I was wondering how long it would take for the Broad Street Babies to strike again.
And I’m not surprised that it was only five days.
On Saturday, during a game against the Dallas Stars, forward Riley Cote delivered a dirty hit on Matt Niskanen in which Cote left his feet and proceeded to elbow Niskanen in the head.
Two days later, on the one week anniversary of Scott Hartnell’s hit on Andrew Alberts – – also to the head – – the NHL suspended the Flyers player for 3 games.
Though the hit on Niskanen did not look as serious as the other infractions in terms of injury, the fact that Cote delivered a dirty hit is what earned him the suspension, and essentially put the icing on the proverbial cake by landing his organization in Time-Out.
On Monday, NHL commissioner Gary Bettman and league disciplinarian Colin Campbell addressed Paul Holmgren, the Flyers’ general manager, and informed him of their intentions to hand down severe fines and penalties if another incident takes place.
Just when it seems the recipient of a dirty Philly hit had to die before something was actually done, the NHL comes back – – much like Lloyd in Dumb and Dumber does – – and totally redeems themselves!
But even with this solution, there is still one problem: The player guilty of the hit continues to swear by the team’s unintentional oath.
“We’re not out there to hurt anybody,” Cote said. “We’re out there to play hard.”
And if “playing hard” consists of delivering dirty hits on repeated occasions, then I guess the rest of the NHL is guilty, too.
For not playing hard enough.