Because I tend to not blog on the weekends, here is a feature that will run through the entire season. It aims to recap the weekend’s events and boils those events down to one admittedly superficial fact about each team that played. And hell, there’s a ton of other crap for me to blather on about too. And yes, I’m totally ripping off just about every other blogger ever’s weekly column, but that’s something you’ll have to deal with on your own time.
Danger: This post contains language that some people might not like. This will be the only thing on the site that regularly does so.
Yeah, yeah, All-Star Weekend, right? Big to-do. What am I gonna say, “Boy that game sure was boring as piss, huh?” Well obviously. Who cares?
The most interesting hockey event of the weekend didn’t happen in the NHL, the AHL or even Major Juniors. Instead, that event is the gutless, appalling attack (there’s no other word for it) by Michigan State’s Andrew Conboy and Corey Tropp on Michigan’s Steve Kampfer late in the dying moments of Saturday night’s game, in which the Wolverines were beating the absolute piss out of the Spartans for two straight games.
Video’s after the jump if you haven’t seen it:
Fucking embarrassing. There’s no other way to say that. Conboy is a kid that can certainly goon it up (80 penalty minutes in 21 games this season) but this bordered on a Bertuzzi-on-Moore level assault. He punched Kampfer from behind and forcefully knocked him onto the ice, and then, as a horrid coup-de-gras Tropp, the one who got lit up cleanly, comes over and slashes Kampfer in the upper body while he’s down.
Kampfer, by the way, has a history of head and neck injuries, though I’m certain that this fact didn’t cross the peanut-sized minds of either attacker.
Somehow, Conboy got away with only a double-minor for roughing, while Tropp rightly got five for slashing, two 10-minute misconducts — one for shoving an official after the fact — and a pair of game disqualifications (three-game suspension, for those unfamiliar with NCAA rules). Incidentally, both are 2007 NHL draft picks. Conboy was selected in the fifth round by Montreal and Tropp in the third by Buffalo.
I know that there has been a lot of bitching about guys having to fight in the NHL this year as a result of clean hits, as though that’s some sort of deterrent to checking a guy cleanly, but this is insane. There’s an interesting breakdown over on MVictors that shows that perhaps even Conboy thought Tropp went too far. But in reality, and I really don’t have to say this, there’s no place in hockey for something like that, and it’s why hockey players get a reputation for being neanderthalic thugs with only a handful of teeth and fewer brain cells.
Both guys should be done for the year, at least. And the sad thing is that a suspension of that kind will likely never happen. Their coach, Rick Comley, should also be reprimanded, just like in the NHL when one of their guys gets an instigator penalty for starting a fight late in a game. There’s no way horseshit like this should be allowed to happen. Surely the punishment will be harsh, but unless they’re out for the remainder of MSU’s schedule, including the playoffs, it’s not enough. This was a deliberate attempt on the part of TWO individuals to seriously injure an opposing player out of frustration and anger.
I dunno, I’m not saying anything groundbreaking or shocking here (PLAYERS THAT DO BAD THINGS SHOULD BE PUNISHED !!!!) but this might be a reason to open the whole “allow fighting in NCAA hockey” argument once again. If they’re allowed to do it in juniors (it’s a one-game suspension if it happens in the final five minutes), why shouldn’t they be allowed to do it in the NCAA? Fighting as a deterrent. It works. And sure, the occasional guy slips into a coma and dies every 50 years or whatever, but if Conboy or Tropp had been able to legally fight Kampfer for his big hit, he might not have been sent to the goddamn hospital.
What We Learned
Anaheim — Watching the Skills Competition last night, it struck me that Ryan Getzlaf should really just shave his head at this point. Christ, dude, it’s getting out of hand. The hat didn’t fool anybody.
Atlanta — So the Thrashers have a half-off deal for EVERY TICKET IN THE RINK to a number of upcoming games. Hmm, this wouldn’t have anything to do with that whole “must meet the 14,000 per game” threshold to get NHL revenue sharing, would it? Naaaaaaaah.
Boston — Great article on Tim Thomas in this morning’s Globe. But the best part of Tim Thomas’ All-Star weekend was his conspiracy to help Marc Savard win the elimination shootout. Thomas made absolutely no effort whatsoever to stop his teammate’s shot late in the competition, but had this to say: “He had me completely fooled. That’s my story, and I’m sticking to it. That’s the one I’m taking to court. That he had me fooled.” If there’s a cooler person in the NHL than Timmy Thomas (I’ve got him tied with Ovie), I’d like to hear about him.
Buffalo — Pretty interesting salary breakdown over at Die By the Blade about the amount of money the Sabres have earned per goal this season. Think there’s any one-dimensional offensive player that’s earned more to score less than Max Afinogenov? Your thoughts on this please.
Calgary — This is a little old, but what the hell? Keith Aulie: not just a good hockey player, but a hero as well.
Carolina — Quite the pile-up for the bottom of the Eastern Conference playoff spots. Buffalo, Florida, Carolina and Pittsburgh all need to go about 20-15-1, and they’re battling for two slots. All the teams above them can get in with sub-.500 records (coughrangerscough) and teams like Toronto and Tampa need to go like 24-10-0, which obviously won’t happen. Personally, I’m pulling for Florida (the novelty) and Buffalo (the hilarity).
Chicago — Quote of the week goes to Martin Havlat for his quip regarding that guy that won a million dollars because of Havlat’s goal at 10 minutes even: “I’m happy for him,” Havlat said. “I think it was great. He had a better night than us.” The Blackhawks, of course, lost 4-1.
Colorado — Another reason to think Adrian Dater is a dink: he doesn’t have an enter key on his keyboard. Also, he owns a bichon frise. Nerd.
Columbus — I have no great interest in the Columbus Blue Jackets, normally, but Puck Rakers’ Cannon Fodder podcast is very good.
Dallas — It’s shocking that the two least-deserving Western All-Stars this year, Mike Modano and Stephane Robidas (honestly), came out of Dallas and somehow failed to do anything of interest in the All-Star Game. One assist, a minus-2 and one shot on goal (in a game that featured 102 shots) between the two of them. They should’ve sent Avery. That would’ve been awesome.
Detroit — Nik Lidstrom and Pavel Dastyuk, suspended for being injured. The NHL sure does a great job. So fucking stupid, that rule.
Edmonton — What’s more surprising, that Bruce Garrioch cooked up a stupid, baseless trade rumor or that someone actually had to say that, no, the much-publicized Lecavalier-to-Edmonton deal wasn’t going to happen? Lecavalier to the Oilers. Jesus Christ what a joke that is.
Florida — That Jay Bouwmeester sure is being magnanimous about the fact that he’s going to be on the first plane outta Miami come July 1.
Bouwmeester wouldn’t say whether he has made up his mind regarding free agency: “I’m not going to make any rash decisions.”
His father, Dan, told the New Times in November, “I know what’s going to happen, but I can’t be open about it.”
“Don’t listen to anything my dad has to say,” Bouwmeester said.
Whatever you say, J-Bo.
Los Angeles — Kevin Westgarth: Not happy to have been sent down…
Jesus, they let fights go on forever in the AHL, huh?
Minnesota — Further news from the “The NHL Doesn’t Get It” file: Kurtis Foster has to come back up to the big team soon, despite not being ready. Jesus, all the guy wants to do is play for Minnesota, and the league can’t guarantee him a couple extra minor-league games to make sure his BROKEN LEG is fully healed. Awesome job.
Montreal — It’s great that the Habs are having their 100th anniversary and all that, but did we need to stop the All-Star Game every five minutes to roll out some old guy? Not that the game itself was anything but painfully dull, but it didn’t need to be Honor a Guy That Used to Play in Montreal day. We get it, guys won a lot of Stanley Cups in a short period of time. Fine.
Nashville — What’s funnier: The Predators buying their own tickets to reach the aforementioned revenue-sharing threshold or the fact that the Coyoytes can’t afford to do it?
New Jersey — We are apparently like 33 days from Martin Brodeur being healthy again. Bad news for the Atlantic Division, no?
New York Islanders — They had to shut down DiPietro. Big shock. Only 13 years left on that contract though!
New York Rangers —Oh my god I agree with Larry Brooks on something. The Rangers spent their money stupidly a few summers ago. Also, the Beatles broke up and man walked on the moon.
Ottawa — With no fanfare at all, Martin Gerber was waived. And every team in the league passed on him. Can you believe it?
Philadelphia — Good news everyone! Smoking meth is BACK! *confetti* *fanfare* Now I won’t feel like such a creep when I smoke a ton meth at parties.
Phoenix — Jeff Shumway stepped down this week, but not for the reason you probably expected (gross negligence/bad at his job). The team just might be close to being sold, finally.
Pittsburgh — The person that had it the worst during this All-Star break was definitely Sid Crosby, who had to schlep to Montreal in order to NOT play in the All-Star Game. Yeah, gladhanding with the sponsors and answering dumb questions with boring answers was exactly what his injury needed. “Yeah I just need to focus on healing up and getting ready for the second half. We’re in the playoff hunt and we need to play our best hockey.” Thanks, Sid. Stay home next time.
San Jose — Dan Boyle had a hell of a goddamn All-Star game, that’s for sure. His seven shots tied Alex Kovalev for the game high and I thought he even made a couple (gasp!) nice defensive plays.
St. Louis — Speaking of great All-Star performances, Keith Tkachuk was the only player on either team to record a hit. The player he checked was that jerkoff Alex Kovalev. That rules.
Tampa Bay — Wyshynski had easily the best picture from All-Star weekend. I really hope he bought that jersey and wrote it off as a business expense. Yahoo’s not losing money, right?
Vancouver — What a bunch of crybabies. Waaaaaaah, our team has to fly a lot. Well I’ve discovered the reason why: you’re in goddamn Vancouver.
Washington — So THAT’S why they get along so well.
Play of the Weekend
I love Ovie with all my heart.
Gold Star Award
At the risk of being redundant: these two guys EARNED IT.
Next week’s game I’m totally going to watch on Center Ice if I’m home
Anything. I haven’t seen a real NHL game in what feels like six weeks. Lightning/Kings? I’m in, jack.
Event that should replace the shootout and would be just as relevant to hockey skill
Costume party !
Soccer update only I care about
Liverpool had a pair of 1-1 draws with fucking Everton this week, one in the Premiership on Monday and the other in an FA Cup match earlier today, and I’m furious over it. The fury, however, is a bit assuaged by this retardo play by Fernando Torres to set up Steve Gerrard’s tying goal early in the second half.
That is off-the-chart skill right there.
College hockey update only I care about
Lowell swept lowly Merrimack (no shock) and moved into sixth in Hockey East, just a point behind UNH and BC, and with a game in hand over the latter.
The No. 1 DVD I own and kind of want to watch this week but likely will not
I dunno. Confessions of a Dangerous Mind or something.
An update on last week’s “No. 1 DVD I own and kind of want to watch this week but likely will not“
Didn’t finish up Gladiator. Just didn’t have it in me, y’know? What a stupid goddamn movie.
Perfect HFBoards trade proposal of the week
The oddly-named HockeyIntellect11 brings forth this slew of proposals involving the Maple Leafs, none of which make the slightest bit of sense:
To Los Angelas: Jason Blake
To Toronto: Sean O’Donnell and Brian Boyle
To Pittsburgh: Tomas Kaberle, Nik Antropov, Alex Ponikarovski
To Toronto: Jordan Stall, Miro Satan, and 2nd
To Montreal: Pavel Kubina
To Toronto: Chris Higgins, Ryan O’Byrne, 1st
To NYR: Lee Stepniak
To Toronto: Aaron Voros, Petr Prucha and Bob Saguinetti
To New Jersey: Jamal Mayers
To Toronto: Barry Tallackson and 3rd
To Colorado: Matt Stajan
To Toronto: Chris Stewart and 2nd
To St. Louis: Vesa Toskala
To Toronto: Chris Mason and 2nd
I don’t think one of those teams would accept those deals.