Let’s expand a bit more on the call heard round the Carolinas Saturday night during the Carolina Hurricanes match up against the Tampa Bay Lightning. Why you ask? Number one, I’m still seething about the terrible call made on Brandon Sutter. Or should I say the lack of a call made on Steven Stamkos. Number two, it seems many folks, Caniacs and others, feel the same. Number 3, I hate that the media is either ignoring this, or insinuating that Sutter mowed down Mathieu Garon on purpose.
Here’s a little snapshot of Mr. Sutter:
-He averages 17:31 minutes of ice time a night. The last five games he’s averaged 29 shifts per game
-During this season, he’s taken only 16 minutes of penalties in 65 games played
-Hits: 2011-12: 43, 2010-11: 69, 2009-10: 55
-Sutter has just three marks on his NHL fight card. None have been this season.
My point in all this? Sutter is a lover, not a fighter. Well…he’s at least not one to take silly penalties or intentionally set out to hurt another player. And he’s also not a pushover, Sutter can get physical when it’s required. I must reiterate that Brandon Sutter probably could have avoided Garon had Stamkos not interfered. Perhaps the NHL officials need a refresher course on Ice Hockey Penalties. I’d be happy to start with this courtesy of Dummies.com:
Interference: When a player interferes with or impedes the progress of an opponent who does not have the puck. Also assessed to a player who deliberately knocks the stick out of an opponent’s hand or who prevents a player who has dropped his stick (or any other piece of equipment) from picking it back up.
Why else I ask, would Steven Stamkos have gone to Sutter after the incident, to keep his fellow Bolts away from Sutter and to see if he was okay?
A scary moment came out of Canes practice today when Chip Alexander tweeted that Sutter was not at practice. Ever dramatic our Chip. He tweeted shortly after that Sutter was on premise for an off-ice workout. Coach Kirk Muller assured the media (and the fans!) after practice that Sutter was okay, taking a “maintenance” day and would be playing against the Washington Capitals. Do they have a punching bag in RCI? Perhaps we should make sure that’s available for our Canes.
It’s unfortunate that a poor call decided yet another Hurricanes game this season, especially when the points are so sorely needed. It’s also unfortunate it happened to such a normally cool headed, stand up guy like Brandon Sutter.
And with that, it’s time for this Caniac to move on.