Mar 14, 2010, 7:30 PM EDT
Who would have thought that Alex Ovechkin wouldn’t be the only star involved in a dangerous hit today? This time, the star was a victim, as Sidney Crosby was on the receiving end of an indefensible slew-foot from noted degenerate Steve Downie.
(Video of the dirty “figure four leglock” like maneuver can be found at Kukla’s Korner. Thanks to mlse of Pension Plan Puppets and DCCheapSeats of Japers’ Rink for passing the video along simultaneously on Twitter.)
The good news is that although Crosby left the game briefly, he did return. Then again, that might just allow the incident to be brushed under the rug, so maybe it’s only marginally good news.
This has been an awful – but not particularly abnormal – few weeks for the league when it comes to bad hits. Simply put, the NHL doesn’t do enough to deter the kind of reckless disregard players sometimes display for each other. Funny enough, there were quite a few stories about Steve Downie receiving something of an “image makeover” filtering through the media lately. In fact, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette published this regarding Downie today.
Steve Downie began to make a name for himself in hockey years ago.
For launching himself into Dean McAmmond of Ottawa in a preseason game in 2007, giving McAmmond a concussion and earning a 20-game suspension.
For cross-checking and fighting junior hockey teammate Akim Aliu in practice after Aliu declined to participate in a demeaning hazing incident and knocking out three of Aliu’s teeth in the process.
For slashing minor-league linesman Mike Hamilton in a game, picking up another 20-game suspension.
Downie, playing for Tampa Bay, can’t change history, but he is altering his image a bit.
Well, so much for that. This kind of despicable behavior is becoming an epidemic in the NHL. The worst part is that – if he’s even suspended – Downie will just come back next week, wait a few months and then do something horrible again.
Sorry folks, but I’m getting tired of seeing this garbage. Hockey can be played without this nonsense. If this is what results from “consistent” suspensions, then sign me up for widespread chaos.
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