Thursday, December 21, 2006

Castration on Ice

When the Bruins traded Wade Brookbank earlier this week, they appeared to be capitulating to the reality of the new NHL...goonage is quickly becoming become an obsolete art.

One of the most telling statements is Marc Savard's post-game comment after taking a nice elbow to the heard courtesy of Patrick Eaves.

"It's late in the game, the game's out of hand, that's the kind of stuff we're trying to clean up," he said.
Wow. That's an outright admission that tough guys are persona non grata. No inflammatory comments or vague threats about what's going to happen next time they play, just a comment that they're trying to clean up their play. I wonder if he would have made that comment if Terry O'Reilly was still around.

What's even more impressive is that familiarity breeds contempt and with the new NHL "localized" schedule, there's plenty more breeding opportunities nowadays than there were just three years ago. To be able to prevent this kind of bad blood from developing after seeing opponents eight times a year is impressive.

To me, it's a shame. Fighting in hockey has always been a part of the game and one of the most exciting events. Sure, it should never return to the all out brawls of the pre-nineties, but seeing a couple of players go at it once or twice a game always generated excitement and brought fans to their feet. Losing that in hockey is like watching Steve Martin stop doing movies like The Jerk and Three Amigos to start taking roles in movies like Parenthood and Cheaper by the Dozen.

Just ain't the same.



Blogger Sean Zandberg said...

" watching Steve Martin stop doing movies like The Jerk and Three Amigos to start taking roles in movies like Parenthood and Cheaper by the Dozen."

Great analogy!

I agree 100%. The fighting has to stay, but I just doubt it will. It's being watered down too much and packaged as a clean family sport.
Actually, I wouldn't mind seeing the pre-80's bench-clearing brawls again. Those were great. I've been watching alot of 70's games lately...

4:00 p.m., December 21, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have to agree to a certain extent. Out here on the West Coast, we have the team leading the league in Fighting Majors and the hockey is quite entertaining. I'm an old school mid-west guy and finally we have a little entertainment out here in the West.

Stay up a little later and check out that Old School West Coast team. A strong GM makes a big difference.

6:51 p.m., December 21, 2006  
Blogger Doobie said...

I'm assuming you're talking Ducks hockey there, anonymous. And, yes, if the Ducks can win it all with a bunch of players willing to drop the gloves, more power to them.

8:47 p.m., December 21, 2006  
Blogger TreeBob said...

Just wanted to let you know I will be travelling for the next two days and may not be on.

Please moderate the comments guys.
See you later from Nova Scotia and if I don't talk to you before, have a great Christmas!

I'm tired...

10:08 p.m., December 21, 2006  
Blogger number4bobbyorr said...

I disagree. What they have done is to remove the low-brow, "Hockey is too boring for most fans so lets give them a fight," fighting and what we have left is something much more genuine. A fight means a lot more today, even if it isn't nearly as entertaining. Yes, real fighting has always been part of the game, but the crap fighting just to amuse the bored fans who come to one game per year and don't really give a crap about hockey is something I am not missing at all. I have always felt that it cheapens a great sport.

2:00 a.m., December 22, 2006  

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