Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Kerrzy's Notebook: What a Night!

What a bizarre Monday night in the NHL...

First, you've got the reigning league MVP getting tossed from a game for the second time in three nights, this time for a knee-on-knee hit on Carolina forward Tim Gleason that landed him a two-game suspension (though you could argue the first incident was the more suspendable offence).

Also in the first period of that game, a 3-2 win for Washington, the skate of Caps defenceman Karl Alzner cut the right leg of 'Canes blue liner Joe Corvo on what looked like a harmless collision - putting him out of action for 8-12 weeks.

It's especially strange because it's not the first time this type of injury has hurt them this season - starting goalie and Team Canada hopeful Cam Ward had his leg opened up by Columbus captain Rick Nash on November 8th, putting him out for at least a month.

Is that enough first period weirdness for you for one night? There was more!

Florida goalie Tomas Vokoun is okay, but not able to play for a few games after being on the receiving end of a same-team, Marty McSorley style stick-swinging incident in the first period of Monday's 4-3 loss to the Thrashers.

Seconds after Ilya Kovalchuk put in his own rebound after being stopped by Vokoun on a breakaway, Panthers defenceman Keith Ballard turned around and tried to break his stick on the post, but wound up walloping his goalie across the side of the head.

Vokoun lay on the ice for almost 10 minutes and had to be stretchered off, but after getting stitches on his left ear, he did rejoin the team. Since he can't comfortably put his helmet on though, he won't be able to suit up.

Now, I can understand smashing your stick over the post in a fit of rage...we've all done it. But come on, that Kovalchuk goal made it a 2-1 game with 51:06 to play! That's more than enough time to score one goal, Keith!

What are you doing?! If there was a time during that game where it would be acceptable to break your stick over the post - it was when Maxim Afinogenov scored the game-winner with six seconds left!

Back to the Ovechkin suspension though - after the Kaleta hit, the NHL spun its infamous "Wheel of Justice," which landed on zero games for The Great Eight. In Kaleta's next game, he flattened Philly's Jared Ross from behind and his spin landed him a two-game suspension.

There was a bit of head scratching going on when Kaleta got two games and Ovie got none, so the suspension for the Gleason hit could be some kind of "makeup call" on that front.

In my mind, the hit on Kaleta was way worse than the hit on Gleason. In both cases the players stayed in the game - in fact, Ovie is the one with a sore knee, listed as day-to-day right now.

Is he a dirty player, or is Alex Ovechkin just a guy that plays really hard and sometimes crosses the line? I think it's the latter, but let me know what you think!

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