Never A Shortage of Perps
So Raffi Torres got off scott-free. Will the same apply to Chris Kunitz and Steve Downie?
Unlikely, because while Torres didn't even get a lecture, both Kunitz and Downie have hearings with NHL authorities Tuesday morning after their actions in a nasty Game 3 encounter between Kunitz's Pittsburgh Penguins and Downie's Tampa Bay Lightning Monday night. You'd think both Kunitz and Downie would be facing suspensions.
But with the NHL, you just never know, do you?
Kunitz delivered a dirty elbow to the back of the head of Simon Gagne, and given similar cheap shots delivered recently by Dany Heatley and Brad Marchand, a two-game suspension seems likely.
But with the NHL, you just never know.
Downie, meanwhile, could really be in trouble. He raced down the ice, jumped and drove his shoulder into the chest/head area of Pittsburgh's Ben Lovejoy behind the Pittsburgh net. He was going to get a two-minute penalty, but the Pens went down the ice and scored.
What's interesting, however, is that four years ago while with the Philadelphia Flyers, Downie was suspended 20 games by the NHL for a flying shoulder to the head of Ottawa's Dean McAmmond. At the time, it was the fourth longest suspension in NHL history.
So that makes him a repeat offender, and the the hit on Lovejoy wasn't as reckless as that on McAmmond, but it was in the same ballpark. Then again, Monday's revelation that there is a "hitting zone" behind the nets in which head shots are apparently okay could work in Downie's favour.
But if Colin Campbell gave Downie 20 games before, what in the world does he give him this time? Maybe 21 games? Maybe one game?
With the NHL, you just never, ever know.