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Bringing Hexy Back • 42 Years Old • Male

Consistency Is Needed

Posted 1:46 PM ET | Comments 18
First, off, I am a Flyers fan. In fact, I consider myself to be a die hard Flyers fan.

That said, I have no issue with any of the suspensions handed down to the team this season.

Steve Downie got 20 games for leaving his feet and delivering a shoulder to the head of Ottawa's Dean McAmmond. The fact that Downie raced in from near the blueline to nail McAmmond is also a major factor. McAmmond missed significant time with a concussion.

Jesse Boulerice cross checked Vancouver's Ryan Kesler in the face. Fortunately, Kesler was uninjured by Boulerice's despicable actions. Boulerice tied the NHL record with a 25 game suspension.

Randy Jones was almost step for step with Boston's Patrice Bergeron as the pair went after a loose puck. Bergeron got to it and, for some reason, stopped short of the boards. Jones hit Bergeron from behind and drove his face into the dasher. Jones got a 2 game suspension, which is proper.

While you should not hit a player from behind, you also put yourself in a dangerous position when you stop three feet from the end boards and look down at your skates. Jones never expected Bergeron to stop in that manner and there was no malice. Jones was very upset by the incident and issued a heartfelt apology immediately after the incident.

Scott Hartnell was heading toward Boston defenseman Andrew Alberts, when Alberts dropped to his knees to keep a puck in front of him. Hartnell made an effort to pull up, but still swung his hip into Alberts' head, which was at the same height as the dasher board. It was not a hit with intent to injure, but it was a cheap shot to a defenseless player. Hartnell was suspended for two games yesterday afternoon. It might have been a bit light, but it's in the realm of what most realistically expected.

So, yes, the Flyers have certainly committed their sins this season. I further feel that increased scrutiny is unavoidable for the team if there are future hits that result in injury. Unfortunately, the team is one that gets high exposure even when it's not having a run of suspensions.

However, the NHL's enforcement and suspension process is more streaky than a windshield cleaned by a chimpanzee smoking crack.

Case in point: Nashville's Jordin Tootoo hit a Phoenix player with a flagrant elbow and moments later was clotheslined by the Coyotes' Craig Weller. Tootoo's elbow is pretty similar to the Downie hit, except Tootoo didn't leave his feet, and the Phoenix player he went after didn't get injured. Weller was assessed a match penalty, which was later rescinded by the NHL.


Now, I simply don't understand how that is less egregious than what Downie did. Tootoo flew in with a raised elbow and Weller nailed an unsuspecting Tootoo in retribution. Somehow, the NHL decided NOT to suspend either player involved.

The next incident I'd like to bring up is similar to the Boulerice cross check. Scott Parker and Dion Phaneuf engaged in a little pre-game festivities. It continued through the game, with Parker elbowing Craig Conroy of the Flames. He then popped Phaneuf in the upper chest throat area, knocking him to the ice.


Eric Goddard jumped immediately to Phaneuf's defense. Parker was issued two majors for cross checking and fighting. He did not receive a suspension.

Speaking of Phaneuf, it looks like he left his skates last night to nail Detroit's Jiri Hudler with a huge open ice hit. Last I checked leaving your feet is a penalty in the NHL.

Next one I want to bring up involves Chris Pronger of Anaheim. Ryan Kesler of Vancouver-man he must really piss folks off-scored a goal(one of two) last night against the Ducks and as he celebrated, Pronger cross checked him in the mid-section.

Unfortunately, nobody has popped the video clip on You Tube at this time. Kesler was defenseless, as he was celebrating a goal, and Pronger came at him from behind and to Kesler's left side. Kesler returned to action. Pronger has not been suspended as yet.

Andy Sutton of the Islanders has thrown two questionable elbows this season. One was at the end of regulation in a loss to the Flyers. He came in from the blueline, and nailed Kukkonen from the side near the corner. He got a two minute minor at the 20:00 mark of the third. No suspension for either elbow.

We also see plenty of hits from behind in the NHL. Kimmo Timonen of the Flyers was hit from behind in the same game that Hartnell ran Alberts. I doubt that a NHL game passes without some sort of hit from behind. These need to be punished consistently, not only when the end in injury, like Bergeron, or Erik Cole, when he was hit by Brooks Orpik in 2004.

There also has to be a push to get players to realize that simply turning your back and expecting not to get hit is putting yourself in a dangerous position and should not be done, either. That especially goes for a guy three feet off the boards.

The NHL needs to do a far better job in reviewing these incidents, as well as any future incidents, regardless of which team is involved. Again, I have no issue with any of the suspensions handed to the Flyers, but the NHL and Colin Campbell really need to dispense justice in a more consistent manner.
Filed Under:   Jsaq   Parker   Boulerice   Campbell   Bergeron  
November 28, 2007 1:53 PM ET | Delete
completly agree with the dion incident I have no idea why parker got off great blog buddy
November 28, 2007 1:59 PM ET | Delete
interesting read js...good stuff
November 28, 2007 2:05 PM ET | Delete
good stuff JS. Everything about the NHL has been inconsistent this year, from Campbell to the Refs.
November 28, 2007 2:16 PM ET | Delete
Very well thoughts and delivery jsaq
November 28, 2007 2:16 PM ET | Delete
The little spin that players do at the last second in an attempt to draw the boarding call is so blatantly evident that I can't figure out why it's never called a dive. On top of that, the player who gets hit will always look at the ref and then bitch if he doesn't get the call. Not only is it putting the player in a dangerous position, but it's also an act that has trickled down to high school hockey. Last second, spin around, get drilled from behind, look for the call.if you ask me, that type of play deserves a 2-min minor AND a 10 min misconduct.
November 28, 2007 2:22 PM ET | Delete
Have to agree JS. No clear message is being sent, we're all out here scratching our heads.
November 28, 2007 2:26 PM ET | Delete
from Gary Meagher: with all due respect - the Parker and Boulerice hits are not even close - one is a crosscheck to the chest of a player that one can debate the amount of force that was used (and yes, Colie has spoken with Parker and will likely fine him) and the other is a crosscheck to a player's jaw that I think is non-debatable in terms of the force used. I suspect that I will not be able to change your view on these two incidents but happy to try.I don't think the league gets it at all.
November 28, 2007 2:28 PM ET | Delete
great job. ain't nothing wrong w/a little pimpin.
November 28, 2007 2:30 PM ET | Delete
With all due respect, Gary Meagher is utterly full of horse sh*t if that is the view he takes of the Parker cross check on Phaneuf. Both were attempts to injure another player. I am not saying that Parker should get 25 games, but to say he should only get a fine is ludicrous.
November 28, 2007 2:32 PM ET | Delete
Maybe we as fans need to send this blog to Campbell. I guess the league doesnt tape every games so if as fans we can send links and these type blogs they may be able to get all the information. Then again Meagher will tell us that the instances are completely different and the links to youtube we send are of Lacrosse players and the league cant suspend lacross players
November 28, 2007 2:33 PM ET | Delete
I am debating whether I want to call him because I really think its just going to be an exercise in futility. That kind of bunched together. Everything I posted was from Mr Meagher except the last line I added stating I don't think the league gets it.
November 28, 2007 2:36 PM ET | Delete
That is precisely my point Nasty. The NHL doesn't get it. The only common thread in the suspensions this year were that they resulted in injury to the guys that got nailed. Obviously, I am discounting Boulerice, because there is no way, shape or form to defend what he did. Again, my issue is, that it should not matter if a guy gets hurt. If it's a cheap shot or head shot, hand down a suspension, regardless of injury.
November 28, 2007 2:40 PM ET | Delete
I agree with you 100% and Hatcher actually said the same thing in today's paper.
November 28, 2007 3:08 PM ET | Delete
Great job JS. I am also a die hard and have no problem with the suspensions. They need a group of people to view every game and create a daily clip show for Mr. Campbell to review. I offer my services. If I could be paid to do something with hockey for a living, life would be grand.
November 28, 2007 4:38 PM ET | Delete
JS, you cut out the BS and go straight for the jugular. The truth hurts. Not as much as jumping on a bicycle with the seat missing, but it hurts.When you present the evidence as such, the NHL can either play the spin game or accept it and address it -- which they should do. It is my belief (and has been stated countless times here at HB) that they only address the flagrant (Boulerice) and injury-inducing fouls (Downie, Ohlund). Anything that does not cause injury is no reason for suspension when the league claims intent is a criteria they measure. It makes no sense.The NHL will lose more fans if this garbage continues.
November 28, 2007 4:46 PM ET | Delete
They know us diehards won't leave the game we love though, Flyskippy.
November 29, 2007 10:32 PM ET | Delete
Another good blog from a Flyer fan. And yeah to say the Parker and Boulerice hits are markedly different is a pile of manure. Lost some respect for Tootoo in that video, horrible elbow and it didn't look like anything vicious on the retaliation. All the league has to do is make a statement saying intentional head shots with intent to injure will be severely punished though fines and suspensions, and then follow through. Not this two game business, though I'm not referring to the Fly here--those were fair. When they get hit HARD, they'll stop doing it.
November 30, 2007 1:04 AM ET | Delete
The NHL has bias toward the Flyers since the broad street bullies. Players have to think too much before a hit in the heat of a fast-moving game. The NHL is softer today than the past. The game has joined the PC pussification of the United States. Jesse gets 25 games for not injuring Kessler.?
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