Clarkson Gets 10, Kessel Gets 3…That Sounds Right To Me.

Posted: September 25, 2013 in HOCKEY, SPORTS
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Jason Head_Shot[1]

By Jason Sutcliffe

So David Clarkson and Phil Kessel have both been handed suspensions for their actions in the brawl with the Buffalo Sabres on Sunday night. Clarkson has received 10 games for leaving the bench and joining the fight while Phil Kessel is suspended for the remainder of the preseason, but will lose no pay and will not miss a single regular season game.

There are mixed reactions towards the incident and the subsequent suspensions. Some people feel as though Kessel should not have received any punishment at all, some people feel as though the three games is just right, and some people feel as though it was not harsh enough. I for one feel as though both suspensions were fair and fit the crimes.

Clarkson’s suspension is standard for anyone who leaves the bench and becomes involved in an altercation on the ice. So I was not so surprised, and I do not think many others were either. I think it does need to be said though that Clarkson needs to practice better judgment. We are not paying him 5.5 million a year to be an enforcer. He is useless to us suspended for ten games. There is a whole slew of guys on the bench that can play that role.

As for Kessel I had no problem with the first slash, it was the second one and the spear that followed which I have the problem.

There are a lot of people, who are calling Phil Kessel a coward for his actions, and maybe they are a right, but his actions were no more cowardice than John Scott’s. Scott is an enforcer in this league. He is one of the tough guys. He is also 70 lbs and 8 inches taller than Phil Kessel. What exactly was Phil Kessel supposed to do? Fight him…He would have gotten the beating of his life.

Scott had no business attempting to fight with Phil Kessel. Kessel does not fight, and it was pretty clear that he was scared to death. It was nothing more than a bully tactic by Scott, and one that he will have to pay for as you can bet that Orr and McLaren will be in the line-up the next time these two meet.

With a physical altercation clearly not an option for Kessel he did what came to him in the moment; and frankly I do not blame him. Kessel did nothing to initiate a fight with Scott it was a targeted attack on Scott’s part against a player unable to defend himself effectively. That is a cowardly move on Scott’s behalf and goes against the unwritten code of the enforcers and the game. The Leafs are not short on tough guys for Scott to take a poke at, to go after Kessel is ridiculous.

I view the first slash as nothing more than a slashing penalty, but the second slash and the spear after Scott engaged with Clarkson was un-necessary. Kessel crossed the line there and deserved to be suspended for that. He at no point initiated the fight, and for that reason I think that the suspension is fair. I was also glad to see that the Buffalo coach has been held accountable for his actions in sending out the “goon squad” for a premeditated attack.

The Leafs may have done okay in the battle, but they certainly lost the war. Clarkson’s an addition that is a central piece of our puzzle, and we will not have him in our lineup for the first 10 games. In a division where 9th and 5th were separated by 6-8 points, we will need every point we can get, and we need every piece of our puzzle healthy and in the lineup.

  1. […] Clarkson Gets 10, Kessel Gets 3…That Sounds Right To Me. ( […]

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