December 15 2013 05:41PM
Suspended for 15 games. Wait, no...3 games. My bad.
The Department of Player Safety handed down a three game suspension to Jets fourth-liner Anthony Peluso Sunday afternoon. With the score tied 3-3 late in the second period, Peluso delivered a high hit from behind to Dallas Stars defenseman Alex Goligoski and was assessed a five minute major penalty and a game misconduct.
This is a dangerous hit and Peluso is lucky Goligoski wasn't injured on the play or the suspension would likely have been more substantial (because if the DOPS has taught us anything, it's that result changes intent). Not only is the hit delivered too high, from behind, and guilty of being both boarding and charging, but Peluso isn't even close enough to Goligoski at any point to effect the defender's clearing attempt. The result is a sickening thud and two powerplay goals for the Stars.
Unfortunately, this suspension is bad luck for the Jets, who may not be able to easily replace a player like
Jim Slater Chris Thorburn James Wright Anthony Peluso. While his 1 goal in 16 games for the Jets this season may be modest, Peluso's 24 PIM with a 6:45 TOI/per game certainly aren't. However, if Peluso is the student of the game we think he is, he'll almost certainly use the three games off to study tape, learning how to differentiate the puck from an opposing player's numbers.
The Jets lost another forward against the Stars, though not from a suspension on an appalling hit. Late in the first period, Matt Halischuk blocked a shot from Stars rookie Alex Chiasson on the penalty kill, fracturing his arm in the process. Halischuk limped to the bench afterwards and wasn't seen for the rest of the game.
This has been a disappointing season for Halischuk, who has only 7 points in 30 games since coming over as a free agent from Nashville. Disappointing, too, for the Jets, who no doubt hoped Halischuk would have a bigger impact on the line-up. With the exception of Michael Frolik, Winnipeg's bottom-six forwards have been ineffective at best and Halischuk is no exception.
Still, the loss of Halischuk leaves a much bigger hole in the Winnipeg's roster than Peluso, and the Jets will likely call up a player from St. John's. Patrice Cormier has already played 3 games for the Jets this season and is a likely candidate again. Eric O'Dell leads the St. John's IceCaps with 29 points in 28 games, but winger Carl Klinberg has the size Winnipeg prefers in its depth players.
The Jets forward line-up may look like this tomorrow night in Columbus:
- Ladd - Little - Wheeler
- Thorburn - Jokinen - Setoguchi
- Tangradi - Scheifele - Frolik
- Wright - Albert - Cormier
Tangradi has been one of Winnipeg's better "bad" players and deserves the Thorburn Treatment during Halischuk's absence (or until GM Kevin Cheveldayoff makes some long overdue roster moves). Cormier has more NHL experience than the other AHL options and played both wing and centre for the Jets earlier this year.
It's kind of like putting a puzzle together, isn't it? Except most of the pieces don't fit and can't score.