January 07, 2011
Via Kukla, here's Ben Eager(notes) of the Atlanta Thrashers sucker-punching Colby Armstrong(notes) of the Toronto Maple Leafs late in the second period of their Friday night game. At the time, the Leafs had a 5-1 lead; after the power play they received for this match penalty, it was a 9-1 lead.
Eager's penalty was at 17:05 of the second period. During the 5-minute major, the Leafs received a goal from Nikolai Kulemin (18:00) and two goals from Clarke MacArthur (19:14 and 19:49) in the second; and another from Phil Kessel(notes) at 1:32 of the third period.
Amazingly, the Leafs' other power-play tally in the first period from Mikhail Grabovski came with Eager serving a double-minor for cross-checking and roughing in the first period.
Normally, on a night this good for the Leafs, we're inclined to make some kind of snarky "Plan the Parade" joke. But seriously: One in honor of Ben Eager's stupidity might be in order.
Question is: Will the NHL administer some supplemental discipline, or was serving as the catalyst for this bludgeoning enough justice?
Armstrong, who had his right eye completely bandaged after the game, called Eager a "meat head."
"[Armstrong's] one of the biggest phonies in the league," Eager said. "He's done his fair share of dirty stuff in the league and he'll never answer the bell. What goes around, comes around. I'm sure some day someone will catch him with his head down."
Thrashers coach Craig Ramsay said he did not condone Eager's actions. The forward could face a league suspension for the match penalty.
"We don't condone anything," Ramsay said. "We want our players to play hard. We want them to play physical with body checks and fight for the puck. We can't condone that."
"Meat head"? Accurate, sure, but who knew Colby's best insults were Archie Bunker circa 1973?