STEELERS players have accused Dundee goalie Ladislav Kudrna of dangerous play which “could have taken an eye out” after a series of bruising encounters in the Play Off quarter final first leg.
Sheffield skaters will renew hositilites with the 6ft 1ns Czech netminder of Saturday and are aware his antics could start again.
Sheffield winger Neil Clark gave Kudrna a “verbal warning” in the first leg, which Sheffield won 6-1.
And from my position behind the plexi at one end, I can verify claims that Kudrna went too far.
I watched the former Edinburgh, Hull, London and Nottingham goalie stick Rob Globke in the groin, Clark in the face and Jeff Legue just under the neck. Astonishingly, referee Andy Carson penalised him only once, with a minor penalty.
Clark told The Star: “It happened because he was frustrated obviously; he is seeing his team not playing well in front of him, and you can’t blame him for being frustrated. But Dundee don’t have a back-up (goalie) strong enough to play so he has had to suck it up.
“I think he wanted out of the game and tried to do it by penalty. But the referee never saw them (the offences.)
“I wasn’t too thrilled to get a stick in the face. But if that’s the way he wants to play the game I am sure we can give it back if it needs be, but he’s frustrated and I understand that.”
Clark challenged him at one time in the second period on Tuesday. The Canadian left wing said: “I asked him if he would calm down a little bit. The game was done and we have guys who can deal with situations like that if we need to. I just figured if he calmed down a bit then the safety of our guys would be in check. I wouldn’t repeat what he said back to me!
“It was intended to be a calming moment. He is a competitor at the top level and wants to win and wasn’t so I don’t blame him for trying to do something. But at a certain point you have got to give him a verbal warning. It’s not a clean part of the game, you (can) lose an eye real quick - that sort of thing happens. So I just reminded him of that and he calmed down a little bit.”
Globke added: “It was clear he was just frustrated, their team wanted to have a better showing and it didn’t work out and he was taking it out on guys.
“Goalies aren’t known to do stuff like that. Its unusual. I got it a couple of times where you don’t want to get it...it isn’t very comfortable.”
Stars were subjected to a double whammy - they could not contain Sheffield’s offensive power and had little up-front of their own, other than a single late goal.
Now Steelers should ease through Saturday’s away, second leg without too much difficulty.
Clark said: “I think we did enough so we can comfortably go there and keep it tight and should be OK to move on.
“I was happy with our performance defensively we gave up the one late but it was a lucky bounce and we did enough to make sure we are in the next round.”