The Devil's Advocate

    By now, I am sure everyone has seen the hit on Jordan Leopold delivered by Andy Sutton.  I know everyone has seen the “Are you an Expert” video. There is no reason to suspect that anyone missed the reason we have that.

Plain and simple, it was a brutal but LEGAL hit but I would be willing to bet that Sutton will hear something about it due to recent outrage and rules implementation and he has a history of these things, ask Pascal Dupuis.

The Rule- "a lateral, back-pressure or blind-side hit to an opponent where the head is targeted and/or the principal point of contact."

Sutton connected on Leopold from the front while Leopold had his head down preparing to dump the puck into the zone. Sutton didn’t leave the ice until after the impact. I saw elbow/elbow pad movement at impact. You can’t penalize a guy for being 6’6” when a player is shorter and in a vulnerable position. Sid stood up immediately to Sutton and Andy gets this incident stuck in his head for the rest of the series.

I am going no further here.  Deal with it.

    The outrage over the hit was expected. Jordan Leopold will probably miss some time. You would think that in decades of being a fan of hockey and the Pittsburgh Penguins that I would have become accustomed to certain portions of the fan base.

What I am speaking of here is largely what I saw on Twitter, E-mails and Facebook. I defended Matt Cooke in the “Savard Incident”, much in the same way I would defend Sutton now (being a hockey fan sometimes allows to take the Vegas Gold Sunglasses off every now and then). I was pretty disconcerted that some folks were calling for Matt Cooke to “deliver a message” to Andy Sutton. Maybe some folks don’t realize Cooke’s role on the team. He isn’t/never has been/never will be an enforcer. He is a 3rd line checker and a huge part of the Pens PK unit. He’s a lunch pail guy who comes to work every night

    The part of this that bothers me is, some of these folks were asking for Cooke’s career to be over regarding the “Savard Incident”. He took his lumps and the league didn’t suspend him, life moved on. The NHL was forced to implement the new wording towards headshots, whether or not the NHLPA cared or not. Thankfully, they ended up being fine with it. 

Whatever, the point here is this: Pick a side of the fence to be on, and stay on it. It’s hard enough being a Pens fan with folks like these perpetuating reputations that are fairly undeserved to many people.

For the folks who booed, Fleury: Stay Classy, that’s your franchise goalie right there and they don’t come very often.

Now get your game faces back on, this series is not over yet...

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