Cheap shot. Blindsided. Smoked. Pasted. Plastered. Dropped like a one-eyed blind date.
Call it what you will but any time one player rearranges another guy’s Chiclets with his fist, drops an elbow like the Macho Man or runs him over like a woman driver that’s just a dirty way to play the game.
Emotions run high during the regular season alone, but with the added pressure to perform in the playoffs those same emotions can reach Zdeno Chara-like heights. Players you wouldn’t usually see in the penalty box are suddenly getting called, normally calm and collected goalies throw their sticks and coaches get into water bottle-tossing altercations with fans. OK, that last one would probably happen during the regular season as well, but you get my point.
But along with the above-mentioned incidental situations comes a level of goonery usually relegated to the 18-and-over leagues.
With that being said I bring to you fine folks my top 10 cheap shots of these 2009 playoffs. Naturally you’re welcome to disagree in the comment section, and if you have a link to something you think I missed please do post it. Enjoy.
10. Sean Avery Pops Simeon Varlamov (Capitals vs. Rangers; Game 2)
9. Mike Cammalleri Sucker Punches Martin Havlat (Flames vs. Blackhawks; Game 1)
8. Daniel Carcillo Channels His Inner Cammalleri (Flyers vs. Penguins; Game 1)
7. Chris Kunitz Crosschecks Simeon Varlamov (Capitals vs. Penguins; Game 2)
6. Donald Brashear Smokes Blair Betts (Capitals vs. Rangers; Game 6)
5. Chris Kunitz Runs Over Kimmo Timonen (Flyers vs. Penguins; Game 3)
4. Mike Brown Blindsides Jiri Hudler (Wings vs. Ducks; Game 1)
3. Scott Walker Decks Aaron Ward (Bruins vs. Hurricanes; Game 5)
2. Matt Cooke Trips Up Erik Cole (Penguins vs. Hurricanes; Game 1)
1. Alexander Ovechkin Takes Out Sergei Gonchar (Capitals vs. Penguins; Game 3)