The Carolina Hurricanes have been called a lot of things by a lot of people. "Dirty" has never been one of them. Prior to this season, the last time a Hurricanes player was handed an NHL suspension was in the 2002 playoffs. Suddenly, in the last four games, two Hurricanes have been suspended.
Scott Walker was given a one game suspension for headbutting the Senators' Mike Fisher.
Against the Leafs last night, Craig Adams was penalized for high-sticking Alex Steen late in the third period before the Leafs' monumental collapse. As I watched the game, I wondered why the call was "high sticking" rather than "cross checking". It was a high hit, and it was to the head. The league is doing its part to make sure hits to the head are kept to a minimum. Today, the league handed Craiggers a two game suspension.
However, Luke Decock wants to know (and so do I) why that player was singled out. In the first period of that game, Nik Antropov clipped Erik Cole in the face, opening a cut. No penalty. Occasionally, the refs miss stuff, but even the Leafs announcers wondered where the call was.
In the third, Alex Ponikarovsky (who would later become the goat) checked Chad "Sharpie" LaRose from behind into the end wall, giving him a concussion. No penalty there either, but the ref was right on top of it and let it go.
At some point in the first period, "Avi" Tanabe suffered a concussion, but nobody knows how or when. I assume he concussed himself when he considered actually hitting someone.
Both Tanabe and LaRose failed baseline tests and did not travel with the team. This is not good news. The Albany River Rats have the flu. Got that? The whole team. Has the flu. They won't be of any help. Just yesterday, they themselves called up seven players from the ECHL Elmira (NY) Jackals. The Jackals are somehow affiliated with the Columbus Blue Jackets, but ECHL affiliations are loose at best.
The River Rats can ill afford to be without any of their players -- they already have THIRTEEN players out with flu or injury -- but Carolina will be missing two forwards and possibly will continue to miss Rod Brind'Amour with the flu. No moves yet, but I'm itching to get a look at RW Jerome Samson who has 18 (11/7) points in Albany or LW Brandon Nolan (son of Ted), who has 21 (10/11). Neither have made their NHL debut, but both are playing better than Keith Aucoin and Dave Gove.
The suspension isn't that much of a surprise, but the news of two concussions was unwelcome. Carolina does not have enough healthy extras to fill those voids. Someone is gonna get a call from somewhere.
3 years ago