Saturday, October 18, 2008

Apparently, I'm Code illiterate

That's according to Georges Laraque, who said after the game he didn't expect Kurt Sauer to drop the gloves with him because "he's not a heavyweight." He added that choosing to fight Tom Kostopoulos after turning him down wasn't a violation of any Code, it was just good, common sense.

Which is exactly what Sauer said, with refreshing candor.

"He's a big guy, a tough guy," Sauer, 6-foot-4, 225 pounds, said of Laraque, 6-foot-3, 253 pounds. "I'm not even in his league, I'm not even close."

From the way the eventual fight did go down, it appeared that Kostopoulos wasn't exactly in Sauer's league either, but that didn't stop him from fighting, now did it?

Sauer, by the way, had nine career fights entering Saturday's contest according to hockeyfights.com, and he's previously taken on guys like Brad May, Bryan Marchment, his current captain Shane Doan and Jason Wiemer.

To be fair, the fight against Kostopoulos was his second of the year, and only his third in the past two years. He racked up seven of his 10 career fights in his first two years in the league when he was playing for Anaheim, where fighting is manadatory.

The more important matter of Andrei Kostitsyn's health wasn't cleared up much after the game by Guy Carbonneau, but he did say that he saw him when the game was over and that "he was doing better." That means Kostitsyn wasn't immediately taken to hospital, which has to be considered a good sign.

Sauer refused to say whether his hit was clean or not because he hadn't seen the replay, but he didn't think he got his hands up on Kostitsyn (I'm pretty sure his opinion will change on that once he does see a replay).

But Doan was pretty unequivocal in his description of the play.

"That's a perfectly clean hit, absolutely clean," Doan said, adding that Kostitsyn went into the boards awkwardly, which is why he got hurt.

There was a lot of "it's a part of the game" clich├ęs being thrown around in the Coyotes dressing room, but Carbonneau obviously doesn't share that opinion.

"I don't know if it's dirty," Carbonneau said, "but they're trying to eliminate blows to the head and that was a blow to the head."

Carbonneau added that he would like to see if the league will discipline Sauer, but if I were him I wouldn't hold my breath waiting for Colin Campbell to hand down a suspension because, as I've stated already, Sauer didn't break any rules.

For the sake of the reputation of the league and the game, I really hope I'm wrong on that one.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

it would seem 'cleaning' up the game to increase scoring (ie eliminating clutch and grab by handing out two minutes like kleenex) is more important than blows to the head which have cost many exceptionally talented players seasons at a time if not their careers. shameful.