NHL comes down hard on Pens Kunitz and Lightning forward Downie

 

Colin Campbell made a bold statement with his actions on Tuesday when he officially suspended both Pittsburgh Penguins’ forward, Chris Kunitz, and Tampa Bay Lightning forward, Steve Downie. They each received one game for delivering head shots during  Game 3, last Monday night, of their Eastern Conference quarterfinal round series.    Campbell, who himself was a former NHL player back in the 1970’s and 80’s, has lived up to his promise of cracking down on hits in the head, which of course, cause concussions. Kunitz, who had 23 goals and 48 points this past season, uncharacteristically delivered a first period lethal elbow to the head of Lightnings veteran, Simon Gagne. Ironically enough, Kunitz’s teammate, Matt Cooke, is currently serving a lengthy suspension for a hit to the head. The veteran Gagne, who scored 17 goals and 40 points this year, seemed fine. Meanwhile, the Lightning, who surprised many by finishing fifth in the East with 103 points, will be without their energy forward, Downie, who  in the first period charged at Penguins’ defenceman, Ben Lovejoy, before leaving his feet and launching himself at Lovejoy’s head.  Downie, who scored 10 goals and 32 points this year, was suspended during pre-season in 2007 for a similar hit to the head of Ottawa Senators’ forward, Dean McAmmond. Pittsburgh, who are still without Crosby, went on to win this game 3-2, and in the process take a 2-1 series lead.

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