November 18, 2010

Evidence that Steve Downie Has Taken Mattias Ritola under His Wing in Tampa

Either Los Angeles Kings defenseman Jack Johnson hit Tampa Bay Lightning forward Mattias Ritola soooo hard on November 4th that the latter truly thought he was getting him back yesterday night with his best impression of former WWE superstar Rikishi Phatu (the hit, actually on New York Islander Matt Moulson, can be seen here); That, or his sense of timing is naturally that bad, thereby explaining just how he has turned out to be the first Swedish-born Detroit Red Wings draft pick to not pan out with the team, ever. I mean, c'mon, even Jonathan Ericsson, who was taken last in his draft year, LAST, has become an NHL regular. What's that say about you, Ritola? I'd be afraid of you hitting me from behind for telling it like it is, but the fact is I'm thousands of miles away... and you'd probably just end up getting some guy who didn't even look like me back instead.

Moulson ended up being okay, but a suspension should be handed out for the simple reason that the check was illegal on all counts: He left his feet, he hit Moulson from behind, and, if you look close enough, you can also see Ritola's elbow hit Moulson's head as well. That right there is the trifecta of stupidity, surpassed only by that time Steve Downie charged Dean McAmmond, left his feet, and launched himself right into his victim's head a few years ago. The end results were vastly different, probably mainly due to Ritola weighing just 192 pounds, and Downie already having earned a reputation of being a dirty player by the time he got around to concussing McAmmond (clearly knowing what he was doing at the time). At just 23 years of age, there's still time for Ritola to hone his craft. God knows he's got the perfect teammate to help him out.

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