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Evening Line

Sunday’s Pittsburgh-Philadelphia game featured at least three shocking scenes in which the player’s clear intent was to deliver a blow the head: Arron Asham’s hit on Brayden Schenn and James Neal’s cowardly back-to-back attacks on Sean Couturier and Claude Giroux.

That’s bad enough. But it seems there’s been at least one vicious head shot in every frickin’ game since the Weber incident: the Rangers’ Carl Hagelin’s hit on Daniel Alfredsson, Chris Phillips’ hit on Ryan Callahan, the Sharks’ T.J. Galiardi’s hit on the Blues’ Andy McDonald, the Blues’ Vladimir Sobotka’s sucker punch on the Sharks’ Dominic Moore. And that’s just for starters.

The resulting spit storm has been a nightmare for the NHL. This is the one time of the year when the focus of the North American sports media is on hockey but the focus isn’t on the game. Instead, the spotlight is on a sport that appears to be almost criminally violent.

The league actually allowed itself to believe it was getting in front of the head-shot issue, but when given the chance to demonstrate just how seriously they’re taking it, they turtled.

-Ed Willes of the Vancouver Province via Canada.com.  More plus a few more hockey topics…

Filed in: NHL Teams, NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Comments

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You forgot the Ovechkin crosscheck to Seidenberg’s head, second period game 2.

Posted by AdamBruinsFan on 04/15/12 at 11:56 PM ET

Crow's avatar

The NHL could have set a clear message if they had suspended Weber.  Now all of these ugly incidents of intent to injure are occurring.  You reap what you sow, NHL.

Posted by Crow on 04/16/12 at 12:28 AM ET

redxblack's avatar

^^^ what Crow said!

In not suspending Weber, they put their imprint that such play was part of the game. They said Weber crossed a line, but not in a serious way. Congrats. This is the New NHL.

Posted by redxblack from Akron Ohio on 04/16/12 at 12:42 AM ET

mrfluffy's avatar

The Kings-Nucks game is falling apart in the 2nd period. Border-line hits galore…oh…and Kesler swan dives. I can’t believe I used to like that guy.

Posted by mrfluffy from A wide spot on I-90 in Montana on 04/16/12 at 12:52 AM ET

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I can’t even begin to explain how disgusted I have been since the weber incident.  Watching all of the other games and ensuing incidents only increases my disgust.  The only refreshing outcome has been the reasonable way the wings handled the incident going forward.  Yes, I am a wings fan…. But I feel they were clearly wronged as much as anyone thus far… And at least they were able to “get over” in a matter of minutes in the following game.  I have never been overly opposed to fighting in the past.  But lately, mainly as a result of the refereeing and the way the league has handled things, the NHL looks out of control, and it is getting hard to take.

Posted by Rick.L from London, On on 04/16/12 at 01:02 AM ET

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Shanahan has lost control of the suspensions. You will now see him over react to try and restore order, but all it will do is create more confusion.

Posted by timbits on 04/16/12 at 01:11 AM ET

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oh…and Kesler swan dives. I can’t believe I used to like that guy.

No doubt that was pathetic!

Posted by timbits on 04/16/12 at 01:13 AM ET

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There has to be more than one guy making the decisions… Where in a democracy does one person make a decision?  There has to be some changes to the process this offseason.

Posted by gretzky_to_lemieux on 04/16/12 at 01:15 AM ET

cs6687's avatar

Can’t remember where I read it, but the problem is general managers were unhappy at the beginning of the season because they felt his punishments were too harsh. He’s basically handcuffed by the GMs now.

Posted by cs6687 on 04/16/12 at 01:29 AM ET

Nathan's avatar

Pretty obvious tailspin, I agree with most of the above, if Weber had been handed a deserved 2+ game suspension, it would’ve changed the situation. The Flyers/Pens game the other day was a riot to watch, but in some ways also cringe-worthy. I like fighting and feel it is an important part of the game, and I like it once in a great while when the “stars” fight, but any game in which Crosby and Giroux sit with majors and Timmonen and Letang are kicked out after fights is just absurd. These are guys that need to be on the ice.

Posted by Nathan from the scoresheet! on 04/16/12 at 10:13 AM ET

phillyd's avatar

I agree with everything said. The question I have is why Timmonen and Letang were tossed out? Was it was because of they started a fight after another had started?

Posted by phillyd from Southern New Jersey on 04/16/12 at 10:18 AM ET

Red Winger's avatar

Let a Pens writers tell it like it is:

““They lost their composure,” Ron Cook, columnist for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and midday host for 93.7 The Fan told 94WIP’s Angelo Cataldi and the WIP Morning Show on Monday. “Kris Letang may be their most valuable player. I know Malkin, I know Fleury. Letang gets involved in a fight while there’s another fight going on. He gets thrown out. Then he does that ridiculous ‘shush’ the crowd like Talbot did a few years ago. I mean people were laughing at him, it was embarrassing,” he said.”

The Penguins were the favorites of many to win this year’s Stanley Cup. Instead, it looks like they’re headed for a first round exit. “This will be, if they lose, and it certainly looks like they’re going to, the biggest collapse in franchise history. And it will be remembered as the most underachieving team,” Cook said. “Two of their three biggest stars have been just a disgrace.”

http://philadelphia.cbslocal.com/2012/04/16/pittsburgh-writer-calls-penguins-behavior-terrible-embarrassing-and-a-disgrace/

Posted by Red Winger from Sault Ste Marie, MI on 04/16/12 at 11:08 AM ET

42jeff's avatar


Posted by Red Winger from Sault Ste Marie on 04/16/12 at 10:08 AM ET

OMG he took his head off….$2500?

Posted by 42jeff from The greater Howard City, MI metroplex on 04/16/12 at 11:40 AM ET

bezukov's avatar

Can’t remember where I read it, but the problem is general managers were unhappy at the beginning of the season because they felt his punishments were too harsh. He’s basically handcuffed by the GMs now.

Posted by cs6687 on 04/16/12 at 12:29 AM ET

Cs, you’ve pointed out the bottom line of this discussion.  The NHL would rather flirt with somebody getting paralyzed or killed than risk lower ticket sales or tv ratings.  This is pure greed by the owners and the league brass; and given all thats happened over the past fews years it really seems like it is going to take a player getting killed before something is done.

There is a reason no one outside of Philly liked the Broad Street Bullies, because over-the-top violence is good for nothing other than cheap applause and it makes a cartoon out of a game that should be taken seriously for its traditions and skilled players.  Why do we need it other than to sell tickets to fair weather fans?

As soon as the NHL starts taking itself seriously the better.  You do that by coming up with an actual sentencing schedule for fines and suspensions (no wheel of justice approach), and by making hand/forearm/shoulder-to-head contact of any kind a 2 minute penalty, no questions asked.  That would be a start.

Posted by bezukov from the kids are alright. on 04/16/12 at 12:04 PM ET

Kate from PA now in SC-made in Detroit's avatar

The NHL could have set a clear message if they had suspended Weber.  Now all of these ugly incidents of intent to injure are occurring.  You reap what you sow, NHL.

Posted by Crow on 04/15/12 at 11:28 PM ET

Been saying that since day 1. It was a vicious attack on Zetterberg, and, to add insult to injury, Weber and another team mate, I forget who, made a joke of the incident in practice the next day. This has escalated through out the entire Playoffs and spread like a cancer to every Team.

You sow the wind, you reap the whirlwind.

Thanks Shanny. A$$ Kisser.

Thanks Gary. A$$

Lets Go Red Wings!!!!!

Posted by Kate from PA now in SC-made in Detroit on 04/16/12 at 01:09 PM ET

Nathan's avatar

Posted by phillyd from New Jersey on 04/16/12 at 09:18 AM ET

Yeah, I am curious as well. Could it have been because neither player had their jersey properly tied down? Timmonen’s definitely didn’t look tied down. Just a total guess, though.

Posted by Nathan from the scoresheet! on 04/16/12 at 04:47 PM ET

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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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