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Bruins should make Pens pay – legally

Mar 18, 2010, 1:00 PM EDT

bruinspens.jpgLet’s face it: the Boston Bruins and Pittsburgh Penguins have too much to gain from a win to allow tonight’s game to devolve into a shameless slug fest (or worse).

The Bruins have a slight lead on the New York Rangers for eight place in the East, but if they lose tonight’s game and our Game of the Week they’ll be in trouble. Once again, the Penguins lost to the Devils last night and therefore were booted out of first in the Atlantic division.

With Colin Campbell planning to be in attendance, you can bet that refs are going to be trigger happy with their whistles. So, instead of going over the line for the sake of enacting Hammurabi’s Code, the Bruins should instead gain revenge by taking a high road unfamiliar to Matt Cooke.

The Boston Herald’s Ron Borges makes this point by saying that the Bruins should make things miserable for the Penguins stars (not Matt Cooke) – but should do so legally. (H/T to Kukla’s Korner.)

Hit the Penguins legally every chance you get. Make a point of putting the wood to their best players, Crosby and Malkin. Forget the fighting unless they want to do it in the parking lot where everyone can get a little leverage because their skates will be on the locker room floor and not on their feet.

Now, this is the kind of “punishment” I can get behind. In fact, this – rather than James Wisnewski’s shameful hit to on Brent Seabrook last night – is the way that hockey justice should be reached. As Brandon pointed out, the league has had its problems with people putting a “bounty” on a player’s head (see: Bertuzzi-Moore).

No doubt about it, the spotlight is on this game tonight. Let’s hope that the only black eyes will be on the players’ faces, rather than the game as a whole.

  1. john galt - Mar 18, 2010 at 2:32 PM

    Let’s imagine for a moment that Cooke and some Bruin goon square off in the first minute of play. Bruin’s player gets into it real good with Cooke but ends up throwing a wild punch that misses, twists, turns and fall face first onto the ice knocking himself out and gaining a 2nd. degree concussion in the process. Then what do you do? Send out another guy to fight Cooke until it is Matt Cooke laying on the ice unconscious?
    For three weeks everyone talked about how great the hockey in the Olympic games was, then what a great final match, then for the past week it has been nothing but talk about hits, broken bones and cheap shots—way to NHL.

  2. David Sanchez - Mar 18, 2010 at 2:56 PM

    I agree with the previous comment by John Galt… the Olympics were insanely fun to watch and I don’t think that there was a single questionable hit through the entire tournament. This means that it is entirely possible to play without these controversial hits occurring once or twice per week.
    I also think that immediate-icing calls would cut down on a lot of the hits against the boards while chasing after the puck for a touch-up.

  3. capsfan - Mar 18, 2010 at 5:58 PM

    The Penguins take their best shots just after the play has ended. Watch the film. They’re almost always taking some quasie-cheap shot that’s not “illegal” as a play ends. Check out the stuff away from the main play. They’ve mastered it. Maybe that’s why they’re champs. When they played the ‘Wings for the cup, when the guy for the ‘Wings returned to play from a concussion, they actuallly had someone whack him in the helmet with their stick two or three times a period. Adams slams Ovie’s head into the boards(actually from behind)and no penalty- let alone suspension. Guess he was strong enough not to lose his edge or break his collarbone. Cooke just got carried away with what they do a lot of. Boston may not win every game, but, once in a while you have to make a point, hopefully with style.

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