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Walker will be available to the Canes for Game 6

Posted May 11, 2009

Carolina Hurricanes forward Scott Walker will not be suspended but was fined $2,500 by the NHL on Monday for throwing a punch that may have broken a bone in Boston defenseman Aaron Ward's face.

Hurricanes general manager Jim Rutherford told The Associated Press that the automatic suspension given to Walker was rescinded during a hearing with league disciplinarian Colin Campbell. It was ruled the hit was not a "sucker punch."

"Based on what was said on the ice as I was dropping my gloves, it was my understanding that I was engaged in an altercation," Walker said in a statement issued by the team.

Tempers flared in the final minutes of Boston's 4-0 victory Sunday in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference semifinals when Ward and Carolina's Matt Cullen began shoving in front of the Bruins' net. Walker skated in and hit Ward with a right cross that knocked the defenseman to the ice, and was given a misconduct, a fighting major and an instigator penalty with 2:47 remaining.

Boston coach Claude Julien said after the game that team doctors feared Ward had a broken orbital bone. He was being re-evaluated Monday.

"In reviewing what I saw, I just didn't like what happened. ... I just don't think there was any need for that," Julien said after practice in Wilmington, Mass. "He sucker-punched him once coming into the scrum when (Ward) was involved with another player. And then he dropped his gloves and sucker-punched him.

"I don't care what people say about, 'Ward should've protected himself.' He had no intention of getting involved," he added. "We asked our guys to stay composed and not fall into that trap, and he just did that. A guy with Walker's experience should know better than to sucker-punch a guy."

Things were chippy throughout a physical game in which the teams combined for 29 penalties and 83 penalty minutes. That's not counting Jussi Jokinen's second-period slash to Zdeno Chara's lower body that briefly sent the Boston captain to the locker room. Jokinen was not penalized.

Rutherford said the incident was "clearly brought on by them," saying he felt the Hurricanes had taken shots from Boston players throughout the series, which Carolina leads 3-2. He isn't worried about the possibility of the Bruins retaliating against Walker during Game 6 Tuesday night.

"If that's the way the game's going to be played, that's the way we'll play the game," he said.

 

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  • edits May 11, 10:11 p.m.

    I love reading these and giving my two cents, especially when I have had a bad day (which wasn't today). This is such a fun way to vent and get rid of some pent up aggression. The funny thing is I bet if most of us ran into each other at some point in time and met and did not know who each other was we would most likely get along and like each other. I thought the political posts were good a few months ago but these playoff posts have those beat!

    Like doing this with you all (even the Boston fans and the Devils fans)

    For everyone that likes to get off topic, like me on this post, you had better be paying attention to the other series in the east, the Caps just won in a great overtime game. I thought Bruce B's head was going to explode, that was a great game. Both of those teams have the talent and the hunger to beat anyone left in the playoffs right now, that being said after the performance by my Canes last night.

    GO CANES!!!!

    Go Pens too! (Second favorite team)

  • tinaslion May 11, 10:06 p.m.

    GO BRUINS!!! Can't wait to see all these fair weather Cane fans take their flags off their... View More

    — Posted by dl1acc

    LMAO I Agree.
    Fairweather fans 100%. You guys down south don't even know what ice is.

    I'll be... View More

    — Posted by slugger9203

    From what I've read from the B's "fans" on the Boston Globe forums, you have absolutely no right to talk. All I saw after game 4 was a bunch of "...that's it I'm watching the Sox/Celts". At the 1st sign of adversity, the B-Wagon emptied out quicker than an elevator after a raunchy, bean inspired . For now, they are back, but they won't stay if the canes finish tomorrow or Thursday. It must be nice to be able to shift and twist your allegiances to whichever professional sport happens to be bringing a championship back to your town.

    Speaking personally, I am a Raleigh native and have followed and enjoyed hockey my entire life (I have several old IceCaps ticket stubs as proof of this). While I know I am more the exception, know that there are people down here that love, and have always loved the sport.

    To the Walker incident, the only argument you have is 3rd man in and that is questionable since it's clear since Ward had, not only squared on Walker, but simi-punched him (with his gloves still on). Walker would have done better to wait for Ward to get his gloves off, but he wasn't obligated.

    If the refs clamp down on that stuff to get control of the game, the Bs are in trouble. Chara and the rest of the Boston D won't be able to punch our guys in the back of the head as I've been watching them do for 5 games now.

  • tdd May 11, 8:57 p.m.

    What is this dude from Massachusetts trying to prove? Bet you won't be posting anything after your ruins get stomped tomorrow night. WOOOOOOOOOO !!!!!!!!

  • slugger9203 May 11, 8:36 p.m.

    GO BRUINS!!! Can't wait to see all these fair weather Cane fans take their flags off their... View More

    — Posted by dl1acc

    LMAO I Agree.
    Fairweather fans 100%. You guys down south don't even know what ice is.

    I'll be... View More

    — Posted by slugger9203

    Last I checked, we won a Cup in '06. When did the B's win one last? Maybe you should win... View More

    — Posted by rlewis2

    I am everything but a bandwagon fan. I have been following them since I don't know when. All I know is that when I started following them, they sucked.

  • LGD May 11, 8:33 p.m.

    All of the "BS" about who is from where means nothing! Half of my family lives in Canada; they play Hockey there right? I was born and raised here and follow all sports. Also, being from a certain place does not make you nay better than anybody else. I travel all over and work with people from all continents; there are pelasent and not so pleasent people. Yes, I do know what ice is and yes I can drive in it. If it sucks so bad, go back from your native glorious soil where evreything is fantastic. I have family that are friends with Walter Gretzky; Wayne's Dad, he played Hockey right. Please stay inside your own bubble; you have no idea what other people know and do. If there are a lot of people other areas, it must be OK.

    GO CANES

  • chance May 11, 7:58 p.m.

    GO BRUINS!!! Can't wait to see all these fair weather Cane fans take their flags off their... View More

    — Posted by dl1acc

    LMAO I Agree.
    Fairweather fans 100%. You guys down south don't even know what ice is.

    I'll be... View More

    — Posted by slugger9203

    Ahhhhh Slugger - If you knew ANYTHING about this area, you would know that there's probably more Native Northerners living here than there are living in Boston! And WE don't know what ice is??? Maybe you're just jealous WE were actually smart enough to move away from the cold.

    Go back to your 'FANTASY ICE CASTLE' - the only place the Bruins have a chance of winning!

  • rlewis2 May 11, 7:55 p.m.

    GO BRUINS!!! Can't wait to see all these fair weather Cane fans take their flags off their... View More

    — Posted by dl1acc

    LMAO I Agree.
    Fairweather fans 100%. You guys down south don't even know what ice is.

    I'll be... View More

    — Posted by slugger9203

    Last I checked, we won a Cup in '06. When did the B's win one last? Maybe you should win something before talking smack. Still living off the C's, Sox and the Pats. The B's are the bandwagon team in this discussion, not the Canes.

  • n4dxa May 11, 7:39 p.m.

    You must be smokin crack.

  • slugger9203 May 11, 7:37 p.m.

    Can't wait for game 6 tomorrow. The Bruins are gonna open up an old fashioned can of whoop ^SS

  • chance May 11, 7:37 p.m.

    Why is there some much fighting in hockey to begin with? I don't follow the game...but it has a... View More

    — Posted by me2you

    Thank you Nod2004 ... I haven't laughed so hard in a long time!!! Even I - a TOTAL GIRLY GIRL - know about hockey. Shame on you for living in the area and not supporting your Canes. Most of those 'on ice fights' are just that - part of the game. Many of those guys are friends playing on opposing teams and can even be seen bonding after the game. I think hockey is one of the best sports on the planet - the speed of basketball, the toughness of football, they're using a stick to hit a small object like baseball ... and they're doing it while standing on a thin blade. And you'll rarely hear national news stories about hockey players getting into trouble. Oh ... and they have the best looking guys in any sport!!

    -girly girl

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