The Ducks and Calgary Flames had differing opinions on Paul Kariya's five-minute major and game misconduct for spearing Ed Ward on Wednesday. But it's clear the Ducks must do more to protect Kariya from physical abuse.
Kariya, who signed a two-year, $14-million contract Dec. 11, and linemate Teemu Selanne have been targeted often this season.
Opponents figure the Ducks won't retaliate and their weak power play won't hurt them either.
And Sunday, the Ducks will face Chicago Blackhawk defenseman Chris Chelios, who has developed a passion for mugging Kariya. He took the rough stuff to another level in the Blackhawks' 2-0 victory Dec. 30, punching, spearing, high-sticking and slashing Kariya.
At one point, he could be seen on TV telling Kariya from the bench, "I'll get you, Paul." Kariya gave as good as he got, but fending off Chelios seemed to be up to him. No one else took up the fight on his behalf or slammed Chicago standout Tony Amonte against the boards.
It was the same situation late in the Ducks' 5-2 loss Wednesday to Calgary. Ward grabbed Kariya's stick at center ice midway through the third period, and the rest depends on your interpretation of events.