Versus showed the aftermath of the Detroit Red Wings-Anaheim Ducks Game 6 during the first intermission of tonight's game 7 between Pittsburgh and Washington. After watching it I can't help but think that the NHL has lost control of these playoffs. Maybe it's just because they have two of the dirtiest teams in the league playing each other, or maybe it's because Colin Cambell has decided to pick-and-choose what needs to be punished and how severly.
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Three different fights occured after the final horn sounded there were three different fights instigated by the Ducks. First Ryan Getzlaf took a run at Marian Hossa. Nothing serious occured, the two just shoved each other and had to be separated. That sparked a battle between Corey Perry and Brian Rafalski. Perry pounded on Rafalski even after the Wings' defenseman was down on the ice and defenseless. Finally, Scott Niedermayer took a few swings at Pavel Datsyuk.
I don't know how the league can sit back and watch that happen and not hand down a suspension on at least one of the three Ducks players involved. If they don't hand out something for "message sending" then I would expect uproar from owners, GMs and coaches when Cambell suddenly decides there is too much message sending happening in the next round.
The league specifically said they would not tolerate any message sending when the score was not in doubt. I don't know how you can have any less doubt about the outcome of a game than when the game is over. This is the place where Cambell needs to punish somebody to show that he and NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman are not full of talk.
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