Flames fall 2-1 at Madison Square Garden.
Another one goal loss and another injury, as Stajan left the game after receiving a shoulder to his head. All the talk after the game was the hit on Stajan, but before I share my opinion on the hit, let me re-cap the game.
The first period was terrible. Flames were slow, timid and had very little offensive zone puck possession. It seemed to me the team had to adapt without “Regehr” in the line-up. With defensemen Mikkelson, Babchuck and Sarich playing like they were nervous. But then the second period came which had been labelled as the Flames worst period, and it began to look that way once the Rangers scored on an own goal by Mikkelson. An unlucky bounce but the Flames began playing their game and were rewarded on an Iginla goal. Iginla has now scored 6 goals in his last 3 games but the Flames have only come away with 3 points in those three games. The Flames continued to play strong and were creating some chances but after a Glencross penalty the Rangers took a 2-1 lead which proved to hold up in the end. The third period was much like the second but the Flames couldn’t find that tying goal and the whole team was rattled after a massive open ice hit on Stajan by Marc Staal. (http://www.cbc.ca/video/#/Sports/Must-See_Moments/1403720114/ID=1658444912) You can view the hit by clicking on the link provided.
What’s my opinion? Well first off Stajan was admiring his pass just like how Booth admired his pass when Richards hit him with that infamous hit. Staal was in front of Stajan although he came from the side. Staal clearly was out to hit Stajan and hit him hard, and Staal took his opportunity and laid his shoulder/forearm at full force onto Stajan’s face. In the video you see Stajan with his head up but looking away (which is his own fault) but at the same time Staal leaves his feet, and he lets go of his stick to make sure he does some damage. I am not saying the hit was intentional, which it was not. The league is trying to eliminate hits like this from the game and that is why I believe he receives a 1 game suspension. On a personal note I like seeing big hits and love players who lay it on the line, but I also know I would view it different if I was the victim or family from the victim. I believe this hit is suspendable and should be a suspension. I have seen hits that are less violent (Glencross on Drury last year with a 2 game suspension). So I would like to see a 3 game suspension for this hit, which is probably a stretch.