March 01, 2009
Eye-gouging ... the phrase just gives you the willies, doesn't it? It's something that earned Steve Ott a match penalty for intent to injure last night in the Dallas Stars' game against the Anaheim Ducks, as he eye-gouged Travis Moen in a late-game melee:
Ott has been suspended indefinitely by the NHL without pay, pending a hearing with discipline czar Colin Campbell. Although his valiant effort against a large number of foes may make him a favorite in the 2010 Royal Rumble ...
"You don't like it when a guy eye-gouges you after a fight," he said. "You know, I guess he felt he had to eye-gouge me. I don't know. Maybe it wasn't intentional. Maybe he was just trying to get at me, and was pulling, and got my eye or whatever."
The battle took place after Ott was cross-checking Anaheim defenseman Scott Niedermayer while trying to score the tying goal in the final seconds of the game. As soon as the horn sounded, Anaheim goalie Jean-Sebastien Giguere slashed Ott on the leg and then wrapped him up and appeared to punch him. Moen then rushed in to fight Ott. Both players dropped their gloves, but Ott could not throw a punch because he had a broken bone in his right hand.
"It's tough when you get jumped and you're trying to defend yourself as best as you can," Ott said. "You can't really fight with a cast on. I don't want to get suspended for that, and also I don't want to hurt my hand in a losing cause. That stuff happens, it's just part of the game. I'm sure the league will take a look at everything and it will sort itself out."
The Dallas Stars Blog made a fantastic point in the aftermath: Where were the Stars players to help a teammate with a broken hand getting a one-on-five beat-down?
This hit by Boogaard of the Minnesota Wild on Brandon Prust of the Calgary Flames earned him two for roughing and two for boarding on Friday night. It also earned him a five-game suspension from the NHL:
As Hockey Wilderness asks, "five games?" It does seem a little excessive for a player that's now serving his first suspension.
Finally, it's Steve Downie time again. Playing for the Norfolk Admirals of the AHL, the former Philadelphia Flyers tough guy could be facing a 20-game suspension for "physical abuse of officials" in a game on Saturday. From the Hershey Bears Web site, via FanHouse:
With the BEARS leading 5-4, Chris Bourque was tackled from behind as he tried to shoot into the empty net, and was credited with his 15th goal at 19:46 although the puck never entered the net. HERSHEY took a 6-4 lead on the goal and essentially clinched the victory. Norfolk forward Steve Downie then returned to center ice for the face-off and slashed linesman Mike Hamilton across the right shin. Referee Jeff Smith assessed a game misconduct on Downie for physical abuse of officials under ruler 41.2 category one. The ruling calls for an automatic 20-game suspension. Norfolk has just 21 games remaining.
Wow. No video of the incident has surfaced yet, but ... wow. Good thing Downie wasn't also telling a sex joke at the time, or else that would mean mandatory anger management from the NHL, too ...
The game, which seemed so well in hand for the Admirals, came apart at the seams as Hershey scored three times in the final 3:03 to earn a 6-4 victory. Butters said when Downie and Joudrey lined up for a faceoff, the Hershey player was yapping. Butters said Downie tried to, with authority, smack the stick of the Hershey player on the faceoff and ended up firing the puck sideways into the Norfolk bench.
"The linesman was really not even part of this," Butters said. "The centerman across from (Downie) was yapping at him. "(Downie) went to swipe at the stick. He swung in a downward motion and hit the puck. The intent was there to hit the puck. He may or may not have clipped the official's skate."
AHL spokesman Jason Chaimovitch said the league will have no additional comment until it sees video of the incident and renders a decision. He said that may not happen until Tuesday.