The Ottawa Senators have avoided punishment for a late-game instigator penalty assessed to forward Brady Tkachuk, as the league has announced that Tkachuk won’t face a suspension for a late-game fight with Buffalo’s Alex Tuch. Head coach D.J. Smith also won’t be fined. Bruce Garrioch of Postmedia shared that suspensions are automatically applied to instigator penalties in an effort to curb late-game brawls, which the Senators avoided despite Tkachuk’s penalty. Tkachuk appealed the suspension, which was lifted.
This is refreshing news for Senators fans worried that their top forward may have gotten himself into disciplinary trouble. Tkachuk currently leads the Senators in goal scoring, with four through his first six games of the season. He’s added two assists to this total, getting him up to a point-per-game scoring pace. This keeps him up with the pace he established last season, netting 35 goals and 83 points while appearing in all 82 games of the season. Tkachuk also totaled 126 penalty minutes last year, a tally that ranked third in the entire league – three minutes ahead of his brother Matthew, who ranked fourth.
Ottawa is staggering a bit after a hot start to the year, losing each of their last two games. This brings them to an even 3-3-0 record, with a +4 advantage in goal differential. It’s a fine enough start for a team that faced a lot of questions entering the year. Newcomer Vladimir Tarasenko has been the team’s biggest surprise through the early going, currently leading the team in scoring with three goals and eight points, through six games. Recent lineup addition Joshua Norris is quickly catching up to Tarasenko’s scoring title, though, with three goals and four points through the four games he’s appeared in since returning from shoulder injury. It’s been a strong offensive start for Ottawa, who will look to maintain that now that Tkachuk has avoided a suspension.