Campbell: Let the playoffs be the playoffs
|04.18.09 at 3:28 pm ET|
The deafening silence you heard today from the NHL offices is any form of discipline coming down on the Montreal Canadiens following their third period behavior in the Game 1 victory for the Bruins. Senior Executive Vice President of Hockey Operations Colin Campbell, who also serves as the league’s head disciplinarian, intimated during a Friday morning interview on the NHL Live radio show that there was nothing in the third period of Game 1 that crossed any lines of the NHL’s hockey conduct policy.
Habs players Mike Komisarek, Tom Kostopoulos and Maxim Lapierre were all involved extracurricular activities in the waning moments of third period’s Game 1, and B’s GM Peter Chiarelli had placed a call to the NHL offices on Thursday to take a close look at the third period activity.
It appeared that Komisarek may have removed his glove and scratched at Matt Hunwick’s right eye following the final horn in the third period, and footage clearly showed Kostopoulos throwing an elbow that just barely missed the rookie defenseman’s chin in the game’s closing seconds. Judging by the lack of suspensions or reprimand, the Canadiens’ actions in a game that had already been decided clearly wasn’t “crossing the line” in the NHL’s eyes.
Flyers forward Mike Cammalleri also apparently didn’t cross the line when he threw a high elbow straight to the chops of Chicago Blackhawks sniper Martin Havlat during a faceoff in Game 1 of their series — a deduction made through the lack of suspensions following the incident. So the B’s skaters should probably brace for more of the same this evening should they be winning handily in the third period.
“People take different things out of different incidents from (Thursday) night and say ‘Same thing. How many games are you going to suspend them?’ You got to let the games unfold,” said Campbell. “You’ve got to let hockey be hockey. Let the playoffs be the playoffs, and let the energy flow. Then when they cross that line you do what you have to do. I don’t mind people asking the questions, but enough is enough.
“There’s a certain line that you cross in all games and all situations where people in my department then have to do something,” added Campbell. “But you can’t filter out everything. This is the playoffs and it’s the first round. It’s usually the best round of hockey. We want to filter the crazy things out. When teams start to send messages, there are different ways to do it and you can cross over the line.”