Two Capitals Come Under Fire for Physical Play Against Rangers

By Tarik El-Bashir
Washington Post Staff Writer
Monday, April 27, 2009

NEW YORK, April 26 -- One day after issuing a one-game suspension to New York Rangers Coach John Tortorella for squirting a fan with water and throwing a water bottle into the crowd, NHL disciplinarian Colin Campbell could be busy reviewing video and interviewing players about another incident.

Capitals enforcer Donald Brashear could face disciplinary action for a high hit on Blair Betts midway through the first period of Sunday's 5-3 Capitals victory. The Rangers forward crumpled to the ice and had to be helped to the dressing room by the training staff. He did not return to the game.

"I didn't see it at the time [but] I saw it on the replay and it was a late hit to the head," said Rangers assistant Jim Schoenfeld, who filled in for Tortorella. "It was pretty vicious. He is a big, strong guy, as you all know, and Betts didn't see him coming. It was a late hit to the head [and] the league will look at it and make their own ruling."

Schoenfeld said Betts, a penalty-killing specialist and fourth-line center, is "hurt significantly."

Capitals Coach Bruce Boudreau defended Brashear.

"When we watched that between periods, to me that was a shoulder," Boudreau said. "He followed through, but the elbow didn't hit him. It was a good shoulder hit."

Schoenfeld also said Capitals defenseman Shaone Morrisonn bit Rangers center Brandon Dubinsky on the arm after a second-period skirmish behind the Capitals' goal. Morrisonn had come to the defense of teammate Mike Green after Dubinsky hit Green from behind. Dubinsky appeared to show his arm to a linesman on his way to the dressing room after receiving two minutes for boarding, two for roughing and a 10-minute misconduct.

"Dubinsky had to get a tetanus shot because he was bit in the arm in a scrum," Schoenfeld said. "I don't know what effect that will have on him, so his status will remain in question."

Before the controversial hit and the alleged bite, there was also this: Brashear bumped rugged Ranger Colton Orr during warmups. While it wasn't much, league rules prohibit such contact.

Reached by e-mail Sunday night, Campbell wrote that the NHL "never comment[s] on Supplemental Discipline unless and until there is a decision to implement."

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