Chiarelli phoned NHL to review Habs activity in Game 1
|04.17.09 at 1:37 pm ET|
WILMINGTON — Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli confirmed on Friday morning that he called the NHL league offices to request they review the game tapes following the ‘after the whistle’ activity that took place between the B’s and Canadiens. The events in question took place in the third period of Thursday night’s Game 1, and immediately following the game. The league sent out word that they will be disciplining teams engaging in “message sending” activity at the end of playoff games when a game’s decision is already in hand.
Thursday night seemed to be a pretty clear example of “message sending” by a group of Canadiens players.
“I’ve called the league and I’ll leave it in their hands,” said Chiarelli. “In our meeting with the (NHL) series supervisor it was made clear (they would police ‘message sending’).”
There were three separate incidents that could be considered by the NHL Director of Hockey Operations and principal disciplinarian Colin Campbell after Thursday night’s B’s victory: Tom Kostopoulos threw a high elbow that just skimmed by Matt Hunwick’s face and was clearly meant as some sort of “message”, Maxim Lapierre charged directly after Phil Kessel following his empty-net goal in the final seconds and 6-foot-4, 240-pound Mike Komisarek gave the 5-foot-11, 190-pound Hunwick a series of eye-raking facewashes and “eye gouge” that left the rookie blueliner bloodied around the eye and required stitches following the game on Thursday night.
His right eye didn’t look much better on Friday following practice, but Hunwick maintained that there wasn’t any injury to the eye itself and that his vision wasn’t impaired by the redness and slight swelling around the eye. Hunwick also practice with the team, which made Andrew Ference the only B’s player again missing from practice.
There was no video evidence of it, but Bruins officials believed that Komisarek may have taken off one of his left glove and used his bare hand to scratch and scrape at the right eye and eyelid of Hunwick. Was it a “Three Stooges-style eye gouge” from Komisarek?
“I couldn’t really tell (if Komisarek was attempting an eye gouge),” said Hunwick on Friday afternoon. “It was one of those things where you’re in the middle of a battle and you don’t know exactly what’s going on. Obviously I was face-washing him and he was face-washing me. It was one of those things where it was the heat of the moment and I couldn’t tell.
“It’s not one of those things where I’m waiting for the league to do something,” added Hunwick. “It’s totally up to them and if nothing happens then the series will go on and it’ll be all forgotten about after Game 2.”
Hunwick did get a pretty good look at the mal-intent behind the Kostopoulos elbow that just missed connecting with the D-man’s chin prior to Komisarek’s veritable cat-scratching and hair-pulling episode. High elbows in the closing minutes of games designed as knockout punches seem to be the exact thing that the NHL is attempting to purge from their playoff games.
“Maybe that was just frustration after the game because of the ending,” said Hunwick. “That was something that I did see on the replay was that elbow going flying by my chin. That’s something you don’t want to see happen to any player. Thankfully he didn’t catch me with it, and maybe that’s what started the whole thing later on in the corner.”