From Sports Open Line
After the Blues beat the Sharks 3-0 – and then proceeded to beat them up physically when San Jose didn’t let the chippiness go when the clock went to 0.0 – there was an awful lot of whining from San Jose coach Todd McLellan.
Please, there’s no crying in hockey when your own team won the cheap shot fest while losing the game.
The Sharks were the instigators all night long and McLellan is upset that Vladimir Sobotka punched Domonic Moore in the nose? Alrighty then…
McLellan should have been paying better attention. Moore and Sobotka both had their gloves off. What does that tell you, hockey fans? It tells you that Moore was a willing participant in some kind of physical altercation and if Sobotka got the drop on him after the gloves came off, well, that’s on Moore.
By the way, I’m not arguing that the Blues were angels during this game. They did their share of damage and got their share of penalties for very legitimate reasons. There were no innocents in this one.
That said, San Jose was behind the most egregious stuff that went on.
Allow me to recount…
– Brent Burns knocks Scott Nichol loopy with a blatant elbow to the head
– T.J. Galiardi elbows Andy McDonald in the head, cracking McDonald’s helmet
(By the way, isn’t the NHL supposed to be cracking down on PRECISELY this kind of thing? Paging Mr. Shanahan. Mr. Brendan Shanahan, please report to the white courtesy phone.)
– After a late faceoff, Domonic Moore and Vladimir Sobotka got tied up exchanged some pleasantries and eventually tangled at center ice. As I pointed out above, both players had their gloves off which is a sign of willing engagement. Moore gets his nose broken.
– With 3.3 seconds left in the game, Daniel Winnick hits Jamie Langenbrunner from behind in the general vicinity of the boards. Nothing horribly dangerous, I might add, but that’s what started the whole thing in the corner as time expired.
– Following that, Winnick and Justin Braun were both roughing up Langenbrunner. It was a 2-on-1 but it wasn’t exactly a pummeling. It was just two guys giving one other guy the business and apparently the rest of the Blues on the ice weren’t too pleased with that.
– First Braun makes a (fake) attempt at engaging B.J. Crombeen but after taking a pass there he goes back to the pile and throws a pretty vicious elbow at Langenbrunner’s head while the Blues player was engaged with Winnick and a linesman. You can see the elbow at the 1:05 mark of the video if you check it out on HockeyFights.com. That was a cheap shot. No other way to describe it.
– Then Roman Polak goes nuclear and beats Braun to a pulp. Polak saw Braun throw the elbow to Langenbrunner’s head and that’s when he administered the beatdown.
So, to sum up…
The Blues were willing and equal participants in the physicality throughout the game and they got popped when they committed offenses worthy of penalties. But the Sharks instigated all of the stuff that happened at the end of the game and by my count the Sharks were the only ones dishing out intentional elbows to the head.
The Sharks won that part of the game 3-0, in case you’re keeping score at home.
This is turning into a great series that will now go at least 5 games and while I expect the rough stuff to continue I’ll go out on a limb and predict that so long as the series is close things won’t get totally out of hand.
There is too much on the line for that.
Enjoy Game 3 tonight!