One head on a pike, please.
Saturday night, 23 guys wearing the Sightless Eye took the ice against the Pittsburgh Penguins. Two and a half hours later, 22 of them left with everything intact.
The same can't be said for Erik Cole, who was pile-driven head first into the boards by Pens defenseman Brooks Orpik and suffered a compression fracture in one of his vertebrae and will miss the rest of the season.
If I said I'm not angry at what happened, I'd be lying. If I said that I didn't want to beat the ever-living crap out of the low-lifes that cheered that hit and said that Cole "had it coming", I'd be Richard freaking Nixon. How anyone can call that hit clean is just beyond me--and yet, that's what some Pens fans (and others, including Brooks Orpik) are doing.
Of course, these are the same people that defended Billy The Rapist when the Pens signed him right out of the joint, so really I can't say I'm surprised.
The guy left his feet when delivering the hit and took a lot more than three steps to get there--if that's not charging (on top of boarding), I don't know what is. It was completely unnecessary, completely unconscionable, and to be quite honest it's completely in character for Michel Therrien to send a goony player after the other team's leading scorer--especially if it's Erik Cole, who pretty much humiliated the guy in the 2002 playoffs by scoring the tying goal in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals.
To quote the sage philosopher Hanover Fiste (rent "Heavy Metal" sometime if you don't know who he is):
HANGIN'S TOO GOOD FOR HIM! BURNIN'S TOO GOOD FOR HIM! HE SHOULD BE CHOPPED INTO ITSY BITSY PIECES AND BURIED ALIVE!
And a hefty suspension and fine would be nice too, but somehow I don't think it'll happen.
I'm all ate up with the burnination over this, seriously. This isn't an arguably "clean" hit like the kind that a certain retired part-Slovak defenseman used to dish out. It was just low down, dirty, and shameful.
Further takes on it from CasonBlog and Red and Black Hockey
Get better soon, Colesy. The prayers of the Caniac Nation are with you.