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March 25, 2019
by Michael Menser Dell, Editor-in-Chief
On Saturday night, those pesky Toronto Maple Leafs, who canít lose for trying, toppled the rival Montreal Canadiens, 6-3.
Mikhail Grabovksi tagged his former club for a goal and an assist, giving him six goals and eight points in his last four games. His assist on Niklas Hagmanís first-period power-play goal was wicked swank, as he danced through Andrei Markov and Alex Tanguay along the wall before setting up Hagman for the tap. Grabovskiís goal wasnít too shabby either. Give Ďem a whirlÖ
Before we get into the hit itself, how about the Carl Colaiacovo? He didnít wait for an invitation. Well done, sir. Thatís a hockey player right there.
Kostopoulos received five for boarding, two for roughing it up with Colaiacovo, and a game misconduct. The NHL is believed to be holding a hearing on the matter today to decide on a possible suspension. But if past history means anything, donít expect much.
All everyone does is bitch and moan about hitting from behind and blows to the head, and then when something like this happens, Gary Bettman and his merry buffoons look the other way. Randy Jones nearly ended Patrice Bergeronís career last season and got two games. Ryan Hollweg has never met a back he wouldnít bite, and he gets nothing but slaps on the wrist. And donít even remind me about Alexander Ovechkinís gutless hit on Daniel Briere a few years back.
There should be no defending Kostopoulos on this one. He was chasing Van Ryn the length of the ice with nothing but the Toronto bluelinerís numbers and nameplate in front of him. Sure, Van Ryan could have protected himself better, but that doesnít give Kostopoulos the right to drive Van Rynís head through the glass.
Van Ryn suffered numerous injuries, including busted teeth, a broken finger on his left hand, and a severe concussion. Heíll be out for at least four weeks while the finger mends, but thereís no telling when his brain will heal. This could be another Bergeron situation. As if that wasnít bad enough, Kostopoulos also stole Van Rynís purse.
But this is exactly the kind of play the NHL has to eliminate. I donít care what Kostopoulosí intentions were. Malice of forethought shouldnít even enter into the equation.
It was a horribly reckless act. Youíre supposed to be professionals. Have some (sunshininí) pride. Iím tired of hearing how players no longer respect one another. If they donít have respect for each other, then itís the leagueís responsibility to beat that respect into them. Spare the rod, spoil the millionaire.
Itís up to Bettman and his chief stooge Colin Campbell to set a tone. Anything less than 10 games for Kostopoulos would be criminal. Letís go already. Enoughís enough.