Before we head in to game two tonight at the Honda Center, I wanted to talk about something that happened in game one.
As the video below shows, while Corey Perry was driving to the net in order to generate a scoring opportunity, he benevolently jumped out of the way to avoid crashing in to Jimmy Howard and potentially causing injury.
But the classless, gutless Jimmy Howard doesn't return the favor. Howard inches out of his crease and makes a distinct headbutting motion towards Perry's vulnerable foot. This was a clear attempt by Howard to harm Corey Perry. Howard knows how serious ankle injuries can be in the NHL, and this was an easy way to roll Perry's ankle. On top of this, Howard takes a cowardly dive after headbutting Perry in order to draw a penalty.
With the increased focus on player safety and ankle injuries in the league, and due to the fact that Howard had clear intent to injure, there is no doubt that a suspension hearing is coming prior to tonight's game.
Because no injury occured, I think 2 games sounds about right (since this is the playoffs I know a more lenghty suspension is unlikely, though a longer one would be justified). But this type of garbage does not belong in the NHL, and must be addressed.
Now we move on to game two, with the confidence of a solid win and a 1-0 series lead. Our forecheck improved, our special teams seem to be gaining momentum, and some smarter D-pairings from coach Boudreau seem to have done us some good. Let's hope we can carry all of this momentum in to game two.
I'll be at the Honda Center tonight, don't let me down.
Gameday Prediction: Emerson Etem with a hat trick, GWG.