After a day of cooling off following a disturbing 5-1 loss to the Avalanche, the Blue Jackets returned to practice this morning. Most of the players were present, with the exception being Fredrik Modin. He's been nursing a sore groin, and the coaching staff decided it was best to give him the day off.
Aside from the usual morning practice procedure, GM Scott Howson had another item of business on his plate Monday. He was notified by the NHL that Duvie Westcott's "hit" on Scott Parker was being reviewed, and a conference call between Howson, Westcott and NHL VP Colin Campbell would take place this afternoon.
Mostly due to the fact Westcott has no record of disciplinary action with the NHL, he was not suspended, and according to Aaron Portzline's blog from the Columbus Dispatch, was fined $1,000.
It's not very hard to see that the incident was not maliciously intended. Westcott knew that Parker was making a B-line out of the box, and like any other player would do if he felt endangered, he put his stick up in defense. Unfortunately, the stick struck Parker in the face, and a melee ensued.
Did Parker overreact? Yeah, probably. Did the NHL do the same? Thankfully not. I couldn't help but chuckle when fans on other message boards wanted to categorize Westcott's incident with Jesse Boulerice. A fine is perfectly acceptable, but a multiple game suspension? Let's get real, people...
Side Note: Coach Ken Hitchcock, obviously displeased with efforts by his forwards in Denver, mixed up the lines in practice Monday. Based on the combinations, it may become clear very soon that positions are being earned on the ice, not by the name on the back of the jersey.
Lines, according to Aaron Portzline of the Dispatch:
*Glencross practiced in place of Fredrik Modin, who will play Wednesday vs. Dallas
Apparently, the defense pairs aren't being touched. They shouldn't be- the defense and goaltending have been the backbone of this team so far.
Still no word on Wednesday's starter against Dallas. My money is still on Fredrik Norrena, based on his success against the Stars last year.