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Call the Coyotes, Colin Campbell

The 20-game suspension to Steve Downie was supposed to send a message to the NHL about reckless hits. As we saw yesterday with Jesse Boulerice, however, head shots are still in vogue among the league's marginal thugs. Tonight, Phoenix's Craig Weller put his name up for consideration by the league office for suspension after clotheslining Predators agitator Jordin Tootoo in the 3rd period.

With the Coyotes up 4-2 in the 3rd, Tootoo took a run at Daniel Winnik as he came around the Nashville net with his head down. It was a legal play (didn't leave his feet, led with his shoulder), and Tootoo pretty much whiffed on the hit anyway. The puck came up the boards to Weller, and as Tootoo came up the ice Weller just slung his right arm around Tootoo's neck, slamming him down to the ice. Weller then tossed his gloves aside as if he was ready to scrap, but Tootoo was still down and Martin Gelinas tied him up (and got a mysterious roughing call for his efforts).

What kind of player gives up the play with the puck on his stick to attack another player like that? And how did the Flyers let a guy like this slip through their fingers? It'll be interesting to see what kind of suspension (if any) Weller receives, as it also leaves open the question of whether suspending a marginal talent like that really penalizes the team at all. Perhaps a fine or suspension for the coach should be considered? If not in this case, certainly it should be an option for Philadelphia, which has had two such episodes in a short time, as noted over at Red & Black.

It's too bad that this incident obscures a solid effort by the Coyotes tonight in a 6-3 win. They jumped out to an early lead on the Predators and Alex Auld stood tall in the face of some excellent pressure by Nashville, particularly from Alexander Radulov who had his best game so far (mostly playing alongside Legwand & Erat again).

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