No waiting for the weekly hockey wrap up for this one.
Last night was a very physical and emotional game between Michigan and Michigan State. There was a lot of post-whistle stuff that caused emotions to run high. And near the end of the game, it got ugly. Real ugly.
A person uploaded the Fox Sports Detroit video of Michigan State's Andrew Conboy and Corey Tropp's assault on Steve Kampfer from the end of last night's game. The same Steve Kampfer who back in October was assaulted in an off ice incident that left him with a fractured neck and skull and nearly ended his career.
First you will see the clean hit Kampfer laid on Tropp at center ice, but the original replay is hard to see Conboy and Tropp's actions as the camera followed play in the foreground.
But play close attention starting at 45 seconds. It's a wide angle shot from the far corner. You see Kampfer's hit, then you see Conboy come up from the back right side and cold cock Kampfer, then literally to add insult to injury Tropp skates up and gives Kampfer a pair of hard two handed whacks near the head and neck area after he was already down.
Absolutely disgusting. It's one thing for players to have a one-on-one fight to settle an incident. But there's no condoning this. It was so bad that after the game a Michigan fan broke into the MSU locker room to go after Tropp or MSU head coach Rick Comley (reports vary) and police had to be called in. And if you've seen the visitor's locker room area at Yost, no, it's not that hard to break in.
Some fans always complain about thuggery by certain players on teams--for example, Jack Johnson and Chad Kolarik sandwiching a Spartan near the end of a game a few years ago, which State fans have never forgotten and continue to despise Johnson for, even though (a) it wasn't from behind, (b) probably nothing more than a charging call (though since it was Jack he was ejected), and (c) Kolarik's the one who ripped at the helmet from behind but didn't get called for anything but Sparties don't acknowledge he was even in the play. But what Conboy and Tropp did last night...there's no comparison, that is what true thuggery in hockey is.
Conboy only getting a double minor for roughing was a joke. Tropp's double game disqualification was at least acceptable.
No doubt we will all be paying close attention to what action Comley and the CCHA takes. Comley told Red Berenson after the game that he would discipline his players. I sincerely hope it's more than him coming out and saying, "It's an internal matter, I talked to them about their actions, and its been dealt with," and then you see them on the ice the following week.
Honestly, after the Todd Bertuzzi incident, I always felt that in true goonish incidents like that, the attacking player should have to sit until the injured player returns and then serve his game suspensions on top of that. For example lets say Kampfer ends up missing a month of hockey. Yet Tropp only misses three games. Or Conboy only misses a few games. Where's the justice there? Kampfer gets assaulted, Michigan loses one of their top defensemen for a long period of time, and Michigan State gets their players back before Michigan gets Kampfer. That does not make sense and that is not fair.
But if, say, Tropp sits out until Kampfer is cleared to return (be it a week or a month), and THEN serves his three game suspension on top of that, that would be fair to me. I just don't believe that the attacking players should be able to play again before the player they injured. It sends the wrong message if they do.