Sunday, October 3, 2010

Blowing a Gasket

If Michael Cammalleri gets suspended to start the new NHL season, he's got nobody to blame but himself. When he took his stick to 18-year-old Nino Niederreiter in a nothing pre-season game against the Islanders, he looked like an ass.

Sure, Niederreiter tried to blindside Cammalleri. Fortunately, he missed. At that point, Cammalleri needed to go back to his bench and mention to Ryan White or Alex Henry that perhaps the new kid needed to learn a lesson. Alternatively, he could have challenged the kid to a fight. Using the stick to hit him, not once, but twice, was really pointless. It didn't really hurt Niederreiter, who probably overacted when he collapsed in apparent pain. It didn't change the course of the game because the opponent was so far inferior to the Canadiens. And it opened Cammalleri to league discipline and smudged his reputation.

Everybody gets angry when an opponent tries something dirty. In the case of a guy like Cammalleri, who's getting fouled every time he's on the ice, there's got to be a limit to his patience. But even so, he's got to remember he's a man who's trying to carve up a boy. There are better ways to make a point. In Cammalleri's case, he's not just any man, either. He's the top-line sniper on whom his team depends to win real hockey games. Losing it against a nobody in a nothing game could now cost his team an important player in a game or games that actually count for something. That's irresponsible on Cammalleri's part, and his stickwork is the kind of thing opponents don't forget. They know they can make him lose it, and that there's a chance he'll do something stupid or dirty.

And make no mistake, it was dirty. Whatever Niederreiter did or attempted to do, Cammalleri's reaction was cheap and dirty. A player of Cammalleri's experience, age and value to the team just can't react that way. If he gets suspended, it will hurt the team. That's just not good enough.


Anonymous said...

After watching all the replays, I'm disgusted by what I see. I think Cammalleri's reacting to something the kid said to him because the hit was no big deal. I want to hear him explain why he did what he did and I hope it's good because I was becoming a big fan of his.

Anonymous said...

Watching the clips, I'm reminded of Slap Shot's Tim the "Hook" McCracken and the goalie who blew a gasket after Paul Newman goaded him by saying his wife likes pussy.

moeman said...

Squid gets one game. I hope he comes out and publicly apologizes for his brain cramp and gesture.

Anonymous said...

Ok. You're in a nothing game. Your team is walking away with it. Suddenly the TV shows you pushing, turning, yapping, and slashing. The TV shows your opponent checking his face, skating away, and then going down like he is crippled for life.

I'm not saying what is right or what is wrong. I'm saying there are generally two sides to every story. Unfortunately most folks don't much care about that. It has to be black or white for them.

Anonymous said...

Not his finest hour. I have no problem with Cammalleri trying to hurt a smart-ass kid with no respect, but I agree he should have used his fists, not his stick. A fight risks injury, but at least it would not be suspension and has more honor. If Niederreiter is old enough to play with the big boys, he is old enough to take a beating, otherwise he should not be allowed on the ice.

One game is okay, especially against the leafs. Glad it's not more because I have a feeling Pleks and Cammalleri are about to have a break-out season,especially if AK46 realizes his potential. Can't wait for the puck to drop.