Monday, May 11, 2009
One of the dirtiest cheap shots I remember in hockey was when the Washington Capitals' Dale Hunter cross-checked the New York Islanders' Pierre Turgeon from behind after Turgeon had a scored a goal to put a playoff game out of reach. Hunter was suspended for 21 games, and a history of playoff cheap shots was born.
Fast forward to Game 5 of the Bruins/Canes series, and a team that was getting the hell beaten out of it pulled out all the stops. A slash to the leg of Zdeno Chara by Jussi Jokinen, random attempts at snow jobs on Tim Thomas, and Scott Walker with the biggest wuss-like sucker punch in history on Aaron Ward. Reports say that Ward has broken his orbital bone and will be out for the playoffs. The commissioner at the time of the Hunter hit? A new commish by the name of Gary Bettman.
So what did Walker get? A 2,500 dollar fine. No suspension. 15 games sounded right to me, as it would cover any remaining playoffs games and a portion of next season. I am all for fighting in hockey game, but there is no place for the type of bitch-like crap that Walker pulled last night in any sport. They should have tossed in a 1 game suspension for Jokinen as well, as hacking guys in the ankle from behind is not exactly sportsman-like. The fact is the Bruins recaptured momentum after last night's win, and the Canes reverted to a group of opportunists waiting to play dirty. If the NHL is the organization it says it is, it won't let teams get away with crap like that, especially when done on the sports biggest stage. Former Rangers headman Colin Campbell thought the fine was enough, so I guess Bettman has mellowed in his old age.
The word I am looking for is "horseshit". Oh and read this article. Jim Rutherford can kiss my fat white ass.