Fighting Caps can't play

TERRY KOSHAN -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 8:41 AM ET

The Maple Leafs won't have to worry about Washington Capitals enforcer Donald Brashear or his teammate Brian Sutherby tonight.

Brashear was suspended a total of three games and Sutherby one for their parts in fights during a game against the Atlanta Thrashers on Wednesday night.

Brashear and Sutherby received automatic one-game suspensions for instigating fights in the final five minutes of regulation. Brashear had another two games tacked on.

Capitals coach Glen Hanlon was fined a total of $30,000 US -- $10,000 for the first instigating incident and double that amount for the second.

The Thrashers' Scott Mellanby was suspended for one game for instigating. Thrashers coach Bob Hartley was fined $10,000.

Before the suspensions and fines were announced by the NHL, Hanlon said he had no problem with the actions of some of his players.

"It shows the team sticks together," Hanlon said. "We brought in physical players (to stand up for teammates). Can you imagine the public outcry if we did not do anything?"

KOLZIG DIGS TUCKER

Put Olaf Kolzig in the group which is impressed with Darcy Tucker's torrid start when it comes to putting the puck in the net. Tucker leads the NHL with 11 power-play goals, has 15 overall and is on pace for a career-high 53.

"Anytime you would watch the highlights he usually would be losing his mind and ranting and raving," the Caps goalie said. "But for all of that, he is a very skilled player. He seems to be focusing everything in the right direction."

ANOTHER BIG ZERO?

Kyle Wellwood once played an entire season of junior hockey without being whistled for a penalty. This season, he has not been called once in the first 23 games.

"I think (referees) are giving me leeway," Wellwood said. "Once you get a reputation as a safe player, you are not going to get the borderline calls."


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