Takes and trash talk from both ALL sides of the NHL's most obscure PATHETIC* rivalry

* Thanks, Kevin Lowe!

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Ducks Gameday—Playing without any CPs

St. Louis Blues (29-31-11, 14th in west) at Anaheim Ducks (40-25-8, 4th in west)

Damn, I had to change the text from his last two suspensions.

So the verdict is in: 8 games for Stompy. As such, the Ducks will be playing the next eight without either of its CPs: Corey Perry, a victim of Jose Theodore’s skateblade, and Chris Pronger, a victim of his own. I guess this can be the reaction post: Was it enough? Too much? Dead on?

Schedule-wise, that will mean Stompy will be eligible to return on April 6, the last game of the Ducks’ season. Three full weeks for Pronger to repent his sins, heal his jaw, and focus his anger for the playoffs. I have to say, even had Pronger been able to play, I’m not sure catching the Sharks for the Pacific lead was feasible, not at the rate they’re winning, so I think (sadly for the haters) that this works out pretty well for the Ducks. Carlyle still has the sixsome of Niedermayer – Beauchemin - Schneider - O’Donnell – Huskins - Bergeron to rely on, which I think is more than fine.

Up front without Perry, it’s going to be up to guys like Getzlaf, Selanne, and Kunitz that will have to consistently produce points, and Weight and Bertuzzi must do their best to not suck. Bobby Ryan’s been shelved on the fourth line in favor of Marchant, but I think he’s gotta step up and get in the offensive mix. I can be patient so long as Marchant does his best Perry impersonation (3 straight games with the opening goal, all of typical nonsense Marchant variety), but I’m not sure how long this lucky streak can last. Maybe it can hold out until St. Patrick’s Day.

I totally forgot that the Ducks were playing today; I misread the schedule and thought they were playing tomorrow. It’s an easy mistake for a Ducks fan to make, as this will be the 2nd Saturday night regular-season game in Anaheim in the last two seasons—they hosted the Avs on a Saturday last season, too.

Let's get lucky, Ducks!

Side story: I asked my dad, who’s twice as Irish as I am, what his plans were for St. Patty’s Day, and his response cracked me up. “I’m not usually that social on St. Patrick’s Day, or on New Year’s Eve, for that matter. Too many amateurs.”

Prediction: Ducks have won their last eight games at home, and their last four games without Pronger. I think when Pronger got suspended last playoffs, it helped the Ducks get an “us vs. the world” mentality that really helped them overcome; let’s hope they find that again. Ducks 5, Blues 3, in Anaheim’s last non-Pacific game of the season (can I mention again that I love the schedule this year?). Goals by Marchant (can he dare do it again?), Bergeron, Pahlsson, and Selanne x2.

Go Ducks.


Grace said...

Got a rare chance to watch the game tonight. Good to see the Ducks pick up a couple of points before the Pac Div extravaganza.

Earl Sleek said...

Interesting comments from Hayward on the suspension, essentially that Pronger may have gotten automatic games added because it was his third suspension in 18 months.

Kind of silly: a punitive measure that applies here but when a guy gets suspended two weeks apart, he can still get just one game each time.

Black Dog said...

That line is an oldie but a goodie Earl.

We went to our local last night sfter our own game - its a little pub run by twin sisters from Cork. A real Irish pub not one of these cookie cutter corporate types. That was My St. Patrick's Day right there. Girl from Belfast pouring us a couple of pints of Guinness, some talk with her and a fellow at the bar about travelling in Ireland.

I'll make a stew today and we'll have it tomorrow.

Actually was in Dublin for a week a few weeks ago - highly recommend it whether you have Irish in you or not.

Anyhow, back to the Ducks. I would say eight games is ballpark. Chris Simon is the guy who got screwed in all of this as he wonders how the hell he got thirty games for what pretty well amounts to the same thing. Oh well, Colie Campbell wheel of justice.

I agree with you Earl, I don't think they were catching the Sharks anyways but this ices that. I don't think they are going to fall apart but if they end up behind the Stars that means they will likely have to win three tough series all starting on the road.

I wouldn't bet against them but they'll likely need a break or two. Of course you can say that about any contender really.

Earl Sleek said...

Sounds fantastic, Pat. I've never been to Ireland, but it's on my list of "when I get motivated" places to see.

I've been a bit troubled with the "Simon incident = Pronger incident" comparisons. I'll agree Simon took it hard, but aside from the similarity of the accusation, there's some big differences in what the NHL had to act on. In Simon's case, there was a stoppage in play, and an on-ice official separating Simon and Ruutu--thus an eye witness, and a stronger case of intent. Pronger's suspension was entirely reliant on a slowed-down, focused video feed and no real witness, and the action took place in the course of playing speed.

I wouldn't bet against them but they'll likely need a break or two.

Right now, here's been the two breaks the Ducks have been getting in (mostly) Perry's absence:

Todd Marchant, Rob Niedermayer, Sammy Pahlsson, and Travis Moen: four games ago (the game Perry got hurt), this foursome had a combined 17 goals on the season. In the last four games, they've added another 8 goals to that total.

Keep that up, checking all-stars, and I won't be missing Perry at all.

Black Dog said...

Earl, I will give you the difference between the incidents. If it were not Pronger (by that I mean that he has a lengthy rap sheet not that he is Chris Pronger) I would be a little more inclined to consider it an accident or part of the play.

But you look at the history, which of course the league did, and it becomes a little less grey, imo.

Yeah, I think you would love it over there. I was there for work but it was pretty easy going. Got out evenings and I was there over a weekend, for which I was free. Had a list of fifteen old pubs I wanted to hit and I got to eleven of them. Plus another four on the side.

Damn, it was a good time. Baby due in July so that's the last one for a while.

I never bet against the defending champs if they look like they are in form and imo the Ducks look to be in form. Home ice isn't everything but I think they'd want that first round at least and hope that either Detroit or the Sharks get whacked in the first round. Going through Dallas, San Jose and Detroit might be a little much.

They do that they have to be recognized as a great team, I would say.

Bryan said...

Definitely a good game. Selanne was flying. Legace fell apart in the 3rd after playing pretty well. Guess Getzlaf needed 3 empty nets to score a goal.

As far as the suspension its pretty fair, anything that doesn't include missing playoff games, I don't really mind, since I've accepted that Ducks will not win the division. I can't really comment on Pronger's non Duck suspensions, but I thought the 2 last year were less a result of Pronger's dangerous play and more a result of other fluky occurences. In the Detroit game Niedermayer's simultaneous hit and in the Ottawa game McAmmond ducking into his elbow. I agree that looking at past incidents is definitely helpful to infer intent and guilt, though courts of law prohibit it, I think it can be useful. But because the NHL made bad calls in the 2 playoff suspensions, at least one of the suspensions should not have occurred, take your pick, it resulted in Pronger looking worse in this hearing. I think Kessler's actions definitely played a role as his tying up definitely contributed to the situation. I always thought Simon got shafted in the stick incident because no one ever looked at what Holweg (however u spell it) did.

The problem lies in the fact that the NHL is inconsistent. The NHL should make up their mind and decide if they will suspend a player for their actions or for the injury sustained.

Anonymous said...

Pronger got suspended last year in the playoffs twice and it didn't matter they won anyway. So unless Pronger gets suspended and the team suffers because of it his dirty play will never end.I don't see the difference between the Simon play and Pronger's The same intent apply's and since they both have a long rap sheet of dirty play why wouldn't Pronger get the same suspension? This is getting ridiculous wont the league put there foot down with him? why is Colin Campbell such a pussy?
here is a list of his suspensions:

March 15, 2008 - With Anaheim, eight games for stomping on the leg of Vancouver F Ryan Kesler.

June 3, 2007 - With Anaheim, one playoff game for hit to the head of Ottawa C Dean McAmmond.

May 15, 2007 - With Anaheim, one playoff game for elbow to the head of Detroit F Tomas Holmstrom.

March 14, 2004 - With St. Louis, one regular-season game for kicking Calgary F Ville Nieminen.

April 3, 2002 - With St. Louis, two regular-season games for cross-checking Dallas F Brenden Morrow.

Oct. 11, 2000 - With St. Louis, one game for leaving bench for altercation for Atlanta F Kelly Buchberger.

Dec. 17, 1998 - With St. Louis, four games for high-sticking Phoenix C Jeremy Roenick.

you tell me do you think he has a history of violence?

Earl Sleek said...

wont the league put there foot down with him?

Cute choice of words.

You can read about why Simon and Pronger got differing suspensions from Campbell's own mouth over at Russo's Rants, but I think there's plenty of reasons why their suspensions should differ:

a) Evidence. Without the YouTube, the Kesler camp has nearly nothing. Without the YouTube, the Ruutu camp still has eye witnesses, including the on-ice official trying to separate Simon from Ruutu.

b) Intent. Pronger's was a split-second reaction to a hockey play, which makes it tough to assign premeditation. Simon's was during a stoppage of play and a line change; there was nothing split-second about it. Plus the fact that Simon had to go through an official to get to Ruutu.

In the end, it's possible that Simon and Pronger did the same act with the same intentions, but there are enough differences I think to warrant a different reaction from the league. People seem to be in love with the notion that since both incidents involved the unfortunate term "stomp" that they should be equivalent, but I have yet to hear a reasoned explanation as to why that is.

Morbo said...

Hazy and Ahlers were talking about the shut down line, and how in every series, they outscored the #1 line they faced in last yr's playoffs.

Seems April is their favorite time.

I'm glad we're getting a look at MAB. He looked great on the rush, decent on the PP (looked a little nervous with the puck), and just "okay" in the d-zone. Although, anything right now for me is better than the 5 gazillion turn overs Beach commits every game. The number of obscenities I yell watching each game is exponentially tied to the number of time Beauch turns the puck over about 2 feet next to the net. ugh

Anonymous said...

Your arguments of evidence and intent are ridiculous...If a tree falls in the woods and no one is there to see or here does it not happen? Wether or not something done with vile intent during a stoppage in play or while play is going on makes no difference the action is still the same.

Earl Sleek said...

Like it or not, the league has handed punishments considering intent. Why didn't Justin Williams get a suspension for putting his stick in Koivu's eye in the '06 playoffs? It's the same action as a suspendable one, but since it was a follow-through, the league lets it slide.

I suppose we could try to suspend anyone for playing a dangerous high-stick, but that would be silly, wouldn't it? Sometimes crappy injuries happen because of the nature of the high-speed, high-impact game, and they shouldn't all be suspension-worthy, I'd think.

Anonymous said...

1)You're right I don't like it and however whiney it sounds Simon has every right to be pissed off because by giving two players different punishments for the same action is preferential treatment.

2)You are going to compare an accidental follow through, with an intentional stomp with a skate blade to a another player with obvious intent to injure.

Normally I agree with many of of your theories but this one I think you have to stop being such a Homer and admit that you as a fan are lucky Pronger got off with special treatment and is aloud to come back right before the playoffs, so that the team isn't affected by his absence. I'm not saying that 8 games isn't a bad punishment it's that it isn't an equal or effective punishment. this does nothing but allow him to rest up for the playoffs it isn't going to detour him from being a dirty player.

Earl Sleek said...

Simon has every right to be pissed off because by giving two players different punishments for the same action is preferential treatment.

Simon should be pissed off, but I don't think both should be at 30 games. It depends on whether you want to judge one second of action or ten, but I think there's other aspects of Simon's incident that aren't present in Pronger's. He's fine in complaining; I don't think he's fine in suggesting the league should have gotten to the same number of games in both cases.

You are going to compare an accidental follow through, with an intentional stomp with a skate blade to a another player with obvious intent to injure.

No, that wasn't the purpose. I was using a follow-through as an example to the previous anonymous commenter that intent does matter in suspensions. Pronger's foot is definitely a separate matter, though one in which intent is tougher to establish than in Simon's.

I think you have to stop being such a Homer and admit that you as a fan are lucky Pronger got off with special treatment and is allowed to come back right before the playoffs, so that the team isn't affected by his absence.

I'll admit to being a homer, but the rest you'll just have to pretend I said.