Kukla's Korner Hockey
from the CP via TSN,
The NHL has suspended Nashville Predators winger Jordin Tootoo five games for his punch to the face of Dallas Stars defenceman Stephane Robidas.
“In reviewing this incident, Stephane Robidas appeared to be initiating a confrontation by approaching Jordin Tootoo,” said NHL Senior Executive Vice President and Director of Hockey Operations Colin Campbell. “While a player is entitled to defend himself, Mr. Tootoo’s forceful blow to Robidas’ head was an overly aggressive and inappropriate response. The fact that Mr. Tootoo’s actions resulted in an injury to his opponent also was a factor in this decision.”
from the Dallas Morning News:
Nashville Predators management did a disservice to the game of hockey Saturday night by not informing the crowd of Mike Modano’s achievements, Stars president Jim Lites said Sunday.
And further, coach Barry Trotz’s comments praising Jordin Tootoo for showing calm when punching Stephane Robidas was “patently ridiculous,” according to Lites.
“Their owner, management, public relations people, coaching staff – I think they all failed the game,” Lites said. “It’s because of people like Mike Modano that they even have a team in Nashville. He has helped pioneer the game in the South, and for him to be treated like that in a milestone moment ... it’s just a horrible thing.”
“I understand it’s a competitive situation, but we’re also working together to sell the game,” Lites said. “They get more money from revenue sharing than any team in the league, they voted against the new schedule because they wanted to have an easier schedule for themselves. They take and take and take and take and never give back, and I’m sick of it.”
added 8:35am, via David Vest of the Arizona Republic,
It is also unfortunate that fans in Nashville could not see the big picture and/or are not hockey-savvy enough to appreciate what they witnessed.
Spectators inside the Gaylord Entertainment Center reportedly booed and mocked Modano after he scored his record-setting goal late in the third period of a nasty game the Predators won 3-2.
from Scott Morrison of the CBC,
Quite likely, Tootoo will receive a suspension of at least a few games and the league makes headlines again for all the wrong reasons, which again raises the question of whether harder, black-and-white penalties need to be in place for any kinds of blows to the head. Of course, had Tootoo and Robidas been actually fighting, he would have been applauded for the knockout.
And what about sticking up for star players getting hit, is that line between answering a clean or dirty check becoming a little blurred?
From John Glennon at The Tennessean,
Modano did set a career record for goals by a U.S.-born player, but it was the Predators who snapped a five-game losing streak to the Stars with a 3-2 win in front of a sellout crowd at Nashville Arena.
The Predators hit the 100-point mark for the second consecutive season and – based on what Colorado did late Saturday – may have clinched a third straight playoff berth.
The contest took an ugly turn with 3:39 remaining, following Jordin Tootoo’s hard hit on Modano. Dallas defenseman Stephane Robidas skated hard toward Tootoo in defense of Modano, but Tootoo spun around and flattened Robidas with a punch to the jaw.
At Andrew’s Dallas Stars Page,
Robidas was taken off the ice on a stretcher and then was taken to a Nashville hospital. He suffered a concussion. He was released from the hospital Saturday night and will be re-evaluated in Dallas on Sunday.
Video of Tootoo hit:
via the Tennessean,
Predators center Peter Forsberg says he’s healthy and ready to return to the lineup for Saturday’s game against Dallas.
“I’m ready to go – finally,” Forsberg said. “It’s been frustrating sitting on the bench this long, but now it’s all healed up and that’s all I care about.”
from the Nashville City Paper,
Tootoo has been known mostly for his ability to create havoc and mayhem on the ice, but Predators coach Barry Trotz and his staff have been working with Tootoo to become more of a well-rounded player.
“I think the more he plays at that higher level that the game will start slowing down for him and you will see some offensive numbers,” Trotz said. “But I look at it as whether or not he is having an effect on the game. And he absolutely does. He drew three or four penalties against Detroit Wednesday night, and he didn’t do anything except finish his checks and go hard to the net.
“Does that have an impact? Absolutely. That might be worth more than goals. He is playing with some purpose. He is focused. And he is working hard.”
from Scott Burnside of ESPN,
Forsberg was acquired at such a high price to help push the Predators over the edge in the postseason. But the less he plays in the regular season, the greater the angst over whether he can deliver the goods once the stakes go up April 11. And of all the teams headed to the postseason, the Predators may face the highest stakes.
In some ways, the futures of Forsberg, the elite player, and Nashville, the emerging elite team, are tracking the same path—the future enticing, yet unknown.
Babcock would like to see Bertuzzi get in nine games, but it’s more likely going to be four or five and then it’ll be playoff time. He was not in Nashville on Tuesday and will not accompany the team on its two-game swing through Western Canada this weekend.
“He doesn’t have to be ‘the’ guy, just be one of the guys,” Babcock said of the big forward.
more on Peter & Todd…
via the Tennessean,
Predators left wing Martin Erat suffered a sprained knee in a third-period collision with teammate Jason Arnott during Tuesday night’s 5-2 loss to Detroit and will be out four weeks, the team said today.
I received an email today from a Nashville Predators backer, basically stating the Wings were lucky to win last night due to the fact the Preds have some major injuries.
I responded back, well, the Wings are not using the injury excuse, since they have a few key players out too.
The response back was, and I quote, “Zetterberg doesn’t compare with Forsberg and Hartnell is better than Bertuzzi”.
What do you think KK readers?
That point will be proven again tonight as thousands of Detroit fans descend upon Gaylord Entertainment Center for the sold-out showdown between the NHL’s top two teams — the Predators and Red Wings.
The phenomenon began when the NHL awarded Nashville an expansion team in 1997.
Many Michigan natives had moved to the Nashville area in the 1990s after Detroit-based General Motors opened up a manufacturing plant in Spring Hill. They were thrilled when Nashville landed a team and many bought Predators season tickets.
But they weren’t about to turn their back on the Wings, who quickly became Nashville’s most hated rival.
Also from the Tennessean,
“We’re going to do the right thing for Peter,” Trotz said. “When he’s ready to play, he’s going to play. And if he’s not ready, we’re not going to force him into anything. We’ll probably see where is (today) and make a decision.”
more on Forsberg…
About Kukla's Korner Hockey
Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.
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