by Patrick Hoffman on 10/31/09 at 10:15 PM ET
From Terry Mercury of XM NHL Home Ice:
Okay let’s do this the way the league does it…and take each of the last five controversial hits over the last while incident-by-incident.
Let’s start with the Mike Richards-David Booth hit. David Booth comes through the middle of the ice…makes a pass to the wing…and continues to stare at the pass until just before he’s creamed by Mike Richards. Richards didn’t charge after Booth…he met him just over the blueline as he (Richards) was backchecking on the play. Richards hits him with a shoulder….and never leaves his feet to do it. He did get Booth in the head….but considering how fast everything happened….I sorely doubt he was aiming at Booth’s noggin. Let’s also factor in that Richards reputation around the league is that of a clean….honest…two-way player…not a head-hunter. Mr.Booth…I’ll bet every hockey coach you ever had looked at that play and thought the the same thing….DON’T SIT THERE ADMIRING YOUR PASS! LOOK OUT FOR ONCOMING TRAFFIC! I sincerely hope that David Booth is 100 percent okay…and that this in no way affects his career…other than to serve as a reminder that he’s in the NHL…and he will get run over if he’s not aware on the ice at all times.
Evgeni Artyukhin-Matt Niskanen
I would have given Artyukhin more than 3 games. He’s making a clean play by taking Niskanen out of the play by pinning him along the boards…but then for no reason decides to slew-foot him…one of the most dangerous plays in any sport. Niskanen is totally vulnerable because Artyukhin comes in from behind as Niskanen is making a play. What I don’t understand about this one is that Artyukhin has the reputation as a tough-guy…while Niskanen is a skilled…clean player. What was Artyukhin’s impetus for such a move? Niskanen hadn’t done anything to any of Artyukhin’s teammates….so what gives? It was just a reckless…irresponsible play…and deserved more than a 3-game unpaid holiday for Artyukhin.
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Patrick has a tremendous passion for hockey. Besides covering the Rangers and the NHL for Kukla's Korner, you can also find Patrick's work over at Sportsnet.ca, The Red Light District Hockey Blog, NHL Home Ice, and Liam Maguire's Ultimate Hockey web site.
Prior to writing for the above mentioned outlets, you could find Patrick's musings at hockey web sites/outlets such as TheHockeyNews.com, TheFourthPeriod.com, Spector's Hockey, Hokeja Vestnesis, Blueshirt Bulletin, SNYRangersBlog.com and many more.
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