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Kris Letang gets nose broken, scores game-winner

Nov 26, 2011, 10:30 PM EDT

Sidney Crosby came into his first road game of the season with most of the hype, which isn’t surprising considering his connection to the Montreal Canadiens. A different Pittsburgh Penguins All-Star ended up being the focal point, though, as Saturday proved to be Kris Letang‘s night.

The first major moment came when Max Pacioretty likely broke Letang’s nose with a hit that is almost certain to get a look from Brendan Shanahan. (“Dr. Mark Recchi” will likely smirk when he hears that Pacioretty finds himself on the other side of a controversial check.)

That happened in the third period, but as wobbly as Letang looked after bleeding all over the ice, the telegenic defenseman got his revenge in overtime. Habs fans will likely complain that the play should have been whistled dead, but Letang snatched a puck from underneath Carey Price and fired it into Montreal’s net, giving Pittsburgh a 4-3 win.

In other words, the game packed plenty of excitement wrapped in controversy. So, let us know how you feel: does Pacioretty deserve a suspension for that check, which wasn’t penalized? If so, how long should he sit? And will he make eye contact with Zdeno Chara at imaginary Controversial Check Club meetings?

  1. jaybaileys - Nov 26, 2011 at 11:08 PM

    Letang was following through on his shot. If Matt Cooke makes that hit its a 5 minute major and probably a 5 game suspension. I’m a Pens fan but thought it was a cheap shot. It wasn’t the only call they didn’t make during the game. There was a sequence in the first where Staal got tripped and then Letang cross checked one of the habs and they called neither of them. They definitely could have blown more whistles, including the game winner in OT.

  2. icetheoffice - Nov 27, 2011 at 12:07 AM

    If we follow the Brendan Shanahan procedure:

    After entering the offensive zone, Letang skates to the middle of the ice and shoots the puck. On the follow through, Max Pacioretty steps up in anticipation of making a hit. He does not deliver a full body check to Letang. Instead, he delivers an illegal check to the Penguins player since the principal point of contact was the head and/or face. We know that there was an injury from the result of the play (broken nose). If Shanahan believes this is violation of rule 48.1, then Max should be suspended. I don’t believe that Pacioretty is a repeat offender. Therefore, I anticipate he will receive a 2 game suspension because of the hit.

    It will be a big issue considering what happened last season with Pacioretty being a victim of a vicious hit from Boston’s Zdeno Chara.

  3. theolgoaler - Nov 27, 2011 at 12:23 AM

    One goaler’s take… Yes, Pacioretty will be suspended; because he is not a “repeat offender”, the suspension will be 1 or 2 games; and Max will leave the freakin’ room if/when “Big Z” enters…

    What is so hard about “try to hit your guy in the chest with your shoulder“??? (Yeah, yeah, “speed of the game/yada/yada/yada”… poppin’ a guy on the beezer does seem to be against the spirit of the rules…)

  4. sfbookreviews - Nov 27, 2011 at 1:58 AM

    God I love hockey. In baseball, guys go on the DL with a hangnail. In hockey, a guy has a pin placed in his broken nose and scores the game winner a few minutes later. Awesome.

    As for said game winner, as a life-long Pens fan I can say I was surprised the whistle didn’t blow. It sure seemed like the puck was frozen long enough. And the ref certainly couldn’t see it from where he was. But, I’ll take the 2 points.

  5. pastabelly - Nov 27, 2011 at 2:32 PM

    What did Cooke get for ending Marc Savard’s career? Nothing!!!!!! Pittsburgh has no right to complain about anything, especially Lemieux. Lemeieux has been the biggest whiner about cleaning up the game and the two faced exec employs Cooke. Nice to see Cooke clean up his game. But the damage he has done is not reversable. Pacioretty is a dirtbag. But complaints from Pittsbrugh are a bit of a joke.

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