Mike Cammalleri has been suspended for one game as reported by The Montreal Gazette.
This incident seemed very odd to me at first, as Mike has always been more or less a poster boy for fair play in his career. When he was knocked awkwardly into the boards causing injury by Anton Volchenkov last year, he did not cry foul. After a goal he does not show an obscene celebration.
Something about this incident did not sit well with me. Why was Mike forced to stand up for himself? How can an otherwise good natured “star” be forced into such a reckless act?
A lot has been said over the last couple years about the Habs small stature up front. Yes their players are small. After last years playoffs, however, no one will question their drive or passion. The magical playoff run last year put my mind at ease about the “smurfs” and made me realize it is just some tweaking that needs to be done to this team.
This tweaking, however, has become a crucial need in this organization. This tweak that I speak of is, of course, an enforcer.
Gainey had the right intentions when signing George Laraque, of course we all know how that turned out. I don’t know that a goon of Big Georges caliber is exactly what we need, but at this time, our beloved franchise is under the watch of who? Ryan O’byrne? Ryan White? I love Ian Schultz, but he’s not ready yet.
Now don’t get me wrong, these guys are fine players, and Ryan White has seriously impressed me in this preseason, but why was Mike fighting his own battle on this night?
New York Islanders rookie Nino Niederreiter had been running around all night, cross checking, grabbing, holding, spearing and finally, a blindsided, near head shot on arguably our top scorer. (not to take anything away from our captain) Where was our teams policeman? What was Cammalleri to do? Obviously he felt he needed to take matters into his own hands and someone who makes his living with his hands inside his gloves making plays with his stick isn’t going to make the best choice when it comes to fisticuffs.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m not condoning Mike’s actions. They were stupid. But they were not his actions to make. I call out the coaching staff for not sending someone out to have a “word” with this goon. I call out management for not bringing in some much needed toughness. And I call out the other players on the ice for not stepping in and dropping the gloves to help out our star.