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Game #5 Thoughts..Hossa..Power Play..

It’s a beautiful morning in Nashville after a night of treacherous storms.  The clouds have lifted and the warm sun reminds me that every day is a new day.  As I sit in my office, sun beaming through the windows, I finally have the strength to express my emotions from yesterday’s 5-4 Chicago victory over Nashville.  If ever there was a game where emotional swings covered the spectrum, this game had it all.  Unfortunately, the emotion that carried over at the end of the game left me paralyzed, crushed, depressed, and with enough anger to fuel a war. 

Welcome to the NHL Playoffs where there is more emotion then all MLB, NFL, and NBA games combined.  I am biased in my emotions, but would challenge any sports fan to suggest a basketball, football, or baseball game carries the back and forth excitement that exists in every hockey game.   And this is just the first round of the playoffs.  Six weeks from now, fans from two teams will be on the verge of instant combustion with every pass, hit, save, block, and goal in the Stanley Cup Finals. 

I can only hope in my lifetime I get the experience that level of euphoria as a Nashville Predators fan.  But for now, I am left with the realization that my beloved Predators might lose for the fifth straight time in the first round.  This series isn’t over, though, and Nashville still has a legitimate shot at advancing to the 2nd round.  It just might take an effort so monumental that even the Hockey Gods might question how realistic it is. Can the Nashville Predators come back to Nashville for game 6 on Monday and bring the same emotion, grit, and urgency that they laid on the ice in game 5?  Will Pred Nation, heartbroken for so many years, be able to regroup and bring the noise to the Bridgestone Arena on Monday?  Will the Hockey Gods show mercy on the NHL’s ‘redheaded stepchild’ and grant them a playoff series victory that has always eluded them?

These are the questions that I will ponder over the new few days.  This morning, though, in the confines of my ‘man cave’ office, my emotions of last night still linger. 

1)  The Power Play – I am not sure which is more shocking, that Nashville hasn’t converted on a single power play(0-21), or that the Washington Capitals have only scored 1 goal in 24 opportunities on the power play.  Regardless, if Nashville loses this series, all fingers will point towards their inability to convert on the power play.  Not only have they failed to score when they have a man advantage, they have failed to score when they have a two man advantage.  Worse yet, is that they allowed Chicago to score a short handed goal.  But not just any short handed goal.  And not just any power play.  A short handed goal when you have a 4-3 lead with .13 seconds left in the game on a five minute boarding major.  The short handed goal by Patrick Kane with .13 seconds left tied the game and sent it to overtime where Marian Hossa (more on him below) eventually won the game a few minutes later after serving his five minute boarding major.  Kane’s goal may go down as the most emotionally devastating goal in Nashville History. 

2) Marian Hossa – What’s to like about this guy unless you judge a person by goals scored and ignore all character flaws.  First he turns down a great contract by Atlanta insisting his prima donna self is worth more money.  Atlanta then trades him to Pittsburgh where he helps lead them to the Stanley Cup Finals where they eventually lose to Detroit.  Pittsburgh offers Hossa a great contract, but he again leaves a uber talented team and heads to Detroit for more money.  In Detroit, he helps lead them to the Stanley Cup playoffs where they eventually lose to PITTSBURGH!   Again, on an extremely talented team, he turns down a great contract, and again goes after more money and signs with the Chicago Blackhawks in a deal that many in the league question as circumventing the salary cap. 

But when you package all of his greediness into one, nothing boils my blood more then “The Push” he enacted on Nashville defenseman Dan Hamhuis.  One of the greatest playoff hockey games I have ever witnessed was disgraced by Hossa, and more precicely by the lack of a game misconduct from the game officials.

At 18:57 in the third period, with Nashville leading 4-3, Marian Hossa pushed Dan Hamhuis while Hamhuis was skating to retrieve the puck on the back boards.  “The Push” caused Hamhuis to lose his balance and go head first into the back boards where he was clearly in pain.  Hamhuis eventually was helped to his feet and skated off the ice on his own, which is a testament to his toughness.  But his night was done and he did not return to the game. 

But this is when the game took a turn for the worse.  Hossa was issued a 5 minute boarding major which would put Chicago down a man for the next 5 minutes.  But he was not issued a 10 minute game misconduct resulting in a game ejection.  The immediate question is why?  Was this “Push” not a replica of the hit that Alexander Ovechkin put on Brian Campbell in the regular season?  Did Ovechkin not get thrown out of that game and get a 2 game suspension as a result of the push?  Yes, Campbell did have a broken clavicle, but that wasn’t diagnosed until after the game.  Campbell was unable to return to that game as well.  So the question is why wasn’t Marian Hossa thrown out of the game for a hit similar to Ovechkin’s? 

Ovechking Hit on Campbell:

Hossa Hit on Hamhuis:

Now you tell me which situation placed the opposing player in a more vulnerable situation?

The reality is  Hossa should have been thrown out of the game along with the 5 minute game misconduct.  But that alone isn’t what sends my blood pressure through the roof.  Five minutes later, after serving his 5 minute boarding major, Hossa scored the game winnng goal in overtime.  He should not have even been in the GAME, let alone on the ice.  Lets not forget that Chicago also had the added advantage of not having one of Nashville top defensemen in the game.  So Hamhuis is out, but Hossa is in?

The league runs its mouth talking about how they want consistency in the enforcement of the rules.  They talk about how they are going to enforce situations where a player takes liberty on a defenseless player.  But here comes superstar Marian Hossa in a playoff game, playing for a team that both the NHL and NBC would love to be in the Stanley Cup Finals, and there is no match penalty!

My emotional take is this.  If the league does not suspend Hossa, andChicago manages to take a lead in Monday’s game 6, someone from Nashville should send Marian Hossa into the boards head first with the hardest dirtiest hit in the history of the NHL.  I am not one to condone such actions, but if the officials and the league aren’t willing to enforce their rules fairly, there is no reason why Marian Hossa should play one more minute the remainder of the NHL Playoffs.  If I was playing, I would gladly take a 5 game suspension at the start of next year to ensure this worthless excuse of a hockey player doesn’t get to enjoy another minute of hockey this season. 

OK, now I am back from my emotional rollercoaster.  Go Preds.  Win Game 6 and sent this series back to Chicago for game 7.

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In response to “Game #5 Thoughts..Hossa..Power Play..”

  1. Shane Hoopfer Apr 25 201012:14 pm


    I could not believe what I was watching when Erat threw that blind pass out front (hitting the net) instead of just cycling it. Dumbest thing I’ve seen in a while.

    As for Hossa on the ice the Ref’s made the correct call with a Boarding major. (a match if basically left to tomahawking someone over the head with your stick, or the like) Now off the ice if I handed out the justice that is the perfect example of a 1 game suspension in my mind.

    Knowing the NHL’s wheel of justice as I do, I would be surprised if he is suspended at all.

    1. Dave Gutzman Apr 25 201012:32 pm


      I agree withu except for how the on ice offial and league handled the ovechkin hit. What was different about that hit that warrented a misconduct whereas Hossa’s hit didn’t?

  2. Joshua Bartle Apr 25 201012:28 pm


    This was from Bob McKenzie’s twitter yesterday:

    “Hossa was not kicked out of the game because a boarding major only carries a Game Misconduct if injury occurs to the player’s head or face.

    Based on the rulebook, looks like call on Hossa was correct one but definitely raises issue of how Ovechkin on Campbell was called.”

    Since the injury looked to be on Hamhuis’s shoulder, a game misconduct was not applicable in this situation.

    1. Dave Gutzman Apr 25 201012:44 pm


      My issue is with the ovi hit. If the nhl screwed up that call, they need to admit it. If not, they hossa should be treated the same way. Afterall, campbell did not have an injury to his face or head

  3. Chris Rydburg Apr 25 201012:55 pm


    I am restraining myself from typing up an article. I won’t have one up till monday.

  4. hockeyfan19 Apr 25 201012:55 pm



    I understand the emotion of losing a game like that, but come on. Are you seriously advocating the dirtiest hit in the history of the NHL? You want somebody on your team to injure a player deliberately a la Todd Bertuzzi? There is no room in this wonderful league for goons like that. Making such statements doesn’t help the skepticism that many outside of Nashville have for the Preds fanbase and their hockey knowledge.

    Yes, the Hossa hit was dangerous. Yes, it merited a penalty, and yes, perhaps a game misconduct should have been called. But come on, the worst hit in the history of the NHL?

    Let me mention a couple of points to you regarding both the outcome of the game and a potential suspension:

    1) Marian Hossa is not a repeat offender and has not been suspended this season for a hit like that. Ovechkin received 2 regular season games for a hit that is similar (whether it was worse could be debated, but I don’t think it really matters in this case), likely because he was a repeat offender. If this was Hossa’s second time around, I could definitely see a suspension in order, but since it is not, I think he doesn’t sit. He paid his dues in the form of a 5 minute penalty with his team trailing and then into overtime of a crucial playoff game. I would argue that punishment is more severe that the 2 regular season games Ovechkin got. I have a feeling that if Nashville converted on that powerplay, you might not be so hell bent on a suspension for Hossa, so maybe you should direct your “worst hit in the history of the league” nonsense at your coach responsible for the PP.

    2) It’s not like Hossa scored a brilliant goal after walking through your entire team. It was a tap in. An empty net goal. I could have put that one in. Let’s say Hossa did get kicked out of the game and Kopecky served the penalty, just as he did for the bench minor earlier in the game. Do you honestly think that Kopecky wouldn’t have scored that goal. It was a simple play. Go to the net, just like every player would in that situation, and tap in a loose puck. Whether Hossa got kicked out or not, the Hawks still would have won that game.

    Rather than taking such a negative, and ridiculous standpoint, I’m going to take the high road. I hope Hamhuis is okay. I hope he plays Monday and has a great game. I look forward to a hard fought game between two very solid teams.

    I hope the thuggery that you’re calling for stays in the parking lot.

    1. Dave Gutzman Apr 25 20102:38 pm


      Well, I will address each of your comments below….

      - ‘a la Todd Bertuzzi’ – Funny you should bring up his name because he was exactly who I was screaming for about 2 minutes after it happened.

      -Regarding the Predators fans base and hockey knowledge – Most Preds fans gave up a long time ago giving a crap what other hockey elitists thought about our ‘loud and proud’ fans.

      -I never suggested the Hossa hit was the worst in the NHL..Only that he should receive the worst hit in the NHL as retribution should the league decide to turn the other way and not suspend him.

      1) Regarding your thoughts as to Hossa not being a repeat offender. Again, but the letter of the law, he should not be suspended because there was not an injury to the head or the face. But under that same rule, Ovi should not have received a game misconduct or suspension because there was not an injury to the head or face. How does this situation change if it turns out that Hamhuis received a concussion as a result of the hit? He didn’t return to the game, so we don’t know what the results are. But my other question is how does one go about getting an initial suspension? You bring up multiple infractions. Will the league mark Hossa down for his first infraction as a result of this hit?

      2) As for whether Kopecky would have scored, that is all hypothetical. It is impossible to determine where a different player would be on the ice in a specific situations.

      3) And lastly, as far as your thuggery comment…I actually would prefer the NHL go back to its days of thuggery. Years and years of pussifying the league have changed the way the game is played. Now games are decided by on ice officials and the home office in Toronto. Remove the instigator rule, and let the game go back to where players policed the ice. But in the event the league wants to continue its pussification of the game, at least call the game the same way. If the arguement is that Ovechkin should not have received a game misconduct because there was not injury to the face or head, then have the league come out and admit it. At least then teams would know what is misconduct worth and what is not. But there is no reason why Ovi’s hit should result in a miscondut when Hoss’a hit should not.

  5. Adam Seidman Apr 25 20101:45 pm


    I’ve gone on record several times about the Ovechkin hit, so I need not rehash it here. Ovechkin should not have been thrown out of that game (he only got 2 minutes if you recall), and the only reason he was suspended is because it was his third game misconduct (and fifth or sixth reckless play) of the year.

    Great writeup here on the differences:

    One more point: Hossa actually took LESS money to sign with Detroit. Pittsburgh offered him a very lucrative multiyear deal, which he turned down to go to a team he thought was better for just one. It could still be argued that, despite the outcome, that Detroit team was still better.

    1. Dave Gutzman Apr 25 20102:59 pm


      Hossa did not turn down more money to go to the Wings.

      Despite a reported five-year contract offer worth $7 million annually from the Penguins in attempts to retain his services, on July 1, 2008, Hossa signed a one-year deal with the Detroit Red Wings worth $7.45 million.

      You don’t have to be a math major to know that 7.45 is more then 7. And then he turned down a contract extension offer with the Wings to sign the bogus contract with Chicago where he is getting 7.9 million a year for the next 7 years. So no, I don’t buy into this BS that he turned down less money to play for a better team.

      Now, as for the article, clearly it is from a biased point of view. Lets point out a few differences that I see..

      First, Campbell’s number is 51, whereas Hamhuis is #2. Of course Campbell’s number is going to cover more of the back side of his jersey, thus making it look like a hit to the back. Hamhuis’ number is centered which makes it look like the push was further way. If you look at the hit on Hamhuis, Hossa’s hand clearly touches to the right of the #2, which is clearly in the center of the back. It is at 1:12 in the video. The picture in the article is a snapshot just after the initial hit with Hamhuis falling away from Hossa. Take it back about a 1/2 a second and you will see where Hossa’s hands are. In fact, if you look at how Ovi hit Campbell, it can be argued that it was from the side, regardless of where the hands hit as Ovi’s body also crashed into Campbell, not just his hands.

      1. Adam Seidman Apr 25 20103:55 pm


        Okay Dave, you’re one of the best writers on this site and I enjoy reading your articles, but you are completely off the mark on this one. You know that you wouldn’t be this irate and insistent if the Preds had won that game.

        First, 7×5=35, which is a much bigger number than 7.45. If Hossa goes to Detroit and suffers a career ending injury or simply plays terribly, he’s out 27 and a half million. That sounds like less money to me. But I’m no math major.

        Second, yes I agree that the article I linked is a little skewed, specifically with respect to the hand placement argument, but it’s dead on with respect to the location of the puck and game situation. In addition, game misconducts not specifically stipulated by the rules are discretionary and subject to the officials’ perception of the play, evaulated in a vacuum–not with respect to any other call made ever in the history of the game.

        And I still refuse to comment on the final paragraph of your article because it’s shameful, ignorant, and biased.

  6. hockeyfan19 Apr 25 20103:27 pm



    I think you’re too caught up in this to provide a coherent and sensible argument. I was agreeing with you in the inconsistency of how the game is called- Hossa very easily could have gotten a game, Ovechkin very easily could not have- and would also agree that the instigator rule is a bad one. However, if you want to make the argument that a league full of goons that can’t skate is more entertaining than the speed and skill of today’s NHL, I suggest you check out whatever UFC fight is on Monday night. Moreover, for your loud and proud, supposedly knowledgeable fan base, I would hope that their blogger might know the difference between a 10 minute misconduct and a game misconduct.

    For you to suggest that the best way to solve the inconsistency of the officiating is for something worse than what Todd Bertuzzi did just shows how ridiculous your logic has been. I suggest you grow up a little bit and enjoy the ride your team has been on. Yes the league needs to figure out how to call these penalties better, but the days of the goon are over, and the league is better off because of it.

  7. Dave Gutzman Apr 25 20104:10 pm


    Well, now that I have created great discussion, I will reference my very last comment on my article. My entire point was that these types of plays create so much stir around the league depending on what side of the fence you are on. My last paragraph indicated what thoughts go through a fans mind under the emotional roller coaster that is the NHL season + playoffs. I do not neccesarily condone such thoughts, but know that people get so worked up that these thoughts come into their mind.

    But I also think that this goes to my underlying point that I referenced early in the article which is that the NHL has more emotions then MLB, NBA, and the NFL combined. Long season, fast play, questionable hits, amazing skill and speed, players that we usually respect and admire(unlike some other leagues), a game steeped in tradition. All of these contribute to fans emotions.

    Yes, I was ticked after the game. Yes, the name Bertuzzi came to mind. But only because of the amount of invested emotions I have in the Predators. I would never wish a player to be hurt for a game, much less a career. But as I watched my comments get reacted too on various boards that this went out too, it was amazing to see how fans lined up on both sides. Its Hockey, Fans are passionate. And you are right. If Nashville had any type of a power play, this issue probably wouldn’t have been what we are talking about today. Nashville would have won the game and most likely the series if they had even a 10% power play.

    I appreciate everyone who reads my articles. Understand that from time to time I throw a curve ball to stir the pot and inspire debate. Even if it is aimed at me and I am in the wrong. I, like so many, love the game of hockey. But if I offended anyone, or made anyone think less of me for my words, I offer my apology.

  8. hockeyfan19 Apr 25 20106:40 pm


    I wasn’t offended, I just didn’t think you were making sense.

  9. Chris Rydburg Apr 25 201011:55 pm


    I’ll say this: I thought what Hossa did was worthy of a Game Misconduct. When he didn’t receive one, I knew the League wouldn’t give him a one game suspension.

    Do I wish physical arm upon Marian Hossa? Yes.
    Do I want him to get so banged up he can’t play the rest of the playoffs? NO.
    Do I want it to be a dirty play? NO.

    Ultimately, the Predators couldn’t score on the power play. That is is the story of the game and the series. Peter Horachek should be ashamed and fired. Not only his he failing at his job, but he also called out fans for the game 3 loss at home for not being loud enough to propel the team to victory. Yeah Horachek, your time is up.

    I was actually surprised by Arnotts inspired play at times… but I still hope he retires!

  10. Chris Rydburg Apr 25 201011:57 pm


    SIGH not ARM! HARM!!!

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