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Caps play-by-play man John Walton: “Thug hockey back” in Philly; Calls Flyers goalie Ray Emery’s actions “a disgrace” and worthy of NHL suspension

From Washington Capitals radio play-by-play man John Walton’s call of the Ray Emery-Braden Holtby incident last night (Listen to it on Walton’s blog through the link below):

“Emery takes him down. Oh my goodness. You’ve gotta be kidding me. Ray Emery sucker punching Holtby. He’s still punching him. The referee hasn’t stopped it yet. Oh what a dirty play by Ray Emery. Taking Braden Holtby down. Thug hockey back in town. You’re losing by a touchdown and you just grab a sweater. If you think that’s gonna get you standings points, think again. The Buffalo Sabres are the only thing saving this team from being the bottom of the Eastern Conference and now they’ve taken it to the alley in the dirtiest way possible. Ray Emery went after Holtby. Holtby did not want it. He absolutely didn’t want to fight him. And Emery sucker punched him six times. It’s the only cheer you’re gonna hear out of this building tonight. That’s a disgrace. Ray Emery, a disgrace what he just did.”

“Suspend that guy. Suspend him right now,” Walton went on to say regarding Emery.

full audio clip of Walton calling the Emery-Holtby goalie altercation is available on his Capitals Voice blog.

And here’s a great shot of Michael Latta being waved off during the fight by referee François St-Laurent:

Is that a Flyers jersey on the dugout?

A few weeks ago, I wrote about a Hockey Day promotion taking place at the Frederick Keys game. It was to feature Washington Capitals legend and Hockey Hall of Famer Rod Langway, the Caps’ cheerleaders the Red Rockers and the team mascot Slapshot, who mentioned the event on Twitter. The Keys were also promoting that you could “Stick around after the game to watch the conclusion of the Caps season finale on the videoboard!”

I go to a few Keys games a year with the family (I’m a big minor league baseball fan and highly recommend it) and we headed up there this past Saturday for Hockey Day. It’s not a big deal in the grand scheme of things, but we (and some other fans) were a little surprised to see the guy pictured below atop the dugout throughout the game, MCing the event in a Flyers jersey, after all the Caps related promo for the event.

I spotted a few other Keys employees wearing jerseys of other teams: one in a Penguins jersey, a second in a Flyers jersey and one in a Tampa Bay Lightning shirt. There was even one employee in an Erie Otters jersey. I guess the Keys’ concept for Hockey Day was different than what the promotional information communicated with all the Caps tie-ins. The guy pictured above in the Flyers jersey, Keys Promotions Manager Brandon Apter, sent @brookslaichyear a response on Twitter, saying: “Hey man, I have to represent the team I love on Hockey Day! I did get pied in the face, wasn’t that pleasing enough?”

The pie was a nice touch (as was Apter taking time to respond on Twitter), except I’m not sure he still had his Flyers jersey on at the time of the pieing—a pie right to the logo would have been fantastic!  

Like I said above, it’s not a big deal overall, but if someone’s going to promote an event with a Caps player, the Caps mascot and the Caps cheerleaders, while also showing the Caps game on the big screen (and never saying anything about other hockey teams in the information promoting the event), then it’s probably best not to have the host in the jersey of a team that Caps fans detest. Maybe go neutral with the host’s jersey or promote the event differently so it doesn’t come across as so Caps-themed. Something tells me that if I showed up at a minor league baseball game in the Philadelphia area in a Caps jersey for an event involving the Flyers, I’d be hit with something worse than a pie.

The Crosby hit on Schenn before the cross-check

Yesterday, an observant BrooksLaichyear commenter pointed out that, just prior to Brayden Schenn’s cross-check on Sidney Crosby during the Flyers’ 6-4 victory over the Penguins on Sunday, Crosby took a run at Schenn. Check out the 10 second mark of the video below.

It looks like Mike Milbury noticed Crosby’s hit on Schenn too

C’mon, Peter! You know what was up.

Pierre looks concerned.

After yesterday’s Flyers-Penguins game, Philadelphia coach Peter Laviolette was upset with Pittsburgh coach Dan Bylsma for the players he chose to put on the ice with just over a minute to go in the Flyers 6-4 victory.

Laviolette commented: “They hadn’t used those guys in 12 minutes. It was a completely gutless move by their coach.” — Frank Seravalli (@DNFlyers) April 1, 2012 (h/t Puck Daddy)

Seriously, Peter? You should know exactly why the Penguins had “those guys” on the ice looking to start something at that point in the game and it was anything but “gutless.” You had Brayden Schenn on the ice and, just minutes before, he’d pulled this after-the-whistle, cross-check on Sidney Crosby.

I can’t blame the Penguins for wanting to let Schenn and the Flyers know not to push one of their players around. In fact, it’s the type of thing I’d like to see the Washington Capitals do more of. I’m not looking for them to goon-it-up, but I am looking for them to stick up for their teammates when they are the victims of dirty hits like the elbow Rene Bourque gave Nicklas Backstrom earlier this year, putting him out for months with a concussion, or the one by Mark Stuart on Marcus Johansson just a few weeks ago, which my brother blogged about, wondering why the Caps had not responded:

The Caps were rightfully upset with Mark Stuart for his high and late hit on Marcus Johansson in the 1st period.  Unfortunately, we only came to find out after the game that the Caps were upset, since there was absolutely no visible response from the Caps during the game.  Is this team aware that you don’t have to wait for a player to be traded to Montreal in order to respond to a dirty play on a teammate?  The Caps and Jets meet again next Friday and there may be a response then, but why didn’t that happen last night? That’s the kind of hit where I’m okay with a Caps player immediately charging at Stuart and risk giving the Jets a five minute PP.

I’m not a fan of all-out-goonery in hockey, but I was glad to see the Penguins go for a little in-game retribution for what Schenn did to Crosby. Laviolette must not have been watching the same game I was, but I hope the Caps were.

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