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February 11, 2007

Emery's action appalling
Senators goalie Ray Emery deserves to be suspended for his stick-to-the-head on Canadiens rookie Maxim Lapierre, writes TFP Editor-in-Chief David Pagnotta.

(TORONTO, ON) -- If the NHL is as serious as it says it is about the safety of its players, it's time they make an example of Ottawa Senators goaltender Ray Emery.

In the second period of Saturday night's 5-3 victory over Montreal, Emery swung his stick and hit Canadiens' rookie Maxim Lapierre in the face.

Fortunately for the 21-year-old native of St. Leonard, Quebec, he was wearing his visor.

"I hope the NHL reviews that play because that was intent to injure," Habs head coach Carbonneau said after the game.

"If Max isn't wearing a visor, he'd have a broken nose."

Emery, who won his 24th game of the season, was assessed merely a minor penalty for slashing, much to the disgust of the Canadiens' hometown fans, players and coaching staff.

"I didn't mean to hit him that high," Emery, who challenged Lapierre to a fight after the play, told The Canadian Press.


I can understand a player looking his cool, after all, Lapierre did slide into him, but what the 24-year-old netminder did was utterly inexcusable. Yet, to my surprise, the game went on as if nothing wrong had happened. The referee clearly saw the play, as a penalty was immediately called, but to issue a two-minute minor is disgraceful.

What would have happened in Lapierre wasn't wearing a visor? What if Emery hit the young center in the throat? What is Emery hit Lapierre in the eye? Would the officials have reacted the same way? Would they have let the incident slide?

I don't think so.

The league has a responsibility to step in and react accordingly. Incidents like these cannot go unpunished.

Did the league turn its back on Marty McSorley's tomahawk chop on Donald Brashear? Did they close their eyes on Todd Bertuzzi's assault on Steve Moore?

Thankfully, Lapierre wasn't injured, but in the eyes of the National Hockey League's disciplinarians, that shouldn't matter. One of their athletes still hit another in the head with a hockey stick. Something should be done about it.

Lapierre was lucky. Emery was stupid. It's time for the league to be responsible.

David Pagnotta is the Editor-in-Chief of The Fourth Period Magazine and covers the Toronto Maple Leafs and the NHL for He is also a contributing writer for



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