A real shift disturber

TIM BAINES, DON BRENNAN, BRUCE GARRIOCH AND CHRIS STEVENSON, SUN MEDI

, Last Updated: 9:04 AM ET

BRUCE GARRIOCH: This team has bigger worries than Jarkko Ruutu being suspended. I really don't think he should be. This is just one pest elbowing another pest. These are both players who get under an opponent's skin.

DON BRENNAN: What's the suspension for? He elbowed a guy right in front of the ref and he already got what he deserved. Two minutes. The ref should be penalized too. For not giving him at least a major.

TIM BAINES: For years we've been moaning about not having that agitator, that we were too passive ... a team full of Jacques Martin's androids. Ruutu's going to do his thing and he's going to get in trouble with opponents and occasionally the NHL. It's all part of the game. And it certainly adds entertainment value.

BRENNAN: Lapierre also should have been penalized for diving. He really sold it.

CHRIS STEVENSON: Looking at that play, it sure looks like Ruutu is going for Lapierre's head. They keep saying they want to get headshots out of the game, so it shouldn't be a surprise given the play and who's involved that there would be a suspension. It's interesting to me that he wasn't penalized for elbowing, but for charging. The refs didn't see it as a headshot.

GARRIOCH: I think what's happening right now is we all agree. Ruutu didn't elbow anybody of any consequence to the head. Lapierre lives by the sword and it shouldn't be any surprise that this took place.

BRENNAN: Bruce, you're stuck on the identity of the victim. That shouldn't have anything to do with it. If he elbowed anybody to the head, he deserves punishment. And if he gets suspended, the ref deserves punishment. There's two of them, right? And neither saw it as an elbow to the head. It was charging.

GARRIOCH: No. I now think you should have one set of rules for the star players and another set for the rest. If the rules were the same for everybody, then we'd see stars suspended more often.

STEVENSON: We know there are different rules for different players, Bruce. Ruutu's got a reputation.

GARRIOCH: That's why he shouldn't be suspended. He went after another guy with a reputation. End of story.

BAINES: If Alfie does the same thing, there's not another word said?

GARRIOCH: I bet you he doesn't get suspended if he does the same thing.

BRENNAN: Only one way to find out Bruce. Get Alfie to take a run at Doug Weight tonight. The Sutter clan wouldn't call for a suspension.

STEVENSON: If Alfredsson took the same run at Lapierre, I don't think there's a hearing.

GARRIOCH: I don't think you can condone guys running around with their elbows held high. I just think this is a guy who brings it on himself. Lapierre told Ruutu with seven minutes to go in the game he was going to "rip his face off."

BRENNAN: At least Ruutu did something. That's more than you can say about 18 of his teammates. Imagine, one Senator actually was pissed about the way things were going and he showed it. You know, the Montreal radio guys are saying the Senators should be embarrassed at the way Ruutu waved to the crowd as he was ushered out of a game in which his team was getting schooled. I thought it was a classic move. And I think the Senators should be embarrassed at the way they played in a game against a rival and division leader.

GARRIOCH: That's a little rich in Montreal. Weren't they the same fans that threw a banana at Kevin Weekes?

STEVENSON: For years the Senators were too nice a team. Now they've finally got some edge and apparently it's a little much for some faint-hearted fans. Ruutu waved mockingly at the fans. It's not like he shot them the finger.

BAINES: Yeah, Habs fans have class. Nothing worse than hearing those nasally voices pumping out Na Na Na Na, Na Na Na Na, Hey, Hey ... Goodbye. If they didn't have that Stanley Cup tradition behind them, they'd be as bad as Leaf fans (geez, I almost forgot ... I am a Leaf fan).

STEVENSON: Ruutu became the lightning rod in that game which tells you how much the Senators had going on. I was reading some of the posts on Off The Posts and a couple of blogs and people opining that Ruutu was an embarrassment and his waving to the crowd at the end somehow brought dishonour to the team. I don't think so. His team was getting schooled and he was still out there running around, stirring things up. I thought waving to the crowd was funny, not some huge embarrassment. He looked like one of the few Senators who didn't go through the motions in Montreal.

GARRIOCH: He got two games. That's the way it goes. I don't agree with it, but I don't agree with elbows to the head either.

BRENNAN: It wasn't an elbow to the freakin' head okay? If anything, it was a charge to the head. Check the game sheet. What did Dan Marouelli and Greg Kimmerly get? By the way, Carey Price didn't stop "Dominant" Dany Heatley on that breakaway, despite what everybody seems to think. The Dominant One hit the post.

BAINES: Don, you're not still driving and responding to these questions, are you? If so, you're agitating the Quebec drivers. You should be suspended.

BRENNAN: And I don't have snow tires. You're gonna have to come bail me out if I get penalized, Bainsie.


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