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

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Steve Downie at it again

What will become of this latest misdeed by Steve Downie? On Saturday, early in the third period, the Flyers were leading the Leafs 2-0. A tussle was about to develop, but the linesmen separated and restrained Steve Downie and Jason Blake. Downie went ahead and punched Blake anyway, leaving a huge welt under his left eye.

Of course you remember that Steve Downie was the first of five Flyers this season to receive supplemental discipline from the league. He was suspended for 20 games during the preseason for his vicious hit on Dean McAmmond of the Senators.

After four other Flyers had committed transgressions, the league essentially told them to mind their Ps and Qs for the rest of the season. They were told that from here on in, they would be under close watch and that the coaches, general manager and the organ-eye-zation itself would be punished if they crossed the line again.

Is this "crossing the line"? Sure. One linesman had Jason Blake restrained. The other did a very sloppy job of trying to restrain Downie, and the waste of space threw what can only be construed as a sucker punch at Blake.

A week and a half ago, Sean Avery of the Rangers did a very similar thing to Andrew Ladd of the Canes. Ladd now has a broken orbital bone. Specifically, if you're scoring along at home, it was the zygomatic bone.

I was under the impression that there was an automatic one game suspension for such a thing, but Avery was given none.

Colin Campbell has made it perfectly clear that he didn't want to see any more monkey business from the Flyers.

Under other circumstances, this would be looked at by the league and there would be a maximum of one game suspension. However, this might be different. Given that it was this particular player on this particular team, we might see something more severe. This player has already shown a propensity for reckless play. The team has been warned about patterns.

I'm usually wrong about these things, but I'll guess that Downie will get a three game suspension by the league and that the team will give him a one-way ticket across the parking lot to the Phantoms facility. I'm guessing that nothing will happen to John Stevens or Paul Holmgren, but that Colin Campbell and Gary Bettman will say something like: "We warned you about reckless play from your players, and one of them has done it again. We're not happy about it, but we can't hold you responsible for the actions of one player. However, we're totally not kidding. Next time, we'll make you sit in the corner for five minutes."

We'll probably find out sometime late Monday or early Tuesday.

What do you think will happen?

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