CALGARY - Calgary Flames winger Rene Bourque was handed a two games suspension for his hit from behind on Chicago Blackhawks’ Brent Seabrook in Sunday’s 4-2 loss.
Bourque received a major penalty and game misconduct for the hit, which took place late in the first period.
League disciplinarian Brendan Shanahan said Bourque’s hit was “high and forcefully from behind, driving Seabrook’s head into the boards,” and even though an official was in the vicinity, “the onus is on Bourque to avoid this hit completely or at the very least minimize it.”
It’s Bourque’s first NHL suspension, and he’ll be eligible to return to action Thursday, when the Flames face the Vancouver Canucks.
Bourque isn’t likely the only Flames player out of the lineup. Centre Matt Stajan left due to an ankle injury suffered in the second period of the Blackhawks game after crashing feet-first into the boards.
Because of it, the Flames have summoned Paul Byron from the AHL’s Abbotsford Heat.
A WILD INJURY WAVE
The Minnesota Wild received some good news Monday, when Pierre-Marc Bouchard was healthy enough to play against the Vancouver Canucks.
However, the Wild may have to face the Flames without Mikko Koivu, along with Devin Setoguchi and Guillaume Latendresse, just to name a few.
Already this season, the Wild have had 10 players make their NHL debut.
IN THE PIPES
Niklas Backstrom started in net Monday night for the Wild against the Vancouver Canucks, which makes it likely Josh Harding is in goal against the Flames.
Then again, the Wild may play Backstrom on consecutive nights. It wouldn’t be hard to understand why.
Backstrom is 5-0 in his past six starts decisions in Calgary, with a 0.52 goals-against average, .984 save percentage and three shutouts.
He’s played 125 minutes and 17 seconds at the Saddledome since surrendering a goal.