I had missed this play, having had to head down to section 201 to join my fellow Blog Boxers. I had watched the game from seats in section 302, slapped inbetween the second-coming of Rosanne Barr, complete with Lee Press-On nails, and an updated version of Thelma and Louise, who were getting quite excited with every fight and hit. One wonders to what reaction they had as Chris Simon slammed his skate down on the back of Ruutu's leg at the bench. But watching it on my DVR, and also the many Youtube examples, one can see that a hard rain is going to fall on him and the Isles. And, it is finally time to cut ties with the player.
It has always been a contention between my brother and myself, since the Hollweg/Simon incident. I think Hollweg is about as respectable as a fungus on some old bread in the fridge. But I could not say much to Chris Simon's defense back then. I did not bite on the "concussion defense", it sounding more like the "twinkie defense". A man who was looking for some way to offset and excuse a deep personal problem. And that problem is that Chris Simon, at times, cannot control himself. And in hockey, that can be deadly.
There have been a calvacade of incidents in Chris Simon's career that had no excuse and denigrate the career and skills of a man who could play both games: physical pugilist and 2-way hockey. From other suspensions and incidents over the years, to the Mike Grier racial epithet, Simon, despite his good guy image in the dressing room and respectability there and off the ice, he has a problem on the ice. And that problem might lead to a stunning large suspension and possibly the end of his career on LI, and perhaps in NHL hockey.
Chris Simon embodies the deepest fear the NHL has. That someone can lose control so badly, he will do anything to lash out. What makes it worse is that Simon, who is sincerely apologetic afterwards usually, also is someone who his own players and team goes to bat for. Look at the flap over the Sport Illustrated article earlier this season. Michael Farber was onto something, and nobody . . . fans, teammates, and even Isles staff did not want to hear it. A player who has a capacity for good, also has the capacity for evil. Nobody wanted to accept this dichotomy. They thought it was a bum rap.
Yet, last night, as it was the number one topic after the game, they heard it whether they liked it or not. Chris Simon, whether Jarkko Ruutu is an annoying pest or not, deliberately used his skate to injure him. The only saving grace to the situation is that Ruutu evidently was ok. Mike Sillinger, despite wanting to see it again, felt that: "I think he faked it a bit as well, but again I didn’t see what happened.". Silly noticed what I did . . . Ruutu writhing like his leg was cut in half. However, that is a small aside to the deeply disturbing truth that has hit many an Isles fan, writers, bloggers and perhaps even up on high. Simon meant to do just that.
As <i>nyalphamale</i>, a poster on the Official Isles messageboards aptly termed it: <b>"Fool me once shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me."</b>
It has denigrated the game, the organization, and washed away a lot of the other issues that came up during the Pittsburgh game. From the refs idiotic remark to Brendan Witt that he was playing Sidney, the boy wonder, "too tough". It put both he and Vasicek in the box, leading to the winning goal for Pitt. Add in a whole mess of wacky calls by the refs. Or the fact, after the "flub" gimmee goal in the 1st, the Isles lost confidence and Pitt rolled over them for the entire period. Or Bergeron's many giveaways and shakiness last night, from the first goal against the Isles onward. He wasn't alone, but definitely had some trouble on all parts based on where one mistake was not picked on by a team or coach, but yet it affected MAB so badly it undid his entire game.
Instead, we have controversy on the 26th game for Simon after serving a 25 game suspension. He lasted one game over last punishment. This next one might be a doozy.