Monday, January 01, 2007

NHL Responds to the Rangers' Dirty Actions

The flu & injury depleted Caps lost a hockey game to the New York Rangers by 4-1 on Saturday night, but the score is the minor story from that game.

It all started with Brendan Shanahan instigating a fight with Donald Brashear because he thought Brashear was hassling Jaromir Jagr all night long. I have no doubt that Brashear, paired with Jagr all night long did get under Jagr's skin. Chris Clarke recently commented that Brashear is very good at doing that. According to Shanahan in the Washington Post today, Brashear gave him a chance to back down, but he didn't take it. Brashear got the best of Shanahan and on the way out, popped another Ranger's defenseman, Ward, in the jaw for talking at him as he was leaving the ice. Brashear was ejected and I sat there worrying about how long he'd be out. Fighting story, part I.

Fighting story, part II. With 4 minutes left in a game the Caps were going to lose, the Rangers Colton Orr decided to level Alex Ovechkin on an open ice hit. Ovie went down hard, but luckily, wasn't injured. Caps blue liner Shaone Morrison immediately went after Orr and received a 5-minute major, a game misconduct and an instigator penalty (because there was 5 minutes left to play).

The response of the NHL to this obnoxiousness from the Rangers means I don't have to write a letter to Gary Bettman. At times this season, the officiating against the Caps has been horrendous and teams have gotten away with murder. If the NHL wants their marketing superstar, Ovie, to stay on the ice it's a good thing they sent a message today. The NHL suspended Orr for 5 games, did not suspend Morrison or fine Hanlon and Brashear only got a 1 game suspension.

The Caps play shortly against the Phoenix Coyotes and appear to be sufficiently recovered from the flu.

Let's play some hockey Caps!

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