Crunch Talk Trash, Salak Has the Last Laugh

Alexander Salak Head ShotAlexander Salak picked up his 14th win of the season Sunday afternoon in Syracuse and in doing so he made some new friends.  I’m sure there are a lot of goalies that are vocal, Martin Biron being the most popular, but Alexander Salak is making a name for himself with every game that he plays.

Below is a recap of an incident that happened during the game along with the Crunch trash talking to the media about the Amerks.  The Amerks ultimately have the last laugh.  They’ve won all six games against the Crunch this season outscoring them 26-12.  Four of those 12 goals were scored in Sundays game.

Bates Battaglia tipped a shot at 10:10 of the second period on a power play that was a disputed goal.  Referee Jean Hebert waived it off as no goal but the goal judge flicked on the light indicating that it was.

Alexander Salak says that the puck went from post to post never crossing the goal line.

The play went on and as it ended Hebert reviewed the call with the goal judge and indicated that yes it was a goal.  That was the first goal of the game for the Crunch, the Amerks had a 4-1 lead at that point.

What happened next was a reenactment of Mika Noronens famous incident cleaning the glass in front of the goal judge.

Salak had seen that video before and felt it was time for the same thing to happen.  He skated over to the glass and wiped the glass with his blocker.  After that he stood by and shared a few words with the goal judge before being called over to the bench.  At that point Jason Cipolla nicely let Salak know to cut it out so that he did not risk getting thrown out of the game.

Once the archives are available of the game I’ll try and upload the incident unless someone beats me to it.

The Syracuse Crunch had a few things to say about Salak after the game.  I’m not sure if the Crunch are just being sore losers since they’ve lost to the Amerks six times already this season or if they’re trying to start a war of words.  If they’re trying to start a war of words to get into the heads of the Amerks it’s not going to happen.  The two teams don’t play each other again until January.

Here’s some quotes from Lindsey Kramers blog along with other comments:

Salak boosted his record to 6-0 against the Crunch this year, in-between mocking a goal judge, taunting Crunch players and then rubbing the win in fans’ faces by skating off with the exaggerated fist pumps of a goalie who had just won the Calder Cup.

“Better to be villain than hero here,” Salak said. “Why not celebrate? We won the game. They (the fans) were getting all over us. We can celebrate for 10 seconds then.”

Salak pumps his fists after every win, whether it’s home or away.  He’s right, after being taunted for most of the game why not shove it back in their faces?

A spirited Crunch rally nearly provided the ultimate retort. The Amerks scored the first four goals of the contest, knocking out starting goalie Kevin Lalande along the way. Syracuse rallied within 5-4 on goals from Bates Battaglia, Tom Sestito, Dan Fritsche and Jonathan Sigalet, the last coming at the 11:26 mark of the third. But Jamie Johnson’s second goal of the night, with 4:59 remaining, provided the insurance and left the Crunch seething at its new nemesis.

“He’s a pretty cocky kid. He better be able to back it up,” said Syracuse coach Ross Yates.

I think Salak has backed himself up.  Who is Yates to call another player cocky?  Has he not seen his team play?  Just man up Yates and say that Salak has been the better goalie and beats you every time.  He also doesn’t put up with any of the garbage your team spits at him, he answers back.

“He’s an average goalie on a good team. It’s an arrogance that the game doesn’t need,” said Syracuse forward Jared Aulin. “If he was as good as he (thinks he is), he’d be in the NHL right now.”

Average goalie?  Arrogance?  He’d be in the NHL if he was that good?  You have to love the Syracuse Crunch with these comments.  Hey Aulin, how’s the American Hockey League been treating you?  The second either Vokoun or Clemmensen gets hurt in Florida we’ll see Salak on the first flight out of town.  I don’t think you have the same opportunity staring you in the face.

I think an average goalie would have more than one loss in 15 games.  This Crunch team makes me laugh every time they play.  They’re either acting like goons if they’re down or whining about some calls made.  Just man up and play the game.  If you lose you lose and admit you lost to a better team.

That’s the difference between a team that has integrity built into the teams credo and a team that does not.