The Detroit Red Wings are famous for being one of the cleanest teams in the NHL, with just two game misconducts in 82 regular-season games and no suspensions.
Whatever voodoo spell they cast on their players evidently doesn’t travel well. Witness Justin Abdelkader of Team USA, launching himself into Vladimir Sobotka of the Czechs in a medal round IIHF world championship game on Thursday.
Abdelkader protested the call, but received a five-minute major and a game misconduct for it. It was a game-changer.
"The turning point was obviously when their captain took the penalty and we were able to score two goals," said Czech head coach Vladimir Ruzicka. "After that we focused on our neutral zone trap and most of the time we did that OK."
It’s a hit Abdelkader didn’t need to make. He could have gone full body check on Sobotka and been done with it. But he launched himself, and that’s probably going to cost him a suspension.
Make that, a second suspension. Abdelkader was already banned for a game earlier in the tournament for a kneeing minor. So expect this one to be a tad more severe.
Abdelkader needs to watch his hitting. Remember this one from the playoff last year on Toni Lydman?
Peter Laviolette said after the USA loss to the Czechs, eliminating them, that Abdelkader doesn't have a reputation as a dirty player. But give him points for trying …