Adrian Dater calls for suspension of Rob Blake

To me, there is just no question this hit by Rob Blake on TJ Galiardi deserves a suspension. It’s a cheap shot to the head, just what the league said it doesn’t want. If you look closely, you also see Blake leave his feet before the hit.

Anybody who doesn’t think so is either a Sharks homer or just dumb.

- Adrian Dater of the Denver Post

In a series that has seen two games decided in the final minutes of play, emotions are going to run high and accusations such as these will be common place. It's just the nature of the playoffs, and as we have seen before, the Denver Post is not afraid to let these emotions trickle into their coverage of the team.

The hit in question occurs in overtime as Colorado forward T.J. Galiardi enters the zone with his head down. Rob Blake delivers a strong forearm to the chest of Galiardi, causing Galiardi's head to whip back. The momentum of that impact leaves Galiardi in a vulnerable position, and as Blake finishes his check, his follow through causes him to make contact with Galiardi's helmet and knock it to the ice.

There isn't too much here that screams suspension-- although Blake leaves his feet, it appears that does not occur until after he delivers the hit into Galiardi's chest and explodes upwards.

Mile High Hockey writer Dustin Burfiend doesn't think the hit was suspension worthy, but does have concerns on how Blake seems to be targeting players.

"What is making me and most Avs fans see red, however, is he seems targeting our young players," Burfiend said over email. "The knee on Duchene was dangerous for obvious reasons and the Galiardi interference, a low hip check on a player without the puck, could have turned out really bad."

Avalanche head coach Joe Sacco refrained from calling for a suspension through the media, stating that it would be up for the league officials to decide on the legality of the play.

With the number of controversial hits that Rob Blake has administered to the Avalanche over the last two weeks (Mueller in the regular season, a kneeing penalty on Duchene last night), the crowd at the Pepsi Center should be quite lively tomorrow in response to their former assistant captain. Treatment along the lines of Chris Pronger at HP Pavilion is not out of the question.

Hard to predict how a Blake game-winning goal or another strong hit would be received from the Avalanche faithful, but something tells me it wouldn't be pretty.

From that side of the aisle at least.

 

Go Sharks.

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