Cliche’s injury

I’ll try to get an update on Marc-Andre Cliche’s injury from yesterday, but I got a first-hand report from a fellow reporter who saw it happen (I was on the other side, watching practice). The report is that Denis Gauthier delivered a pretty rough cross-check while Cliche was facing the boards, one that might have been an “intent to injure” penalty during the season. The same witness said that Gauthier showed great concern for Cliche after the injury.

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  • lakingzfan

    let me know if im wrong, but shouldnt the players take it a bit easy on their own teammates during camp. i know they want to impress, but now someones injured and could set them back the whole year in terms of development. is it really worth it?

  • Brian

    I was down closer to center ice and from my angle it did look like he hit him from behind. I actually thought he hit his head/face on the dasher pretty hard. I didn’t see the number of the guy that hit him but he was standing over him the whole time and it looked like he felt bad about what happened…..

  • Dorian

    Yes it is worth it…it’s all a part of training camp. Gauthier is at a crossroads and he’s fighting for a job. He didn’t mean to injure him, it just happened.

  • Quisp

    I don’t think players can afford to play at less than 100% in camp; their careers are riding on their performance. Gauthier’s career in particular hinges on what he is able to do this year. However, it’s a very bad thing to be out of control or to intentionally injure another player, whether in a game or in a practice.

    That said, it’s hard to know what happened here. Cross check from behind, falling awkwardly into the boards, potential “intent to injure” penalty if during a game… it could be that Gauthier is to blame, or it could have been a freak accident. Gauthier is a very big grown-up in his thirties. Defensemen deliver those kinds of cross-checks to the backs of forwards all the time; the point is not to end someone’s season, not even to get a penalty; the point is to knock the player off his game, out of position, intimidate him, etc., going up to the limit of what’s allowed without crossing over. It’s possible Gauthier was delivering a normal amount of force for an NHL level battle in the corners, and Cliche was simply not ready, not strong enough on his skates, not used to that level of physical “combat.”

    Or, Gauthier might be a dick. As Cliche was one of the guys I was hopeful about, I am depressed that he’s hurt. But in so far as the Kings need mean mother****ers on the blueline, I hold out hope that Gauthier is part of the solution and not part of the problem.

  • regular joe

    Remember, these guys are fighting for a JOB – whether NHL or minors. These guys are battling for a spot in the roster. So, taking it easy is not an option. This is their livelihood.

  • Sean Avery

    Gauthier is like a lot of visor wearing French guys in the league. Running around all tough and then not backing it up.

  • Anonymous

    Gauthier play rough before the season starts??? Nooooooo! That would be unheard of!

    Oh, wait….

  • Tim

    I agree with Dorian, it’s a unfortunate part of camp, when players are going 100 – 110%, fighting for a job guys might get injure. There isn’t intent, however there are accidents.

    I’ve been to a few camps and regular practices.. whether it’s a hit are a puck it’s going to happen sooner or later, just hope that the player isn’t hurt to badly and he’ll make it back on the ice soon.

  • nykingfan

    Dorian
    Playing hard and hitting are all part of training camp..especially for guys trying to make an impression, but “intent to Injure”? That doesn’t sound like someone not meaning to injure a teammate. We weren’t there, so we’re relying on other people’s observations. There’s no room for that in training camp or practice. If he would have done that to Kopitar or Brown, would you still feel the same way?

  • Mark.

    I was there yesterday, standing above the rafters over where the play happened. I, too, thought Cliche took the check and hit his face along the glass. He was in obvious pain. While I don’t think Gauthier delibrately intended on injuring Cliche, he does have a reputation which included injuring Jeremy Roenick’s wrist back when he was with the Kings. Some have referred to Gauthier as a dirty player, but it was more of a reactionary hit on Cliche. BTW, on day one of the camp, Michael Handzus (of all people) layed a nasty cross check along the boards on Dustin Brown, and that looked twice as scary as the hit Gauthier laid on Cliche. I mean, you could see Brown’s neck bend when his head hit the boards. I thought he was hurt for sure, but he got up and scored on the penalty/breakaway. I hope Cliche is ok though. It took a while before they could get him up and off the ice.

  • Brian

    Hmmmm Roenick/Gauthier revisited?

  • Atomic Steve

    I was standing right above where the hit happened and it looked like a clean hit to me and the other people standing with me. It was just an unfortunate accident.

  • Quisp

    NYKingsfan –

    I agree wholeheartedly with you that there is no room for “intent to injure” in practice or in games. And you’re right of course that had Gauthier intentionally injured Kopitar or Brown people would be freaking out. But keep in mind, there’s a difference between Gauthier actually intending to injure Cliche and a reporter friend of Rich’s saying the check “might” have been an intent to injure penalty if it took place during a game. Any cross-check from behind near the boards “might” be an “intent to injure” penalty. Also, might be boarding or cross-checking. Or nothing.

    In fact, I would go so far as to say that Gauthier could not possibly have had an actual intent to injure a teammate during a practice. Because that would make him, well, insane.

    Also, Gauthier cannot possibly expect to make the Kings roster if he loses a battle in the corners with some skinny prospect who has never played an NHL game. He absolutely must bring his “A” game to that confrontation, or he’s going to find himself in Manchester.

  • nykingfan

    I agree Quisp.
    Some of the other posts that came in afterwards indicate that it may not have been a dirty hit. I would sure as hell hope not! Hits from behind happen every day, whether in prctice or games. A lot of times the guy turns his body which causes the hit from behind.
    Gauthier is probably going to make the team and we certainly need tough, agressive D’men. I just hope it wasn’t intentional.

  • jet

    You play how you practice. He may have just been practicing. Isn’t Cammalleri also 5″10′ 175?

  • Tim

    Quisp, you nailed it… “the Kings need mean mother****ers on the blueline” I agree 100% with you…

  • All the players in the NHL not on the Dallas Stars

    Dear Sean Avery,

    Please be sure and work on your instigating and fighting skills during the pre-season games when we do not care about the instigator penalty.

    Thanking you in advance (great outfit, sean!),

    the rest of the league

  • iLaugh4aboot5minutesAtSeanAvery

    Thanks for the comment puppy!

  • 7

    I was also there and saw it happen. It didn’t look intentional at all or even very dirty. They both went intop the boards sort of awkwardly and I knew it was bad because Gautier instantly called for the Doctor. Cliche was cursing and screaming. You could tell they both knew he was done for the camp. I thought it was his wrist, but the way he was taken off the ice, It was the leg, maybe knee or ACL (I hope not).