Red Wings furious over Kostopoulos hit

Gouche

The Detroit Red Wings are insisting that the league shows no mercy in handing down punishment to Calgary Flames forward Tom Kostopoulos who on Friday fractured the jaw of Red Wings defenceman Brad Stuart. Kostopoulos, who was traded earlier this season from the Carolina Hurricanes hit Stuart with a controverisal check in the third period of a game that Detroit eventually won 5-4. According to initial reports Stuart, who has 12 points and is a +7 this season will miss somewhere between six to eight weeks. Detroit will have a hard time filling Stuart’s shoes as he also averages over 20 minutes per game and forms a potent defensive pairing with veteran Nicklas Lindstrom. This is the first year in which the league announced it’s objective of coming down hard on those who commit a head shot. “If you make a stand hard enough when this stuff happens, this stuff won’t happen, ” Red Wings coach Mike Babcock said. “It would have been easier to take his body and not his head.” Kostopoulos, who has four goals and eight points was fined and suspended back in 2008 for a boarding incident with Toronto Maple Leafs defenceman Mike Van Ryn. Earlier this year he also drew attention for his over the top play when he laid a violent elbow on Minnesota Wild’s Nick Schultz. Red Wings veteran forward Kris Draper pointed out that while he and the team want to see Kostopoulos suspended, it won’t help the fact that Stuart will be gone for so long. “No matter what the suspension is, it’s not helping us out, ” Draper said. “That’s the thing. We’re going to lose Stewie for six, eight weeks, whatever it’s going to be.”

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