Tonight the 'Canes come to town fighting for their playoff lives. I'll have some thoughts on the game over at SeSo today, but today's discussion here will likely be driven by hockey's latest black eye, Chris Simon's hit on Ryan Hollweg. Here's the video:
First, let me say that incidents like these are exactly what hockey doesn't need. Do they talk puck on "Mike & Mike in the Morning" when Sidney Crosby has a huge night or when Steve Yzerman's jersey is retired? Of course not. But they did this morning. It's just more fuel for the anti-hockey fire, and it's a shame.
As for the substance of the matter, here's my take - it's not as bad as the Bertuzzi/Moore incident, the obvious benchmark. In fact, a better measuring stick would be McSorley/Brashear. Why? Because there was no pre-meditation here. Don't get me wrong, I am not defending, condoning or otherwise minimizing what Simon did. But it was a "heat of the moment"-type move. In the legal arena that's a huge mitigating factor and I think it should be one here (speaking of the legal arena, will assault charges be filed? I doubt it, but it's certainly something to watch for).
Personally, I'd give Simon the rest of this season and the playoffs and let any other punishment come via frontier justice next season. You'll find links to a lot of blogger reaction in the "What J.P.'s Reading" section of the sidebar, but what do you think? For some other comparisons, check this clip out:
- Hart: Jason Arnott (2G, A, +3,5 SOG, 2 takeaways, 0 giveaways, 65% faceoffs)
- Ross: Daniel Alfredsson, Jason Arnott, Jay McClement (3 points each)
- Norris: Shea Weber (2G, including the game-winner, 5 SOG, 3 hits)
- Vezina: Henrik Lundqvist (W, 30 saves on 31 shots against in 2-1 win at Islanders)
- Richard: Shea Weber, Jason Arnott, Jon Sim, Dean McAmmond, Mike Fisher, Doug Weight, Jarome Iginla (2G each)
- Calder: Evgeni Malkin (G, A, 3 SOG)
- Aiken: Jaroslav Halak (L, 5 goals allowed on 15 shots against in 26:47 of work)