Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Too Funny

Every time someone asks why I spend my time covering prospects I point to nights like tonight when emotional reporting overcomes objective factual reporting. Or in other words it was the Pittsburgh Penguins taking on the New York Rangers so some kind of silly drama has to come out of this game.

To wit, Jordan Staal receives a match penalty and the automatic game misconduct for "sucker punching" Brandon Prust

The Ranger fans swear that Brandon Prust was the victim of a cheapshot while the rest of "media" and hockey world calls what he did a dive. OK prove that he dove or prove that he did not dive.

See there is your problem only Brandon Prust knows whether or not he took a dive. Prust says he did not; what you were expecting him to go "why yes I dove because I knew it would help the team?:"

Here is a radical thought for people which is; sometimes you take one for the team if it gives you a badly needed spark. Lets be honest at that point in time the Rangers had blown a 2-0 lead allowing the Penguins to score 3 unanswered goals so yes the possibility does exist that Prust took one for the team.

Prust is a throwback player who you have to love because if the team needed someone to jump off a cliff to help them win; you can count on Prust to be the first one with his hand raised.

Taking that punch woke up the Rangers who went on to score the tying goal on the power play. You go right ahead and to say that Prust dove because the problem here is you forget that it was the action that was called.

Staal was thrown out for "intent to injure" because he threw a punch at an unsuspecting Prust. It was not called a fight, it was called an "intent to injure"

It does not matter if Prust dove or not; Staal broke Rule 21.1

A match penalty shall be imposed on any player who deliberately attempts to injure or who deliberately injures an opponent in any manner.

Staal threw the punch at an unsuspecting Prust, that is the call he was hit with by the refs. Even if Prust had remained on his feet the call is still the same; Staal threw a punch at an unsuspecting player.

In fact everyone who is pointing out how squeaking clean Jordan Staal is as a player is making the case for it to be a sucker punch. Prust was not expecting a punch from a guy who never throws one.

And while you are demanding that the NHL front office rescind the automatic one game suspension then let us ask you this one; had the roles been reversed and it was Prust who threw the punch how fast would you be demanding his head on a platter (nevermind how big the freak out if we were talking Sean Avery)?

The only thing that matters here is that Jordan Staal threw a punch at an unsuspecting player who had no way to defend himself. No matter how you want to spin it or twist it or explain it away it is still going to come back to the one key point:

A match penalty shall be imposed on any player who deliberately attempts to injure or who deliberately injures an opponent in any manner.

Nobody forced Jordan Staal to throw that punch but he did and should take the suspension that goes with it. It should not matter how squeaky clean Staal is, the rules are supposed to be applied equally.

Just because you "think" Prust dove does not get Staal off the hook. Heck I have my own doubts as to whether or not Prust dove but that does not matter since it was the action not the reaction that matters here.

The NHL really does not have enough evidence to support rescinding the suspension. How can they prove it was a dive?

Answer they can not so Jordan enjoy the night off.


Just one prospect in action on Tuesday night as Kirill Kabanov (2010 3rd) returned to the Lewiston Maineaic's lineup after missing the previous 2 games with an illness.

Kabanov scored his 6th goal of the season as his Maineaics defeated the Shawinigan Cataractes 4-2 for their fourth straight win.

Kabanov's goal came as he found a rebound right in the crease area and poked it past Shawinigan goalie Gabriel Girard at 6:02 of the first period. It gave the Maineaics a 2-0 lead at the time but eventually the Maineaics held on for the win.

Kabanov is now 6-10-16 in 22 games with the Maineaics.

(Prust/New York Rangers, Kabanov/New York Islanders)

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