There are some things in hockey I will never understand. Like when the defenseman has the puck at the point with two of his forwards standing in front of the goalie, and the dman wraps the puck around the boards and behind the goal so the forwards have to scramble after it. Quality scoring chance in the dumpster. I didn't play organized ice hockey, so my failure to understand the obsession with moving the puck behind the goal is a personal problem I will always have to deal with.
And now I have another, more serious problem. Chris Simon is a friend of mine. I don't believe I'm an enabler; I understand, as he does, that Simon has done some bad, at times extremely dangerous, always inexcusable things. It is equally amazing, fascinating and fortunate that none of Si's victims ever missed playing time as a result of his crimes.
The night Simon stomped on Ruutu, our twins had their seventh birthday at the Islanders game. As the Islanders came off the ice after warmup, they all reached over and gave my boys a high-5. Chris Simon went the extra mile: he stopped, took off his glove, shook their hands and wished them happy birthday. When you consider what happened about 90 minutes later, the photo is all the more poignant.
I'm going to step out just a bit here and share something that Chris said to me a few times. In all honesty, when he volunteered his thoughts I was torn between being sympathetic and concerned that Chris had lost his way. Basically, Chris felt that on judgment day he was treated differently than other players. I never let the conversation get to the subject of why.
Last night all-world defenseman Chris Pronger stomped on Ryan Kesler of the Canucks.
Watch the clip: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y7kRKus2FRQ
Chris Simon got 30 games.
Chris Pronger got 0 games.
I do not know what else to say.