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A Biting, and a Shot to the Head

Rangers fans were howling about the injury suffered by ace penalty killer Blair Betts, who was hit in the head by Caps forward Donald Brashear midway through the first period. Betts was left sprawled on the ice, had to be helped to the dressing room and didn't return. Brashear and Rangers defenseman Paul Mara both got roughing penalties after some post-hit grappling, but Brashear wasn't nicked for the initial contact.

Rangers stand-in coach Jim Schoenfeld said Betts was hurt "significantly," and then also said that center Brandon Dubinsky was bit on the arm by Caps defenseman Shaone Morrisonn during a different scrum.

"We're gonna have to do without Betts most likely," Schoenfeld said. "Dubinsky had to get a tetanus shot because he was bit on the arm in a scrum, I don't know what effect that will have on him, so his status remains in question....So that's a double whammy for us with Betts out and now we've got Dubinsky out, so we were a little shy down the middle. But it doesn't matter, it doesn't matter who's in who's out, the task at hand is the task at hand. Wee have to find a way to get it done or it's over. I mean, that's just simple."

Brashear had gotten into a pre-game altercation on the ice with Rangers enforcer Colton Orr, who was scratched, and Schoenfeld seemed confident that the NHL would examine the hit on Betts.

"I saw it on the replay, it was a late hit to the head and it was pretty vicious," he said. "[Brashear's] a big strong guy, as you all know, and [Betts] didn't see him coming, and he's hurt significantly. Obviously we aren't gonna divulge the nature of the injury, but Bettsie was hurt significantly on the play. And the thing that's I guess a double-edged sword is that Brashear's the guy that was jostling with Orr in warm-up, and we've got people watching that and I has to go through the process.

"But with that happening, it would have been nice to have him not in the game rather than allow him to play the game and eliminate one of our best players. And Bettsie HAS been one of our best players, especially on the penalty kill. So it was a late hit to the head, and the league will look at it and they'll make their own ruling."

The Rangers I heard discuss the Betts hit mostly said they didn't get a good enough look to say anything definitively. It was a quiet, solemn home dressing room, and I didn't hear anything confrontational, though of course I didn't hear from every player.

"I haven't got a chance to look at the hit," Mara said, "but whenever a teammate goes down like that, [you're] definitely angry. It makes everyone upset. And we did go after Brashear a little bit, but it is the playoffs, and we have to be leery to stay out of the box. But I'm sure we'll look at that hit, and I'm sure the NHL will, and we'll see what happens."

By Dan Steinberg  |  April 26, 2009; 6:03 PM ET
Categories:  Caps  
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Next: Rangers Fans: Polite, Asleep


And so it begins. Here come the excuses.

Posted by: ejohnsto | April 26, 2009 6:38 PM | Report abuse

It's the only thing the Rags can do. Report us to the "principal." The Rags are so sad! They feel bad for themselves that they stunk today so they feel they need to do something to us, and that is report us and hope we get in trouble. All I can say is "the rags are a bunch of LOSERSSSS!"

Posted by: rachel216 | April 26, 2009 6:41 PM | Report abuse

Brashear runs around like a goon, gives a cheap shot that puts a player out for the rest of the game, and our coach is pelted with insults and objects.

And that means we're making excuses? These are things your players and fans did with. Accept it, and stop making accuses for yourselves.

Brashear is a goon. Avery is a goon. How about we treat them the same instead of abusing one because he plays for the Rangers and giving all the other goons a free pass because they don't.

All I know is, for a second place team with Ovechkin, we're giving you a real run for your money in a series you lot should have won in 5 or less.

Posted by: ludichrisspeed21 | April 26, 2009 6:56 PM | Report abuse

"All I know is, for a second place team with Ovechkin, we're giving you a real run for your money in a series you lot should have won in 5 or less."

Whatever gets you through the day, I guess.

Run for our money? 4-0 shutout in game 5. Took a 5 on 3 to get the Rag's second goal.

The Rag's have scored 5 times in 3 games. That amounts to TOTAL SUCKAGE.

As far as Brash is concerned - guess karma is a bitoch, eh? After what Avery did to Juice and Poti and a few other Caps, enjoy some of your own medicine.

Posted by: Snowdog | April 26, 2009 7:10 PM | Report abuse

I just saw the hit by Brashear. Someone want to tell me what rule Brashear broke? It wasn't a late hit, because no other player played the puck yet. It wasn't a an elbow, the elbows were down. The person who is to blame for Betts getting hurt is Betts. You gotta keep your head up.

Posted by: FlyersSuck | April 26, 2009 7:13 PM | Report abuse

wait... bit? tetanus shot?

Posted by: jhorstma | April 26, 2009 7:18 PM | Report abuse

Seriously...Betts got buckled...Now he knows what it's like to play with the big boys...It was a clean hit...

Posted by: SA-Town | April 26, 2009 7:20 PM | Report abuse

First the rangers complain about harsh language,(OMG LOL) then a clean hit, all this after their coach turns into a psycho on his own bench after disciplining avery for bad behavior -- Do you see Mike Green and the caps crying about the boarding call that could have ended Green's career? or do you hear them crying about the runs they took on Ovie, Fleishmann, Semin, etc., Seriously, how pathetic can the rangers, their coaches and their fans be? What happened to being a man and having a little dignity and pride -- it such LOSER talk -- For the love of God please stop whining and crying - it's pathetic and embarrasing

Posted by: Terpsrule | April 26, 2009 7:28 PM | Report abuse

im not sure if the hit was really "clean" per se but i do think its funny that two games ago rags fans were coming on here saying how much better their team is and now they are saying that we should have been winning the whole time and that we should be ashamed that it has taken so long to even tie it up...

i dont like seeing any players getting seriously hurt (ok... avery would be the one exception but only bc he puts so much effort into seriously hurting people, he should get some of his own medicine) but all im hearing here are excuses excuses excuses

Posted by: mrszilla | April 26, 2009 7:36 PM | Report abuse

ps- he bit him?? thats hilarious, wish we had some video of that...

Terpsrule- i totally agree, its really pushing the hypocritical envelope. there were bad hits on both sides, unfortunately betts ended up getting really hurt but that could have happened to anyone on our team as well. its not like our team is exactly known for being goons, now all of a sudden we are the bad mother--
shut your mouth

Posted by: mrszilla | April 26, 2009 7:42 PM | Report abuse

Terpsrule: Couldn't have said it any better. Good job.

But I say let them do whatever they want. If they want to whine, complain, cry, act like litle babies, then go ahead. They probably feel like they can't win this series so they will try to get our players suspended. Bottom line is that what they did shows me that they feel sorry for themselves. Is writing letters to the commissioner more important than winning the series?

For heaven's sake, this is professional sports and they are professional athletes! Stop being so sensentive!

Posted by: rachel216 | April 26, 2009 7:46 PM | Report abuse

All I know is, for a second place team with Ovechkin, we're giving you a real run for your money in a series you lot should have won in 5 or less.

Posted by: ludichrisspeed21 | April 26, 2009 6:56 PM

HAHAHAHAHAAHA! Can I have some of what you're on? Your crap team got lucky in game 1, Henrik stole game 2 and 4, and your team weak team now has been blown out in game 3, game 5 and game 6. To insinuate that your "team" could take out the Caps in 5 games or less borders on stupidity.

Posted by: Chase4 | April 26, 2009 7:54 PM | Report abuse

Dear new york rangers -- your team played like crap - please shut your pie holes, concentrate on your crap team and their crappy play, stop being pathetic hypocrites, stop crying like a bunch of losers and stop embarrassing yourselves and the entire NHL


Gary Bettman

Posted by: Terpsrule | April 26, 2009 8:15 PM | Report abuse

ludichrisspeed21: Oh yeah, the Caps are the total bad guys, like the Rangers are not dirty at all! LOL! Yeah Brash's hit was dirty. What about Avery's punch, his elbowing of Jurcina, his high sticking on Pothier's face, or Colton Orr's clothslining of Semin? Go ahead and talk about our players cheap shotting, like Avery hasn't done that like 5 times already in this series. Yup, your coach got pelted and he goes psycho. For a man who can't tolerate Avery, how could he be a hypocrite and throw a water bottle at someone's face? I say the whole rags team needs to not be so sensitive! Have you heard any of the Caps complain ONCE about anything Avery's done? Nope, and all I hear are the rags reporting to Bettman and being babies. whatever.

Posted by: rachel216 | April 26, 2009 8:22 PM | Report abuse

Next question, is there any neutral observer that could tell us if Morrisonn really did bite Dubinsky?

And will Brash get suspended?

If anything, the Rangers are hypocrites. They have been getting game misconduct penalties right and left and they are now complaining about how bad our guys are.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | April 26, 2009 8:23 PM | Report abuse

The Brashear hit was very suspect. I have no idea on the bite...who bites? I think Brash will get suspended and I can't honestly argue about that. I love Brash but that wasn't what I want to see from the Caps.

Posted by: saintex | April 26, 2009 8:35 PM | Report abuse

The Brashear hit was very suspect. I have no idea on the bite...who bites? I think Brash will get suspended and I can't honestly argue about that. I love Brash but that wasn't what I want to see from the Caps.

Posted by: saintex | April 26, 2009 8:36 PM | Report abuse

The Rangers have delivered at least eight ridiculous cheap shots in this series, several of which appeared to be intentional attempts to injure Capitals, including Ovechkin and Green, two of the best players in the NHL.

The Rangers don't have any of the best players in the NHL (other than their goalie), so there is no way for the Capitals to retaliate to the same degree, even if they were inclined to do so.

But I would like to see some form of retaliation (if possible without decreasing the chances of finally prevailing). What happened today--a borderline legal hit by Brashear (not called a penalty by either ref)--is not nearly enough. One way or another, I want Avery and Dubinsky to be seriously hurt, with their noses bleeding, and several teeth knocked out if possible.

I think the Rangers, now that they have Avery, are the dirtiest team I have seen playing the Capitals all year, and they deserve worse than they got today.

The idea that the Rangers would actually have the gall to complain about one hit by an enforcer that happened to cause an injury is ludicrous. All Rangers fans should be ashamed of their team for the multitude of cheap shots and classless play by their team. The degree of self-delusion required to ignore all of this, and then to go on to unabashedly complain about an open ice hit with the shoulder by a Capital, is truly astounding.

I hope, so much, that the Rangers lose game 7, and get beat up in the process. And I hope that they do not succeed in their "strategy" of blatantly trying to seriously injure the Capitals' best players.

Posted by: youaresquishy | April 26, 2009 8:38 PM | Report abuse

youaresquishy: Don't forget, Orr was sent out late in game 5 to send a message and he purposely clotheslined Alexander Semin, also one of the best players in the NHL. Yes, they have went after Green particularly. I find it funny that they are acting like we've been doing all the cheap stuff when in reality they've been the same. The difference is we're not complaining and they are.

Posted by: rachel216 | April 26, 2009 8:47 PM | Report abuse

they've been doing the same, I meant. Sorry.

Posted by: rachel216 | April 26, 2009 8:48 PM | Report abuse


I'd just like to add that, if you're talking about just this year, Semin is absolutely one of the very best players in the NHL.

No one in the entire NHL this year who played in at least 40 games had more points per minute of ice time than Alexander Semin, and only five players who played in at least 40 games had a better +/- on a per-game basis.

Posted by: youaresquishy | April 26, 2009 9:06 PM | Report abuse

if avery wasnt suspended for his hit on jurcina, then brash should not be suspended for this hit. it might have been late (definitely unnecessary), but his elbow was tucked and led with the shoulder. gonna be hard to outlaw shoulder checks in this league. btw, betts is listed at 6'3" 210, brash is 6'3" 235. not like he laid out martin st. louis. hate to see a guy get hurt, particurly to the head. but it happens.

i sure hope morrison didnt bite dubinsky, no need for that. but after you cross check a guy in the back into the boards, hard for me to feel sorry for you. i'd rather get bit in the arm then rammed face first into the boards.

Posted by: dcsportsfan1 | April 26, 2009 9:24 PM | Report abuse

Sounds like a bunch of crying from the leagues "premier defense." It's hard to take their belly aching seriously.

Posted by: sasha_206 | April 26, 2009 9:29 PM | Report abuse

maybe if the officiating wasnt so terrible, and one sided, things like this wouldnt happen

Posted by: bearsfan26 | April 26, 2009 9:38 PM | Report abuse

That's a shame.

Posted by: EricinMD | April 26, 2009 9:50 PM | Report abuse

Since they had what 8 power plays to our 2, I doubt there much more the officials could do. As for the Brashear hit, if the officials didn't call it, I guess it wasn't a penalty. And the Rangers can cry us Caps fans a river, we don't care.

Posted by: EricinMD | April 26, 2009 9:51 PM | Report abuse

Where's the evidence of a bite? Tetanus shot? I don't believe this.

Posted by: Sonyask | April 26, 2009 10:21 PM | Report abuse

Rangers were also heard complaining about Caps threatening to eat their children.

Posted by: sitruc | April 26, 2009 11:52 PM | Report abuse

For the record, I love the Rangers. It's when you start hearing their whining and their complaining, that you realize that we're lucky to have this team.

I won't go so far as claim dominance over their team just yet. Tuesday is a big deal and I know the Capitals and their fans know this. Keep up the hard work, Capitals. Get your minds and bodies into the game, guys. LOVE IT!

Oh, and Rangers and Rangers fans? Thanks for the great games. You guys played really well....4 or 5 games ago. =)

Posted by: LeftCoastCapsFan | April 27, 2009 12:41 AM | Report abuse

Tetanus can't be spread from person to person. So I'm going to assume that Dubinsky stepped on a rusty nail somewhere in the bowels of MSG.

Posted by: smaksimo | April 27, 2009 12:48 AM | Report abuse

I'm not a doctor. I don't know about spreading tetanus. I'd be more concerned with the person doing the biting catching something, since he would be taking the bitee's blood into his mouth.

Seriously, though, does Morrisonn wear a mouth guard? If so, he couldn't have bitten him. Years ago an NFL player was flagged for biting and he went over and showed the ref he had no teeth.

If Morrisonn has a mouth guard, send it to the league office for testing. You could call this "Guard-gate."

Posted by: tominfl1 | April 27, 2009 6:55 AM | Report abuse

@Terpsrule, I agree with you 100%! There were missed calls on both sides but never did the Caps whine about being on the receiving end of several vicious high sticks, cross-checks and hits from behind that the refs ignored. The officials tried their best to steal it from us, but the Caps just did their job and won the game. Like men. Hopefully they are ignoring all this annoying chatter and focusing on game 7. LET'S GO CAPS!!!

Posted by: AmyS1 | April 27, 2009 10:03 AM | Report abuse

Just too classic that they refer to Blair Betts as "Bettsie" LOL

Posted by: joe47 | April 27, 2009 10:20 AM | Report abuse

Thats just about makes up for about ten cheap shots by Avery. and the fans didnt throw anything at your coach idiots, it was the other way around, that why his arse was suspended. The most absurd thing I ever heard, NY fans trying to lecture anyone about chivalry. Whats next, Philly fans will want to hold hand and sing comb Kumbaya.

Posted by: gatsu | April 27, 2009 11:12 AM | Report abuse

Ugly, late hit by Brashear. He should get a min. of a game - which I'm fine with because Caps are better w/o him in the lineup anyway.

Avery's a goon, but I have to say Brashear ain't much better, albeit a more classy guy - but a dirty player is a dirty player, no matter whom he plays for.

P.S. Whoever said Orr should've gotten more for clotheslining Semin is 100% correct. It is crazy what the league lets them get away with re: Semin.

Posted by: govtimbo | April 27, 2009 11:40 AM | Report abuse

Your goon started it - our players will finish it.

U Rags stop hitting late & we will too.

Posted by: Rocc00 | April 27, 2009 12:48 PM | Report abuse

For ppl who say Brash is a goon, he considered one of the best & honorable enforcer.

that means they have a code they follow:
Fight to defend & not to injure.

Guys like Avery & Orr are punks with marginal skills & no honor.

that's the difference.

& the name calling between the 2 cities?
Please, we're only doing what NY has been doing for the last century.

As I said before, u guys started it, we'll finish it.

Posted by: Rocc00 | April 27, 2009 12:51 PM | Report abuse

as far as supposed "cheap shots" go, Brashear's hit is about the cleanest you'll see. He wasn't near the boards, kept his elbows down, didn't use his stick, and led with the shoulder. Between that hit and the pre-game incident, yes, he should get suspended for a game or two just to keep things civil.

All of this whining is a bit pathetic. What kind of coach throws a water bottle that hits a fan in the face and then threatens the fans with a hockey stick?

I've been a Caps fan since the 1980s and I know how they love to lose Game 7s. Let's hope that doesn't happen tomorrow.

Posted by: churtmah | April 27, 2009 1:13 PM | Report abuse

It is rather sad to hear all the mudd the rangers are slinging. Brash's cheap shot as the say was hardly anything, blind sided perhaps, Betts did just play the puck though it probably was outside of that 3 second window. It honestly looked like he tried to take a dive and hit the ice too hard.

Brash is a goon, yes. But he's not being as blatantly vicious as Avery. I haven't seen Brash using his stick as a weapon, atleast on purpose yet. Add to that its Avery, he has a press booth all to his own. There should be no suspension for the Betts hit, the Orr confrontation pre-game is a more likly penalty. But we got plenty of guys who can throw their weight and throw down.

This entire buisiness about Biting and Security is a total sham, and is shameful behavior. Who would of thought the rangers would adopt their "star" player's attitude so aptly?

Posted by: breaklance | April 27, 2009 1:37 PM | Report abuse

for the record, the Caps have lost 3 games to this joke of a hockey team.

Posted by: jmb75 | April 27, 2009 2:54 PM | Report abuse

somehow i think the hit Pothier received in the head from a ranger is a little more serious then the push Donald gave....i mean seeming how pothier has been recovering from a concussion and hitting someone in the head is inexcusable in any sport, including dodgeball

Posted by: cbuck88 | April 27, 2009 11:45 PM | Report abuse

You are all delirious. I'm not defending any hit the Rangers put on anyone, there were a bunch of dangerous hits but CLEARLY Brash blindsided Betts, the puck was behind the GOAL LINE when the hit took place at center ice, Brash followed through with the elbow. The very fact that he never followed through with his body would be an obvious sign that it wasn't a check. To the idiots who said Betts needs to keep his head up -- it was, and that as the problem in the first place. He was going to the bench for a change and he was standing straight up to skate off.

And I agree with most of you, Avery is a goon and he is overrated on both ends of the ice (last year though, I don't think he took many cheap shots or looked as slow skating and passing and just got under people's skin -- this year, completely different story). Brashear is one of the classier goons in the game and I've always been an admirer of a classy goon.

Posted by: ludichrisspeed21 | April 28, 2009 11:07 PM | Report abuse

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