If you weren’t watching the game closely last night – you may have missed it. At about 3:10 into the first period in last nights game against the Columbus Blue Jackets,
Patrick Kaleta had to fight off Jared Boll after he targeted the head of Jack Johnson in a fly by hit along the boards in the Buffalo Sabres end. Kaleta was not penalized for the hit, but was given a five minute major for fighting.
The hit is resulting in an in person hearing for one of the most hated players in the league – and one that will most likely result in at least a five game suspension.
The fact that Patrick Kaleta is a repeat offender will be taken into account, as well as the fact that Johnson played out the rest of the game to the tune of 23 minutes of ice time. With every trip or phone call to the office of Brendan Shanahan – I lose more respect for Patrick Kaleta.
Here is a brief shot of the hit:
Personally, the way the season is going – Kaleta has been a good asset for the Buffalo Sabres – his help on the penalty kill has been instrumental in keeping that part of the game bearable to watch. He hasn’t really stood out however – so any suspension isn’t really going to damage the Sabres chances of a winning streak.
I think Kaleta plays an over the top style of the game and he does target guys – and should be suspended. I don’t think the fact that Johnson was not injured on the play should factor into this – as guys will continue to take shots like this with the hopes that their opponent will be knocked out enough to effect the outcome of the game, but not serious enough to miss significant time.
Get over yourself NHL and get it right – take the arbitrary and hidden cloak and dagger system of suspensions out and put it clearly in writing what guys will get for cheap shots and dangerous plays. Take it seriously or watch your game destroyed.