Last night we watched Neighbors, a relatively new (give me a break, I’m behind the times!) DVD release featuring Seth Rogen & Zach Efron (and Rose Byrne in a role that surprised me, she always struck me as more “refined” lol, but I digress) in a raunchy comedy, co-produced by Rogen. I like those actors, and the movie was ultimately pretty funny, but overall I’d have to give it a thumbs down. If you haven’t seen it don’t bother. There are funnier, better written flicks out there. Just saying.
We watch a lot of movies (or try to) on nights the Blues aren’t playing, which is fun and I sometimes just grab titles that I’ve heard are good and occasionally we get a dud. It happens. The Blues *are* on tonight and it’s their 2nd and final regular season meeting with the New York Islanders.
I’m a fan of the Isles, they’re my team in the East, but when the Blues visited Long Island last week they were treated pretty poorly by their host. Smacked around and down 3-0 after only one period, the Blues eventually fought back (figuratively) and won the game 6-4, but at great cost.
About halfway through the 2nd period, with the score 3-2 NY, Islanders forward Anders Lee hit Blues defenseman Carl Gunnarsson right in the face with a flying elbow, possibly knocking him briefly unconscious (watch the way Gunny falls to the ice) and putting him out of not only that game, but giving him a concussion which has him currently unable to play, missing the next game and likely any hockey skating or otherwise for the near future.
Lee wasn’t called for a penalty on the play, despite direct hits to the head being deemed illegal by the NHL. He did end up having a hearing with NHL Player Safety though only after the league learned of Gunny’s concussion. Lee wasn’t suspended (as many felt he should be) and received only a $2,286.29 fine. Half a day’s pay and the most allowed under the current collective bargaining agreement.
Concussions in sports have a glaring spotlight on them these days and while the NHL claims to be interested in eliminating dangerous plays (i.e. blows to the head) I don’t think the punishment fits the crime here. It shouldn’t matter if the hit was unintentional. It also shouldn’t have made a difference how severe the injury was. It was a direct blow to the head which was the initial point of contact. By the NHL’s own definition a dangerous play. Concussions end careers, and who know how Gunnarsson will recover from the hit. If you put a guy out by hitting him in the head you shouldn’t play until he does.
The main reason I drudge up this story is that tonight the Islanders are visiting Scottrade Center in St. Louis. Anders Lee already showed he wasn’t man enough to stand up for himself last week when, later in the game, Blues enforcer Ryan Reaves challenged him to a fight. I’m extremely curious to see what, if any, retaliatory action is taken by the Blues on the ice against Lee. I’m torn between never wanting to see a guy get hurt and hoping to see Lee bleeding on the ice. Yeah, I went there.