Lombardi on the Gauthier suspension

Here’s general manager Dean Lombardi on the suspension:
“We didn’t believe he deserved a penalty, let alone a
suspension. When you
stop the tape, his elbow is clearly down and at the point of contact,
his feet are on the ice. They both ended up halfway up the boards, so
it’s not a charge.
I understand when you see it at full speed and the way they end
up on top of each other it looks more criminal than it is. When you
slowed it down, was his elbow down? Yes. Were his feet on the ice at
the point of impact? Yes.”

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  • Anonymous

    You have got to be kidding?!?

  • simonsez

    When watching the replays right after it happened, I was looking to see when his feet left the ground. I think Lombardi is wrong on this one & his feet did leave the ground before impact, though it was only slightly before. It also sure looked like elbow on face to me.

    It’s too bad, because Gauthier could have still rocked Gorges’ world with a perfectly clean check.

  • variable

    unfortunately, yr wrong…gauthier might have not meant to do what he did, but it was a high elbow and he did leave his feet…he has a history and all you can ask is for the nhl and colin campbell to be consistent and fair…i think they did that in this case…

    also, don’t trade frolov…!


    Maybe I’ve seen bad replays on the computer, but I agree with Lombardi.
    The elbow looked down and it doesn’t look like Gauthier was rising on his skates until after the contact.
    Goat doesn’t deserve the “dirty” title in my opinion.
    He also could be invaluable to this team if we end up in the playoffs somehow.

    I second – “also, don’t trade frolov!”

  • typicaljs

    I don’t know if you guys all play very competitive hockey or not, but I will bet you money if you look at any big hit in a similar position you see that Gauthiers hit was not a charge. I’m not gonna say shit about the elbow other than IMO he hits him with the forearm first and follows through with the elbow, Pronger throws worse elbows on almost a shift-by-shift basis.

    Against any other team, not broadcast on HNIC, it’s probally a 2, maybe a 4 and it’s done. Because the Hab player was injured suddenly Gauthier is public enemy #1 and the poster boy for what the NHL wants out of his game. This is just more proof that the NHL cares 10X more about the result of the play and who is involved than the intent and probable outcome.

    Having thrown a monster hit myself over this past weekend, I’ll be the first to remind everyone that if you level someone when you both have enough force; unless you knock the guy STRAIGHT down; one of you is going to be pushed down (guy getting rocked) and the other is going to be pushed up (guy delivering massive check)

    If you want to see what jumping before the hit looks like. I suggest you watch JMFJ destroy Michalek, then rewatch that video. Notice how only one of Gauthiers feet leave the ice to start, and once impact is made then he pops up into the air ? That’s why the hab was in such a daze, he got rocked.

  • HBKF

    If the NHL was serious about hits to the head, then Komisarek also would be sitting for 5 games for the attempt on O’Sullivan.

  • BringBackKingston

    “Every good army needs a couple of criminals.” – Dean Lombardi

  • Anonymous

    Hey Rich,

    Did you ask Lombardi about the Komisarek attempted elbow? Did he ask the league about that?

  • Anonymous

    Considering he’d probably be a healthy scratch for at least a few of those games anyway, I think we came out of that pretty well.

  • Anonymous

    It was a charge, folks, no matter how inexperienced you are at watching hockey. He deserves what he got. Head shots can no longer be tolerated. He may play defense, but on the play with Gorges, he was just downright sloppy and his actions are inexcusable.

  • lwames

    I have to agree with Dean…

  • Paul from Oxnard

    I agree with Dean. I have since I saw the game live on Saturday. It wasn’t a dirty hit.

    If it were Gorges hitting Gautier, would he have gotten a penalty, much less a suspension? I highly doubt it.

  • Anonymous

    Deserved or not I will take any way I can to not have Gauthier in the lineup for a few games. The team played well and won without him.

  • anthony

    That’s our brilliant GM coming to the rescue.
    90% of us at this site believe that a suspension was warranted.
    But not him.
    No wonder his team ended up 28th and 29th the last two seasons.
    How did he get this job?

  • Me

    Did you expect him to say “YES!, it was a good call”? This is Dean Lombardi defending his player. He’s never going to say his player deserves a suspension. No GM (or team) will, unless the player is Sean Avery.

  • smokiemcpot

    I have to disagree with Dean. It was a dirty hit and was unnecessary. That said, if the team wasn’t MTL there wouldn’t have been a suspense…at least not a five game one. Has there even been a suspension this year that has been that long?

  • Jimmy Crack Corn


  • BakoCACondorsKingsFan

    The best part of this, guys, is that TM stands by his players. It may not change the length of the suspension, but the players will remember his support. Doesn’t even matter that Gauthier DID leave his feet and DID raise his elbow for the contact.

    Good coaching move. The team will want to go to war for this kind of coach.

  • Anonymous

    Lombardi is correct on the technical aspect….only because he got clocked did the league make a big deal about it. It was a huge hit…but if were the Habs making that hit….nothing would be done…*sigh* on to Ottawa now.

  • khanon81

    In total agreement of DL… Hockey is a physical sport, get over it

  • Ersberg

    DL has proven he stands by his team. It’s not surprising he’s doing it again in this case.

    This should be no surprise to the Kings’ fan base.

  • Michael

    Dean, I understand your bias, but come on!! And Gauthier is a repeat offender. He’s lucky he’s not getting the Chris Simon treatment. You guys are lucky he only got 5 games.

  • mark4kings

    Hey Anthony. You need to check your math. Of the folks here that offered an opinion, 5 thought it was the proper call and 7 agreed with DL that the suspension wasn’t warranted. Hardly the “90% of us at this site believe that a suspension was warranted” claim you make.
    Man, you need to get over your bias against everything that has to do with Kings management.

  • Kevin

    I am not defending Gauthier as I don’t care about the guy either way. However, I am defending the check because I see the NHL getting softer and softer just like the world in general. Also, in no way am I in favor of anyone getting hurt.

    and here we go……

    If you people think that he led with an elbow then you are completely blind. His arm is tucked directly into his body as it should be. That is textbook body positioning when giving a check. Some of you should actually play the game and take some clinics and you will learn a few things.

    Does his elbow connect with Gorges head? No, I think his head connects with his upper arm. Gorges face is perfectly planted on the side of Gauthier’s bi-cept.

    As for charging. Gorges gets crushed and falls backwards. Of course Gauthier is going to end up in the air just by his momentum and by him pushing upward with his legs(also textbook way to give a body check).

    Whether he left his feet before contact is debatable since you would really need to see that in “FOXMO” which, unfortunately, none of us were able to view.

    I guess, in the end, the NHL is “cracking” down on hits to the head(which i don’t believe Gauthier was meaning to crush his skull)so, there had to be some action taken.

    The only argument anyone has is that Gauthier made contact with Gorges head. There was no elbow and it’s easily debatable that there was no charge either.

  • Marc Nathan

    I know a place where dreams are born,
    And time is never planned.
    It’s not on any chart,
    You must find it with your heart.
    Never Never Land.

    It may be miles beyond the moon,
    Or right there where you stand.
    Just keep an open mind,
    And then suddenly you’ll find
    Never Never Land.

    You’ll have a treasure if you stay there,
    More precious far than gold.
    For once you have found your way there,
    You can never, never grow old.

    And that’s my home where dreams are born,
    And time is never planned.
    Just think of pleasant things.
    And your heart will fly on wings,
    Forever in Never Never Land.

    Come back to earth, Dean…

  • Anonymous

    I think Deano’s been drinking too much of the kool-aid that he’s been ramming down our throats the past three years.

  • BakoCACondorsKingsFan

    Standing by your team is sort of like standing by your children–it can be taken for granted, so it must be constantly reinforced.

  • Anonymous

    I think you may need to check your math there Anthony. Interesting coming from someone who sits in a luxery box and has never stepped foot on the ice.

    Having said that, I didn’t see the game, nor the hit, but I will bet every cent I have that if this were not a bit player on a team in Los Angeles, the suspension, if there was even one, would not have been 5 games (most likely 2), and the uproar would be nothing like it is.

    The NHL will never grow as a league until the double standard given to the leagues favorite teams are erased. The Montreal’s, New York’s, Detroit’s (although I applaud them for suspending both Lidstrom and Datsyuk for the All-Star no show), Chicago’s and the like, far too often, get free passes in this league.

    Is Kostopolous going to get suspended for taking a blatant run at Tim Thomas the other day? Throwing and elbow at his head? I doubt it.

  • tantrum4

    I totally agree with Lombardi and typicaljs. I was watching the game live here in Canada on HNIC and right away I said to myself “clean hit, but because Georges is dazed, he’ll get a penalty”. And I was right.

    typicaljs has it spot on. I played all the way up to Junior A hockey and was known as a very physical defenseman, so I know how to hit. Gauthier did it exactly how you are supposed to when a guy is coming down the boards on you one-on-one with his head down. A couple cross-overs to close the gap along the wall, elbows down, shoulder out, and drive your legs down and crush him. A lot of people just see a hit and see a player leave his feet or an elbow come up ON THE FOLLOW THROUGH and think it was dirty, which I understand if you’ve never played the game before and only watch it on tv. But to say the it was a “charge” is laughable. For it to be a charge you have to take more than three full strides head on at an opponent. Kind of hard to do when you’re skating backwards…..

  • Eric K

    Anthony, it’s a GM sticking up for his players. relax.

  • Daniel

    I agree with Lombardi on this. Look at the angle provided by RDS:

  • Dave W

    I think no matter what Dean has to say what he said. How many F-ups have happened and your boss covered for you? DL is trying to circle the wagons and unite this team. It goes back to Drew getting hit in the Tampa game and the response from the team was not what he wanted. He is showing the boys that even management can come to the aid of a a teammate.

    I have not seen the hit other than once at full speed. It looked like he left his feet and threw an elbow. Montreal is the golden city this year and will probably win like 16 games in the playoffs all in overtime. F Eric Desjardins, I am still bitter. John Leclaire too!

  • Anonymous

    I can see both sides, it looks like he leads with an elbow but I don’t think he left his feet first. HOWEVER you guys sit here and complain that no one sticks up for each other isn’t DL sticking up for HIS team? If you throw Gauthier or Dean under the bus aren’t you being a bit Blakeish??

  • Chris

    Totally agree with Dean on this… Gauthier didn’t leave his feet. Gorges had his head down thinking only Stoll was there, and in came Gauthier. That hit didn’t deserve a penalty, let alone a 5 minute Major and a 5 game suspension.

    Anthony keep smoking what it is your smoking….

    I would appeal that suspension….

  • m

    I missed the game…
    But I’ve seen the replays of the hit, at full-speed, in slow-mo.

    Taken from a children’s song:
    “The forearm’s connected to the… elbow.”

    I’m sorry, but I think there’s a hit to the head. Gauthier already has a couple of inches on Gorges to begin with. Then factor in Gorges going at a high speed, a good stride, thus lowering his head even more. Gauthier’s forearm may have been tucked in, but it was still lined up with Gorges’ head.

    And since there’s a hit to the head, the league is doing whatever it can to get this out of the game, thus the suspension.

    But I agree that Lombardi is sticking up for his team. This is the year that management, coaching, and the players create a team mentality, to build a unit, to give this team something it hadn’t had in quite a while–an identity.

    Also, can we talk about something else now? Like how if the Kings don’t beat Ottawa (after what happened in Montreal) that they’re in trouble. And if they do win, it shows that team identity in full force.

    OR the adversity this team is going to have since they’ll be in Ottawa and both the team and the fans will want a win for the new coach.

  • BakoCACondorsKingsFan


    Well said, I agree. Tonight’s game is a very important game for both the Kings and the Senators, and should be of playoff intensity. How tough is this team? Will they respond after a bitter road loss with mush for intensity? Or, will they decide that they need to make a statement and win a must-win game? The crowd will be pumped, the Sens will be intense, and if the Kings can win this game it will make a statement.

  • 4thlinechecker

    Anthony, Just cuz u probably make a few extra bucks then most of us and you sit in a luxury suite. (which, are overrated, ive been in them id rather have my 107 seats honestly) doesnt give u the right to spout off nonsense. Its annoying. you sound like the typical big shot without a clue, and clearly has never laced up skates, but feel you have a right to run your mouth cuz you sit in the good seats… Go to anaheim, im sure there is plenty just like you.

  • sd

    Here’s my take – sort of a hybrid view. At full speed, the hit looks pretty bad. He appeared to leave his feet and use the elbow to the head, so I don’t blame the refs on the ice for the calls they made.

    In slow motion, however, it is clear that Gauthier did not connect with the elbow to the head. His elbow was down and his upper arm is what hit Gorges’s head.

    As for the charging, he really only left his feet completely on the follow through. So I wouldn’t call it charging (with the aid of slow mo). Kronwall does this on almost every hit he makes and he gets nothing but applause. When you hit a guy in any sport, you extend you legs to add power. If you hit too high then you end up leaving your feet because your energy is going up toward the guy’s head instead of into his body.

    That last sentence, I believe, is the issue. Charging, elbowing, the feet, none of it matters. The hit was too high. Obviously if he used his elbow I would expect more punishment, but even though his “form” was clean, it was a dirty hit because he hit Gorges’s head. This has to stop or we will continue to see guys having to leave the game with concussion problems…or worse.

    Based on that, I’m fine with the suspension. But, the same punishment has to apply to every player. Tall guys, All Stars, no matter what team. You must check between the shoulders and the hips. If you can’t hit there, then don’t check. If you do it on accident, sorry, expect a suspension.

    I would recommend that Gauthier learn the old Rob Blake “Ass Check”. It would have been perfect in that situation.

  • john b

    That was not bad at all. The guy had his head down and got crushed along the boards. If you want to give him 2 minutes because the poor little Hab has a bloody nose and got his bell wrung fine. That play had no bearing on the outcome of the game. The mugging of Doughty, thats a whole different story.
    The suspension is a joke period. The culprits who deserve suspension are those french canadian refs!


  • khanon81

    I hope Gauthier continues to play physical and cross the line here and there… these types of players are unique and contribute by keeping opposing players in check when hes on the ice… For all you idiots claiming that the suspension was warranted, maybe you should start watching Russian hockey or figure skating… Get over it wimps, hockey is a physical sport and sometimes people get hurt…

  • mrbrett7

    Okay…first time I have seen the hit.

    I can see how the ref called it a penalty, because in real time speed, it looks like one.

    BUT, slowed down, that is in no way shape or form a penalty. That’s about as clean a hit as you can make. Is it Gauthier’s falt taht Georges is skating with his head down, out of control? No, it isn’t. Is it Gauthier’s fault on the follow through, he left his feet? Nope, not his fault…in fact, that’s textbook, and if that’s a penalty, then EVERY hit in the NHL is a penalty.

    Georges’s head hit Gauthier’s forearm, NOT hit elbow. He did not lead with his elbow whatsoever and there was no other intent with that check but to separate man from the puck. Pure definition of a hockey check.

    It’s a shame that Georges got hurt, but guess what ladies and gentleman, this is hockey. People get hurt.

    If this was a penalty, let alone a suspension, than Dustin Brown should never be allowed to step on the ice again. Jarko Ruutu (maybe a bad example) should be suspended for life. 3/4’s of the players in the league should be suspended.

    Yet, another example of the NHL getting it wrong.

  • jet

    Gauthier caught him with his head down. It is part of the game, and I am usually a guy getting crunched. Penalty is fine, suspension is not. But, his trade value just increased by 20 picks.

    The one thing that I did take away from the game is that the next time we go to Montreal, let’s just give the Habs a couple of goals up front and play a man down until the shootout. Then we can let them have 4 shooters. The kids did incredible job in a hostile environment and were robbed.

    Sorry, just having a hard time letting that one go.

  • jediknight329

    if anyone complains about the gm or coaches standing up or defending one of their own players, then you are an absolute f’ing idiot.

    does anyone manage or supervise employees? most competent supervisors or managers defend their employees rather than selling them out. what is said between management and the employee in private is a whole different matter. you always defend your employee in public. that’s what you do.

    christ almighty, some of you are ridiculous. wait till you get into the real world and deal with real world issues. your touchy, feely liberal attitudes will blow up in your faces.

    i guess some of you don’t live or work in the real world. maybe your days toughest decision is what to write on this blog. i guess some of you would sell out your own friends or family because it would be the “popular” thing to do because “90%” of you thought that. if this wasn’t so sad, i’d laugh, but its sad.

  • nayagamj

    The hit was clean. His elbow was tucked and his feet only came up after the point of impact. Anthony, I think its safe to assume that you don’t really know anything about hockey (or hits for that matter). All you really know how to do is run your mouth and childishly call Lombardi and Murray names. Being a critic isn’t all that hard. All you have to do is say that every move a person makes is wrong. I’m curious Anthony. Who would you rather have as our GM and coach? Enlighten us all.

  • john b

    Mr Brett has it dead right. I for one dont watch womens hockey.

  • john b

    Mr Brett has it dead right. I for one dont watch womens hockey.

  • Brian

    I’ll play devils advocate too because I saw what Dean saw. I didn’t see his feet leave the ground either (unless you want to measure in millimeters – every hit to an extent is like that). I don’t know about how high the elbow was – it didn’t look like it hit his face to me but it did look too high for my taste. I don’t think I would argue with a penalty or suspension but to me 5 games was way too much.

    So all you Gauthier haters (forget about how he is a subpar D man for a moment and take your ego out of the equation) take a minute to be impartial and I think you’ll see you’re doing an injustice to him and the league when you talk like that.



    I know the passion is there, but we’re all Kings fans and there’s been a lot of frustration built up over the past half dozen years or so.
    It might sound hypocritical coming from me but try to contain the anger.
    Words of support are just as, or more, effective than telling everyone to piss off.
    BTW – I agree with your points about Lombardi backing his guys.
    Don’t let life get you down…


  • brianguy

    tell it deano

  • ju87

    Gorges hit Gaulthier’s upper arm with his head. Head down and high speed down along the boards is a recipe for disaster. The hit was a bit high, but Gaulthier still had one skate on the ice and Gorges not keeping his head up compounded the hit.

    Gaulthier shoulda gone for a hip check…. that still woulda knocked Gorges into next week.

  • Mark Scott

    Gauthier is a piece of crap with a history of cheap shots. He sucker punched Patrick Kaleta and knocked him out for 25 games, but no suspension. What a joke that dickhead is.

  • http://www.insidesocal.com CupRun2010

    Don’t agree with DL.

    I was thinking about Doug Weight’s hit on Brandon Sutter and why Weight wasn’t suspended…from looking at both replays, it’s obvious that Weight tucked his arms in and hit Sutter with his shoulders (like Brownie)…when you look at Goat’s hit, it looks like the elbow is out (even though he hit him with his forearm) and he left his feet (regardless of physics)…just calling it like I see it.

  • roy

    i just watch the vid and i watched the game,… Gauthier was cleary off of his feet and elbow was cleary up no doubt about it he should get suspended for a season or more!!!!!

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