Friday, September 27, 2013

Leafs/Sabres: The Gift That Keeps On Giving

This dead horse really takes a beating, doesn't it. I was going to decide I didn't care any more, but this is too good to pass up:
The notion that we should let players “police themselves” is the highest of high comedy, as if Cam Janssen is a modern-day Wyatt Earp, dispensing justice on the hockey frontier when referees can’t get the job done. 
Seriously, I think that article should be considered the premier anti-fighting article thus far.

Related: NHL coaches don't like the fact that the Sabres coach was fined for "player selection" in sending out a goon with his line change. Toronto tried to calm the situation by putting skilled players out against the goon, but hilarity ensued nevertheless. In this I agree with the coaches, in that if a player is on the bench, a coach should have the option of putting him out at any given legal time. To decide that some players can't be played in certain incidents only illustrates the degree to which the NHL will bend good sense in the pursuit of... I don't even know.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

NHL Logic

So the whole mess that is the Leafs-Sabres pre-season brawl has been done to death, but I just want to beat a particular part of this dead horse one more time:
Kessel Swings His Stick Not Once, But Twice – Whether or not he connected, and whether or not it was in self-defense (the first one, not the second), brandishing your stick in such a manner as a weapon is definitely contravening the rules and could be (and was) construed as an attempt to injure.
Attempt to injure, huh? Later, in the same article:
As of now, however ridiculous it sounds in the real world, punching someone of any size with your fist is not considered an attempt to injure in the NHL.

That said, I'm yet to read anyone really standing up and enthusiastically justify the thuggery that was a part of this "game".  It is all back-of-the-hand justification, half-assed references to "The Code", and generally not providing a ringing endorsement.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Beating That Dead Horse

The fighting debate in a nutshell:
  • On what possible level can you even begin to justify having more than $9 million worth of starting goalies fighting each other in a meaningless exhibition game? 
  • Notwithstanding the above, can we all agree that goalie fights are the greatest?
(Linked because it is funny.)

This is what happens when I pay even a passing attention to the NHL.  Somehow my urge to watch hockey is at a five- or six- year low.

That said, there seems to be more noise in the blog-o-sphere which are sounding tired of fighting.  A couple of entries:
The last article is interesting, as it compares the incidences of fighting in the pre-season (more than one per game) to the incidences during the regular season (0.8 per game) to incidences during the no-holds-barred, put-the-whistle-away playoffs (just over 0.5 per game).  In other words, the more the game "means", the less fighting there is.

I'm still following things, even if disinterestedly, so my interest level is still higher than 2005 when it was "who cares?"  But I wonder how much of even this minimal interest level is sheer inertia.