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The Upper Canadien

Quick thoughts on Pacioretty/Letang

I’m still recovering, and thus have someone else typing this for me, but a quick thought on Pacioretty/Letang: it shouldn’t be a suspension. Very similar to the Ryan Malone hit of earlier this year, more body on body than anything else, and I don’t believe there was any intent visible. Max Pacioretty did not intend to hurt Kris Letang.

That said, I wouldn’t be surprised if Pacioretty gets a game. Why? Gut feeling. He’s got a phone hearing, and Letang was bloodied. With the crackdown and all, I could see this being punishable. But I reiterate: I don’t believe it should be a suspension.

And a few quick Habs thoughts: They blew 4 points this weekend, got 1. That’s not what playoff teams do. Brian Gionta has been a defensive liability of late and doesn’t seem to be moving his feet. Something is wrong with Mike Cammalleri - my money is on an injury. And Yannick Weber, while he does have a nice shot, isn’t great at running a power play, and makes a fair number of mistakes. If I’m in charge, I package Weber and everyone’s favourite bozo-penalty man Lars Eller to get some help. Eller has some slick skills, but he takes horrible penalties at terrible, terrible times. More and more he’s reminding me of Benoit Pouliot - and that’s not a good thing.

Long-term though, the Habs will be ok. Carey Price will continue to bail them out on a regular basis, and the team will come together. Beyond that, they’ve got Travis “Bullseye” Moen to help score their way out.

This is still a playoff team. They just need to play tighter hockey. Big road trip in California this week - will Andrei Markov make his triumphant return? Lord knows the power play could use him.

And with that, back to recovery - hoping to be back to full-time (in other aspects of life too!) by the end of this week.

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Comments

cs6687's avatar

More body than anything else, huh?...

http://yfrog.com/kgqyzxvj

Posted by cs6687 on 11/27/11 at 11:53 PM ET

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Absolutely more body than anything else. The initial point of contact, as far as I could tell having watched it 4 or 5 times, was shoulder to shoulder. Where Letang falls afterwards is a different animal entirely (which is what that picture shows, it appears to be slightly after the initial contact), but the hit was body on body.

Posted by The Upper Canadien from Toronto on 11/28/11 at 12:00 AM ET

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A picture is worth a thousand words.  Unfortunately, any schmuck can use a camera.

Posted by MTL_WINGS from Montreal on 11/28/11 at 12:03 AM ET

cs6687's avatar

I’m pretty sure everyone would be singing a different tune if this was reversed and Matt Cooke were making the hit.

Posted by cs6687 on 11/28/11 at 12:34 AM ET

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I thought it looked a little questionable but still looked like it was shoulder to chest. The pic in that tweet was definitely NOT initial contact. I figured it was his shield which broke his nose when he went to the ice.

Posted by teldar on 11/28/11 at 12:54 AM ET

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Body on body? His nose got bloodied when he hit the ice? huh?? Are we talking about the same hit? And I agree, if it were Cooke doing the hitting, he’d be gone for 41 games.

Posted by chuckinrlp from Red Lion, PAA on 11/28/11 at 01:37 AM ET

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At what point does the player become responsible for his own safety? Letang knew Pacioretty was coming and still put himself in a ridiculously, dangerous position. He put his head down and extended himself while crossing the OFFENSIVE BLUE LINE! Gimme a break. If Scott Stevens had thrown that hit Letang never would have played hockey again.

Posted by From The Hockey Wastelands from Cleveland on 11/28/11 at 02:34 AM ET

cs6687's avatar

Letang knew Pacioretty was coming and still put himself in a ridiculously, dangerous position.

No one knows that but Letang. Pure speculation here. Look at the Cooke/Savard hit and the Richards/Booth hit. Both are similar to this. If the NHL weren’t focused on eliminating this hit or hadn’t already implemented Rule 48, Pacioretty would be in the clear. As it stands, he should get a game or two. But since he apologized, it wouldn’t surprise me if he got fined.

Posted by cs6687 on 11/28/11 at 03:29 AM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

I’m pretty sure everyone would be singing a different tune if this was reversed and Matt Cooke were making the hit.

Posted by cs6687 on 11/27/11 at 09:34 PM ET

As they should be. Matt Cooke doesn’t deserve the benefit of the doubt.

Look at the Cooke/Savard hit and the Richards/Booth hit. Both are similar to this.

Not really. Those were both blindside hits. Pacioretty’s was not. Neither Savard nor Booth had an inkling that they were skating into the path of a player about to crush him. Regardless of whether Letang DID know better, there’s not much of an argument against the idea that he SHOULD HAVE.

Still, Rule 48 was changed in July to punish ANY hit where the head is the principal point of contact, not just on blindside hits. I feel Pacioretty had time to make this hit in a way that doesn’t end it in a head shot and I feel he should sit a game or do for it. I want people to still be able to get crushed for crossing the middle with their heads down, but it was reckless.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 11/28/11 at 04:47 AM ET

Da lil Guy's avatar

Looks exactly like the hit Dion Phaneuf put on Stephane Da Costa earlier in the year, which was subsequently sanctified as the cleanest hit in hockey history.

Posted by Da lil Guy from Guelph, Ontario on 11/28/11 at 02:32 PM ET

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The Upper Canadien is your one stop shop for all things Montreal Canadiens. Since the summer of 2010, I've been providing Habs related news, notes, and most importantly, opinions. As a blogger, I don't believe it's my job to report the news, it's my privilege to comment on it. You may disagree with what I suggest. In fact, you most likely will. But that's the great part about blogging: it spurs opinion, comment and engages all involved. I've really enjoyed all the debate and commentary from readers thus far and I encourage everyone to respond with ideas on lineups, trades, logos, sweaters, mascots, whatever. The Upper Canadien is a conversation for all hockey fanatics.

I've come to Kukla's Korner with four years of campus radio and three years of sportswriting from my time at Mount Allison University on Canada's East coast. Not only do I not have any professional journalistic training, after five years in the corporate world, I've spent much of the past two years completing an MBA. Business by day, hockey by night, I'm a Canadiens fan through and through. I hope you enjoy reading as much as I do writing.

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