In case you’ve forgotten, this is the same Dale Hunter that delivered one of the direst cheap shots I have ever witnessed to former Islander former Pierre Turgeon in Game 6 of the Patrick Division Semifinals. [Click to refresh memory]
Chuck Gormley, Capitals Whining --- Capitals coach Dale Hunter accused the Boston Bruins of intentionally targeting the head of Nicklas Backstrom and says his star center was only protecting himself when he cross-checked Rich Peverely in the chin at the conclusion of Game 3 Monday night.
Backstrom received a match penalty for the cross-check which carries an automatic suspension, pending a review by NHL director of player safety Brendan Shanahan. A ruling is expected to be released by the league on Wednesday.
“I don’t think he’s going to be suspended,” Hunter said. “If you slow it down frame by frame, where was [Peverley’s] stick? It was up in his face first … and Nicky reacted to it.
“I think [Backstrom] was trying to protect his face. If you watch it, [Peverley’s] stick is right in his eyes and it’s a dangerous play on their part, especially for [Backstrom] because if you notice, every scrum Nicky comes out with no helmet on. He gets a blocker to the head by [Tim] Thomas the game before [in Game 2]. He’s protecting his head. He just came off of 40 games.”