Off-Day Open Thread: Ozzie Honored, League Lambasted

Something of a restful calm sweeps over the Red Wings blogosphere this Monday Morning, as the Wings take three days off in preparation to meet Steve Yzerman's Lightning on Thursday in Tampa, with news that Brad Stuart may return sometime during the two-game Florida trip.  Meanwhile, for those not in attendance at yesterday's game and unable to see the tribute to Chris Osgood's 400th win thanks to NBC's decision not to share that footage, the Red Wings' website posted videos of the tribute and the ceremony (hat tip for the initial find to George Malik, who's working tirelessly over at Kuklas Korner to bring every single tidbit of Red Wings info to the fans.)

Here's the scoreboard video:

And here's the tribute himself with Ozzie and his family:

 Elsewhere, the buzz of the league continues to center around the penalty-filled nightmare that was the Islanders / Penguins grudge match, which resulted in 23 games worth of suspensions and a $100,000 fine to the Islanders organization for their WWE-style handling of the game.  Penguins owner Mario Lemieux spoke out about the league's discipline in a less-than-flattering way:

"Hockey is a tough, physical game, and it always should be," Lemieux said in a statement. "But what happened Friday night on Long Island wasn’t hockey. It was a travesty. It was painful to watch the game I love turn into a sideshow like that.

"The NHL had a chance to send a clear and strong message that those kinds of actions are unacceptable and embarrassing to the sport. It failed.

"We, as a league, must do a better job of protecting the integrity of the game and the safety of our players.  We must make it clear that those kinds of actions will not be tolerated and will be met with meaningful disciplinary action.

"If the events relating to Friday night reflect the state of the league, I need to re-think whether I want to be a part of it

By now, the reactions have already come out and the barbs have been thrown about how seriously people want to take the former NHL stuperstar with a habit of threatening to take his ball and go home in the face of his team implicitly supporting the actions of the NHL's dirtiest player, Matt Cooke.  In all of this, there is a slightly tarnished very good message which the fans have known for some time: The NHL's discipline policy is not handled right and something needs to be done.  There are too many voices to link them all, but I thought Joe Yerdon at NBC's ProHockeyTalk did the best job of taking it from the objective angle. 

Ultimately, the Islanders were in the wrong.  There's something to be said about how the Penguins seemed to have been taunting them at the end of their last game, but the scoreboard should serve as the best message against that.  Instead, what they engaged in could best be made analogous to an alternate ending to 'The Karate Kid' where, under the instructions of Mr. Miyagi and after winning the All Valey Karate tournament, Daniel Larusso sneaks up behind Johnny Lawrence and kicks the shit out of him.  Regardless of whether that would have been more emotionally satisfying, it's terribly wrong.

Finally, an H2H2 pledge update.  The pledge drive has earned $2,491.45 to date for the Detroit Children's Hospital with still a month worth of pledging left to go.  There's still plenty of time to get your pledges in and help out a great cause; just click the link below.  Red WIngs fans are awesome.

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So, what do you think?

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