Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 10/01/06 at 11:51 AM ET
Ilya Kovalchuk could not contain his infamous temper — even though this time he might have been justified — and because of it, he didn't make it past the first period. Kovalchuk's ejection for kicking after he received a vicious cross-check from Nashville's Jordin Tootoo, who was later ejected for a third-man-in penalty, led to a downward spiral of penalties and power-play goals. The Thrashers ended their 3-4 preseason with a 5-1 defeat before 12,070 at the Gaylord Sports and Entertainment Center. The Thrashers can only hope now that the NHL takes mercy on Kovalchuk and chooses not to take any further disciplinary action before opening night on Thursday.continued (reg. req.) from the Tennessean,
"He kind of slashed Vokey after the whistle, and I just went in there and kind of pile-drived him,'' Tootoo said. "That's part of the game — you want to protect your goalie. Every team knows that.'' Thrashers Coach Bob Hartley said the incident marked the second straight night Tootoo had run one of his players, blaming Tootoo for a similar act involving Steve Rucchin on Friday. "It's two nights in a row that he ran someone and got away with it,'' Hartley said. "That's the way he plays and referees are there and they call the game and obviously he's a tough young kid.''
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