Blog Entry

Kunitz, Downie suspended one game apiece

Posted on: April 19, 2011 2:10 pm
Edited on: April 19, 2011 2:12 pm
 

The verdict is already down on Steve Downie and Chris Kunitz from their Game 4 elbows to the head. Each player will be suspended for one game .

In Game 4, the Lightning's Downie flattened Pittsburgh's Ben Lovejoy on the boards behind the net. Lovejoy clearly wasn't aware of the hit coming and it came up high, a very dangerous combination.

A little later in the game, Kunitz threw a clear and undeniable elbow at the head of Tampa Bay's Simon Gagne. He was penalized on the play two minutes for elbowing. While the damage potential wasn't incredibly high, the intent is what matters here, and there's little way to say there was no intent to throw an elbow to the head.

The decision comes down a day after the NHL elected not to punish the Canucks' Raffi Torres for a questionable hit on Brent Seabrook of the Blackhawks, who will miss tonight's Game 4 in Chicago.

The hits are exactly what the league has been trying to eradicate in recent years. It's been a touchy subject with a lot of gray area, but anytime it seems clear there was an intentional shot to the head, the suspension is likely to follow.

In the playoffs there seems to be an uptick in the amount of the big, dangerous hits, something you can likely attribute to the playoff brand of hockey, a more physical and intense brand.

-- Brian Stubits

Comments

Since: Apr 10, 2008
Posted on: April 19, 2011 8:00 pm
 

Kunitz, Downie suspended one game apiece

Now let's see if Mario Lemieux wants to put his money (and playoff chances) where his mouth is. He railed on and on about how soft the league is on head hits, well here's his chance to do something about it
Since when has Lemieux " railed on and on" about headshots? The statement Lemieux made was about the suspensions handed out to the Islanders and had nothing to do with headshots.



Since: Apr 21, 2009
Posted on: April 19, 2011 7:58 pm
 

Kunitz, Downie suspended one game apiece

has mario picked his puck up yet and wee wee weeeee'd all the way back to frenchy canada land yet?



what an elbow. i mean dude, try to at least disguise it next time. 



Since: Apr 21, 2009
Posted on: April 19, 2011 7:58 pm
 

Kunitz, Downie suspended one game apiece

has mario picked his puck up yet and wee wee weeeee'd all the way back to frenchy canada land yet?



what an elbow. i mean dude, try to at least disguise it next time. 



Since: Mar 30, 2011
Posted on: April 19, 2011 6:08 pm
 

Kunitz, Downie suspended one game apiece

It certainly is not the job of Mario Lemieux to hand out discipline to players. But I think the point that Dennista is trying to make is that if Mario felt so strongly about the issue and decided to speak out about it, then he should maintain his strong stance with actions. Ofcourse he wants his team to win, and taking a player like Chris Kunitz out of the lineup makes that harder to do; so it is unrealistic to expect that he do so. However; I do find it quite hypocritical to speak out so strongly about the way an issue is handled by the league, and then when a situation comes up where you can make a statement about the issue, you don't. It's like speaking out about global warming and fuel emissions, and not buying a hybrid.

With regards to the infractions themselves, I personally thought the Kunitz hit was worse than the Steve Downie or the Raffi Torres hits. The reason for this is that it was a very obvious attack at Simon Gagne 's head. There was no other reason to stick his elbow out like that other than to drive it into his head. Downie may have left his feet, and it was obviously a charge and unneccessary. However, it isn't clear that his intent was to target Ben Lovejoy 's head. He was clearly trying to deliver a bone-jarring hit...however his intent may not have been a head shot, which is what the big issue is in the league right now. As for the Torres hit...he had Brent Seabrook in a very vulnerable position, and definately could have let up more (I think he did a little bit), but his elbows were down and he definately didn't target Seabrooks head. It's a penalty...but I felt as though the right decision was made by not suspending him.



Since: Apr 19, 2008
Posted on: April 19, 2011 5:13 pm
 

Kunitz, Downie suspended one game apiece

HA!!! Clearly I got to you a little if you are referencing it...And you are completely missing the point M-O-R-O-N....It shouldn't have to be Lemieux's job to do anything... It's Colin Campbell job....If he got this right when this all started happening then there wouldnt be an issue.  THere will always be questionable hits...Deal with it and quit complaining...A Flyer fan of all people should know this...Clearly you hold some kind of grudge against Mario..probably because you were upset all those times he schooled Ron Hextall in net...Then again...you probably were just a dream in your daddy's pants those days...Filthy garbage! Go Pens!



Since: Sep 11, 2006
Posted on: April 19, 2011 4:47 pm
 

Kunitz, Downie suspended one game apiece

lucky,

I'm sure you think you can upset me with your pathetic little jabs at the Flyers. I assure you, you can't. To both you and Pete, the Lemieux thing is very simple. I don't care what is said behind closed doors. Lemieux made the issue public. Very public. He challenged the NHL and called out the league. He didn't say "I agree with the league's stance on punishing head hits", he openly called it soft - meaning he thinks the current level of NHL discipline is insufficient. Well if that's what he thinks then he should do something about it when he has the chance. He can't suspend other teams' players but he can suspend his own. If he really meant what he said, that's what he would do - set an example and show that the game is more important to him than a playoff series. And this would actually be the perfect time to do it because his team does have a recent Cup to fall back on. If he's not going to do what's necessary to police his own team - which he clearly hasn't since his team still continues to deal out head shots - then how is he not being hypocritical?

And lucky, just because this is only a message board doesn't mean you HAVE to act like a moron.



Since: Apr 19, 2008
Posted on: April 19, 2011 4:15 pm
 

Kunitz, Downie suspended one game apiece

And the only thing we need to know about the Flyers is 1975 FOREVER:)



Since: Feb 19, 2011
Posted on: April 19, 2011 4:06 pm
 

Kunitz, Downie suspended one game apiece

What the heck was Kunitz thinking when he did that last night? Especially given what has already gone on with the Isles game, and with Matt Cooke's nonsense. It's baffling. Downie is a low-down s%it a** dirty player anyway, so that was no surprise, but the Kunitz play is really disappointing. Fortunately, it was only one game.



Since: Aug 28, 2006
Posted on: April 19, 2011 4:06 pm
 

Kunitz, Downie suspended one game apiece

Lemieux suspended Cook for the first round of the playoffs so I dont wanna hear that he's a hypocrit.
Wow, another Pens fan that knows nothing about their team or hockey. Surprising!



Since: Dec 7, 2008
Posted on: April 19, 2011 3:56 pm
 

Kunitz, Downie suspended one game apiece

Why would Mario punish Kunitz any further than the NHL did? That would be holding his team to a different standard than the rest of the league and that is not fair. Yeah, yeah then he shouldn't have opened his mouth, right? Well, he's trying to make the NHL better and he would gladly accept any punishment the NHL handed out as long as the rest of the league has to play by the same rules. Please think before you post.

Kunitz deserved the game, no question. Downie deserved the game too though. He launched himself and hit up high. Plus his reputation, he deserved the game. I would gladly allow Downie to play if Kunitz got to play too, but since one is gone, they should both be gone.



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