I’ve seen a lot of questionable, dirty, or shocking plays in my time as a hockey fan. Dirty hits, intentional slashes, diving, the list goes on and on. However, I’ve never seen anything quite like what Ryane Clowe of the San Jose Sharks showed us on Thursday night.
With Jarret Stoll a step ahead of the San Jose defender, Ryane Clowe knocked the puck off of Stoll’s stick to avert a breakaway. The thing is, Ryane Clowe was on the bench. When I heard Jim Fox call it, I thought it may have been incidental. A guy coming off the ice tipped the puck by accident. Nope. Ryane Clowe, stood up from the bench, reached over the boards, and stuck his stick on the ice, tapping the puck off Stoll’s stick.
I don’t know what penalty that even is. Too many men? Interference? Misconduct? I do, however, know that it’s not legal. Not even close. Otherwise there would probably be a few players doing that throughout the course of the game.
To me, that play is cowardly. More cowardly than taking a swing at someone on the ice. When you’re on the ice you know you’re going to have to pay for your actions. You’re charged up with being in the play and sometimes your competitive spirit gets the best of you and you take a run at someone, or reach out to stop a breakaway. But from the bench? To stand up from the bench to do that is unconscionable. How down must you be about your team’s ability to win to stoop so low? How desperate must you be to do that? It’s incredibly childish.
I should know. I used to cheat at Battleship with my brother. I would move the ships around so he couldn’t hit them, until one day he called almost every spot on the board and he knew something was up. The jig was up. However, I didn’t have a dozen cameras on me, four officials, and another team watching. Oh, and I was 9 years old.
But really, where were those 4 officials? It was clear as day that Clowe did this. How do 4 officials miss that? How does something so egregiously unfair go by without someone catching it? How will the Sharks explain this? How will Clowe explain this? How will the referees explain this? How will the NHL explain this?
Most importantly to Kings fans, how will the Kings respond to this?
About the Author
Written by Eric Cooney
Eric Cooney was born in Pennsylvania, grew up in North Carolina, and lives in Los Angeles, CA. He shares his thoughts on the NHL as one man who is a northerner, southerner, east coaster, and west coaster. Follow him on Twitter @EricCooney