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Blatant Homerism

Penguins Defenseman Sergei Gonchar Got All Elbowy On Wild’s Cal Clutterbuck

Clutterbuck

Pittsburgh Penguins veteran defenseman Sergei Gonchar allowed Minnesota Wild pest Cal Clutterbuck get under his skin last night during the third period of Minnesota’s 4-3 win over Pittsburgh that was broadcast nationally on VERSUS. No, really, it was – you could have watched it – if you are one of the 500 people that actually realize they get the cable juggernaut.

You can plainly see above in the Worst.Screencap.Ever. that Gonchar clearly left his feet to deliver a vicious elbow to Clutterbuck’s mug. Gonchar was assessed a five minute major for elbowing for the reckless and retaliatory move.

Clutterbuck is becoming well-known to opposing players for his, ahem, more irritating qualities – he leads the NHL in hits with 177 – and he always seems to be chirping and making a concerted effort at being an overall pain in the ass.

It appears that Gonchar is retaliating for a hit that Clutterbuck laid on him earlier in the shift, and to paraphrase noted hockey enthusiast Popeye, it was all he could stands and he couldn’t stands no more Video follows.

POW! Right in the kisser! The Wild faithful at the Xcel Energy Center made sure Gonchar was aware of their displeasure regarding the cheap shot on one of the Wild’s most popular players, raining down a chorus of boos and hisses every time Gonchar touched the puck the rest of the game.

Clutterbuck took it a step further postgame. Speaking to the Star Tribune’s Wild beat writer Mike Russo, he had a message to send to Gonchar, and it wasn’t a “friendly, good luck to you in all of your future endeavors, slap you on the back and call it even” sort of message:

“He better hope he retires at the end of the year, I’ll tell you that,” Clutterbuck said, a cut on the bridge of his nose. “Somebody’s going to hurt him before the end of the year. Someone will. It’s not going to be me, but someone will.”

This is part of the reason why you should wish that the NHL would schedule more inter-conference games – the delicious mélange of revenge and comeuppance. It’s such a tasty side dish to the already enjoyable feast of NHL action. Especially when it’s cooked up by the chefs at Versus.

VERSUS!

In other Minnesota Wild news not “peppered” with food metaphors and such – and yes, this is edging into blatant homerism territory – Montreal Canadiens castoff Guillaume Latendresse continued his hot streak and career resurrection last night for the Wild, notching one goal and a career-high 3 assists, and the overall turnaround in his game since joining Minnesota via trade is astounding. In 79 games over the past two seasons with the Habs, Latendresse had 16 goals and 13 assists. In 21 games wearing a Wild sweater, he has scored 10 goals and added 5 assists. Impressive. Not bad for a guy who saw his career going down the shitter after he was taken second 2003 Quebec Major Junior Hockey League entry draft – right after the one and only Sidney Crosby. And displaying a good sense of humor about it, Latendresse had this to say after the game:

“He’s lost me by a mile now, but for a time I was right there,” a laughing Latendresse said of his rivalry with Sid the Kid. “I was No. 2. He was No. 1. Now, I’m No. 600 and he’s No. 1.”

Zing. You know, I haven’t seen a Guillaume perform so amazingly since Benson went off the air.

Yowsers, that was just terrible. I should be ashamed.

Moving on, Latendresse is also dating French-Canadian pop star Annie Villeneuve.

annie-villeneuve-annie

So, he’s got that going for him, which is good.

Wild’s new kid trumps Sid [Star Tribune]
Bouchard’s wait continues [Star Tribune]