February 01, 2009
While one of the biggest topics in hockey of late has been what to do with fighting after the Don Sanderson tragedy, the debate may shift back to dealing with head-shots after Los Angeles Kings’ defenseman, and previous offender, Denis Gauthier’s vicious blow on Montreal’s Josh Gorges.
Gauthier, who is the nephew of former World Wrestling Federation character, The Mountie, was given a game misconduct for doing his best “Macho Man” Randy Savage impersonation. He’s now suspended indefinitely until the National Hockey League’s hockey operations department reviews the play and hands down a ruling. After his sucker-punch on Buffalo Sabres forward Patrick Kaleta went unpunished, there is no way that Gauthier gets off this time scot-free.
The rest of the matinee between Montreal and Los Angeles was quite eventful. The Kings held a 3-2 lead late into the third period until Chris Higgins, in just his third game back from injury, was in a football mood, what with this being Super Bowl weekend, and put a swim move on Drew Doughty as he went in to score the tying goal.
Shockingly, both players saw the move in different lights:
"You've just got to try to get ahead of (Doughty) there, you know, you've got to throw the elbow out and try to get your shoulder ahead of his shoulder so you can cut to the net," Higgins said. "I just knocked him off balance there a little bit. I saw the poke-check coming so I put it over his shoulder."
Doughty was surprised Higgins wasn't penalized on the play.
"I thought it was pretty obvious that he kind of stuck out his arm and just threw me back there, but they didn't give us the call, obviously, so we've just got to forget about it and come back hard next game," Doughty said.
Just under two minutes later, Saku Koivu would punch in the eventual game-winner for the Habs and break Los Angeles’ three game winning streak en route to a 4-3 victory.