Saturday, March 10, 2007

Simon Gets 22 Games

Today, the league held a hearing with Chris Simon for his reckless baseball swing which connected with Ryan Hollweg's jaw in Thursday's 2-1 Ranger win. The NHL handed down a 22-game suspension to the Islander, which means he's done for the regular season and out for the first round of the postseason if the Fishsticks make it.

I'll be honest and say that I felt what Simon did deserved the gate. An early vacation until the Fall where the tough guy would have to attend Anger Management courses before applying for reinstatement.

That said, I believe the suspension handed down by the league is sufficient enough. Of course, had Hollweg suffered serious injuries, there's little question that Simon's season would've been over. That might've factored in here. Still though, it's good to see that the NHL handed out a stiff penalty. There's no place in the game for what Simon tried to pull.

Our Isles writer Rob asserted earlier that Hollweg's hit deserved a boarding penalty. Sorry buddy but you are wrong in this instance. I heard one Fishstick fan say the same thing on WFAN the other night and also read it from my broadcast partner and co-host Gary Harding. But if you took your rose colored glasses off and watched the play closely, Ryan hit Simon from the side as he played the puck. That isn't boarding or any penalty whatsoever. If it's from behind, then you'd have a point. But that wasn't the case.

Bottom line. It was hockey. Unfortunately, Simon lost his sense and reacted poorly. You can't make it about that here. I've seen some Isles fans doing that and it's just as embarrassing as the morons who were applauding Simon's near criminal act behind the glass. If the situation was reversed, I'd come down just as hard on the team I support. This was as bad as it gets for the game.

Responding also to what you said about Jed Ortmeyer, that's one of the most inaccurate things I've ever seen anywhere. Ort is a third line energy player who plays the game the right way. Maybe you should check how many times he's been in the penalty box (seven minors in 27 GP). If you need further evidence, check out his career stats. Ort does play physical but never cheapshots anyone. He hustles all over the ice and is a valuable penalty killer, playing his role well.

As for Marek Malik, it wasn't a crosscheck on Ryan Smyth. He pushed him down. That btw is what defensemen (even Big Bird) were taught to do. Take out the man in front. Sadly, sometimes that's called a penalty in this new wussy NHL which makes it very difficult for defenders to legally play against players in front. Malik was just doing his job. The same one you see rugged vets such as Brendan Witt (115 PIM) and Sean Hill (88 PIM) doing. Those guys can mix it up a heck of a lot more than Malik but you'll never see me complaining about it because being physical is a vital part of the game.

You want to complain about how Sean Avery plays the game, go right ahead. He's a pest and drives the opposition nuts, playing the game on the edge and frequently opening up his big mouth (even more than Slick Rick). But he does play hard never taking a shift off and was badly needed on a roster that was way too soft. Teams need those kind of players. As for Colton Orr, ha. He's an enforcer. No more. No less.

And with that, I said my piece. Enjoy your easy win against the Crapitals later.

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