anywhere! ++STENDEK++

Sara

April 2nd, 2010
7:03 am

I’m sure Army probably will get suspended. He’s a Thrasher – we don’t qualify for the League’s Preferential Treatment program.

mark

April 2nd, 2010
7:35 am

hey stendek, take a pill and calm down. it is one game. you can stop attacking the Capitals as we HAVE beaten you every way possible, and we EARNED the right to play out the string. Thats what happens when u are coasting to the presidents trophy, AND you have 5 or 6 guys out with injuries. When you actually win ONE playoff game ever , then you can talk. Until then, we beat you relentlessly, including i believe 8-2 in your own building, and 7 in a row. Have a nice seat from the outside looking in come next Sunday. And shut up.

MB

April 2nd, 2010
7:42 am

I’m thinking he’ll get suspended, and frankly he probably should given the new rule. Perreault ducks the hit, but then Army reaches over and clocks him with his arm/elbow. I just don’t see the league letting it slide after so much noise has been generated over head shots.

Poog

April 2nd, 2010
7:58 am

Sitting in center ice seats, I was staring at the play when it happened and my immediate reaction was that it shouldn’t be a penalty because Perreault actually was ducking to minimize the contact once he had that split second realization of what was coming. Fans went through their obligatory home crowd booing but I saw it as an intent to level, not injure, our diminuitive center. I’m still getting into heated arguments with my Blackhawks friend over the Campbell “push” but I think last night’s check was just part of hard-nosed, not dirty punishable, hockey.

R. Stroz

April 2nd, 2010
8:30 am

Boudreau should watch his slew footed, cheap knee shot, Russian cherry picker before he talks about suspensions.

Besides Crotchby, there isn’t a more overlooked player than Ovechkin for his on ice antics.

Izzyforeal365

April 2nd, 2010
8:31 am

Where or not there was “Intent To Injure” does not seem to be worthy of an argument. A forearm to one’s face with determined followthrough is. The play is illegal according to the new rules…. The referee was behind the play as his recount to Armstrong would suggest, and Armstrong should be suspended. From the TV view, I don’t see how one can come up with any other reasonable argument. This consequence will be repeated until players back away from head shots. Ovie got two games for a push when the D-Mans’ skates got toe picked and now Thrasher fans will argue that Perrault was already ducking so it’s ok to go after his head? Folks, are you serious?

Darren

April 2nd, 2010
8:49 am

He threw his forearm out like a punch… while he was in the air. ??? I mean, that’s a penalty. There’s no way around that, no way to argue through that. Ovechkin got 2 games earlier in the year when a player tried to move out of the way of his hit. He caught his knee 2 game suspension. This thug leaps through the air leading with his arm straight at the victim’s head, that’s gotta be a suspension whether the victim tried to move or not. The officiating in this league is a joke.

KLS1

April 2nd, 2010
8:52 am

This was the best game the Thrashers played all year and they still fell short. They will win 90% of the time if they play like this but a bad break last night cost them and time is running out.

Too bad, would love to see this team rise to the occasion for once when the spotlight is on them. At least they didn’t emabarass themselves with a national TV spot on VS.

Ron

April 2nd, 2010
8:54 am

The comments are crazy on here….

“I’m sure Army probably will get suspended. He’s a Thrasher – we don’t qualify for the League’s Preferential Treatment program.” The Caps have had their share of league discipline this year so this makes zero sense…

“Boudreau should watch his slew footed, cheap knee shot, Russian cherry picker before he talks about suspensions.

Besides Crotchby, there isn’t a more overlooked player than Ovechkin for his on ice antics.”

Ovechkin plays the game full out…for people on here to say that he is a cheap shot artist or cherry picker….well that person has no clue and obviously doesn’t pay attention to the rest of the league. He’s well over the +30 range for the season and since he’s been named captain of the Caps I think they have 3 maybe 4 regulation losses since the end of December….Sure everyone here has this situation well in hand….

But at least it makes for a good laugh in the AM…

CapsFan

April 2nd, 2010
8:57 am

I think this will be a great test of the NHL’s “hit to the head” rules. A minor league regular took a hit to the head in a very fast, decent open ice hit. I don’t actually think Armstrong REALLY had “intent to injure”, but this is exactly the type of hit this rule was supposed to be made to penalize. If the NHL does nothing, they will send a message that this is a rule only used after injuries, hits to star players, or Russians wearing number 8..;)

Go Caps!

J Anderson

April 2nd, 2010
8:59 am

All of you are idiots

J Anderson

April 2nd, 2010
9:07 am

Man, I hate idiots

[...] -"I just banged a forecheck on him. I had a pretty good line on him. He’s a pretty good little s…." – Armstrong. [...]

CapsBeatThrasherAgain

April 2nd, 2010
9:28 am

Wow, this is a contentious group. For J Anderson, who is the Idiot, the one that took the time to express themselves or the fool who took the time to read it. Go log on to the Oprah or Dr. Phil site you bitter human being.

Jack

April 2nd, 2010
9:51 am

I don’t think he will be suspended. Lately the suspensions have gone with officals judgement on whether there was a penalty. No penalty called for the “hit”, thus do not believe he will be suspended. Besides the player Army hit played after the so called hit.
We need to move forward and find a way to beat the Pens and the whiny cry baby know as Crosby.

Sam

April 2nd, 2010
9:57 am

Sometimes Army’s does punk stuff. Its unnecessary and adds nothing to the game. That was a cheap shot…a strike to the head. Yeah, he should get suspended.

Didn’t see a link to Jeff Schultz’s blog on here. Its a good hockey read. Here’s a link and just an excerpt:

http://blogs.ajc.com/jeff-schultz-blog/2010/04/01/if-thrashers-are-still-alive-is-that-considered-progress/?cxntfid=blogs_jeff_schultz_blog&utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter

“On Thursday, the Thrashers sent out an e-mail to fans advertising a playoff ticket pre-sale.

That might have seemed presumptuous for an organization that was in danger of missing the postseason for the ninth time in 10 seasons and faced a remaining schedule of Washington (road), Pittsburgh (road), New Jersey, Washington (road) and Pittsburgh. But when an arena is two-thirds unsold, a marketing department needs as many sale days as it can get.

I don’t know if the Thrashers will make the playoffs. After Thursday’s narrow, 2-1 loss to the Eastern Conference-leading Capitals, keeping them two points out, it doesn’t look good. But — and, yes, here’s a bit of sunshine for an organization that rarely gets it — I’ll concede this team has stayed in the race longer than expected.

The Thrashers were 24-23-8 when they traded Ilya Kovalchuk to New Jersey. They’re 10-9-4 since. Basically, no difference. They recent had a six-game losing streak. Then a four-game winning streak. Then dreadful consecutive losses to Boston (4-0 at home) and Toronto.

So much for confirmed direction. There’s your microcosm of franchise history. “

John

April 2nd, 2010
10:00 am

So apparently this hit was all MP’s fault? The hit wasn’t blind-side, and knowing how the league has been illogically handing out suspensions, this probably won’t fetch one, even though Armstrong has a history of bad hits and this was a blatant head-shot.

League’s gotta get CONSISTENT.

sold38

April 2nd, 2010
10:01 am

Armstrong should get suspended, and not under the new rule, which wouldn’t cover this hit. He brought his elbow across his body and up into Perreault’s head, which should have been a 5 minute major with a game misconduct. Green got suspended for virtually the same hit earlier this season, when he hit Frolik. I wouldn’t be surprised if Armstrong doesn’t get suspended though, for two reasons. First, it’s not like Campbell is actually consistent with punishments. Second, the hit was on a Caps player, and Campbell doesn’t believe in punishing players for going after Caps.

Chris Vivlamore

April 2nd, 2010
10:10 am

Here’s what I know so far: The Armstrong hit will be reviewed (as all such hits are by the league). As far as the new hit to the head rule, I’m told it does not apply in this case because it was not from the back or blindside, it was from the front, and the head was not the principal point of contact. That said (or written), the league could still impose supplementary discipline as a hit to the head not specific to the new rule.

Jlew

April 2nd, 2010
10:10 am

Level-headed Thrashers fan here.

Intent to injure is difficult to judge in this situation, but putting a forearm to the face is just stupid. I was thinking, “Nice hit!” until the last split second where he raised his arm. “Why in the world did he do that? Does he want to get suspended?” Whether it was intent to injure or just not thinking or being an idiot, that hit is not cool. A hard-nosed hockey player lowers the shoulder and gives him all he’s got, hard and clean.

Caps fans, give the Thrash a little slack, remember your team in the 80’s, but now is your time to win; enjoy it. Perpetually losing teams get frustrated. You know that. You’ve been there. You’ve done that. There’s no need to rub it in.

Dirty Joe

April 2nd, 2010
10:14 am

Brendan

April 2nd, 2010
10:16 am

I don’t think a suspension is warranted. But if it is, then this is another case of “need review cases to show we’re addressing the issue more seriously.” Army doesn’t deserve a suspension. But, he just may get one. And if he’s smart, he won’t appeal it. Or they’ll further make a scapegoat of him, and place him on the radar. Otherwise, this will just blow over.

breaklance

April 2nd, 2010
10:22 am

It may be worth nothing that Colby Armstrong is 6′2 and 195, Perrault is 5′10 and 175. Point is that like the Ovechkin/Campbell hit one player is much larger than the other. If Arms caught Perrault with his shoulder looking down like that MP would of been seriously injured. That was his point going into the hit, while its unfortunate that his hit went high and into the face of MP, its a headshot. What I want to see done is a 1 game, since he is not a repeat offender, and call every headshot made to get it through to players that they are not OK and going high on a player is dangerous for yourself and them. Thats a level of consistency I deeply desire to see from the NHL.

breaklance

April 2nd, 2010
10:27 am

Furthermore, the NHL right now should NOT back up the refs when it comes to headshots and go with what is evident in the reviews. Their current mentality is pretty simple flow-chart of 1) was there a penalty 2) was there an injury 3) is he a repeat offender 4) was it on national tv 5) maybe review the video of the hit in question.

And that’s the totally wrong message, and wrong way to get something out of the game. You want headshots out of the game you be severe, you be strict, you catch everything. That’s how you send a message in which I personally feel that the current NHL “keepers” will completely and utterly fail to ever do.

MikeyF

April 2nd, 2010
10:39 am

Jlew…Caps were actually pretty good in the mid- to late ’80s…consistently made the playoffs, but usually left after the first round…what’s red, white and blue and plays golf in April…the Caps…Caps were really, really bad just before the draft in which they got Ovi…had to blow up the team and start over…got rid of Jagr, Gonchar, Lang, Bondra, etc. and started over…do folks like stendek have the patience for that? By the way, those “Crapitals” will likely win the President’s trophy, so he might want to try a new nickname…even if he doesn’t respect them, I’ll bet it’s a different story among the players…Anderson realized that he couldn’t get into a goal scoring contest with the Caps last night…so he tried to clamp down and win a low-scoring contest, capitalizing on defensive miscues…Caps didn’t give Thrash enough of those opportunities, game over…

Sara

April 2nd, 2010
10:57 am

Ummm Ron, you do realize there are other teams in the NHL besides the Washington Capitals right? Or perhaps you’re a little slow on the uptake as a new “Rock the Red” fan (sure seem to be lots of those around). It’s pretty well understood in the NHL that some players/teams get sanctioned regularly (see: Philadelphia Flyers) and others get a continual free pass (see: Pittsburgh Penguins).

Spend a little more time paying attention to hockey and a little less time trolling and perhaps next time, you won’t need a girl from down South to explain these things to you.

Zach

April 2nd, 2010
10:57 am

I would tell you how I feel about it but Yahoo lied to me and said that they would broadcast the game when they in fact did not. It was very upsetting and I think that’s why we lost.

See the Replay

April 2nd, 2010
11:38 am

Army lead with the elbow – Perreault saw the it coming and started to sheild from the hit which made the elbow look all that much worse. However, the replay shows Army leading with his elbow and that is gonna get him. I would expect to see a one game suspension.

Preferential Treatment? Really? two suspensions for Ovie – no one is safe.

Drew

April 2nd, 2010
11:38 am

Cornbread obviously has no clue what he/she is talking about – MP is lucky he turned away from it and owes Armstrong a thank you? Please, Army went in head high with a fist and MP was lucky enough to duck out of the way. Army should be thankful MP is a tough little guy and got up from that; if he goes down hurt, then Army gets the 5 minute major, 10 minute misconduct and game misconduct penalties he deserved and the NHL would’ve already handed down the suspension.
Hopefully this will be the call that helps define the hits to the head rule and doesn’t require a player to be seriously injured before the league doles out punishment for behavior that has no place in the league.
And to everyone that complains about Ovechkin and Crosby getting preferential treatment, put that aside for this instance – this play didn’t involve any of those guys. For once can there be a discussion where they don’t get dragged into it?

fes

April 2nd, 2010
11:51 am

Re: See the Replay and Drew, what are you guys smoking? Ovi FINALLY got two games. He’s been deserving of a suspension for a looooong time. Drew, why should they not get dragged in? If you think that there’s not preferential treatment towards them, you’ve been drinking too much of Bettman’s koolaid. Until the league calls things consistently across the board, read across all teams and players, there will continue to be disgruntled fans and players alike.

I can’t comment on this particular hit because I didn’t get to see the game, but if he did indeed lead with an elbow, then sit him down. If he didn’t, let him play. It’s really that simple.

B. Thenet

April 2nd, 2010
11:56 am

Caps fans have officially become the most annoying, and ignorant, fanbase in the NHL. I never thought the Pens would be unseated from their throne…..but there it is.

Now granted, with a crybaby coach and their pathetic TV crew I do not blame most of their new fans for not getting hockey or understanding the game that well.

That kid needed to take the hit like a man, and not bail out in the last second. It was that act that nearly got him injured by Army, and in many cases it is trying to avoid the hit that gets someone seriously injured more than taking a hit.

Brad

April 2nd, 2010
12:47 pm

I’ve been a Caps fan for a long time and agree about the new fans having absolutely no knowledge about hockey (do not get me started on the all your fault chant or idiots throwing hats on the ice when someone scores in a shoot out and had 2 goals in regulation – that’s not a hat trick).

I do agree with what Boudreau said – an elbow to the head is an elbow to the head. Ovie has not gotten off easy this year – are you kidding me? He’s had two suspensions. What about Matt Cooke and Mike Richards? Colin Campbell is a joke and I am sure he will make the wrong call on this play too.

Oh and I hope the Thrashers do make the playoffs – so the Caps can beat them 4 more times this year.

Judith

April 2nd, 2010
12:47 pm

The league has made every attempt to neutralize Ovie so that they con portray Sidney Crosby as their poster boy, so, regarding suspensions…if Ovie had done what Armstrong did to Perreault, he would be out three games.

Bruce

April 2nd, 2010
1:17 pm

I was at the game. On the hit: The replay shows Armstrong’s arm going up toward the head, not Perault going down — not until after the hit. My first thought was that if Ovechkin had made the hit, no matter what his intent, it would have been a game misconduct and 3-game suspension. (Charges of favortism seem odd — the Caps only had one power play.) After the replay was shown on the Verizon Center’s Jumbotron, something impressive happened: The organ tried to prompt “Lets Go Caps!” 18,000 fans simultaneously and immediately substituted “REF YOU SUCK!” Very impressive. Did that show up on TV?

Rob

April 2nd, 2010
1:53 pm

Wow. Some of the posts have interesting logic: Armstrong was trying to lessen the hit and protect Perreault, it is Perreault’s fault for trying to duck an open ice hit at the last second, and he bailed out and should have taken the hit head-on.

Have you played hockey or seriously watched games? With this logic, if Perreault saw it coming sooner, he could have dodged sooner and rather than softening the hit to the head with a forearm and elbow, he could stick his leg out and take out Perreault’s knee to lessen the blow. That would be Perreault’s fault too for not fully getting out of the way.

It is a hit to the head! Suspension. If you’re going to go for a big open-ice hit, you better be skilled enough to get a body hit. You don’t lead with forearm, elbow, or avoid a whiff with a knee/leg.

MikeyF

April 2nd, 2010
1:56 pm

There are certainly plenty of ignorant Caps and Pens fans out there, but, if you read the message boards across the league, Caps and Pens fans certainly have no monopoly on ignorance. B.Thenet’s post is exhibit A in support of that proposition. I played hockey at the collegiate level in Minnesota in the mid-60s, and have coach championship teams at the Midget AAA level. Some things have changed since I played in college, but some haven’t. I was taught, and my players were taught, that sometimes you have to take a hit to make a play. That’s hockey. I was also taught, and my players were taught, that, if not necessary to make a play, attempt to avoid taking bad hits when possible, particularly when you feel yourself in a vulnerable position. That’s hockey. But, when a guy starts to avoid a hit, and you realize that the only way to hit him is with a forearm/elbow, that’s not hockey, it’s a penalty.

Bruce

April 2nd, 2010
2:08 pm

B: I saw the old Atlanta Flames play Bobby Orr and the Bruins at the Omni. It was the Flames first or second season. Atlanta’s fans were so unseasoned then that they got off on the noise made by a far-off-target slapshot hitting the boards. The Caps fans these days are mostly 20-somethings and surprisingly knowledgeable (given their age) about hockey, the rules and its traditions and history. Season ticket holders pack the arena which has now sold-out for 53 straight games. Moreover, scalpers are begging for tickets to sell — which tells me that most people would rather see the game than sell their tickets.

Bruce

April 2nd, 2010
2:19 pm

As the day goes with no word of any suspension, I’m inclined to conclude that Campbell doesn’t want to suspend Armstrong with the race to even make the playoffs so tight and between so many teams. Had Boston or Philly won last night, or Montreal the night before, the hammer might have fallen. But the Thrashers and the Rangers both have a mathematic chance to make the playoffs still, but the Thrashers, given their schedule, will need everyone on board.

Rob

April 2nd, 2010
3:36 pm

The NHL just gave Armstrong a 2 game suspension.

Bruce

April 2nd, 2010
5:03 pm

I’m surprised, given the standings situation.

pensfan

April 5th, 2010
12:47 pm

Bite me ..See you Saturday for the final blow.