I just got back from Toronto. I was at the Cleveland-Hamilton game. It was my first visit to Copps Coliseum and first time to see the Bulldogs at home. I have seen them a few times in Grand Rapids as I live 3 hours from there. I was sitting 10 rows up in the corner where it all took place. The play started when Hamilton iced the puck. Perezhogin was chasing the Cleveland guy from behind and was hooking him from behind trying to get around him. Great speed allowed him to touch the puck first and negate the icing. They tangled a little behing the net, but Perzhogin managed to break free from the check and try a wrap around with the Baron holding on. They both went down right in front of the crease. The Cleveland guy, and you'll have to excise me for not knowing his name as I never saw his number and am not familiar with their team, got up and was watching the play at the far board. Perezhogin got up slowly and looked dazed. I didn't see anything dirty or anything that might look like he would have gotten hurt. But he just put his hands together and let go with a big baseball type swing at the guy. To me it was like slow motion as I wanted to yell "don't do it", but he cracked him real hard. I thought he hit him in the upper arm or shoulder, but the Baron want down and was laying on his side kicking his feet. Two Cleveland guys jumped Perezhogin and started pounding on him. When they were pulled off, both trainers came out. They had to help Perezhogin off. I'm not sure if he was hurt from the play in front of the net or the punching he took. But going off the ice the whole Cleveland bench was yelling and pounding the boards with their sticks. The injured player was down for a good 20 minutes while they tied him onto a stretcher. I could see him moving his legs and his right glove was off and you could see him moving that hand. Finally after about 10 or 15 minutes they took his left glove off and he was moving that hand as well. The place was dead silent, but when they finally wheeled him off the crowd gave him a standing ovation. Whta i didn't know until then was that their was a pool of blood about 1 foot in diameter in the crease. I couldn't see it when he was down as there were at least 5 doctors huddled around him. As far as the swing itself it was not a tap or jab like McSorleys, but a full 2-handed swing. In my opinion as a Hab fan, it was a lot worse than the Bertuzzi incident as well. If he would have connected with his head he might be dead now. It sure looked from my viewpoint that the stick at least hit the shoulder area as well. I haven't seen any replay or read the paper as I am now back home. The game itself was a travesty. I've seen hundreds on games in the old "I" and seen some vicious things but this game was as bad as any I've seen. Besides this incident, there were 5 other fights. Cleveland really went after Gratton and in th second period layed a hit on him that put him in the dressing room for a few shifts. It looked like he was favoring his shoulder. Then when he came back, he and Murray as they were skating off for a line change stopped at their door and then started skating at each other like they were going to go. Then in the 3rd with the game 3-0 and Hamilton on a power play, Murray charged Gratton as he was fighting for a loose puck and crosschecked him into the boards. Gratton got up and then had a nice battle. The linsemen broke it up before Gratton was ready to quit and almost threw the linseman to the ice trying to get free. He did a lot of finger pointing at Murray and was yapping at the bench as he skated by on his was to the dressing room. They were all on their feet giving it right back to him. Also in the 3rd period Ferlund crashed a Baron into the corner boards and opened a cut above his eye. Not sure what Ferlund's injury isbut he was wearing a face shield like Begin wore after he he came back from his check on Bergeron. Well anyway while the Cleveland guy was being attended too, the players were all milling around and then a Baron skated by and nudged Ferlund, then all the players gathered around him and he got a few face washes. Another incident happened in the third period. Hamilton was attacking into the Baron zone when over by the Bulldog bench 2 Cleveland players were taking turns crosschecking and Face washing Higgins. Finally with the puck in the Cleveland zone, the ref blew the whistle and the linesmen went over to break it up. While that was going on, the players were skating back to center ice and Gratton skated behing a Baron and took his feet out. Then there was Carpentier. After a whistle he and a Baron stood face to face in front of Cleveland's bench and started hitting each other in the shins with their sticks. I thought that was going to get ugly intil both dropped their sticks and got in the classic boxer poses. After about 15 seconds they finally started swinging. The final incident was with Dwyer. He had made a couple of runs at people and missed them during the game. One time it about shook the building. Late in the game while Cleveland was attacking he went after a Baron defenseman and takled him and they rolled into the corner in front of me. I couldn't belive he did it as the only other person around was Murray and he skated over and jumped on top of the pile and was just hammering him. Finally Shaefer the goalie came over to join. Every body else was up the ice in the Hamilton zone and they all came charging down. Damphousse saw what was going on and he also came charging down and he and Shaefer danced a little but the ref was right there warning them not to go.
So all in all a pretty wild game. I expect more Sunday in Cleveland, especially with the Barons and Gratton. Surely will be a good game to listen too. Sorry was so long but I hardly ever post, so I had a lot in me.
Perezhogin was pissed because the guy swang at him first and nailed him in the helmet.
AND use ponctuation and PARAGRAPHS!
I am a san jose fan, so sorry about the bias, but it looks like he just swung his strick around 360 to get it in the rigth position, i play hockey and thats something i've done on multiple occasions. In all fairness i Highly doubt perezhogin was trying to hit him in the face, but he WAS trying to hit him in general, and thats where he landed the blow. So whatever pusnihment he faces he deserves. No matter what the circumstances.
My big problem with the Stafford-perez incident is that if Stafford had better or worse aim(depends on view) we would be talking about how he took a two handed baseball swing at Perez's head possibly hurting him just as bad...........He should receive a reprimand as well.........I can only say this knowing that Stafford is ok now..........
My big problem with the Stafford-perez incident is that...
My problem with all this is the automatic comparisons to the McSorley or Bertuzzi incidents. In terms of action and injury and everything it's as bad. But it totally misses out on the element of level-headed premeditation of those incidents. Not trying to let Perezhogin off the hook or anything for a really boneheaded and brutal retaliation, but you could see that it was at least all heat of the moment, whereas those other incidents the players really had time to stop and consider their actions, but still went ahead and did them anyway. So it's like 2nd degree murder instead of 1st degree?
Anyway, I'm still all for universally suspending Perezhogin in all leagues for a year and setting a new benchmark. No matter what the provocation, he should never react like that.