“There’s a line between old-fashioned agitating – a slash to the legs when the referees aren’t looking, a face wash in a scrum, insults about players and their families – and cheap shots.” writes the Boston Globe’s Fluto Shinzawa of the Dallas Stars’ most recent visit to Boston. “Saturday night, Steve Ott crossed that line, and his teammates had to pay the price.”
Ott took his under-the-skin game to new lows by appearing to target the knees of Stephan Yelle and Milan Lucic, then refusing to answer the bell for his questionable tactics. After Ott went low on Yelle, Shawn Thornton tried to retaliate but was instead tagged with a four-minute roughing double minor. Later in the game, Shane Hnidy and Lucic tried to fight Ott but couldn’t get approval.
When Thornton was asked if Ott’s hit on Yelle was dirty, he said, “I thought so. You’ve seen me for a year and a half now. I don’t come in and [fight] for no reason too often. Or ever, I guess. Then there was Looch over by the penalty box and he did the same thing – came in and tried to get him at the knees.”
“Tonight it seemed to be idiotic,” said Stars alternate captain Mike Modano of his team’s identity. “It’s stupid. It’s one of the more embarrassing things I have seen, on the ice and involved with the fans. In 20 years, I haven’t seen anything like it. If that’s what we’re going for, maybe I need to find myself an office job.”