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03-07-2008, 03:38 AM
Seth Lake
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In reaction to the Tootoo hit, sorry, but it was no where near as bad as the VAN telecast made it out to be. That reaction was purely based on reputation. However, Tootoo is screwed because you are always responsible for your stick and he did hit Bourdon in the head with two hands on his stick.

That being said, Tootoo attempted a "push off" move prior to fighting Bourdon because Bourdon came at Tootoo with one hand on his stick at head level and hadn't yet dropped the gloves. Tootoo, and other Predators, have been told repeatedly by the league that regardless of the intentions of the opponent coming at cannot simply throw a punch (gloved hand or not) without proper procedure. Jordin saw Bourdon coming in and he was simply attempting to follow procedure with the "push off" move (ie: the cross check w/o viciousness) and was then going to drop the gloves and fight. Unfortunately Tootoo's stick hit Bourdon's shoulder pads and rode up his chest to his face at which point Bourdon turtled and it was all over.

I have been watching hockey for almost 20 years now and no one can tell me that this move is unique to Tootoo. Players have been doing it for years and many follow the "push-off" with a slash which clearly did not happen here.

I say he gets three games (but wouldn't be shocked if he got 5). But he doesn't deserve it (anything more than 3, he will be suspended) and Rypien should get the same for going straight for Koistinen's head on the hit that immediately preceded and initiated this. I think the NHL will rescind the game misconduct for boarding, but will suspend Tootoo for the stick incident.

That all being said, this game really reminded me of watching the VAN-COL game at GM Place prior to the lockout that lead to the Bertuzzi-Moore incident. In that game too the referees failed to make the calls necessary throughout the game to establish control and stop the b_______t before it happened. Tonight we saw Tootoo get boarded at center ice, Bonk have his head bounced off the glass after getting boarded behind the net, Koistinen receive a head shot, and no penalties on any of these...then they make a reputation based call on Tootoo (boarding, not cross check) to try to regain control far too late - way after the game was out of control - and a massive brawl was bound to happen. The referees assigned to the game should be reprimanded by the league.

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