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Wednesday, March 21, 2012

NHL - Fighting and Dirty Play

Yesterday I spoke about Taylor Hall’s injuries and also his recent concussion which was caused by Cory Sarich of the Flames. I presented numerous videos on Sarich to prove that he is a predator in the NHL—a guy who purposely attempts to hit players when they have their heads down and are vulnerable. One of the videos is an on-ice conversation and demonstration by Sarich and in it he clearly describes his intentions of trying to hit players who have their heads down, and in fact he shows how he actually tries to fool opponents into thinking that he is backing-up. I recommend that you view that video because it shows Sarich to be the type of predator that the NHL needs to expel from the league. Why is the NHL refusing to do so?

The NHL’s refusal to crack-down much harder on players like Sarich is a huge mistake because great players (Crosby, Backstrom, Letang…..) are being sidelined and permanently damaged due to dirty hits, hits where players are in vulnerable positions and not expecting to be hit. Suspensions need to be a lot longer and fines much larger in order to significantly reduce the number of injuries to the more talented players. This is hockey and we want to watch the greatest hockey players and not the dirtiest players! In the video that we shall now watch you will see the type of brutality that needs to be eliminated from the game. This incident occurred tonight in the game between the Canucks and the Blackhawks. Duncan Keith clearly elbows Daniel Sedin in the face and Sedin drops to the ice. Sedin attempted to play but had to leave the game and was not able to return. Brendan Shanahan has favored certain players in his decisions (Lucic for example) and if he does not suspend and fine Keith for this elbow it will be a crime against Sedin, the Canucks and hockey.

Please remember to click the back arrow in your browser after watching so that you can return to my site. 

Duncan Keith elbows Daniel Sedin in the face, March 21, 2012. Thanks to youtube!

When players like Milan Lucic purposely try to injure opponents and the refs and the league don’t punish them severely, then, the teams of the victims have no choice but to defend themselves so that the dirty play is greatly reduced. This is where fighters come in and they are currently needed in the game. The NHL is talking about eliminating fighting but they had better start increasing suspensions and fines and give instructions to the refs to call ALL penalties (regular season and in the playoffs), or, eliminating fighting would actually damage the game. If dirty players are allowed (by refs and the league) to continue to rule the league and to strike fear into other players then who really wants to watch hockey? The Sedins couldn’t even play in the Finals last year because it was a bloody circus and they did not want to be seriously injured! This was the reason why the Bruins won the Cup and every honest person would agree. Hockey is a game that should enable players of skill to skate, pass, stick-handle, score, and to also throw clean body checks without having to continually worry about being injured by a dirty player. Unfortunately, the game has moved away from that because the league has not been tough enough on offenders. Rules are an important part of the game and when they are broken penalties need to be called. Penalties are given because players are not playing the game the way it was meant to be played! For committing infractions the team must in turn give the other team an advantage to score, a power-play. Cross-checking, high-sticking, slashing, boarding, elbowing, holding, tripping, and hooking should not be as profuse in the game as it is today, and the solution is to penalize teams even greater when clear-cut infractions occur. Why is the NHL not doing this?

Fighting in the Game

Since the NHL is not enforcing the game as they should, teams need to enforce it themselves by having fighters. The Oilers had Steve MacIntyre in their line-up last year for 34 games and I can tell you that the Flames and other teams did NOT take so many liberties with the better Oiler players during those games. The Oilers should have worked with him more and had him participate in more games. Then, the Oilers made a mistake by not making a serious effort to keep MacIntyre and he signed as a free agent with the Penguins. The Oilers really don’t have a guy who can seriously intimidate players on the Flames or other teams and they should—up until the NHL makes major changes so that the better players are protected.  

Last year in Edmonton, on October 7th, 2010, the Flames rolled into Edmonton in a continuation of the bitter rivalry between the two teams. Calgary brought with them tough guy Raitis Ivanans and he wanted to show the Oilers (and his bosses) that he was the “man” and that they had better be careful; so, he challenged Steve MacIntyre to a fight. Well, you can see the result in the video by clicking on the link below. Let me tell you that every Flame player thought twice, and then several more times about committing a heinous infraction against any of the Oilers “top guns” in that game and subsequent games. Let’s watch MacIntyre destroy Ivanans and leave the Calgary Flames bench speechless.

I have removed the embedded video to speed-up my site. Please click the link below to watch it on youtube. After watching, click the back arrow on your browser to return to my site.

By the way, Steve MacIntyre is currently playing with the Penguins AHL affiliate the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins. Considering what players on opposing teams have done to Crosby and Letang, I would have MacIntyre up and in the Penguins line-up, and especially when they play the dirtiest team in the league—the Bruins. I prefer that the NHL properly enforce the rules so that fighting is not necessary; however, if the NHL does not enforce ALL penalties (regular season and in the playoffs) and increase fines and suspensions; then, it would be better to leave fighting in the game. The NHL needs to get serious and make some major changes.

You know what I hate? I hate when playoff time comes around and I have to hear announcers and commentators say, “The refs are letting them play.” The truth of the matter is they are NOT letting the great players play but rather are letting the animals run wild and turn the game into a circus. The NHL has continued to allow this bullshit year after year after year and it ruins the playoffs.

If the great players are allowed to play hockey in the regular season they should be allowed to play hockey in the playoffs without being hindered due to penalties being allowed to be freely committed against them. Why the NHL cannot use commonsense is beyond me!

TJ Stanley