There appears to be some bad blood between the Vancouver Canucks and Phoenix Coyote centre Martin Hanzal, who achieved the dubious distinction of injuring three Canuck forwards in one period nine days ago. Hanzal used his stick to take out Henrik Sedin, Mike Santorelli and David Booth in the third period of a 1-0 Coyote victory in Phoenix. None of the three players were able to finish the game. Hanzal was given a double high-sticking minor for hitting Booth in the head area but received nothing for cross checks to Henrik’s ribs and Santorelli’s shoulder. Booth returned the next game, Jan. 18 against Calgary, and so did Henrik, although the Canuck captain lasted only two periods and hasn’t played since. Santorelli has not seen the ice since his confrontation with Hanzal’s stick on a faceoff play. Canuck winger Dale Weise suggested following practice Saturday that Hanzal had better keep his head up when the two teams meet Sunday at Rogers Arena in a 5 p.m. start. “We’ll see what happens tomorrow but I think he’s going to have to answer the bell,” said Weise. “Obviously he took a pretty good stab at Hankie, a pretty good stab at Boothie and then Santorelli off the draw. It was tough for us (to immediately react). We saw what he was doing but it’s a tight game and you can’t really go out and get a penalty trying to jump a guy, or trying to engage a guy, and then they score and make it 2-0. So you have to be smart about the way you do it.” Weise noted that the Canucks are developing an attitude that no one messes with them without a response. They are tied with Philadelphia for the NHL lead in major penalties (37), they lead the league in 10-minute misconducts (14) and are second in game misconducts (six). They challenged L.A. Kings captain Dustin Brown in a Jan. 13 game after he injured goalie Roberto Luongo in a goalmouth collision nine days earlier. “I think we’re trying to build a team identity here that we don’t get pushed around,” Weise continued. “I think we stood up for ourselves good against Calgary. Dustin Brown kind of had to answer the bell there — and he did. I don’t think Dustin Brown had to drop the gloves but he was forced into it. Eventually if you get enough guys challenging you, I think the peer pressure kind of wears on you and you have to answer the bell. “I’m not sure what’s going to happen tomorrow (with Hanzal). We have a lot of guys who might have a few choice words for him and then we’ll see what happens.” The referees have already demonstrated they have no problem giving Canuck opponents seven-minute power plays for not engaging in scraps when challenged. Tom Sestito (twice) and Jannik Hansen were on the short end of those calls earlier this month. According to hockeyfights.com, Hanzal has been in seven NHL fights since entering the league in 2007-08 but he could always take his cue from the Kings’ Jordan Nolan, who turtled when confronted by Sestito after Nolan had taken a healthy run at Henrik Sedin. “That’s a penalty we’re willing to kill,” Weise said. “I don’t think that’s an issue for us. When you take out three teammates of ours, you have to answer the bell.” Hanzal, by the way, is listed at 6-6 and 236 pounds.
Canuck winger Dale Weise figures Coyotes’ Hanzal will ‘have to answer bell’
Vancouver Sun | Jan 26