Two Islanders Ice Girls (the ones who clean the snow during breaks and pick up the debris after a hat trick) say that the Rangers are disgusting louts.
Kelli Higgins says that she was cleaning up the goaltender’s crease when Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist took a big windup, whacked her squeegee and the stick hit her stomach. But that pales in comparison to what happened to Chanel Benson. According to Chanel, she was leaving the ice during the next television timeout when someone spit on her back. As you can tell from the photo, the Ice Girls wear some pretty nice outfits where their midriff and back are exposed.
All of a sudden, my back got wet. I believe one of the Rangers players who was sitting along the wall spit on my back. It had to be on purpose because I wasn’t directly in front of anyone to spit and not realize I was there.
The Islanders’ VP of game operations confirmed that there were wet spots on the back of her pants. OK, so which Ranger could it have been? The smart money is on Sean Avery.
And by the way, we hope he just spit and it wasn’t a re-enactment of the scene in Silence of the Lambs.
[Newsday.com]: Ice Girls want Rangers called for slashing, spitting
The NHL slapped lowlife Chris Simon with a record 25 game suspension for his vicious stick shot to the face of Ryan Hollweg on Thursday. The Islanders will lose Simon for the final 15 regular season games and the postseason but the punishment will extend into next season should New York fail to compete in ten playoff games.
Simon moves past Boston’s Mary McSorley for the new low mark in hockey history, which isn’t an easy task considering that McSorley delivered a blindsided cheap shot with his stick to the head of Donald Brashear in 2000 that earned him a 23 game hiatus from the league. Commissioner Gary Bettman eventually extended the punishment to one year and McSorley hasn’t been seen in an NHL uniform since. Simon is lucky that he’s not facing criminal charges for his actions because off the ice that would be considered assault.
Maybe with the suspension finally being handed out ESPN will stop trying to make Barry Melrose look like a studious professor by constantly taping him in front of a library backdrop.
By the way, did Chris Simon really go to the “I don’t remember what happened” card that was most recently played by Albert Haynesworth? This is the new “if I might have offended anyone” cliche for athletes. Just pull a Edward Norton from Primal Fear and hope anyone believes you. Links:
[Slam Sports]: NHL sticks Simon hard
[SC]: Chris Simon cheap shot video
[NY Islanders]: Statement from Chris Simon
1. The Kings of the Island
On Sunday night, the Islanders and Rangers battled it out for the crown of second-best team in New York (the Sabres play there too, remember). In the end, the Isles come away victorious, snatching a 7-4 win from their in-state rivals and moving to the top of the Atlantic Division. Viktor Kozlov had an incredible night for the boys in blue and orange, netting four goals for the first time in his 14 year career. His performance overshadowed the Rangers’ trusty veteran Brendan Shanahan, who posted a hat trick of his own on Sunday at the Garden. Defensively, Rick DiPietro had a nice night for the Isles, stopping 39 of 43 shots for win number 11 on the year. The Islanders have now won five of their last seven games.
2. Ovechkin’s rite of passage
Alexander Ovechkin’s 17th goal of the season in the first period of Saturday’s game helped the Washington Capitals down the Buffalo Sabres by a score of 7-4. Just one period later, he was thrown from the contest with a game misconduct- the first of his young career. Congratulations on the accomplishment, Alex. Of course you’ve never really solidified yourself in the NHL until you’ve been tossed from a game, as Mr. Ovechkin was for his check from behind on Buffalo’s Daniel Briere. Washington’s Matt Pettinger picked up the slack after Ovechkin left, slipping the puck past Buffalo goalie Ryan Miller two times in the game. It was the third win in a row for Washington, who has moved up to the middle of the pack in the Southeast Division.
3. Is Savard The Answer?
After his first three games behind the bench, the Chicago Blackhawks certainly think so. After a 4-3 overtime win over the Preds on Saturday in Nashville, Chicago improved to 3-0 on the year under new coach Denis Savard, who took the head coach spot from Trent Yawney a week ago. Chicago’s Jeff Hamilton netted a hat trick and added an assist in the game against Nashville, who has lost all three decisions against Chi-town this season. Who would have thought that nearly half of the Preds’ (who are second in the Western Conference) losses would come at the hand of the Hawks (who are in the bottom five in the Western)?
Check It Out
The Calgary Sun’s David Unkle talks about the Flyers’ season so far, and the youngsters they’re looking to for victories, thanks to injuries and poor play from the everyday veterans. Obviously it isn’t working out for Philadelphia this year, who are dead last in the Eastern Conference.
Game of the Night: San Jose at Dallas
Sharks look to improve to 4-0 on four-game road trip
The Last Shot
Hope Sebastien Caron’s parents weren’t in attendance:
Thanks to Off Wing’s Eric Mcerlain for the pointer.
1. Alexei Y”ouch”in
New York Islanders captain Alexei Yashin could be out for up to a month, thanks to a sprained knee suffered in Saturday’s game against Washington. This has to be some disgusting news for Isles fans, especially when you consider Alexei’s numbers so far this year: 10 goals, 18 assists, and 28 total points for a +10 rating. He’s the team leader in assists and points, so a big chunk of New York’s offense has just been forced off the ice (the set timetable for his return is officially 2-4 weeks). This was a very untimely injury, seeing that the Islanders are just beginning to heat up–winners of six of the last eight games, they look to be alive and kicking in the Eastern Conference.
2. Devils Deteriorating
New Jersey remained in a bit of a funk after last night’s contest with the Los Angeles Kings, dropping their fourth straight game. L.A. pulled it out in shootouts, with Alexander Frolov scoring the game-winning goal for the 3-2 Kings victory. New Jersey held the lead in the Atlantic Division not long ago, but the significant play of both New York teams has dropped the Devils down to third. For Los Angeles, it was their second consecutive victory (but we’re not too sure that it would even be worth it to explain their chances in the Pacific). All regulation scoring in this game came in the 2nd period, when the Devils and Kings each scored twice. Despite the loss Martin Brodeur played well, stopping 26 shots.
3. Wings Unlock The Secret…
…to winning again. What is it? Simple: Just play the entire game shorthanded, and chances are they’ll come out as victorious. Detroit got a pair of 3rd period shorthanded goals en route to a 2-1 victory over the Dallas stars. Kris Draper and Mathieu Schneider were both able to beat Marty Turco while playing with the disadvantage. Dominik Hasek ensured that the two goals would be enough for the win, ending up with 20 saves on the night. It ended a five-game losing streak for Detroit, who had a nine-game winning streak snapped to begin the slump. For the Stars, their three-game win streak ended–thanks in large part to Detroit’s penalty kill, who held Dallas to 0-5 on the power play while tallying the two decisive shorthanded goals.
Check It Out
Darren Eliot reports that the NHL’s new rules have stripped the game of its physical component. Just based off of observation, the increase in penalties has been clear since the introduction of the new rulebook. It truly does take some flow from the game– knowing that roughly a quarter to a half of the contest will be played with one team shorthanded.
Game of the Night: Anaheim at Edmonton
Chris Pronger returns to Rexall Place–this time as a member of the Ducks
The Last Shot
Monday was arguably the best day of Trent Yawney’s life, while Denis Savard is left to wonder: “Why me?”
In 1929: In a feat that would be almost impossible to accomplish today, Ernie Nevers of the Chicago Cardinals scored all 40 of his teams points in a 40-6 victory over the Chicago Bears. Nevers, a 64 200 pound fullback, scored six touchdowns and kicked four extra points (he missed two). A current player would have to score seven touchdowns in a game, and nobody has scored six in a game since Gale Sayers did it for the Bears as a rookie in 1965. Dare we say it will Nevers be done again? (sorry…)
In 1981: Paul Bear Bryants Alabama Crimson Tide defeated rival Auburn for his 315th career victory, then an all-time record for college football. Bryant, wearing his signature checkered hat, passed Amos Alonzo Stagg. Bryant (1913-1983) coached Division I football for 37 years at Maryland, Kentucky, Texas A&M and Alabama (where he played) and led the Tide to six national championships. He finished with 323 victories and died in 1983. He was eventually passed on the all-time list by Joe Paterno and Bobby Bowden. (bryantmuseum.ua.edu)
In 1982: If mom and dad wouldnt be proud enough if one of their sons made it to a professional league, how about six of their seven sons playing in the NHL at the same time? When Ron Sutter played his first NHL game as a member of the Philadelphia Flyers, he helped the family set an all-time record with five brothers in the league (his twin brother Rich signed with Pittsburgh the following season to make it an even half dozen). Although the Hockey Sutters played for many teams, at that time Ron was with the Flyers, Brian played for the Blues, Darryl played for the Blackhawks, and Duane and Brett played for the Islanders. Gary Sutter was the only brother to never make it to the NHL. (The Northern Iowan)
1. Jagr Scores #600
Jaromir Jagr etched his name into the hockey record books on Sunday night at Madison Square Garden. With his first period goal, Jagr became only the sixteenth player in NHL history to hit the twine 600 times (he also added two assists in the game to contribute to a 4-1 win over the Lightning).
Jagr epitomizes everything that makes the NHL great–an incredible intensity, relentless passion, and an unmatched motivational drive to be great. A first-round draft pick of Pittsburgh in 1990 (what’s the deal with all of these great Penguin 1st rounders?), he played 11 seasons for the Pens before moving on to a brief stint with the Washington Capitals. During the 2003-’04 season, he packed his bags to move along to New York, where he’s become the captain of the Rangers. Currently, he is only 46 points shy of 1500 for his career.
2. Dunham Dominates
Getting a rare start in net was just what Islander Mike Dunham needed on Saturday night. Rick DiPietro’s backup stopped 43 shots in a victorious 4-1 effort against the Florida Panthers at the Bank Atlantic Center in Fort Lauderdale. The Islanders have played well on this five-game road trip, posting a record of 3-0-1. They will complete the road stand tonight against the Toronto Maple Leafs, then head back to the Nassau Coliseum for a contest with the Hurricanes on Wednesday. New York needs help from their primary goaltender to stay on the right track; so far this year, DiPietro is a sub-par 6-5-1. The Isles are sitting hot on the heels of their New York counterpart for 2nd in the Atlantic Division.
3. Flames Are Hot
The Calgary Flames put an end to the Detroit Red Wings’ nine game winning streak on Friday night, coming away with a 4-1 win. Perhaps more importantly, it was the sixth straight win for Calgary–throwing them right into the mix of things in the Western Conference after a less than stellar start. Mikka Kiprusoff is looking like his usual self on this hot streak, giving up only six goals and posting two shutouts. The Flames will go for their 7th win in a row when they face the Edmonton Oilers on Tuesday night.
Check It Out
Columnist Paula Wolf tries her best to explain the woes of the Philadelphia Flyers this season. You have to praise Paula for even trying, because this Philly club is a bit of a mystery. At 5-13-2, they’re simply playing with no life–and the on-again-off-again injuries of captain Peter Forsberg are never a welcome sidestory for Flyers fans.
Game of the Night: Florida at Boston
Bruins going for 5th straight win
The Last Shot
Jaromir Jagr is not the only Ranger to reach the 600 goal plateau… Brendan Shanahan scored #600 in New York’s first game of the season.
1. Collecting Hats
Ilya Kovalchuck was the star for the Thrashers on Monday night, leading his team to a 5-3 win in Atlanta. The #1 overall draft pick in 2001 sent the hats flying with a Hat Trick, netting three Power Play goals and an assist in the game. Kovalchuk continues to impress, and is slowly forming into one of the best players in the league. Atlanta’s Johan Hedberg had a nice night between the pipes, stopping 24 of 27 shots faced on the way to his third straight win. Another big reason for the Thrashers’ success was the amount of time they spent on the man advantage. Boston committed 13 penalties in the game, allowing four Power Play goals.
2. Capping Off the Win
Alexander Ovechkin and the Washington Capitals walked out of the Verizon Center with a 4-3 Overtime victory on Monday night, trying to keep pace with the Atlanta Thrashers in a crowded Southeast Division. Ovechkin did his thing yet again – scoring two goals, including the game-tying Power Play goal with 24 seconds left in regulation. That would later set up Chris Clark for the game-winner in the extra period. The Senators held a comfortable 3-0 lead in the first period, but were unable to stall the Caps’ offense. Washington scored four unanswered goals over the next two and a half periods to earn the victory. With the loss, the Ottawa Senators have now lost four straight games and are in danger of slipping to last in the Northeast Division.
3. Lightning Strikes the Island
On Monday night in the Nassau Coliseum, the Tampa Bay Lightning downed the New York Islanders by a score of 5-1. Tampa Bay sniper Martin St. Louis scored a Power Play goal in the second period, breaking a 1-1 tie and launching a stretch of four unanswered goals for the Lightning. They also got some offensive help from an unlikely source in Defenseman Filip Kuba, who scored his forst and second goals of the season. Johan Hedberg got a rare start for Tampa, and made the most of it. He stopped 25 shots en route to his first win of the year.
1. Sweet Revenge
In a rematch of last year’s Eastern Conference Quarterfinals, the Montreal Canadiens squared off with the Carolina Hurricanes on Thursday night. Goaltender Cristibal Huet was rock-solid in net, making sure that it wasn’t a playoff repeat for the Hurricanes. He lead them to a 4-0 victory, dropping Carolina’s record to an underwhelming 6-6-2. It was Huet’s first shutout of the season, and it couldn’t have come against a more ideal opponent. Coming off of their Stanley Cup season, the Hurricanes are now 0-3-1 against all of the Easterrn Conference teams they defeated in the playoffs.
Florida Panthers coach Jacques Martin reeled in his 450th career victory on Thursday night, leading his team to a 4-2 win over the Toronto Maple Leafs. He became just the 13th coach in NHL history to reach the milestone. Martin, who also happens to be the General Manager of the Panthers, has worked for St. Louis, Colorado, and Ottawa in his professional career; he picked up a Stanley Cup as a member of the Avalanche organization in 1996.
3. Sabres Stay Hot
As the Boston Bruins found out last night, the Buffalo Sabres are never really out of the game. Buffalo overcame a 4-1 deficit with just 8:49 remaining in regulation to eventually win it in a shootout, 5-4. Maxim Afinogenov scored the second and third goals of the night for Buffalo, trimming the Bruin lead to one with only 2:30 left in the game. Less than a minute later, at the 1:35 mark, Ales Kotalik tied the score at four apiece. The Sabres would eventually roll out of Boston with a victory, improving their record to a miraculous 11-0-1 on the year. Even with the win, Buffalo’s Daniel Briere had his league high 10-game point streak snapped.
From the “pretty cool” file comes the story of Buck O’Neil who became the oldest player in the history of professional baseball when he lead off the game in the Northern League All-Star Game. He was intentionally walked, pulled for a pinch runner, and then immediately traded to another team so he could lead off the bottom of the first as well. He was intentionally walked again. One of the first pitches almost hit him in the head. Yay Sports claims he was crowding the plate.