Here’s what Coyotes Head Coach Wayne Gretzky had to say following his team’s 7-1 loss to the Blackhawks on December 7th and after Kris Versteeg unleashed blows upon Kyle Turris’ head.
”I don’t think an 18-year-old kid should get grabbed from a pile and take a beating — not in a 7-1 hockey game,” Gretzky said. ”I don’t agree with that. I’ve never seen that. But we’ve got another game with them [Jan. 6 in Phoenix]. I hope our guys will respond to what happened.”
I don’t think his team remembered. That is, until Matt Walker cold-cocked Ed Jovanovski and sent him back to the dressing room with a mean cut over his left eye. The refs could have gone either way with the call. They could’ve sent Walker packing with a 2 minute instigator penalty and 5 minute fighting or they could’ve given him the four minute double minor, which they ended up doing. In their defense, it’s not like Matt Walker took a piece out of Peter Mueller. He took on a guy in the same weight class and someone who gave off the impression of wanting to fight. Giving a guy two or three shoves and staring him down will do that. You can’t blame Walker for having an itchy trigger finger in a dance with Jovanovski, but if it was someone like Mueller or Jokkinen, then he would’ve deserved any punishment he received.
After the ‘Hawks killed off the 4 minute penalty, Gretz threw out his goon line of Dan Carcillo and Todd Fedoruk to start something, and with their pick of Eager, Johnson, or Sharp to go after, they chose Cristobal Huet. The man they call the Fridge (Fedoruk) showed what a brave and courageous warrior he truly is by coming in with a full head of steam and throwing his elbows up high on a goalie coming out to play the puck. I wonder if Gretz has ever seen a goalie get picked out of a group in a 6-0 game and take a beating. You stay classy.
The previous 50 minutes of hockey saw what usually happens when the ‘Hawks play Phoenix, they dominate. In one game of play, Adam Burish tripled his point total (TRIPLED!!!) with a goal and two assists. The second assist was a bit of a gift, it should’ve been Toews, unassisted, as he intercepted a Coyote’s breakout pass but I’m being too picky now. Burish opened up the scoring twelve minutes into the game and five minutes later, the ‘Hawks led 4-0. Game Ova. Versteeg, Fraser, and Eager were the other first period goal scorers. Jonathon Toews closed out the scoring with a goal in the second and the third.
A couple of other notes from tonight’s game:
–Apparently, James Wisniewski went out to dinner with Minnesota Twin (and all-around Deustchbank) Justin Morneau last night and brought along Brent Seabrook and Aaron Johnson. I wonder if Morneau kept wanting to call Seabrook ‘Joe’ the whole night.
–In his pre-game comments, Gretzky credited Patrick Kane with being one of the players in the league fans want to pay money to see live. Some high praise from the Great One. My top five players I don’t mind paying to see live are as follows 1) Alex Ovechkin 2) Sidney Crosby 3)Joe Thornton 4) Kane 5)David Koci, ha just kidding, probably a tie between Zdeno Chara and Pavel Datsyuk. Chara is kind of the odd man in there, but I see something beautiful in watching a nine foot pteradactyl spread his wings across a sheet of ice and cover everything.