Saturday, September 29

Oil 4, Vancouver 5 - Are you kidding me?

"My name is Rick Rypien, and I'm a douchebag."

Either Rick Rypien has been living in a cave (he does make the league minimum), or Colin Campbell didn't quite send the message he thought he did. Once again another fringe player (see 'bad') sends someone off on a stretcher. This time it was Oiler defenceman Mathieu Roy. I haven't seen the hit yet, and by all accounts it wasn't as bad as Downie's, but from what Tencer, Morley and Rod said, Rypien skated from his own blueline and buried Roy in a vulnerable position in the Oiler zone. As Tencer said, there was "just as much stupidity," in this hit. Rypien received a 5-minute major. I'm sure he'll have plenty of time to contemplate his NHL suspension while he's riding a bus in AHL.

Herein lies the problem with incidents like these. Are the Flyers ever going to call up Steve Downie knowing he can't play? When the Canucks need an injury call-up, why would Rypien get the call when he's carrying a suspension? In addition to suspensions, the NHL needs to hit these guys where it matters - in their wallets. Fine these morons wherever they play. Ridiculous - as if I needed another reason to hate the Canucks.

Alain Vigneault said it shouldn't have been a penalty. Okay fuckface, remember those words when someone puts one of your little Swedish girls head-first through the advertising. Even Rypien admitted it was a penalty. Shut your mouth and pray your goalie doesn't tear his groin, because your team is shit. this thing on? Alright, anyway...

Is this what the pre-season is going to become? Are coaches going to be scared to play their established players for fear of some two-bit clown taking their head off?

From a hockey perspective, suddenly having 9 NHL defencemen on the roster isn't quite the burden it was 24 hours ago. Roy has had a history of concussions, and is certainly touch-and-go to start the season. MacT said he'll probably go on IR, meaning the other 8 guys will probably stick.

Other thoughts:

- Gagner and Cogliano were both very good again tonight, and I'm sure the focus now switches to trying to get Gagner signed before opening night.

- Oilers sent Jeff Deslauriers (G) down tonight, with other cuts coming later in the week. No comment on Anson Carter, which means MacT hasn't had time to tell him to pack his shit.

Downie Gets 20. Bettman: "We Can Do That?!"

POS Steve Downie is drinking his career through a straw tonight, after the league- and by that I mean Colin Campbell- handed him what is effectively a ticket to the fourth line of the Philadelphia Phantoms by way of a 20 game suspension. The only way this could be any better for civilization is if the suspension was for 1000 games, and that it had to be carried out on Mimas, one of the moons of Saturn.

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Reaction was mixed around the league tonight, ranging from "Hooray!!" to "Phew!!". Campbell, desperately trying to prove that the only thing he's done in life is play hockey, said, "Downie crossed the line, and he crossed the line in a whole-heartedly way." thereby hitting the English language as bad as Downie's hit on McAmmond. Even Flyers GM Paul Holmgren knew the term of the suspension was warranted when he said, "We respect his (Campbell's) position and his judgement in this case." and, "We will live with it." Say, Stevie boy, that's not exactly a ringing endorsement from your boss, is it?

That's all fine and good when the guilty player is a fourth line rookie/nobody like Steve Downie. But what about when if the player is a superstar, someone the league doesn't want to get rid of, like Chris "Where the Elbow Meets the Skull" Pronger? Will the league be as hard handed in meting out it's punishment then? Let's see...looking into the future...yeah...yeah, it's coming clearer... No. The answer is no. The league is trying to send a message to undeserving, expendable players, and they just hope that guys like Pronger hold off as long as they can before they decapitate a guy, forcing the league to make, OH GOD! A decision!

To get a little extra perspective on this, please send the kids from the room and cast your eyes on this horror show from 6 months ago:

Suspension for that, 3 motherfucking games. Cam Janssen, a guy whose career NHL stats are these:

DEVILS 95 / 1 / 0 / 1 / -5 / 205

I was going to put in a longer version of the hit from the Devils game coverage featuring the usually excellent Doc Emerick and the clearly retarded Chico Resch, but it was getting me too pissed off. Resch is such a typical broadcast homer, and in the clip he tries to say that the reason Kaberle is leaving the ice ON A STRETCHER is because after the hit, his head hit the boards. That's like saying that the reason the person died in the car crash is because they went through the windshield, not because they were hit head on by the drunk driver.

So the wait is on before the next Blow to the Head/Game Brawl/Howls of Outrage/Colin Campbell Press Conference. Let's remember all that's been said in the past few days, and see how it compares then. In other words, see you next week!


I had to wait one day. See above.