Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Why can't you be more like Michael?

While Eric Boulton's older brother Michael is singing about love and tenderness, the beefy Atlanta Thrashers enforcer is dishing cheap shots to the head of 21-year-old rookie defencemen.
I'm glad he apologized and all, but really, a six-game suspension isn't enough for this kind of garbage.

This case is a good example of the NHL's failure to act in the first place. Boulton had laid a similar hit on the Maple Leafs Eric Lindros in a game last week.

Both Toronto coach Pat Quinn and Lightning bench boss John Tortorella tore into both Atlanta coach Bob Hartley and Boulton.

"It's (stinking garbage)," Tortorella said. "The (stinking) guy should be playing in the (stinking) East Coast Hockey League and he takes out a (stinking) National Hockey League (player). He'll get suspended, but who (stinking) cares? Everybody wants him on the (stinking) ice anyway. It's (stinking garbage)."

A day later, Tortorella was remorseful for his comments.

"I thought I made a mistake because I don't think a coach from another team should be criticizing a player from another team," he told the Tampa Tribune. "But that (elbow) was cheap. There was no honor in it, and that's (what) our game was built on."
The thing is, if I was Tortorella, I'd be saying the exact same things. The Lightning haven't exactly been playing lights out so far this year, and when rookie defenceman Paul Ranger finally fills their hole on defence, some big goof takes him out of the play with a cheapshot to the head.

Boulton should have received at least a 10-game suspension.


At 5:13 p.m., October 25, 2005, Anonymous Ben said...

I'm not about to defend Boulton's hit on Ranger but at least he had the decency to apologize. that's a whole lot more than plenty of other players have done in the past.

The NHL looked into the hit on Lindros and declared it wasn't illegal. How were they supposed to suspend him for that, and if it was legal why should it be taken into consideration when dishing out the penalty for the Ranger hit?

At 5:33 p.m., October 25, 2005, Blogger James Mirtle said...

I knew I was going to hear from the Thrashers PR department.

Regardless of whether or not the league takes it into account, I do. My post clearly says the NHL should have acted on the Lindros hit by not allowing shots like that to go unpunished. Perhaps if Boulton gets a one-game suspension then, this goof doesn't take out a kid like Ranger the next time around.

At 8:47 a.m., October 26, 2005, Blogger Tom L said...

Who knew he had this in him? When he was in Buffalo the only thing he was able to do was effectively get his face in front of the other guy's fist.

I'm not surprised that a Bob Hartley coached team goons it up once the losing begins in earnest.



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