In the NHL rulebook, it states that any player engaging in entertaining naughty activity in the final moments of a game can be suspended and the coach of the team be fined. For the Flyers, it was Daniel Carcillo with the one-game layoff and coach John Stevens with the 10k fine.
In the final minutes of the final period in game one of the playoff series against the Penguins, Carcillo took a faceoff against Maxime Talbot. Down 4-1 and frustrated, Carcillo’s right glove contacted Talbot’s head. Talbot fell to the ground like he was obliterated by the hammer of Thor. No penalty was given, but a suspension followed.
Rookie Luca Sbisa will take Carcillo’s place as a forward, because Kimmo Timonen and Randy Jones are banged up and did not practice.
Now “sending a message” is a long time staple of the NHL playoffs. Whether you’re a fan of the Flyers or not, anyone who knows hockey will agree. The Colorado Avalanche – Detroit Red Wings battles in the 90’s are a perfect example of rough, entertaining postseason hockey. It’s emotional, it’s mean and the winner takes all.
Well, not anymore.
Part of what makes playoff hockey the most intriguing postseason in all of sports, is the blood, guts and fists. It’s doing more to run through your opponent than they will do to run through you. But with the excessive touch penalty calls in all of Thursday’s matchups, the NHL is further wussifying the sport by taking out the physical and passionate nature of the game.
The day of the playoff grind is over. Rivalries are watered down and instead of a war, the NHL has created a battle of special teams. And it will turn even more hardened but wary NHL fans away.
The freeze-frame evidence is courtesy of phillysportsforums.com
Your sport is dead