The biggest question about this elbow from John Erskine to Wayne Simmonds of the Philadelphia Flyers on Friday night isn’t whether the Washington Capitals defenseman should be suspended (of course) or for how long; it’s how the linesman and referee both missed it, to the point where Erskine wasn’t even given a minor.
Here’s the hit, with 1:36 left in the first period:
Simmonds, whose nose was bloodied on the play, didn’t return to the game for the Flyers.
Rene Bourque’s chicken-wing elbow on Nicklas Backstrom of the Capitals last year cost him five games from Brendan Shanahan’s Department of Player Safety, but he had previously been suspended two weeks earlier.
What should Erskine get? You’d figure for a player with no priors in the last two years that it won’t be five. Last season, Shanahan handed out at a 3-gamer to Shane Doan for an elbow on Jamie Benn; this seems like it should fall in that range.
Meanwhile ... did Dale Hunter know that Erskine could do this when he refused to talk to the defenseman last season? Seems like they'd have some common interests, right?