Raking Leafs

Mixing metaphors and casting cliches about hockey and the Maple Leafs for the ether's pleasure since MCMLXVII.


Cam "I was just finishing my check" Janssen benched after "clean" hit

You(tube - full unedited coverage) be the judge. Here's a slo-mo version to crystallize it for you.

And if you think I'm a homer, watch this.

I had been hoping Belak would dress for this game, but as my girlfriend noted, the team needs other people beside Belak to step up, and that sparring should be introduced to the off-season training regimen. She also calmed me down as I was furious nobody even touched Cam 'ladyboy' Janssen, raising the possibility the Leafs were more concerned with Tomas' well-being. This may be, but it still felt wrong. Atleast Tucker justified his raise by coming out and giving Cam a piece of his mind. Mark March 20th on the calendar. I know Darcy has.

The head is simply out of play for initial contact. Period.

I don't have much else to say except, 'Fuck you Cam.'

UPDATE - In light of Strachan's article about the contrasting mindsets of NHL fans north and south of the 49th, the fact that Cam Janssen is a favorite of Devils' fans, despite his miniscule average time on ice is somewhat telling. I don't agree with Al's generalizations, but Cam's status in the garden state is intriguing.

UPDATE - Jim Kelley "gets it"

And the blood and gore group is not just alive, they are off the table and walking, now running into anyone who moves.

You could see it when the New York Islanders started kicking the stuffing out of the New York Rangers and the New York Post openly calls for physical retribution. You can see it again when another Buffalo Sabre, Chris Drury, is blindsided by a shoulder to the head by Ottawa's Chris Neil and not only is there no call on the ice, but the powers that be declare the hit is clean even though Neil states for the record that he hits to hurt people and that, should the Senators get the upper hand in the rematch (read get ahead by two or more goals) there will be more of the same. And there was.

Those who taste blood for a living can feel it oozing out of their gums now. Blows to the head are clean as long as they aren't too late. The NHL has declared it so.

Those pain-in-the-butt media types (and I admit I used to be one until I saw the blood red light flash before my eyes) don't like it, especially after one of their own is taken down like a stag at a hunt in the swamplands of New Jersey. It gets a little dicey when media in the centre of the hockey universe gets involved, but that's not a problem for the NHL. They slap a three-game suspension on that Devil Cam Janssen not for the wicked blow to the head that knocked All-Star Tomas Kaberle head first into the boards and out of the rink on a stretcher. They declare the head shot legal, just a little late.

UPDATE - http://battleofontario.blogspot.com/2007/03/finishing-your-check.html posted some comments made by Ken Dryden a few years ago addressing Cam's rationalization. Check it out. It reads like a breath of fresh air.

UPDATE - Mirtle posted the guiltless comments from the shitbag himself. Sounds similar to the title of this post, don't it?

UPDATE - Please read these comments from fellow spofite Mr.Frisby who happens to be one of the biggest Devils' fans I know. His levelheadedness is much appreciated.

UPDATE - Greg Wyshynski penned an imaginary conversation about an imaginary situation that, although originates from the mind of a Devils' fan, highlights the ridiculous nature of the NHL supplementary discipline system, if you can call it a system at all.

If players do not know what the punishment will be, if any, there is less of a deterrent to avoid these types of actions. If a player knows they will be suspended automatically for 10 games for any particular transgression, without the latent uncertainty of a "review" players would be more inclined to shy away from such actions. Simple as that.

If you know the time for the crime, you probably won't become a criminal.

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  • At 1:26 PM, Blogger TreeBob said…

    The hit itself was perfectly fine, unfortunately for Kaberle (who was not paying attention), Cam hit him well after the play was made. Hopefully kaberle will make a swift recovery.

  • At 4:03 PM, Blogger PPP said…

    No, the hit was most definitely not fine. He goes right after the head and explodes through with his shoulder.

    Three games is all that rat bastard gets AND Campbell says it was because he thought it was a late hit which means he completely missed the point. I think he WANTS a donnybrook on the 20th.

    And I agree with your girlfriend. I think Maurice told them to calm down, we need to win, we'll get him later.

  • At 4:10 PM, Blogger mike said…

    I'd like to hear your definition of "fine" and how it dovetails with "after the play"

    It's blatantly obvious I disagree with you, but let me explain myself in more detail. First, the head is not a body part that enters the equation when 'fighting for position', or 'taking the body'. Of course, the BoG pussy-footed around this glaring safety issue earlier this season, but when has the BoG ever done the right thing.

    Next, it was late. Waay late. Kaberle is not an idiot. He has been in that situation a million times, and when pressured will make the play then brace himself for the hit. In this instance he made the play without any pressure and then continued up ice. The Devil player didn't want the play to be over so he continued to pursue Kaberle as if he still had the puck. The fact of the matter is that Kaberle had already released the puck, pivoted to turn up ice in a glide, and only then was hit.

    The hit was without question late. The hit was high, and though the NHL doesn't feel this is cheap, or dangerous, or whatever, and inherently harbors the intent to injure.

  • At 4:19 PM, Blogger Steph said…

    I don't have anything to say that anyone else already hasn't, except to add my disgust over the whole thing, but it made me ridiculously glad to see Tucker over there bitching him out - that's not a hit he's going to forgive very easily, and well he shouldn't.

  • At 8:27 PM, Blogger Rick said…

    Please post your condemnations of every injury-inflicting hit by Darcy Tucker or any other Leaf player here, with proof you said it at the time.

    Otherwise you guys are all totally full of shit.

  • At 8:31 PM, Blogger Rick said…

    Here's Darcy going after a knee.

    The league really needs to stop this.


  • At 10:33 AM, Blogger Jay said…

    Treebob, you seem to be a couple of men short of a powerplay unit. Watch the first video - Kaberle isn't paying attention to Janssen because he's concentrating on the play, Janssen sees him, thinks "Good player + injury = good for us lolz" (more advanced reasoning appears to be beyond his capacity), and BOOM. Kaberle is out for a period of time and the Devils are rolling around with laughter because they lose someone who plays two minutes a game.

    But if Treebob is missing a player or two, Rick, you seem to be the equivalent of Montreal rustling up a bunch of five hobos to be their powerplay unit. Darcy does some questionable hits, but never - NEVER - anything that might endanger a player's life. Kaberle was not too far from following Ace Bailey into the great rink in the sky. Justify that.

  • At 8:18 PM, Blogger PPP said…

    Rick, how come you didn't call Tucker a f-----t here?

    So by your logic each fan has to apologize for all of the sins of their team's past before condemning such vile actions? You should make sure that you strap your helmet on tightly before getting on the short bus in the mornings. It seems like you have been knocked around lately.

    That hit was a blatant attempt to strike Kaberle's head and to injure. Of course as a Devils fan you are probably proud to have someone following in Scott Stevens' headhunting footsteps.

  • At 8:32 PM, Blogger TreeBob said…

    I too believe that the hit was extremely late and therefore illegal. I believe I mentioned that, sorry if I was not clear. I knew when I posted this I would take flak, especially since this is Maple Leafs blog. I know Maple leafs fans well, as I have lived with them all my life (who hasn't). However this is MY opinion and you can disagree if you like. I am not stupid or "couple of men short of a powerplay unit".

    I am not glad kaberle is hurt, and I am glad Cam was suspended. That said, I don't think he was head hunting. Kaberle did not see him coming until the last second and he turned away and dropped his head. Intent to injure or not I think he was suspended for being reckless and checking Kaberle when he was not expecting it to happen.

  • At 9:27 AM, Blogger mike said…

    treebob, thanks for your comments and opinion. It is always appreciated. Discourse is the path to truth, or something like that.

    It appears the hit's timing is universally agreed to be late.

    Do you think Janssen left his feet? I've seen bigger leaps, but he definitely loses contact with the ice in his attempt to hit Kaberle high.

    True, Kaberle wasn't concerned about the forechecking Janssen. However, that doesn't erase Janssen's actions or intent.

    PPP, I believe the 2000 Cup ceremony before the game had a large influence on the way the Devils played the game. White was looking for trouble the leading up to the hit on Kaberle. And without Belak in the line-up the Leafs had not deterrent factor whatsoever.

    And though losing Kaberle is the largest negative in this situation, JFJ now has a ready made excuse for missing the playoffs.

  • At 12:57 PM, Blogger TreeBob said…

    To is not out of the playoffs yet, although with the Bruins charging they had better watch out! ;)

    Personally, I hate the Islanders for their pickups at the trading deadline. Good for them but very bad for us. It is looking like there is only room for one of our teams.

    Good luck.

  • At 2:52 PM, Blogger JP McGovern said…

    True, Kaberle wasn't concerned about the forechecking Janssen.

    Frankly this is the part that gets me about folks defense of the Janssen hit. I've done a lot of looking around the Internets and it seems to me that the folks defending the hit are doing a lot of talking about how Kaberle should not have 'admired his pass' or should have 'had his head on a swivel'.

    Me, I can't think of one reason why he should have been keeping an eye out for trouble. He's way behind the play, he's already made his outlet pass and was in no danger when he did... In my mind, he has no reason whatsoever to be concerned about getting hit at that point.

    Look, Lindros coming over the middle (whichever time) or Campbell's hit on Umberger, those players need to keep their heads up. They are actively involved in the flow of the game. Here, Kaberle is way behind the action and I can't see the logic in blaming him for not expecting a cheap shot.

    For the record, I don't think it matters if the hit was high... The hit was late, the hit was behind the play, and the player was in a justifiable defenseless posture when hit. Therefore, it's a dirty-ass play.

    (Oh, and I'm a Ranger fan, but I feel relatively impartial here and if Hollweg does the same thing tonight I promise not to defend it.)

  • At 3:22 PM, Blogger JP McGovern said…

    I just watched it again and I'm really angry about the hit... (as a
    non-Leaf fan, though admitted Devil-hater).

    I don't think Janssen WAS ABLE to hit him because his head was down, I think the only reason Janssen WENT TO hit him was because his head was down. There is a subtle, yet huge, difference. The injury didn't result from the fact that Kaberle was defenseless, the only reason the play even happened at all was because Kabele was defenseless.

    If Kaberle had been looking at Janssen, Janssen would not of have gone to run him because he would known that Kaberle would avoid him and Cam would be left behind the play.

    Like diving in soccer (or hockey), these hits need to be handled by
    the offending player's own teammates and coach. Without that, no action by the other team (which is simply expected) or Bettman & Co. (which can never be truly equitable in a Kaberle/Janssen type situation) can work.

    If you're the Devils, you need to give Janssen a talking to and bench him for a couple games when the suspension is over.

  • At 3:51 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    they really should make some amendments to the suspension policy (although who really expects the NHL to do something sensible); i'm fine with the three game suspension but wouldn't it be nice if that was a minimum, with the suspended player ineligible to return until the wounded player?

    obviously this type of suspension would be for intent-to-injure type cases, such as this one. there should be no place for intent-to-injure in the game.

  • At 11:40 PM, Blogger PPP said…

    Anonymous, that is a great proposal that I have been yearning to hear from someone in power. The problem is that the GM-BoG in the NHL is such an old boys club that they won't ever abandon the old 'code'.

    I remember thinking that that is what should have happened to Suter when he cross-checked Kariya and Bertuzzi in the Moore incident.

    The whole incident becomes more frustrating because, like with no-touch icing, you KNOW the NHL won't do anything to fix the situation.

  • At 7:04 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Ninja -

    The fact you were just as outspoken about the Drury hit gives you even more legitimacy on the subject.

    This isn't about Darcy Tucker's past, and as a Sabres fan I despise Tucker, but it's about what's right and what's wrong. And that hit just doesn't pass the smell test.

  • At 9:42 AM, Blogger mike said…

    KP, you just made my day. thanks dude.

  • At 4:44 AM, Blogger Robert L said…

    The hit only looks late on the slomo-cam!

    Kidding aside, it's the boards ten feet away that caused the injury. Kaberle shouldn't have been admiring his pass so much. Janssen's slow as hell and he had a lifetime to brace himself for the hit.

  • At 4:47 PM, Blogger mike said…

    robert, a buddy dismissed the pass admiring tact pretty well at the time. To paraphrase: he passed it so early, he shouldn't have needed to brace himself. And I agree.

    ...and tell chickenstock if he wants to play like that to take his visor off. very lame.


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