Thursday, 19 April 2012

Will He See The Ice Again?

Paul Bissonnette is a popular NHL player due to his constant interactions with fans and media on social media sites and through interviews. He usually gives funny quotes or has funny comments about any topic, so he's a welcome addition to the cliché-filled sports world. However, if the examine the image of Paul Bissonnette on the left, you may notice something that could keep him from seeing the ice in any of the next games against Chicago. It's tough to see in the smaller picture, so I'll give you an opportunity to see it larger.

Paul Bissonnette isn't sitting on the Phoenix bench because he'll fill the net with goals. If he does, it's certainly an unexpected benefit for the Coyotes, but Bissonnette is better known for his fists and toughness. Against Chicago, it was known he would probably be called upon for a few dances, and he certainly obliged with Brandon Bollig just 5:24 into the first period. But he forgot a very important part of the "code" when it comes to fighting. You can see it clearer in this image.
The fight strap on Bissonnette's jersey wasn't secured to the loop on his pants, and that, readers, is cause for a game misconduct if caught by the officials. Sure enough, Bissonnette lost his jersey in the fight against Bollig, and the referee had no choice but to excuse Bissonnette from the rest of the game, putting Phoenix one man down against the Blackhawks. Worse yet, they lost a key element of toughness and tenacity from the game, and I have to believe that head coach Dave Tippett expected more than just 30 seconds of work from Biz-Nasty tonight.

While I believe that Tippett may not bench Bissonnette for the mistake, Bissonnette has to be smarter than what he showed tonight. With the loss of Raffi Torres for what could be the rest of the playoffs, Bissonnette has a chance to step into the line-up and make himself a valuable addition to the roster by providing the toughness that the Coyotes lack. Instead, he excused himself from the game with his oversight and with 55 minutes left on the clock. I'm 100% sure that isn't what Tippett had in mind when Bissonnette's name was penciled onto the roster sheet.

Dave Tippett is a good coach, so I'm pretty sure he'll sit Paul Bissonnette down and explain to him why this sort of mistake can't happen again. I've never seen Tippett blame anyone for a loss, and the Coyotes did win against Chicago tonight, but I'm sure the coach wants more than one shift out of Bissonnette. Otherwise, what's the point in dressing him at all? And if that question is asked, why not just dress someone else who is willing to do the job?

Again, I'm not yet convinced that Bissonnette will be banished to the press box for this mistake, but you know that Tippett probably told him that, in no uncertain terms, his jersey had better be securely fastened to his pants if he wants to play again. Biz-Nasty isn't a dumb guy, so I'm sure he's already told the coach that this type of mistake won't happen again. But you have to wonder if his name will be on the roster sheet in Game Five.

I guess we'll see on Saturday!

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!

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