First, here’s the official update on Wayne Simmonds, from Terry Murray. As earlier noted, Simmonds did not practice this morning.
MURRAY: “He’s not coming with us on the trip. He had some swelling overnight, so with that, we’re going to leave him behind to get therapy, and he will get an MRI done on Monday, tomorrow. We’ll get a better idea, then, of what the extent of it all is, but there’s just too much swelling here, right now, to bring him on the trip, hoping that maybe he would be a part of the second game. It’s not going to happen.”
Now, for the hit. I’ll post the video a bit later, but for those who didn’t see the play, Simmonds’ injury took place after Drew Doughty leveled Edmonton’s Taylor Hall early in the second period. A full-team scrum quickly developed, and Simmonds got injured when Edmonton’s Ales Hemsky grabbed him from behind and pulled him down, with Simmonds’ leg seemingly getting caught underneath him as he got tangled in a mass of bodies. Murray was visibly angry this morning as he talked about the play…
MURRAY: “These things are ridiculous. This whole scrum thing is so wrong. That’s a great hit by Doughty. This happens around the league now. This is prevalent everywhere. To me, this is an issue that somebody needs to address. You’ve got Simmonds getting jumped from behind and pulled backwards, and we’ve now lost a player, for certainly these two games. I’ve seen this around the league. It’s a good hockey hit, and now everybody responds to a hockey hit. We’re going to end up taking hits right out of the game, the way things are going right now. It’s a concern for me. There has to be more (punishment), to me, out of that than just a two-minute minor. Something has to be done to stop this kind of a reaction by the teams. The reaction by the teams, it doesn’t make any sense to me. You’re just playing the game of hockey, and it’s a clean hit. It’s one thing if a guy gets run from behind into the boards, and all that, but this is out of control, almost, at times.”
Question: What’s the other side of that, though? If someone hits Kopitar, you don’t want your guys doing nothing, right? Is is that you want them to respond with their own clean hitting?
MURRAY: “It depends on the hit. (Nashville’s Shea) Weber hit Kopitar real hard on a great hockey hit the other night. That’s a great hit. That’s a clean, good hockey hit. That’s a defenseman doing his job. We had no issue with that, whatsoever. Hall went after Doughty right in front of our bench in the first period. That would have been a pretty good hockey hit too, and I even mentioned that after the game. That’s a good hockey hit. You can’t overreact and do these kinds of things that are happening around the game. It becomes a 10-man scrum, and you get injuries. Now we’re without an important player, and there’s a two-minute minor out of it? Whether it goes through the PA [players’ association] themselves, and they start to address it, or it’s something from other places, it’s just not right, the reaction of the players.”