Blog Entry

Downie, Kunitz take game down ugly path

Posted on: April 18, 2011 11:56 pm
Edited on: April 19, 2011 2:16 am
The Pittsburgh Penguins and the Tampa Lighting alternated winning through the first two games of the first-round series.

On Monday, they exchanged cheap shots. 

Tampa Bay forward Steve Downie left his feet to take aim at Pens defenseman Ben Lovejoy six minutes into regulation. The collision resulted in a delayed penalty, although Max Talbot scored to negate it. It happened in a “hitting area,” which was NHL disciplinarian Colin Campbell’s reasoning behind not suspending Vancouver’s Raffi Torres for a Sunday collision, but I don’t think anywhere on the ice has a “launching area.” Here’s a look at the hit:

Midway through the first, it was Pens forward Chris Kunitz who tossed a fairly targeted (and sneaky) elbow at the head of Lightning forward Simon Gagne. Kunitz received a two-minute minor for elbowing. Here's a look at that hit:

Josh Yohe of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reports Gagne's thoughts on the hit:

"I'm sure the league will take a look at it," Gagne said. "We all saw what happened. He went right at my head. The ref asked if I was OK. You see it good on the replay."

Gagne said he was fine following the hit, despite his history with head injuries.

"I feel OK," he said. "That's the only comment I've got right now. You know the league is going to take a long look at that. We all know what the rules are."

The league is reportedly taking took more than just a look at both hits during Game 3, a tilt the Pens won, 3-2. Both Downie and Kunitz will have hearings over the phone with Campbell and other NHL officials on Tuesday, according to TSN
-- A.J. Perez

Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: December 16, 2011 5:42 pm
This comment has been removed.

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Since: Mar 24, 2008
Posted on: April 19, 2011 4:11 pm

Downie, Kunitz take game down ugly path

As I stated in another thread,Kunitz deserves to get suspended and as a Penguin fan I am furious at him... he is one of the guys we are looking to, to step up and make a difference with Crosby and Malkin out and what does he do??? turns goonish with a cheap shot...
Poor Show Kunitz Poor Show!!!
Downie on the other hand... this is expected... and Campbell had a chance to send a message and what does he do... one game??? what happened to the repeat offender??? 
Have to love the NHL... talking out both sides of their mouths...
Torres is another canidate for longer suspension... nope... 

Since: Oct 20, 2008
Posted on: April 19, 2011 3:11 pm

Downie, Kunitz take game down ugly path

One game suspension each is a joke.  Both hits were very serious, and intent-to-injure.  Downie is a colossal goon, whom everyone expects this sort of crap from.  Kunitz is a complete puss-y for going after Simon Gagne- if he'd been a real man, he'd have at least tried to cheap shot Downie, if not fight him.

The NHL disciplinary process is a sick joke.  No one wants to watch playoff hockey, if it becomes about injuring the best players.  Actual, written policy has been required to guide the disciplinary / suspension process for several years now, but no one in the NHL front office seems to care enough to get moving on it.  Maybe there'll be some motivation, once someone like Matt Cooke or Raffi Torres actually kills someone with a flying elbow.  Maybe. 

Since: Sep 11, 2006
Posted on: April 19, 2011 2:35 pm

Downie, Kunitz take game down ugly path

At this point, I don't even care what Kunitz's history is. That hit was so blatant and so ridiculously unnecessary that it's simply indefensible. I can't for the life of me think what he could possibly have to say in his own defense. There were no speed-of-the-game or quick-decision issues. They weren't in a pile or a scrum. There's nothing there but a bald-faced attempt to injure for no reason. And I'm 100% certain he knew exactly who he was hitting and he knew damn well about Gagne's concussion history. I don't care if he's won 10 straight Lady Byng trophies, that's a filthy play and should be treated as such.

But again, it goes even beyond what the league gives him. Lemieux made a big public show of challenging the league on their discipline on head hits. Either he meant it or he was just blowing smoke up people's a$$es. If he meant what he said, then he has to stand by it. And that means he has to come down hard on his own guys because that's the difference between being all talk and actually standing for something.

Since: Aug 1, 2007
Posted on: April 19, 2011 2:20 pm

Downie, Kunitz take game down ugly path

Kunitz and Downie get a game each.

Since: Mar 17, 2009
Posted on: April 19, 2011 1:48 pm

Downie, Kunitz take game down ugly path

I agree with shutting Cooke down for the year, he should be.....but Kunitz has been playing in the NHL for 10 years, and like most players that have played that long has some history, but he should get 2 games, which is what Campbell has been giving out for that type of infraction....Downie *left his feet* on a borderline legal play and has a history of such infractions, so he should get at least 2 games too.

Since: Sep 11, 2006
Posted on: April 19, 2011 1:45 pm

Downie, Kunitz take game down ugly path

The Downie hit, I'd say 5-6 games only because he got the 20 before and 5-6 playoff games translates pretty well to 20 regular season games. This really is the same hit. The hit on McAmmond may have been slightly more "late" but not significantly so. And both hits were in the same area of the ice - the "hitting zone" or whatever fantastic piece of tripe Colin Campbell is spewing now in an effort to make his suspension decisions seem like anything more than personal preference. Personally, I'd have given him 5-6 games for the McAmmond hit and 1-2 games for this one but since the 20 is out there, the bar has been set. To lower the bar for subsequent violations cheapens your discipline system and shows that you either (a) don't have the guts to properly enforce your rules or (b) are pretty much just going by the whims of your head-of-discipline. Of course, they ARE pretty much just going by the whims of their head-of-discipline so he'll probably get 1 game.

Since: Sep 11, 2006
Posted on: April 19, 2011 1:32 pm

Downie, Kunitz take game down ugly path

I think Kunitz should get more than 1-2 games for that. For one thing, Cooke got the entire rest of the season plus the first round of playoffs for his hit. True, he probably has more of a rep than Kunitz but to me the Kunitz hit is worse because it's so pointless and unnecessary. At least Cooke can claim he was trying to finish a check on a guy that just got rid of the puck. For another thing, Kunitz had Cooke's hit to learn from - meaning he knew the possible consequences and did it anyway. Then you have the Lemieux factor. Maybe it's unfair to say Pittsburgh should be treated more harshly on these types of things because of their owner's public outburst. But Mario put it out there and now he's got guys on his own team being the worst offenders.

Which brings up yet another point: If Lemieux has any credibility - any at all - he will shut down Kunitz and Cooke (assuming Pittsburgh gets by Tampa and Cooke becomes eligible for the 2nd round) himself. If Lemieux really means what he said, here's his chance to prove it. He doesn't have to wait for the league to hand out messages here, he has the power to do it himself. So what's it going to be Mario? Do you have the stones to stand behind what you said? Can you make a hard, unpopular decision to suspend your own guys and show that you really were serious about cleaning up the game? Or were you pretty much just whining to anyone that would stick a microphone in front of you?

Since: Sep 11, 2006
Posted on: April 19, 2011 1:12 pm

Downie, Kunitz take game down ugly path

Burgh Boy

Actually, I've been a Flyer fan since the late '70's since you asked. One of my oldest memories (unfortunately) from watching hockey is seeing Bernie Parent take a stick in the eye and end his career prematurely. I've seen highs and lows as a Flyer fan; have never actually witnessed a championship that I was old enough to appreciate; saw one of the gutsiest playoff performances by any team from the 1986-87 Flyers; watched as one of the most famous trades in hockey history - the Lindros deal - put them back on the hockey map after several down years; then watched the best player in that trade - Forsberg - win a Cup elsewhere; and last year I watched them go to the finals and fall short for the sixth straight time.

The Flyers have been a part of my life for a long time. And I've played hockey most of those years, too, until recently (trying to shake the rust off to hopefully play again this fall). If I were a "Flyers fan since 2010 idiot", I'd probably have Richards or Carter or Giroux as my avatar. The fact that I have Bill Barber up there should have given you a clue. Given your avatar - Roberto Clemente - I gave you the benefit of the doubt as far as how long you've been a fan. My comment to you was more in the spirit of good-natured-ribbing (as that's how I read your reply to me). But you can't deny that your team has had a lot of "fans" crawl out of the woodwork since you got Crosby and Malkin and went from last-place to Cup contender. I would think that would annoy the crap out of die-hards that have stuck with the team through thick and thin.

Since: Aug 20, 2006
Posted on: April 19, 2011 12:56 pm

Downie, Kunitz take game down ugly path

I think Kunitz should get at least a game if not 2, and downie should get 2-3 games. i would say they should get the same but downie has a history of disciplinary action. both hits were dirty and those comparing it to torres' hit(which i think he should have got 1 game) is downie left his feet and not just slightly left his feet. it wasn't as bad as his hit that got him 20 games as the puck was in the general area on this one and being playoffs # of games will be less for an equivalent suspension.

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