November 21, 2011
Max Lapierre and Alex Burrows, involved in some mischievous chicanery that may or may not warrant some level of punishment from the NHL? Why, that doesn't sound like them at all …
In Sunday night's Vancouver Canucks' win over the Ottawa Senators, Jesse Winchester(notes) of the Sens was playing the puck near the side boards when Lapierre sent him into the Vancouver bench — through the door.
The problem was it was in the middle of a Vancouver Canucks line change and the gate was unlatched. So Winchester joined the Canucks on the bench momentarily.
"It was a line change and at the last minute he got hit pretty good there and the door wasn't closed completely," said Canucks winger Alex Burrows. "He's a Montreal guy and one of my friends so it's a good thing he didn't get hurt on the play."
See, we're all friends here. No harm, no foul … except Ottawa Sun writer Bruce Garrioch thinks Brendan Shanahan needs to take a hard look at what Burrows and Lapierre did here:
The Senators don't expect Burrows will be suspended — he'll likely escape with a stern warning — probably not enough to appease the Senators, who already feel slighted by Shanahan.
Winchester said after the game the play was "unsafe," but didn't know the intent. He was bracing himself to be hit into the boards and then found himself sitting at Burrows' feet on the bench.
… Winchester got off lucky. He was fine. That doesn't mean Shanahan shouldn't do something. It's time for this so-called new sheriff in town to start putting tighter handcuffs on some of these offenders.
So do you buy the Burrows explanation?
Eye On Hockey, which had the video, thinks someone else should have been manning the door. Of course, we've seen the old 'open the bench door' trick before, and it's usually a little more blatant than this (oh Pat Kaleta, never change).