Whatever caused gritty Washington Capitals’ forward Matt Bradley to hesitate a split second to drop his gloves, has resulted in a hefty four-game suspension for Flyers’ forward Dan Carcillo.
In the first period of Saturday’s Capitals – Flyers match up, with the game tied at one, Bradley attempted to wipe out Carcillo with a big hit. Taking exception, Carcillo, in a fury similar to Hulkamania, cross checked Bradley and squared up begging to fight. Bradley turned toward Carcillo and as the gloves fell off his hands, Carcillo had cocked his right fist and decked him with a right cross, knocking him out cold. Carcillo received 39 penalty minutes.
Flyers’ general manager Paul Holmgren disagreed with the punishment.
“Decisions come down from the league…do I agree with them all? No. I certainly do not agree with this one,” he said. “We do not have a lot of recourse in this situation. Dan will serve his suspension, and we will move on.”
The question looming is if anyone would be discussing the play had Bradley eaten the punch and continued the bout? Because Bradley was knocked out so violently, the words “sucker” and “dirty” pop up. Had Bradley continued the fight, wouldn’t Carcillo just be getting a “jump” like so many other pugilists try to get?
Considering his reputation and his uncontrollable demeanor during the play, Carcillo was going to get suspended. However, four games does seem a bit severe considering an almost identical play in the 2008-09 post season between Carolina’s Scott Walker and Boston’s Aaron Ward. Thinking Ward’s gloves were going to come off, Walker clubbed Ward, knocking him to the ice in a heap. No suspension was given.