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Tampa Bay Lightning RW Steve Downie fined by league for Crosby takedown (updated)



The league has fined Tampa Bay Lightning right wing Steve Downie $1,000 for taking down Pittsburgh's Sidney Crosby during Sunday's game. Downie said he spoke to league disciplinarian Colin Campbell on Tuesday morning. He said there will not be a suspension.

 "He called it a dangerous play," Downie said.

The play happened early in the first period when the two got tangled up and Crosby fell awkwardly with his right leg pinned underneath Downie. Downie said there was no intent to injure. There was no penalty on the play, and Crosby played the rest of the game.

Downie, who has worked very hard this season to not take stupid penalties, did not want to speculate on if his reputation, based on past actions, might have played into the decision, saying he just wants to move on. But he did say, "If he (Crosby) didn't fall in an awkward position, it wouldn't even be talked about."

Coach Rick Tocchet, however, said Downie's reputation probably did play into the situation. Tocchet only wishes Downie, and the Lightning, would get more rewards for the player stepping away from conflicts, as he has done numerous times this season.

"Like I said, he's got a little bit of a reputation," Tocchet said. "He's going to have to suck some of this stuff up. Guys got tangled up, that's all I saw. But he's going to have to live with that for a while. He's been taking a lot of punches in the mouth, and maybe we can get some power plays from it, because we haven't gotten any from Downs."

You also have to wonder how Downie gets fined $1,000 and Pittsburgh's Matt Cooke, whose gratuitous head shot on Boston's Marc Savard likely ended Savard's season, got away without any discipline. 

More stuff from the morning skate: Antero Niittymaki gets the start in net. ... Star center Steven Stamkos (lower back contusion) did not skate this morning, but said that was more a precaution and the chance to get more treatment. He reiterated he still expects to play tonight against the Coyotes. "It feels pretty good right now," he said, adding he will make a final decision after warmups." Said Tocchet about perhaps being cautious with Stamkos: Obviously, a kid like him, you would never jeopardize his career. If he doesn't play, other guys have to step up. He's a big part of our team, but his career is more important to me than this hockey game, no question. ... If Stamkos doesn't play, Tocchet said center Zenon Konopka, who has missed five games with a mild disc herniation, could play. In any case, Tocchet said Konopka is close. ... Left wing Ryan Malone (upper body) and defenseman Mattias Ohlund (left ankle) are out. Ohlund was walking around with a cast, but said it was only a precaution to keep the ankle stable and would be off in a few days. Tocchet could not offer a timetable for his return: "Could be five days, 10 days, a month, I don't know," he said. ... Tocchet said Coyotes goalie Ilya Bryzgalov should be a candidate for league MVP. Bryzgalov has a league-best eight shutouts. He is fourth with a 2.27 goals-against average and ninth with a .921 save percentage. "He's definitely a chance for the MVP of the league," Tocchet said. "He's had a hell of a year. He's a big goalie. When he's set, there's not much daylight. The one thing I like about Bryzgalov, he's kind of from the old school of (Roberto) Luongo, they don't flip and flop. They're quiet in net. The quieter the goalie, the better positioning. An incredible year, right now."

[Last modified: Thursday, April 15, 2010 12:15am]


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