October 28, 2009
Can anybody here play the game?Primeau urges crackdown on head shots
By GARY LOEWEN, SUN MEDIA
The Maple Leafs’ victory over the Anaheim Ducks is a cause for celebration.
It marks the second win by a Toronto franchise this month. Woo hoo!
The Leafs, Argos, Blue Jays and TFC are a combined 2-15-2 in October.
Ah, well, the Raptors tip off their season tonight. Maybe there is hope yet that Toronto’s teams are pros, and not cons.
Comedy of errors
The Washington Redskins struggled as coach Jim Zorn called the plays.
Then they lost with former bingo caller Sherman Lewis calling the plays.
They’re are so bad they’d lose even if Shakespeare called the plays.
Head in the game
Philadelphia Flyers captain Mike Richards avoided a suspension for his head hit Saturday on David Booth.
Former Flyers captain Keith Primeau thinks that’s a bad call by the NHL.
“There is not a place in the game for those kind of hits,” Primeau, whose career ended prematurely because of concussion-related issues, said yesterday on AM640 Toronto.
“The head has to be off limits.”
Richards skated cross-ice and delivered a shoulder-to-head hit on Booth, who had just passed the puck.
Primeau said it is Richards’ responsibility to make contact on that play, but it should be body-on-body contact.
“There’s contact and then there’s head contact, and that for me is the difference,” Primeau said.
Primeau said he is frustrated by general managers who resist cracking down on head shots.
“I’m a real, live human being. I know it’s a game. And I know I’m accepting inherent risks. But, I still have a life. It impacts a player’s life when he’s gone (from the NHL) ... my biggest fear is that (head shots become) the accepted norm.”
The NHL must declare the head off-limits ... or go back to leather shoulder and elbow pads.
Three reasons Paul Beeston has agreed to stay on as the Blue Jays CEO:
3) has a bet he’ll outlast interim pitcher Roy Halladay;
2) a chance to work with some great people ... now that J.P. Ricciardi has cleared out;
1) the love of the game ... and maybe the money.
Granted, it’s far too early in the season to reach conclusions, but the Maple Leafs’ Nik Hagman is one of the NHL’s top go-to guys.
Hagman has six of the Leafs’ 21 goals, or 28.9%.
He ranks third (entering last night) behind the Minnesota Wild’s Andrew Brunette (seven of 22, 31.8%) and the Tampa Bay Lightning’s Ryan Malone (seven of 24, 29.1%).
Ilya Kovalchuk (eight of 28, 28.6%);
Alex Ovechkin (nine of 37, 24.3%);
Anze Kopitar (10 of 44, 22.7%);
Patrick Marleau (nine of 42, 21.4%);
Dusin Penner (eight of 38, 21.1%).