A Carolina Hurricanes blog with occasional news about the rest of the NHL.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Lindy Ruff has "seen enough"

Remember what I said the other day about how the Sabres would have Jochen Hecht healthy for the start of the playoffs?. In case you missed it, here's my statement, which now looks like a bit of an inadvertent jinx:
The bad news is that they'll start the "real season" without any momentum. The good news is that by then, they will have Teppo Numminen and Jochen Hecht back in action. The even better news is that their first round opponent is likely to be Philly, who they have beaten all three times they have played thus far this season.

That all changed on Monday night. It appears now that Hecht will go back on the injured list with another strain to the MCL in his left knee. He already sat out nine games with a strain to that same MCL.

The injury came as a result of a controversial hit from Darcy Tucker. There's a little backstory to it as well. Midway through the third period of the Leafs-Sabres game on Monday, Mike Griere (intentional misspelling with a tip of the ole ballcap to Sabre Rattling for that one) absolutely crushed Tucker with an aggressive, legal hit. Tucker got up, and went after the wrong guy. He went right at Hecht, making knee-to-knee contact while simultaneously grazing Hecht's head with his forearm. Hecht took offense and went for a retaliatory hit on Tucker. In the process of doing so, he picked up a high sticking penalty. Hecht did not have to be helped off the ice,but has re-sprained the ligament and will miss the remainder of the regular season.

Lindy Ruff was in an outrage after the game. He repeatedly called the lack of a kneeing or intent to injure penalty against Tucker a "joke". He also threatened to put Colin Campbell on speed dial.
"I haven't called the league once. I'll call them ten times tomorrow."

I don't know how many times Lindy called, but the answer he got was that there would be no disciplinary action taken.

I've seen the replay a dozen times maybe and I actually have to say that the knee-to-knee contact might not have been intentional. Clearly, though, he intended for the blow to Hecht's head to be more than a graze. In my opinion, he was absolutely going for the head there. Had he actually connected, I'm sure there would have been disciplinary action taken. But then again, maybe not.

You may recall a game on December 27 when Tucker ripped the helmet off of New Jersey's Cam Janssen and proceeded to bludgeon Janssen with it. Tucker somehow avoided any meaningful punishment, getting away with a $2,500 fine. That's something akin to a $10 parking ticket to you and me.

What I don't get is how in the world Tucker mistook Hecht for Grier. Maybe it's just me, but I tend to think that Grier is unmistakable.

I haven't heard Ruff's response to the ruling, but I'm sure he'll have some more choice words.

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