Capitals forward Donald Brashear was suspended by the NHL for six games following a hit to the head of Rangers forward Blair Betts and a confrontation with Rangers goon Colton Orr prior to Game 6 Sunday.To quote the league's release, "The suspension will extend through the Capitals’ next five 2009 playoff games, the 2009-10 regular season, or both, as circumstances warrant."
The hit on Betts:
EN Says: It's the right move for the league. We're honestly surprised the league went that high in terms of the suspension length. The NHL always seems to lessen punishment when the transgression occurs in the postseason. Afterall, Ducks defenseman Chris Pronger only received one-game suspensions in the 2007 postseason for hits to the heads of Detroit forward Tomas Holmstrom and Senators forward Dean McAmmond. Normally hits like that result in multiple game suspensions in the regular season.
That said, what exactly are the Capitals missing with Brashear in the press box? Brashear had all of 2:30 of ice time in Sunday. We're sure the Capitals will find a way to replace that between Chris Clark or Michael Nylander.
The Rangers meanwhile are without Blair Betts who is one of their top penalty killers. Given how much the Capitals' offense has overwhelmed the Rangers the past two games, Betts' defense will be tough to replace.