Sutter blasts 'Hawk for hit

RANDY SPORTAK -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 9:07 AM ET

Two hits sent another pair of Calgary Flames to an increasingly crowded sick bay.

And one hit in particular left GM/head coach Darryl Sutter fuming.

Sutter didn't mince words when talking about Jaroslav Spacek's third-period submarine hit on Byron Ritchie in yesterday's 3-2 win over the Chicago Blackhawks.

"That's a cheapshot," Sutter said. "That's the same as running someone from behind.

"It's a lack of respect, that's what that is."

Ritchie was racing down the right wing on a two-on-one rush when Spacek came off the Blackhawks bench and dove into his legs.

Ritchie spent several minutes writhing on the ice before being helped to the dressing room with an apparent knee injury, although the Flames didn't offer any updates on his condition.

Spacek received a two-minute minor penalty for tripping.

Calgary forward Marcus Nilson also was forced to take an early shower after being drilled by Chicago's Tuomo Ruutu, a hit that might have been late.

No penalty was called and Sutter didn't complain, suggesting Nilson was to blame for "admiring" his pass while skating through the neutral zone.

"Finns are gonna hit the Swedes," Sutter said.

The Flames said Nilson had his "bell rung" but again offered no details.

Sutter didn't say whether he'd ask the league to review Spacek's hit on Ritchie for a potential suspension.

"My opinion doesn't matter," he said.

"There are five or six different replays of it. It's up to them."

Spacek said he didn't intend to catch Ritchie at the knees.

"We were late on the line change and I just jumped in and I saw the three guys flying down. I should have hit him in the shoulder, just fell down a little bit," he said.

"I didn't do it on purpose, just trying to stop the play."

Like his Flames teammates, Calgary defenceman Andrew Ference didn't believe Spacek intended to injure Ritchie but wasn't impressed.

"I guess you have to give the benefit of the doubt, sometimes, that he's diving for the puck but it's a dangerous play," Ference said. "As an opposing player, I don't know what's going through his head -- whether he intended to injure or not -- but it's a very dangerous hit."

- - -

SICK BAY GETS CROWDED

* D Roman Hamrlik (knee), hurt Dec. 7: Return within a week or two.

* D Rhett Warrener (ribs), hurt Dec. 26: Day to day.

* C Stephane Yelle (foot), hurt Dec. 17: Day to day.

* F Tony Amonte (ribs), hurt Dec. 31: Day to day.

* F Marcus Nilson (head), hurt Jan. 2: Prognosis unknown.

* F Byron Ritchie (apparent knee), hurt Jan. 2: Prognosis unknown.


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