As you may have already heard, Tampa Bay goalie Mike Smith and Rangers forward Aaron Voros had a little scuffle in front of the net last night because, well, Voros was doing his job, and Smith was tired of it. The result? Smith attempting to beat the snot out of Voros with his stick, and then fighting with his mask on. I'm not exactly sure, but I think that violates "the code."
Well, following the game, Rangers coach Tom Renneycalled for the NHL to suspend Smith, calling his actions "completely unprovoked." From Damian Cristodero of the St. Petersburg Times:
"You usually don't get hurt fighting but you might get hurt with a spear or slash to the back of the leg," Renney said. "It was completely unprovoked and I think Smith should be suspended." Smith said his emotions got the better of him. Voros was in front of Smith almost the entire game and the two continually jousted.
Of course, because it takes different strokes to make the world spin, Tampa Bay coach Barry Melrose didn't see any problem with his goalie practicing his wood chopping stroke on an opponents leg.
Lightning coach Barry Melrose had no problem with Smith. "If the referees don't protect you, you have to protect yourself," Melrose said. "It's jungle rules out there. It's Sing-Sing rules out there in the third period."
Pardon me for asking, but what exactly were the refs supposed to protect Smith from? Somebody screening him? I admit, I didn't see the entire game, so maybe something happened earlier in the night (maybe Voros gave Smith a cross-check to the back of the head, I don't know) but from what I did see, Voros was simply parking himself in front of the net. Like any good forward would do in that situation.
I realize when you do that you have to "pay the price," but it seems Smith crossed the line just a tad when he "hacked the bone." And then tried to fight with his mask on.
Rangers Coach Tom Renney Responds to Mike Smith's Anger: Suspend Him originally appeared on NHL FanHouse on Fri, 07 Nov 2008 10:05:00 EST . Please see our terms for use of feeds.