Things got nasty in more than one game last night as the Maple Leafs went head-to-head with the Carolina Hurricanes and the Dallas Stars and Boston Bruins kickstarted their bout with three fights in four seconds!
Another thing that riled up Dallas players was this illegal head hit on the part of Boston's Daniel Paille on Ray Sawada. Word was just handed down that Paille recieved a four-game suspension for this ugliness. HM was appalled to hear Bruins coach Claude Julian defend this hit (while Paille's team mate Andrew Ference boldly proclaimed the hit as a "bad hit"). Meanwhile, Bruins forward Marc Savard is still undergoing tests related to several hits he recieved a few games back that may have resulted in further concussion damage and may prematurely end his career. You'll recall that Savard's initial concussion was a result of the same type of blindside hit blow dealt by Pittsburgh's Matt Cooke. Personally, I am in agreement with Ference when it comes to calling it both ways regarding dirty head shots. Here's what he had to say about the issue (with a little dig at Sidney Crosby):
“It’s a bad hit, right?" said Ference. "You hear it from every player after they do it, they feel bad, and same thing, I talked to Danny [Paille] and he feels bad.
“You can’t be a hypocrite about it, though. I’ve thought about this a lot and had plenty of time to put things in perspective over the last year. Sidney Crosby has been very vocal about the head shots and blindside hits since he suffered one in the Winter Classic, but what did Crosby say after Cooke hit Savvy last year? Nothing.
“I thought a lot about that. You want to be a good teammate, but you shouldn’t be a hypocrite about it.”
Here's the hit:
Meanwhile, I'd like to see the Capitals come out against the Lightning with a lot of piss and vinegar tonight. Who knows if a few fisticuffs at the opening face off may provide that much-needed spark? HM isn't sure what the lack of spark can be attributed to, but Storming the Crease says the team needs a culture change if they want to recapture last season's winning ways.