Thursday, April 17, 2008

First Series To Turn Ugly

It is not uncommon for two teams that are playing a tough playoff series against one another to start to hate each other and have games that are full of fights and scrums after the whistle. This is a series getting ugly. even had a poll on which series would turn ugly first (though it is now gone from their website). The answer is the Minnesota Wild vs. Colorado Avalanche.

Game four of the series, on Tuesday night, which Colorado won 5-1, featured 144 penalty minutes. It is probably not a surprise that when the game got out of hand Minnesota would become a goon squad. Minnesota is a team with Derek Boogaard and Todd Fedoruk on the roster. At the trade deadline they acquired Chris Simon from the New York Islanders. That gives Minnesota the best depth in goons in the NHL (whether or not that is a good thing is another question).

A look at the penalty minute leaders of the playoffs shows it is filled with Minnesota (and Colorado players). Stephane Veilleux of Minnesota leads the playoffs with 25 penalty minutes. He is followed by Derek Boogaard his teammate with 24 minutes. Wild defenceman Kim Johnsson's 16 minutes ties him for sixth. Aaron Voros and Todd Fedoruk are tied for eighth with 14 minutes. That is five Wild players in the top ten playoff penalty minute leaders.

Some Colorado players have responded in kind. They are lead by Cody McLeod, who has 18 minutes and is fourth in the playoff penalty minute totals. Ian Laperriere has 15 minutes and is seventh. All told 7 of the top 10 playoff penalty minute leaders are in the Minnesota vs. Colorado series.

Game five goes tonight and if one team gets a large lead look for another out of control game. It will take some very good refereeing to keep things from turning really ugly.

1) It really goes to show how far things have changed when 144 minutes in penalties in a playoff game seems unuusal/'ugly'.
2) A few years back that would have been the norm. Perhaps seeing 144 mins in the 3rd period alone! LOL
3) We have no issue with fistacuffs/rough stuff as long as the sticks stay down (Simon) and skates are used to only, well skate(Simon)
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