Jarkko Ruutu made it clear Friday that he didn’t want to cause a stir with anything he said about his one-game suspension.
The Finnish forward nearly took a line straight out of the Mark McGwire Congressional Testimony transcript, saying “what happened yesterday, happened yesterday.”
Asked specifically if he had a reaction to his one-game, league-imposed ban for tonight’s Game 5, Ruutu replied, “I don’t think it really matters what I think. It’s a team game. One guy is out, another guy is in. In the end, the only thing that really matters is how we do tonight. That’s how I see things. Let’s move on.”
Ruutu did offer up a couple specifics about the hearing: It lasted about five minutes, and his status as a repeat offender (he received a pair of two-game bans during the 2008-09 season) did not come up in the conversation with the NHL. So there goes one theory about why Ruutu was forced to sit for a hit that Randy Carlyle didn’t think deserved a hearing.
Carlyle responded directly to Nashville Predators head coach Barry Trotz’s comment that Ruutu “doesn’t even dress” in contrast to Martin Erat, a 15-minute-per-game forward who didn’t travel to Anaheim because of the upper-body injury inflicted by Ruutu’s hit.
“We’re missing a big body that kills penalties. Presses on the forecheck. Basically a good team guy,” Carlyle said. “That’s what we’re missing whether he’s playing — as somebody was quoted — five minutes, six minutes, seven minutes. We ask him to give us that, as we ask all our players, to give us their best contribution in those five minutes. If it’s seven minutes, 10 minutes, 12 minutes, that’s what we need.”