April 24, 2012
Michalek cleared in alleged kickShanny reviews tape, rules out action after Rangers cry foul
By BRUCE GARRIOCH, QMI Agency
OTTAWA - Milan Michalek won’t be getting the boot for an alleged kick in Game 6 Monday night.
With the Senators preparing to face the New York Rangers in Game 7 Thursday at Madison Square Garden, NHL VP of safety Brendan Shanahan studied tape of the incident that took place on Jason Spezza’s late goal in the 3-2 loss.
League sources say Rangers blueliner Dan Girardi complained that his pant leg was cut by Michalek’s skate. It would have made sense to hold a hearing Tuesday, but Shanahan looked and took a pass.
Sources say Rangers GM Glen Sather sent raw CBC video to Shanahan, asking for the league to take action because the replay showed Michalek flat on his belly with Girardi on top and using his skate to get Girardi off him.
Senators coach Paul MacLean said he wasn’t aware there was going to be any discipline for Michalek and hadn’t seen video of what took place. Losing Michalek for a crucial Game 7 would have been a blow.
“I just heard about it and I didn’t see any more about it than that,” said MacLean. “I don’t know really what it’s all about. I didn’t really see anything that would make me think anything worse, but I haven’t seen all the video either, so I don’t really know. I can’t comment more than that.”
Allan Walsh, Michalek’s agent, had no comment Tuesday and neither did Rangers coach John Tortorella in a conference call with New York reporters. Michalek wasn’t at the rink and wasn’t available for comment.
Shanahan spoke with Senators GM Bryan Murray and did issue a warning to Michalek, who has no history of being disciplined by the league.
Captain Daniel Alfredsson and centre Jason Spezza weren’t the only ones forced to answer for sitting out a power play at the start of the third period. MacLean also had to defend the decision.
Was he showing his own frustrating by not putting the club’s top players out with the Senators down by two goals to start the period?
MacLean’s explanation was simple: His top players weren’t getting the job done.
“I just coached the team,” said MacLean. “If you go back to the power plays in the second period, we gave up scoring chances at our net with that unit on the ice, we took penalties with that unit on the ice, the Kyle Turris power-play group scored the goal to make it 1-0 for us.
“In the third period, we felt we should give them the opportunity since they were better. We coach the team every night and we’ve said a lot of times that the best players that night play. A lot of nights it’s (Spezza) and (Alfredsson) and that group. (Monday) it wasn’t.
“My job is to coach and give the team the best opportunity to win and the players that do that are the ones that should be on the ice at the right times. That’s all it is to me.”
THIS ’N’ THAT
The Senators are staying to positive after imploding Monday against the Rangers. “We’ve got a chance to spoil their season (in Game 7),” said Spezza. “How often does the eighth seed get two cracks to end a series?” ... MacLean said there’s one way to avoid frustration with the officials. “I know we take too many penalties. That’s been a big concern for us,” said MacLean. “You can’t take seven minor penalties and expect to win games in the playoffs. It’s not always the referee’s fault. They’re human. They’re not going to catch everything, but you can’t continually put yourself in a position that you make them make a call and always blame them. The responsibility is on us and our players to be (more) disciplined.” ... The Senators are expected to open Scotiabank Place Thursday so fans can watch Game 7 on the Bell HD Screen.