This, Mr. Lessard, is why I prefer fighting to euro-style stickwork.
Please read the whole thing, and think about what would have happened in
the NHL if a star player (which Ruutu is in the Finn league) got smoked
like this. Then realize that the reason it *doesn't* happen as often in
the NHL is that the offender would have earned himself a black eye and
maybe a chipped tooth or two for himself *immediately*. Instead, some
Helsingfors player will probably high-stick or spear Wahlsten in a later
game; potentially causing *him* serious harm.
>a.k.a. the Helsinki Jokers v Helsingfors IFK), Christian Ruutu was laid
>out on the ice, after being high sticked in the mouth by Jokers player
>Sami Wahlsten. This happened in the first period after some six minutes
>of play. The blade of Wahlsten's stick cut him in the upper lip, sending
>Ruutu out for 20 or so odd stitches and he also managed to spit out three
>teeth. This is the first time in his career that Ruutu has had any fangs
>Ironically, there was NO penalty called: or perhaps it was not ironic at
>all. Refs in this league fail repeatedly to call penalties of
>consequence, blowing their whistles instead when something meaningless
>happens away from the puck. I guess it is easier. Wahlsten's high
>sticking manoeuvres would surely have given him a three game vacation in
>the NHL, not to mention some quiet time in the box to remove the shards
>of Ruutu's former teeth from his stick. Then again, he is a way's away
>from NHL ice.
>After pulling himself up off the ice, Ruutu cunningly skated over towards
>Wahlsten's general vacinity near the Joker's bench, stopping a few meters
>away from him and giving him a ***y intense stare that could have
>frozen time. At this point, the refs, who were probably more concerned
>with thoughts of being demoted to reffing Women's 3rd Division Floor
>Hockey in Lappland, had no control over what could have happened next.
>However, Ruutu eventually did leave the ice for medical attention,
>aggressively tearing a "Jokerit" banner in half as he did so.
>Amazingly, he returned to play later in the 3rd period and did have a
>couple of heated exchanges with various Jokers players, after play being
>whistled dead. Teammate Esa Tikkanen managed to keep it fom getting
>ugly, once even pulling Ruutu away by the back of his jersey from a
>Fittingly, Helsingfors IFK won the game, spoiling the return of Jari
>Kurri and The Finnish Flash, who played little part in the on-ice action.
>One might assume that Wahlsten might want to watch his backside the next
>time these two teams play eachother. I will keep you updated.