In the eyes of the Buffalo Sabres, new NHL discipline czar Brendan Shanahan probably got one right but definitely got one wrong when looking at questionable hits from Saturday's game against Toronto in First Niagara Center.
The Sabres acknowledged after practice Tuesday that the two-game preseason suspension of Brad Boyes for his elbow to the head of Toronto's Joe Colborne was reasonable. But they remain surprised there was no review of the shove from behind into the boards that Paul Gaustad absorbed from Colby Armstrong that was only a minor penalty.
Said Boyes on his hit: "There was no intention to hit him high but it did come up a little high. I know they're trying to get that stuff out of the game and I agree with that part."
Said Gaustad on his play: "I'm going to try to bite my tongue as much as possible. I'm just a little bit disappointed by it because I'm not the type of player that stays down. If I get up, I get up. They haven't asked how I'm doing. The NHL hasn't asked me. They don't know if I'm injured or not. They didn't check on it, at least to my knowledge. ... I'm not in charge of the rules. From what I saw, I hope that's not a legal hit. Because if it is, I could haven't gotten hurt more than I was."
Gaustad said he had a stiff neck after the play but was fine to practice Tuesday. He was surprised the fact he didn't stay down seemed to impact the ruling.
"If he's hurt, we may see something different," said coach Lindy Ruff. "There's areas that still have to be explained why or why not [a suspension] There's a break-in period from Brendan's point of view and our point of view."
In terms of injuries, Ruff said Derek Roy (shoulder) should be back on the ice in a day or two and that Jochen Hecht, who did not skate today, is "progressing." The team has not said what Hecht's issue is although it's believed to be concussion-related. Ruff acknowledged for the first time that it's possible Hecht may not be ready for the season opener Oct. 7 against Anaheim in Helsinki, Finland.
"It's a possibility, a small amount of concern right now," said Ruff, who added that Hecht will be on the flight to Europe on Saturday. "I wouldn't think we'll put it that we're there yet."