Fighting In The NHL, If You Don't Watch Hockey Shut The Fuck Up

Thought I would start of this article with a picture about everything that is right about the NHL, Sidney Crosby. A 19-year old wonderkid with two 100-point seasons in his first two years in the NHL. The only player in NHL history to do such a feat before his 20th birthday. If you don't watch hockey watch the Penguins they are transcending sports right now. The Penguins are what happens when a generation of great players hit a team at one time (see early 1980's Edmonton Oilers). They play great fast-paced, two-way hockey exactly what the NHL rule changes were meant to bring. Simultaneously the Penguins have two rookie of the year candidates in Evgeni Malkin and Jordan Staal, an MVP candidate in Sidney Crosby, a great young goaltender in Marc-Andre Fluery, and a cast of young guys getting there first shot and veterans looking for one more. In under a month they will be on national TV every night playing in the NHL playoffs, outside of the NBA the most exciting playoffs in sports. But all most mainstream know about the NHL is that this past week Colton Orr of the New York Rangers almost killed Todd Fedoruk with a punch. Seen here:

Oh my god did you see that he almost killed that guy! I'm offended by the violence in that sport. Why are two large white men trying to pummel each other to death? This fight was just two goons going at each other for entertainment and to give their team momentum which is a sad consequence of fighting. Why doesn't the NHL completely eliminate fighting?

The answer is simply fighting is a part of the game and all the suspensions in the world won't violence in the NHL. Ask anybody who has ever played hockey, the amount of contact is insane. Every shift a player takes he has to go into corners and fight for loose pucks and hits happen. Having a guy hit you in the face with elbows, sticks, and getting pushed into the boards takes its toll. Tempers naturally start to flare and hockey players get into physical confrontations. Usually, the confrontations are just pushing and yelling matches that are pulled apart by the referees. Sometimes these arguments escalate into fights. Thats where tough guys like Colton Orr and Todd Fedoruk come into play.

Without tough guys (aka Goons) and fighting in the NHL star players would be dropping like flies. Brett Hull on NBC's NHL coverage said that because of guys like Tony Twist he got into two fights in his NHL career when he should have got into hundreds. What if instead of a fight to retaliate a player hits Hull with a high-stick, like Chris Simon did to Matt Hollwig? Enforcers allow players and teams to police themselves without resorting to cheap shots. Earlier in the season teams would constantly take liberties with Sidney Crosby because the team lacked an enforcer. Now when teams run at Crosby the mountain that is Georges Laraque takes on a player of the other team and beats the shit out of him. Hockey players more than any other sport have a team mentality and nobody wants to be the guy to get his teammate injured. So next time that player maybe thinks twice before that high-stick or elbow. Thats the point of fighting keeping players honest and avoiding cheap-shots.

Comparing hockey to other sports is ridiculous and American sports writers need to learn this. Hockey is a game where tradition is still followed and respected. Fighters know when to fight and know when not to fight. There is a code to all this perceived violence. Ever notice a hockey player after a fight just gets up and skates away. He doesn't usually have any ill feelings for the guy he is fighting he is just doing a job for his team.

I think I speak for every hockey fan when I say to the American media, leave us alone. We don't care what you think about us and about our sport. Hockey is never going to be as big as the other three main sports and we are fine with that. Let our neighbors up north write about hockey, you stick to analyzing what a corner out of a DII school runs at the combine. Can you give us two months to enjoy the best part of our sport the playoffs?

Don Cherry would roll over in his grave if he had to hear American hockey coverage.

0 Responses to “Fighting In The NHL, If You Don't Watch Hockey Shut The Fuck Up”

Post a Comment



Add to Technorati Favorites
Subscribe to this blog's feed
[What is this?]