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NHL Will Not Suspend Penguins' Kunitz


Alex Ovechkin was hoping for more, but Pittsburgh Penguins wing Chris Kunitz will not be suspended by the NHL for his late-game hit to the neck area of Capitals goalie Simeon Varlamov seconds before Sidney Crosby scored his third goal of Game 2 with 30.4 seconds left in the third period.
League officials confirmed that the tape has been reviewed.

According to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Kunitz will, however, be fined.

By Lindsay Applebaum  |  May 5, 2009; 5:13 PM ET
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Next: Brashear: Re-Signing With Caps Is 'First Choice'


Not surprised, but he should be.

Posted by: cbbjr | May 5, 2009 5:13 PM | Report abuse

He WILL Get His.

Posted by: joshu1 | May 5, 2009 5:14 PM | Report abuse

that could have been a serious injury...
just look at it

Posted by: wowkanut | May 5, 2009 5:15 PM | Report abuse

NHL playing favorites again? Who'da thunk it?

Unfortunately, I'm not surprised in the least at the decision.

Posted by: Desu | May 5, 2009 5:16 PM | Report abuse

my bad.. doenst work for some reason

Posted by: wowkanut | May 5, 2009 5:17 PM | Report abuse

How surprised will Kunitz be when Ovi runs over him like a freight train tomorrow?

A) Very Surprised
B) Somewhat Surprised
C) Not Surprised at all after coming to from a deep sleep

Posted by: Moose33 | May 5, 2009 5:18 PM | Report abuse

For game 1 I had the misfortune of being surrounded by Penguins fans on three sides. Based on the way they spoke of him, we shouldn't be too upset he wasn't suspended, although he certainly should have been.

Posted by: cbbjr | May 5, 2009 5:19 PM | Report abuse

Kunitz is more valuable to us on the ice then off...he has been horrible....He will be a marked man by the refs on Wednesday a'la Avery.

Posted by: SA-Town | May 5, 2009 5:19 PM | Report abuse

Washington Post Live replayed it several times and I just can't believe he didn't get at least one game. Anyone watching that can see that was totally intentional. To say he was following the puck and his stick accidentally went to Varly's neck with force is ridiculous.

Posted by: rachel216 | May 5, 2009 5:20 PM | Report abuse

The NHL and Colin Campbell are disgraceful. Avery should have been suspended as well as well as the Duck player that hit the Detroit player in the face.

Posted by: MReilly9 | May 5, 2009 5:20 PM | Report abuse

Watch out Marc Andre Fleury. (jk)

Posted by: rachel216 | May 5, 2009 5:21 PM | Report abuse

Pittsburgh Post-Gazett is reporting that he's getting fined but not suspended. That wouldn't make any sense. But could be the case.

Posted by: Stu_c | May 5, 2009 5:22 PM | Report abuse

Pittsburgh Post-Gazett is reporting that he's getting fined but not suspended. That wouldn't make any sense. But could be the case.

Posted by: Stu_c | May 5, 2009 5:22 PM | Report abuse

It sucks. The NHL is such a joke. I'd love to see some payback but the Caps need to be smart and not put themselves shorthanded. If this were the regular season, I'd be all for seeing Kunitz taken out on a stretcher.

Posted by: Hatfield223 | May 5, 2009 5:25 PM | Report abuse

It wouldn't make any sense - so by NHL logic it makes sense. This is why the NHL will always be a second class league.

Posted by: ccCapsfan | May 5, 2009 5:25 PM | Report abuse

he needs a good old two hander across the calf just above the skate boot.

Posted by: cadlecreek1 | May 5, 2009 5:26 PM | Report abuse

This is a joke that he's not suspended but I'm not surprised.
A) The NHL caters to the Penguins
B) NHL wants this to go 7 games and with a Pittsburg win (I believe).
C) They don't want the Caps to have any advantage

If one of the Caps players such as Brashear or Erskine hit Fleury like this do you think they would have been suspended? Of course they would, I think all major sports have become sort of a disgrace on some of these things. Fact is the NHL wants the Penguins to go as far as possible because "Cry Baby" Crosby is the face of the NHL. Although besides being a crybaby he looks like a child "molestor" with his mustache.

Posted by: DCSportsFan28 | May 5, 2009 5:27 PM | Report abuse

Good to know. So it is open season on goalies since the league has no problem with crosschecks to them. Hope the Caps get the message.

Posted by: lougy | May 5, 2009 5:27 PM | Report abuse

Not suprised at all. With all the crap and inconsistencies with the "to suspend of not to suspend" decisions, I'm not suprised at all, I'm just really angry. With no suspension for Kunitz the NHL is saying they tolerate that stuff. Well, then just let Kunitz keep doing that since he knows he won't get a punishment. It's stupid, they need to really look at these harder. Brash hit, the hit on Jiri Hudler, all the Avery crap, now this... it's too inconsistent.

Posted by: rachel216 | May 5, 2009 5:27 PM | Report abuse

boy the nhl front office has done it again. when avery hit juice with his backhand/fist/butt end of stick (and orr's clothesline of semin), i tried to tell ragfan44(?) that avery should be suspended - because if the league doesn't - then you're telling the players to take care of it on the ice. well - that's exactly what is happening again. it won't be brash or erskine - but someone will, without regard to a pens players safety, give out on h*ll of a hit. this is where the danger factor for players comes in. it's too little/too late AFTER your orbital bone is broken. i believe this is the leagues way of keeping the fighting - not getting rid of it.

does anyone think the league put any thought into 'players must be aware of and control their sticks'? - sure doesn't look like that applied to the kunitz ruling

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | May 5, 2009 4:53 PM

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | May 5, 2009 5:28 PM | Report abuse

Penguins' Kunitz to be fined for cross-checking goalie
Tuesday, May 05, 2009
By Dave Molinari, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Penguins left winger Chris Kunitz will be fined, but not suspended, for a cross-check to the head of Washington goalie Simeon Varlamov late in the Capitals' 4-3 victory in Game 2 of their second-round playoff series at the Verizon Center last night.

Kunitz had a telephone hearing with Colin Campbell, the NHL's director of hockey operations, today.

The amount of his fine was not immediately known.

Posted by: SA-Town | May 5, 2009 5:28 PM | Report abuse

at 10, 11 seconds in you can see the 'second' contact from kunitz on varly - this is the one that could have caused injury.
here is wowkanut link (without the leading colon)

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | May 5, 2009 5:32 PM | Report abuse

So we can do that to Fleury tomorrow, right? They can't suspend us.

Posted by: rachel216 | May 5, 2009 5:34 PM | Report abuse

The fine is a joke. If the NHL wants to crack down on this kind of thuggery, it needs to send a serious message, as they did with Brash, which was TOO severe.

Colin Campbell has lost his marbles. He is a joke, and is making the NHL into one.

Posted by: bucknelldad | May 5, 2009 5:34 PM | Report abuse

NHL is bullsh!@#$! That's why. Clearly that was dangerous. I am somewhat surprised because it was a vicious crosscheck to the throat w the purpose of causing injury. But, only somewhat bec it is still Campbell... no rhyme or reason, only bias.

Posted by: capsfan01 | May 5, 2009 5:35 PM | Report abuse

Watch out Marc Andre Fleury. (jk)

i prefer marc-anthony

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | May 5, 2009 5:36 PM | Report abuse

NHL give me a break... either call and punish all of the infractions or call and punish none of the infractions. FIRE CAMPBELL.

Posted by: capsfan01 | May 5, 2009 5:37 PM | Report abuse

YOu can be sure if a Cap imitates that with Fluery, they will be suspended.

Posted by: Baildog | May 5, 2009 5:38 PM | Report abuse

Voted "Somewhat surprised" but only because I wanted to on the record that I wanted him to get at least one game. One measly game after brash got 6. This is truly bs. I usually write off conspiracy theories about the NHL wanting certain teams/players to win, but this honestly convincing me that something is up.

If erskine did that you'd better believe cindy would have flooded verizon with his tears and the refs would have banned Erskine for life. Love seeing the NHL profit from the endangerment of goalies (I'm assuming that's where the $$ goes, correct me if I'm wrong).

Open season on Kunitz officially started!

Posted by: mrszilla | May 5, 2009 5:39 PM | Report abuse

How does that fine benefit US? Isn't that the point of a penalty? To penalize the player and give the other team an advantage? It led to a GOAL that could have decided the damn game. The NHL brass are a joke.

Posted by: amberlynne | May 5, 2009 5:43 PM | Report abuse

The dirty Kunitz should be suspended, but I'm not surprised that he wasn't.

Posted by: CDon | May 5, 2009 5:43 PM | Report abuse

Colin Campbell is clearly incompetent, and he's just inviting another Todd Bertuzzi incident every time he fails to rule on these matters in a consistent fashion. Brashear is suspended, but Brown is not. Carcillo was suspended when sending a message when the outcome had been decided, so how is this different? Is it really likely that the Pens will score twice in 30 seconds (umm, I mean without CHEATING???). This is BS.

Posted by: gtowncapsfan | May 5, 2009 5:44 PM | Report abuse

They should take Cindy's goal away and change the final score to 4-2 Caps.

Posted by: MReilly9 | May 5, 2009 5:47 PM | Report abuse

Apparently, the NHL only deals out punishment if the victim goes to the hospital.
Avery got away crap like that 6 or 8 times in the first round because no Caps were injured badly enough to miss a game as a result of his actions.
However, when Brashear levels a guy with a LEGAL hit, he gets 5 games because of the unfortunate manner that the player fell to the ice and hit his head.
If that is going to be the standard, then we should expect consistency going forward.

Posted by: Wiley_One1 | May 5, 2009 5:49 PM | Report abuse

Colin Campbell should have been removed from the decision on Brashear because of his ties to the Rangers. But I digress. The league under Bettman and his cronies will never EVER make this the league it should. Even after the most amazing playoff game in years with the two biggest stars in the game go blow for blow they still can't make a correct decision. Kunitz will be crushed by someone and we'll follow that up with a goal and a win.

Posted by: cblankner | May 5, 2009 5:49 PM | Report abuse

It was already said, but I agree with the poster who said that if the league does not suspend players for this kind of behaviour, they are essentially saying to everyone else on the ice "take care of it yourselves" which is a dangerous precedent.

It seems like Campbell must use some rubric where the severity of injury determines the length of suspension. Anything that doesn't cause injuries seems to be chalked up to "boys being boys"

It is disgraceful and disingenious because it is obvious that the NHL uses suspensions as a "cover-our-a$$" card to any incident that is severe enough to make the public at large take notice.

It is a policy that does nothing to protect the guy whose collarbone will be broken sometime next week.

Posted by: benz9 | May 5, 2009 5:54 PM | Report abuse

Wow, I hadn't seen this until just now on youtube. But hey I stick by my statement earlier, you know why Kunitz isn't suspended? Varlamov wasn't hurt! PERIOD! Now, had Varly been hurt GUARANTEED Kunitz would be suspended. There is no reason whatsoever for his stick to be there much less in a text book display of a cross check to the face. Same thing with Brash, NEVER would've been suspended had Betts not gotten hurt. It's absolutely ridiculous but it's the truth.

Posted by: pokerface1208 | May 5, 2009 5:54 PM | Report abuse

I say...

let em hear it!!!!

Do it to it folks!

Posted by: SkinsFanInNYC | May 5, 2009 5:55 PM | Report abuse

You guys are missing the big picture here! Pens fans will be wishing he was suspended now:

"Can you imagine if he gave (Varlamov) an injury, what are we going to do?" Ovechkin said. "If it's not going to be called it's going to be a terrible decision and I'm going to be (mad) about it."

Posted by: mikec171 | May 5, 2009 5:57 PM | Report abuse

NHL = Not Heeding Law

Intent to injure apparently is NOT a penalty.

Posted by: Rocc00 | May 5, 2009 5:57 PM | Report abuse

Bad move by the NHL IMHO. The series thus far has been mostly without gratuitous violence and has been no less entertaining for it. Have the ratings suffered because there haven't been fights or a lot of post-whitsle face-washing? NHL should legislate this stuff out of the game. I thought that's the message they were sending with the Brashear suspension. This is just odd to me.

Posted by: TheFunBunch | May 5, 2009 6:00 PM | Report abuse

Thank you NHL, and your lack of consistency in failing to suspend Mr. Kunitz, for only now, allowing for his continued game time presence, can retribution be truly served in a just, equitable and compensatory manner.

Bring a mop.

Posted by: AleksanderOMunchkin | May 5, 2009 6:00 PM | Report abuse

Will do SkinsFanInNYC! Will perhaps wait till I get home so my company isn't connected to the foul things I say to them.

Basically the moral of this story is Game 3- we can try to hurt them all we want, just as long as we don't break any bones it will all be ok. GREAT PRECEDENT NHL... now you'll have to live with the consequences...

theme song: AC/DC "If you want blood (you've got it)"

Posted by: mrszilla | May 5, 2009 6:03 PM | Report abuse

Anyone find it lame that Pittsburgh (and Philthy) hand out t-shirts to get the uniform color effect for home games? If Pittsburgh wants a white out why can't the fiercely loyal almost Kansas City Penguin fans wear their own white t-shirts?

Posted by: DisgustedinArlington | May 5, 2009 6:09 PM | Report abuse

pokerface1208: Same, I didn't catch the incident live, but I heard of it after the game, when I saw it on youtube I was disgusted. I couldn't even watch the replays of it, that looked so malicious and painful. I feel sorry for Varly that he has to put up with all this crap. Kunitz will probably do it again, cause they didn't suspend him the first time. I'm so angry he got away with this.

Posted by: rachel216 | May 5, 2009 6:10 PM | Report abuse

I'm not surprised at all. The NHL has been incredibly inconsistent in it's punishments. Their problem is that the public is finally noticing this. They're also noticing that they are xenophobic (better?:D) in their calls. To wit:

Brown (Canadian) no call against Hudler (Czech)
Avery (Canadian) no games against Jurcina
Brashear (black French-Canadian) 1 game against Orr (Canadian)
Brashear (black French-Canadian) 5 against Betts (Canadian)

They're racists.

Posted by: Greg S. | May 5, 2009 6:10 PM | Report abuse

I'm not surprised about this call, but I'm pretty disgusted that we as a league condone cross checking unsuspecting players in the neck.

Posted by: dcfury | May 5, 2009 6:11 PM | Report abuse

I say we boycot and not watch the rest of the series.


Posted by: CheyenneWY | May 5, 2009 6:12 PM | Report abuse

@SkinsFanInNYC: Great suggestion about the emails. Here's what I just sent to Bettman.

Mr. Bettman,

It is a complete disgrace that the league has chosen not to suspend Lee Kunitz for his vicious attack on Simeon Varlamov. It suggests that the league is not serious about eliminating actions aimed at injuring another player and it also suggests that the league is attempting to fix a playoff series by not suspending a player on the team it prefers. I am embarrassed to be a fan of the NHL. It is not surprising that the NHL continues to be viewed widely as a "garage league" that shouldn't be taken seriously.

Posted by: ccCapsfan | May 5, 2009 6:17 PM | Report abuse

DisgustedinArlington: Yeah, that is very lame. Not cool at all. At verizon, everyone comes with their red on, in philly/pittsburgh, they have shirts on their seats.

Posted by: rachel216 | May 5, 2009 6:17 PM | Report abuse

Break out the brooms!

Posted by: markfromparkville | May 5, 2009 6:17 PM | Report abuse

Hello. My name is Tyler Sloan. If I was going to have a substantial NHL career, it probably would have started already, but I -can- contribute at this level.
I couldn't help overhearing Mr. Campbell's advice to Avery and now Kunitz. Would one of you guys tell MAF I said hi, or should I just...Introduce Myself?

Posted by: redlineblue | May 5, 2009 6:19 PM | Report abuse

Thanks washington post. Somehow I write a long insightful post and it doesn't go through and I lost everything I wrote.

I'll keep it short and summarize:
I believe RACE played a major factor in the Brashear suspension and the non-suspension of Kunitz is viable proof.

Posted by: james45 | May 5, 2009 6:20 PM | Report abuse

Ogie Ogelthorpe strikes again huh

Posted by: CheyenneWY | May 5, 2009 6:22 PM | Report abuse

james: and the reputation has a major factor.

Posted by: rachel216 | May 5, 2009 6:23 PM | Report abuse

The Caps will NOT be allowed the same latitude in Pittsburgh, because then it would be retaliation.

Just like Semin got four minutes for sticking up for himself when the Pen who started the altercation only got two.

Illegal hits by a Penguin: OK.
Retaliation by the Caps: Penalty, fine, suspension.

Posted by: rw-c | May 5, 2009 6:24 PM | Report abuse

Now Crosby is complaining that Kunitz used up all his "anytime" minutes to make the call to Colin Campbell

Posted by: CheyenneWY | May 5, 2009 6:24 PM | Report abuse

Rachel: yes, and Kunitz' reputation is just as "shady." The biggest reputation is that Brash is black.

Posted by: james45 | May 5, 2009 6:24 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: Rocc00 | May 5, 2009 6:26 PM | Report abuse

CheyenneWY: bahahhahah!

Posted by: ralph4100 | May 5, 2009 6:29 PM | Report abuse

I have to go back and see the hit...I missed it. I have to watch the game at a sportsbar and there is no sound.

I was in a sea of penguin fans last night though and it was awesome.

Posted by: CheyenneWY | May 5, 2009 6:33 PM | Report abuse

James45: Long and insightful= boring.

Posted by: markfromparkville | May 5, 2009 6:33 PM | Report abuse

not surprised, nhl policy does not protect against blows to the head (what they have stated as a priority). in many ways it promotes blows to the head. this suggests that the nhl is unlikely to protect blows to the neck.

Posted by: am_jim | May 5, 2009 6:35 PM | Report abuse

Campbell is a fraud... both he and Bettman need to be shown the door after this season.

First Avery, then Orpik early in the game last night, and now this. I guess it's ok to treat a goalie as a punching bag, as long as he's playing for the Capitals.

The fine is meaningless.

Posted by: TheStein71 | May 5, 2009 6:36 PM | Report abuse

The NHL has 3 methods for making sure this stuff doesn't happen:

1.) Their Refs go to the trouble to make obvious calls. Ooops guess that's never gonna happen.

2.) Colin Campbell makes the effort to suspend a player after seeing an obvious intent to injure on replay........Nope guess that won't be happening either.

3.) A team plays over a million dollar for a resident tough guy such as Donald Brashear. Woops looks like he got suspended for 5 playoff games in a gross misuse of power, but it's okay at least they've established a bar that all players will be held to. Darn! Wrong again! Brown makes essentially the same hit on Hudler and doesn't even get ONE game.

So Let's review past incidents involving the Penguins; two come to mind off the top of my head.

Incident #1: Crosby punches a Thrashers defenseman in the balls.

Incident #2: Crosby jumps a player so unsuspecting he still has his head down from taking a faceoff about half a second before he started getting pummeled.

So let's review:
Punching players in the balls-Good

Cross checking goalies in the neck-Good

Crushing a guy into the ice before he has the chance to look up let alone defend himself-Good

Sloppy seconds-OFF WITH THIS HEAD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: dcfury | May 5, 2009 6:36 PM | Report abuse

To change the subject for a moment (to hockey), we all knew that Crosby was getting his shots from close in, but the Post's shot tracker from game 2 is a real eye-opener.

Check it out if you haven't seen it.

Posted by: chrisd3 | May 5, 2009 6:39 PM | Report abuse

Give me a break guys. I don't agree with the Brash suspension's length but saying its racist or natavist is ridiculous. The rules are very clear that a suspension is warranted for pre-game altercations.

You can think Kunitz deserves a suspension or not (or Avery or Brown), but you can't say its because Colin Campbell hates Russians or Eastern Europeans. Its not like he's Don Cherry's Manchurian NHL Executive.

Posted by: oldtimehockey | May 5, 2009 6:42 PM | Report abuse

Well, now I want the Caps to take the lumber to Fleury.. but not before a game is decided. Unfortunately we don't have a goonery-capable player even for that lucky moment.

It comes down to how the Caps channel their anger. If they start running around looking for retribution, Kunitz wins. If they come out and play hard all game, he loses.

But yeah, especially at the end of games, it would be nice to have a terminator-like defenseman protecting the crease.

Posted by: VladG | May 5, 2009 6:43 PM | Report abuse

What was the fine for then? Do they have different people off the street review each incident every time? Because it doesn't appear to be the same group. Hell Avery was never fined for his actions.

Posted by: Shiba-fussa | May 5, 2009 6:45 PM | Report abuse

If I were a little kid & saw Avery punch Varly & Jurcina in the face with no punishment...guess I can do that too - right Mom & Dad?

Posted by: Rocc00 | May 5, 2009 6:50 PM | Report abuse


Good info. Crosby obviously changed his strategy from game 1 to game 2. OV - not so much.

Posted by: FloridaCapsFan | May 5, 2009 7:00 PM | Report abuse


I don't deny that Brash should have been suspended. It's the inconsistency of the calls. If you're going to stomp on one player, you HAVE to stomp on all in a similar manner.

Posted by: Greg S. | May 5, 2009 7:00 PM | Report abuse

Kunitz is skating on thin ice. You can be certain he'll be on the ref's watch list. Anymore nonsense and it's off to the showers.

Posted by: Terptwin | May 5, 2009 7:02 PM | Report abuse

I'm absolutely disgusted by the NHL and most especially this Colin Campbell guy. I can't imagine why a lawsuit hasn't been filed against him to have him summarily removed from his position. He endangers every non-Canadian player with his power-trip, serving as judge, jury, and executioner. My condolences to the Penguins who will get their a$$es handed to them tomorrow. Wipe Kunitz smug face on the ice, men. Give Crosby something else to cry about besides hats on the ice. Capitals, unleash the fury, men.

Campbell, how do you sleep at it? Racist, elitist, pig.

Posted by: LeftCoastCapsFan | May 5, 2009 7:03 PM | Report abuse

Best resolution: Put Kunitz and Avery on the ice and allow Capitals fans an opportunity to play their brand of "hockey" on them. Should be fun. Promise we won't hit their heads. Back of neck? Family jewels? Fair game!

Posted by: LeftCoastCapsFan | May 5, 2009 7:09 PM | Report abuse

A quote from Crosby:-

"We haven't changed our beliefs," said Crosby following Tuesday's optional practice at the Iceoplex at Southpointe. "The trust and belief is there that if we play the right way we're going to get good results."

Folks, they are far from out of it. I hope the players are not as obsessed as the bloggers are about Kunitz, Brashear et al and are concentrating on what to do to win the next game.

Stay out of the penalty box for one thing!

Posted by: FloridaCapsFan | May 5, 2009 7:10 PM | Report abuse


Pittsburgh Penguins' coach Dan Bylsma said Tuesday he didn't think concerns over the play were justified.

"He was going to the net, trying to create a loose puck and trying to jam home a rebound," Bylsma said. "He had no intention of doing anything but that and trying to get back in the game. For me, it was a battle, he was in there tight, was making contact with the goalie -- I don't think there was intention to do anything other than create a loose puck."

Really Dan? If the puck was lodged under Varly's helmet this might make sense.

Posted by: Moose33 | May 5, 2009 7:11 PM | Report abuse

Sometimes, it seems that the Caps rarely get a break from the officials. I had assumed that Semin and Orpik would get coincidental minors in first period. But that didn't happen.

The Caps are winning this series, in spite of the officials.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | May 5, 2009 7:15 PM | Report abuse

Yeah right Dan Abysmal.

Posted by: FloridaCapsFan | May 5, 2009 7:15 PM | Report abuse

pure freaking nonsense for the league, but good for Caps -- more motivation. the Caps keep their edge as the underdogs, the red-haired step-child of the league compared to the beloved Pens. perfect motivation and bonding for the lockerroom -- thanks colin campbell, you tool

Posted by: JIMALLCAPS | May 5, 2009 7:17 PM | Report abuse

I am sending Kunitz, Cindy & Colon each this:

Posted by: Rocc00 | May 5, 2009 7:19 PM | Report abuse

Has anyone even explained what the fine was for? If Dan is correct and he was just going after the puck *cough BS cough* then what justification are they giving for the fine?

Clearly the realize he did something wrong, how it is different from another "intent to hurt"? Sadly, even when they issue the press release, I'm sure none of this will make sense.

Posted by: mrszilla | May 5, 2009 7:21 PM | Report abuse

Pittsburgh Penguins' coach Dan Bylsma said Tuesday he didn't think concerns over the play were justified.
"He was going to the net, trying to create a loose puck and trying to jam home a rebound," Bylsma said. "He had no intention of doing anything but that and trying to get back in the game. For me, it was a battle, he was in there tight, was making contact with the goalie -- I don't think there was intention to do anything other than create a loose puck."
Really Dan? If the puck was lodged under Varly's helmet this might make sense.
Posted by: Moose33 | May 5, 2009 7:11 PM |

Same pr1ck coach who the day before said they were going to try to give the youngster a few new looks.

Is that code speak for severed carotid artery?

Posted by: Rocc00 | May 5, 2009 7:22 PM | Report abuse

Greg S., that is my point exactly. Colin Campbell is quoted to have said that Brashear targeted the head of Blair Betts and that is why he was suspended for FIVE games.

Kunitz in the meantime has targeted the head of Varlamov, using his stick as a weapon, and yet receives no suspension as a result.

This is neither fair nor consistent. Other incidents have occured during these playoffs where a player targets the head of another player, legally or not, and the only suspension that has taken place so far is against Brashear.

Is it because he's black? I can't say for sure, but cases have been made on far less evidence.

Posted by: james45 | May 5, 2009 7:22 PM | Report abuse

Hey Lindsay- Could you maybe add a poll asking whether or not a suspension was justified? Maybe like 4 choices too; you know, something along the lines of: Definitely Not, Probably Not, Probably Yes, and Absolutely!

How ridiculous is it when almost averyone would agree a suspension is absolutely justified, but at the same time most would agree that they're not surprised one wasn't handed down?

Posted by: CPortisRun | May 5, 2009 7:23 PM | Report abuse

If it had been one of the Caps it would have been a 6 game or more......but since it was one of the Pens i'm even surprised he got fined. If it had been Crosby, the league would have complimented him on his solid tough play and built him a statue. Sometimes I wonder though, does a Caps player need to die before the league will consider suspending the offender?

Posted by: jonsnoek | May 5, 2009 7:24 PM | Report abuse

Kunitz, you're a punk........

Watch your back Koony - there is a freight train marked #8 that is about to clean your clock......

Too bad we won't see you again at Verizon this season....2 more games and the series is done......

Posted by: lynchburgvacapsfan | May 5, 2009 7:25 PM | Report abuse

James- I usually refrain from the race card but the recent evidence that only North American white skinned males intent on injuring players from other geographic region or ethnic persuasion is pretty damning.

The Nazi Hockey League. Nice going colon.

Posted by: Rocc00 | May 5, 2009 7:26 PM | Report abuse

Penguins' Kunitz to be fined for cross-checking goalie
Tuesday, May 05, 2009
By Dave Molinari, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Posted by: uncatim | May 5, 2009 7:26 PM | Report abuse

this has OV pissed off...he's liable to score five goals and take off someone's head tomorrow :)

Posted by: PGM17 | May 5, 2009 7:28 PM | Report abuse

The NHL does not want the Penguins to lose this series. They want their golden boy to hoist the Stanley Cup ASAP. In the next couple of games, we will see some very questionable calls from the refs. There needs to be some repercussions for bad calls.

Posted by: ejohnsto | May 5, 2009 7:29 PM | Report abuse

on a different note, I just watched the E:60 documentary on Ovi and I have to say, I'm a bit worried about his love of driving fast. He said he got up to 220 once. I hope that was km/h.

Maybe ESPN was blowing it out of proportion but would hate to have him be injured or worse because of driving wreckless.

We want you around for a long time Ovi! Slow down a bit please!

Posted by: Moose33 | May 5, 2009 7:37 PM | Report abuse

Moose33: That's unbelievable. He needs to stop being a homer and get real. That was absolutely intentional. Just watch the replay again, there was no reason that his stick was next to Varly's neck like that. Don't tell me he was following the puck and somehow his stick just got up there. Seriously, if a Cap did that to Marc Andre Fleury, the Pens would be screaming for a suspension.

Anyone who thinks Kunitz did that accidentally is insane. You can cleary see in the video that he was completely aware of what he was doing. It's infuriating.

Posted by: rachel216 | May 5, 2009 7:38 PM | Report abuse

rachel, depending on when that quote was said by and although his quote is laughable, it might have been a way to try to difuse the situation so Kunitz wouldn't get suspended.

It's obviously a complete joke but I can see his reasoning behind it. The best thing to do would have been to say he didn't see it probably.

Whatever, make them pay on the socreboard is the best solution.

Posted by: Moose33 | May 5, 2009 7:47 PM | Report abuse

Hey, folks, did y'all hear that Markus Naslund is retiring after the beating we gave his Rags in round 1? Hmmm...sounds like the seeds of a plan...

Anyway, I am hoping with all my heart for a crushing, soul-destroying SWEEP of the Evil Penguins--time we got this monkey off our backs once and for all!!.

That said, if the series should come back to DC, I have a couple of Ideas for the VC Media Team:

1) Whenever Crysby takes a faceoff, play the Beatles' song "Yellow Submarine"--appropriate on a couple of levels.


2) Whenever a penalty is called against the Caps, play a sound bite of a submarine klaxon (the "aa-OOOOO-GA! aa-OOOOO--GA!" sound that means "dive! dive!").

On Kunitz and his Crimes, I can think of no more appropriate line than that spoken by Kurt Russell's in the film "Big Trouble in Little China":

"Son-of-a-81+C# must PAY!"

I hope Erskine comes back VERY soon to extract retribution for this foul act--he did a great job of neutralizing that tool Avery in Round 1. Why? Because I don't want OV to waste time doing anything stupid (even though I'm sure we would all rather see the kind of freight-train hits he dishes out so well). I just want him to score goals. Lots. Of. Goals.

Please discuss...

Posted by: Rhino40 | May 5, 2009 8:26 PM | Report abuse

The NHL does not want the Penguins to lose this series. They want their golden boy to hoist the Stanley Cup ASAP. In the next couple of games, we will see some very questionable calls from the refs. There needs to be some repercussions for bad calls.
You don't know what you are talking about. Washington is by far the bigger market and it is to the advantage of the NHL to keep Washington playing for bigger national exposure. Having said that the NHL usually does not suspend unless there has been an injury and in this case there wasn't.

Posted by: MKadyman | May 5, 2009 8:28 PM | Report abuse

Another useful quote from "Babylon 5" the next time a Pens fan says: "And how many Cups did YOUR team win?"

G'Kar: "Their time is OVER!!!! IT'S OUR TIME NOW!!!!

Posted by: Rhino40 | May 5, 2009 8:35 PM | Report abuse

Image of "Super" Mario grinding his teeth in frustration in trhe box as we hand the Pens ANOTHER defeat: Priceless.

Posted by: Rhino40 | May 5, 2009 8:37 PM | Report abuse

I dont remember whose idea this was but instead of booing when crosby touches the puck everyone should go "waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa"

much more appropriate.

Posted by: mrszilla | May 5, 2009 8:39 PM | Report abuse

How about one of the fans running mario, I mean take him out! maybe he'll talk to his team about dirty hits after he's removed on a stretcher. Sorry, just a fantasy.

Posted by: bestpilotonearth | May 5, 2009 9:08 PM | Report abuse

That is total Bull Hockey. Next it will be a tazer or mace. Mace in the face. A pie in the face after the game is OK. Mace in the face during the game is cheating. A black man getting into a skirmish in warm ups...
Kunish is white isn't he? Maybe some of Crosby's ivory rubbed off on him.

Posted by: chavez66 | May 5, 2009 9:08 PM | Report abuse

Sorry MKadyman, you don't know what you're talking about. Cindy is the league's poster child, he is in all the ads, even the guys on NBC have a lovefest for him. Crosby hits guys in the groin, and hits guys on the back on the head while a teammate is holding him down and no one makes a big deal about any of it. The guy is punk, but the league loves him.

Posted by: phrankbama | May 5, 2009 9:19 PM | Report abuse

I guess open season on cross checking MAF in the head. Mr. have your orders.

Posted by: freakinandpeakin | May 5, 2009 9:43 PM | Report abuse

So, let me get this straight... Brashear hits a forward in open ice as he has his head down admiring his clearing pass, granted a second late, and that's a 5 game suspension. However, it's ok to crosscheck a goalie in the neck while he's in his crease. What kind of message are Gary "bobblehead" Bettman and Colin Campbell trying to send? ... That teams should take matters in their own hands and dole out some vigilante justice? ...That it's OK that Campbell showed a bias and suspended Brashear because he used to coach the Rangers? ... Or is it simply that the NHL wants Cindy Crosby to win the Stanley Cup no matter how because he's the league's appointed poster boy?

If perception is truth, then the NHL is turning into the WWE.

Posted by: honker | May 5, 2009 10:31 PM | Report abuse

The part I don't get is that by giving him the maximum fine possible they have said they it was an intentional act. An intentional cross-check to the goalie's head in the final minute. But that's not worth a suspension? If they said it wasn't intentional or it was inconclusive and didn't fine him that would make far more sense than this. Either it was an intentional cross-check to the head or neck, or it wasn't. If they are saying they want to crack down on headshots and on running the goalie, how exactly can they say that what they view as an intentional shot to the goalie isn't worth of a suspension. Makes zero sense other than that they want this series to go as long as possible for marketing reasons.

Posted by: Stu_c | May 5, 2009 10:39 PM | Report abuse

from pensblog

"pops |2009-05-05 02:24:27
where exactly is the cross-check on varlamov? is the fat around boudrau's eyes obstructing his vision?"

creative fans there in pittsburgh...

Posted by: ngraham1 | May 5, 2009 11:04 PM | Report abuse

I hope all of Sucksburg Penzie nation get swine flu.

Posted by: Rocc00 | May 5, 2009 11:20 PM | Report abuse


I think you do a sensational job.

However, I am very disappointed that you have chosen to do absolutely no reporting or commenting on this hit. Do you think there is justice here? Do you think Brashear should get six games and Kunitz nothing? Where is the reporting explaining the justification of the two extremes? Where is the reporting of the NHL explaining why there is no suspension?

Please respond.

Posted by: croftonpost | May 6, 2009 12:14 AM | Report abuse


$2500 won't even cover Ovechkin's bill for sticks for one game.

I don't care that the amount is limited by the CBA, the fine without any suspension is an insult to Varlamov and the Capitals organization. It would have been easier to take if the League just pretended it didn't happen and didn't fine him one cent.

Campbell SHOULD HAVE stepped aside when the Brashear incident came up for review due to the appearance of a conflict of interest (remember he used to coach the Rangers). This proves that he has it in for the Capitals, or at the very least that the NHL is trying to manipulate things so that this goes long.

I hope the Caps packed their brooms for Pittsburgh, just to shove this back down Bettman and Campbell's throats. Here's to making sure Versus has to show more bullriding or replays of Sports Soup in that 3 1/2 hour empty spot starting at 7pm Saturday. Let's go Caps!

Posted by: TheStein71 | May 6, 2009 12:24 AM | Report abuse


Great message you are sending Mr. Campbell! If Fleury gets cross checked to the head or neck tomorrow night, then I would have to intelligently gather that no Washington Capital would face a suspension for it as one team cannot be treated any differently than the other. This is correct, right Mr. Campbell?

Take it to the bank, Kunitz will be a marked man tomorrow evening and you will be responsible for it Mr. Campbell. No team in the NHL will allow their goalie to be treated that way and you know it.

Brashear 5 Kunitz 0 = No Justice! This evening I am ashamed to be an ardent hockey fan.

Posted by: croftonpost | May 6, 2009 12:32 AM | Report abuse

RE: Kunitz

I half agree with the thought of being ashamed to be an avid hockey fan but I remind myself it's not the sport, it's the bozos running it with a neanderthal, gangster mentality.

The stupidity of their suspension policy (only suspend if their is an injury) and the tolerance of blatant, ugly intimidation tactics (see Anaheim - cynical, cheap-hearted elbows and face washes - none of that has anything to do with the passion and love of sport) just shows us, again and again, how stupid and backward they are.

We need some new blood in the league brass and we need at least some token European officials in the league to prevent total bias against those not blessed with North American citizen ship, second-class skill sets, but "love of the game". Speaking of poor officiating, I'm still mystified that there was no review of the Detroit goal taken away. The puck was clearly in the net before the ref blew the play dead, but no review was allowed of the play. Anyone know why that is?

The Caps will retaliate and, worst comes to worst, someone on the Pens will get injured and then that Cap will get a lengthy suspension. The league should have been able to handle this intelligently. Now someone's likely to get hurt and that's a true disgrace.

If I'm Varly, Kunitz gets anywhere near the crease tomorrow, he's getting his ankles are getting whacked hard with big goalie lumber.

Posted by: WritingLight | May 6, 2009 2:31 AM | Report abuse


You have made comments in the past about Caps fans being "negative". Are you starting to see why?

Imagine that Kozlov or Clark or somebody had done this to Fleury. Do you think the punishment would have been as light?

The correct answer is: No.

Posted by: CPTSapper | May 6, 2009 5:21 AM | Report abuse

No surprise. Campbell is a fraud.

Posted by: BlueIguana | May 6, 2009 8:10 AM | Report abuse

Like most everyone else I shake my head in disbelief. It just doesn't make sense that Brashear got 5 games and Kunutz (oops did I spell that incorrectly?) got nothing.

I am a believer in things have a way of working out and what goes around comes around. If it makes Ovechkin mad that isn't good for the Pens. If the refs keep and eye on Kunutz and that results in power plays for the Caps that also isn't good for the Pens.

Posted by: BetterOffWithFedorov | May 6, 2009 8:14 AM | Report abuse

I am afraid the refs will be keeping their eyes on Ovie instead, considering how mad he is about the attack on Varly and the lack of punishment for it. If Ovie so much as looks at Kunitz the wrong way they will penalize him. That said, I think Ovie is smart enough not to get into trouble over this. He's out to win the series, not get revenge.

Posted by: AmyS1 | May 6, 2009 9:16 AM | Report abuse

NHL's lack of consistency in enforcing their own rules sends terrible message. Kunitz should have been suspended at least one game for a blatant attempt to injure Varly. This wasn't a simple incident of goalie interfernce but one where the Caps could have lost their goalie for the series. In this case, it may result in the refs actually paying a little more attention to some of the contact in the crease caused by the Pens.

If Varly had been hurt, my bet is that Campbell would have handed out a suspension. Kunitz has played chippy in both games and a fine isn't going to send a message. Shame on the NHL for failing to suspend players like Avery and Kunitz while doing the opposite with Brashear.

Posted by: wizfan89 | May 6, 2009 9:53 AM | Report abuse

I have been to most of the home games so far and perhaps I am a conspiracy theorist, but it looks like the refs are biasing calls toward extending the series. There were multiple trips by the Pens in the last 5 minutes that were not called yet every nit against the Caps resulted in a Pens powerplay. I suspect it will only get worse tonight. If the CAPS blow out the Pens in 4 (which I would love to see) then the NHL loses its marquis match-up and hype.

Look for a lopsided one tonight to keep Cindy and Genny on the ice longer.

Posted by: mobileclem | May 6, 2009 10:35 AM | Report abuse

Let's face it, if that had been Brashear with the cross check to Fleury's head he would be looking at five games plus a fine!!!
So much for the crack down on head shots!!! Once again, Buttman is all talk unless the Rangers or Isles are involved!

Posted by: dkidwell61 | May 6, 2009 11:09 AM | Report abuse

It's up to the Caps players to protect their goalkeeper. Therefore, payback must be made. I'd hate to be Kunitz tonight -- he's going to be sore tomorrow morning. I expect a very physical game tonight with lots of penalties and some fights. I say forget the score, hit the heck out of the Penguins (who can't retaliate because tonight is a must-win game for them) and then we win back-to-back games Friday and Saturday.

Posted by: rb-freedom-for-all | May 6, 2009 12:44 PM | Report abuse

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