So a while back, I chummed the waters on Kukla’s Korner by quipping that new NHL Disciplinarian Brendan Shanahan would let the Red Wings off easy, because he used to play for them and won Cups with them. Predictably, I got a few of the Juggalos up in a tizzy.
Ha ha, very funny, I trolled the Juggalos (which, let’s be honest, isn’t much of an accomplishment given that they’re collectively pretty dim bulbs, and therefore ridiculously easy to troll). But let’s be real here. Let’s set aside the team bias and get serious about something:
Brendan Shanahan’s apparently decided that he’s going to try to be what Clownshoe Colin wasn’t: somebody who actually lays down the freakin’ law. Somebody who LARTs the lusers, as it were. And he’s going to show what the player did to deserve the LARTing with
Oh wait, not science. Video. He’s going to do it with video. Like this one here.
People’s Exhibit A, your honour: Serial recidivist Jody Shelley gets the rest of preseason and five regular-season games for intent to injure. Shanahan explains why, and clearly states that Shelley’s record as a career recidivist factored into the decision.
General consensus is that Shanahan is doing a good job–and I’ll agree that he’s trying. But in my opinion dudeman doesn’t go far enough, especially if he’s trying to send a message to players that engage in cheap shots and try to dish out season-ending (if not career-ending, in the case of Marc Savard) injuries.
He’s got to exercise the Nuclear Option.
Preseason is nothing when it comes to a suspension–I’d have given Shelley the first 15 games of the regular season at least. Why? He’s a career recidivist. Matt Cooke even so much as farts in another player’s direction, BAM! Go play in the KHL son, cos you are done in the NHL. Todd Bertuzzi tries anything (again)? SEEYA! My Golden Bitch? He needs to sit his ass down for a nice chunk of the season the next time he throws an elbow at somebody’s head or tries to take out somebody’s knees. Ovechkin? Same thing. Yes he’s skilled, yes he’s got personality in spades–hell, I LIKE him even though he drives me stark raving mad six times a season–but if you throw cheap shots, Ovie, it’s time for you to go hang out with GMGM in the press box for a while. Hell, any Hurricane that gives out a cheap shot and gets a suspension needs to get a serious suspension just like anyone else. I mean, I’m just sayin’.
The NHLPA wants to grievance it? Let them file a grievance. Seriously, let them cry! There has to be a very clear and very decisive message sent that deliberately injuring another player is UNACCEPTABLE–and giving out heavy suspension action (with accompanying financial hit to the player) is the only way that it’s going to happen.
For those who have been living under a rock, here’s the videotape:
If you don’t want to watch the video: Sean Avery decided to camp in front of Martin Brodeur–FACING the guy, with his back to the play, and do this psychotic little dance in an attempt to screen Brodeur while the Rangers were on a 5-on-3.
It, like the Babylon Project, failed. Chris Drury even had to skate up to him during the freaking play and tell him “STICK DOWN”–and when your captain does the equivalent of tell you “You’re doing it wrong”, that is saying something.
So on Monday, the NHL issued the following statement:
NEW YORK/TORONTO (April 14, 2008) — National Hockey League Senior Executive Vice President and Director of Hockey Operations Colin Campbell today issued the following advisory on the interpretation of Rule 75 – Unsportsmanlike Conduct: “An unsportsmanlike conduct minor penalty (Rule 75) will be interpreted and applied, effective immediately, to a situation when an offensive player positions himself facing the opposition goaltender and engages in actions such as waving his arms or stick in front of the goaltender’s face, for the purpose of improperly interfering with and/or distracting the goaltender as opposed to positioning himself to try to make a play.”
Predictably, a vocal handful of Rangers fans are crying that the League made this announcement specifically to protect Martin Brodeur (or as one fuckhead on X Random Messageboard calls him, “Brodiva”).
My comment to that, of course, is: Bullshit.
What Avery did went way beyond creative. It went to clear to the “what the fucking fuck were you thinking, you stupid fucking fuckhead?” end of the spectrum. I mean, really. There is a point where you have to admit that something a member of your team did is indefensible, and that point was reached Sunday night with Sean Avery’s egregiously fuckheaded display of unmitigated fucktardery.
Damn, think I dropped enough variations on the F-bomb there?
Anyway. My point remains: Rangers fans can spin this any way they want to. They can cry and whine and hop on the martyr bus all day if they want to. I don’t care. Avery’s little shenanigans on Sunday have zero place in the game, they go way beyond agitation, and when even Don Cherry (who normally loves you) calls you a “jerk”?
That is saying something right there. Maybe my boy Malik will beat his dumb ass down in practice again. I’d love to see that.
Yeah, so last night I went to the Canes-Rangers game. I was fairly fully expecting the ‘Canes to get pwned as they have just about every time they’ve played a game after a break, and hoping that Sean Avery would get a beatdown or three (dozen) just to break the monotony.
The fun started before the puck even dropped. No sooner had the lights come up and everyone gathered for the opening faceoff than Scott “Remo Williams” Walker and Sean Avery threw down. It wasn’t much of a fight, really. They wrestled a bit, and the linesmen immediately broke it up and sent them both to the penalty box for roughing. The real fun, however, was yet to come. Wade Brookbank and Colton Orr threw down at 3:41 of the first–Wade got his face pwned, and he and Orr made a date for later in the game.
After Remo laid a hit on Scott Gomez that had more than a little elbow action to it less than 45 seconds later, a writhing mass of players (or, to quote The Mighty Forslund, “a bevy of humanity”) congregated in the southwest corner of the rink and commenced to discussing the merits of said hit.
Birthday boy Tim Gleason waded in and wound up wrestling with Jaromir Jagr–and was summarily ejected for violating rule 47.16 (Third Man In).
Walker and Avery got into it again, and both got to have a sit-down for five minutes–well, except for Avery. He got
4610 and 2 just ahead of me for instigating (yeah I know, big shock there).
And about 9 minutes and change later, Orr and Brookbank stepped to each other for Round 2. That fight was a bit more even, for those who keep score at home. I could just hear Marv Albert and Ferdie Pacheco breaking it all down in my head, and decided that I better not go get another Diet Pepsi once I’d finished the one I was currently drinking.
Things settled down after that–some
cheatin’ wife-stealin’ no-good dirtbag who whined his way out of Hartford and deserves to have the air let out of his tires Ranger scored, people were falling down all over the place, and Bret of the Gimpy Hip not only played defence but he also made me laugh by first clotheslining Petr Prucha at the Hurricanes’ blueline and then giving him the Flying Buttcheek. If he’d thrown in a Stinkface for good measure, it would have brought the house down. Either that, or it would have made me fall out my chair laughing. One of the two.
The crowd was admittedly a bit on the light side (except in Section 328, which is always well-staffed and ready to overwhelm the audio pickups on Press Row), but they were really into it. The last minute of the game was pretty tense, as the Rangers pulled Lundqvist to get a 6-on-3 and even knocked Cam’s stick out of his hand for good measure–but the good guys prevailed in the end.
Thursday night should be interesting, as it always is when Chairman Mo comes back for a visit. Let’s just hope Sportsnet East doesn’t pre-empt the game for like NASCAR or something.
The Hurricanes have instituted a new rule at the RBC, which has a handful of fans plenty steamed:
“No autographs will be given during training camp, practices, or any pre-game skates while inside the RBC Center. Autographs are available after practice on regular practice days only, not after pre-game skates or after games.“
The reaction is a bit mixed, but there are a few folks that are all up in arms over this.
Personally? All for it–and I say this as somebody who used to hang out “out back” after just about every home game to say hey to folks, wave g’bye to team buses (and, if it was the Red Wings, to throw hexes on ‘em), and give good-natured grief to visiting fans. It was my social time, and I met a lot of neat people because of it. But I also saw more than a few freaky stalker types and more than a few sellers.
There were collectors, too; like Mike from Asheboro, who has possibly the biggest collection of hockey cards that I have ever seen (and wants to get as many of them signed as possible, just to say he did it), and the McConnell Clan with their 293774 kids (who have a collection that’s about as large). Those folks I do feel bad for, especially Mike–who drives up to Raleigh for just about every home game on nights when he’s gotta be to work early the next morning–and other fans that come from the far reaches of the Carolinas to see their team.
Hell, I’ve got my own collection of signed memorabilia that I hold dear. I would never sell any of it, and I have a moral objection to people that aren’t even fans and just want to sell signed merchandise for personal gain (especially people that use their kids (or unsuspecting fans–”hey, can you get this signed for me?”) to get autographs or–like notorious Thrashers “fan” Grandma (of whom poor Frankie Kaberle is scared shitless and about whom I and many Thrashers fans can tell quite a few stories), claim that it’s for their kids or grandkids only to turn around and hawk it on eBay or whatever). Folks like that, I have no sympathy for whatsoever.
And then there are the stalkers*–one of the more notorious ones was Pippi Longstalker, who has been stalking Bates Battaglia since the dawn of time it seems. This girl used to haunt practices and games (with her mother aiding and abetting her, no less!), hoping to get Batesy to notice her so she could land him as a meal ticket. She went to every Hurricanes game. And when I say every game, I mean every. game. Home AND road. This girl really got bad after I stopped hanging out “out back”–she’s followed Bates home on several occasions, once almost plowing right into a local TV news van in her haste to get on after Bates’ Escalade. People like that, I don’t feel sorry for.
Besides, as Miz Beth points out, we Caniacs still have it the best of any team in the NHL when it comes to getting your memorabilia signed by your favorite Hurricane (or ex-Cane). So stop frickin’ whining and get your ass to the RecZone on a practice day if you’re so all-fired hot to get a signature or two on your prized authentic $texas-costing RBK shoulder-piped funky-zoom System Shock Jersey. It’s not that hard, really.
Just my two cents on that–and at least now the RBC has something in writing, rather than engaging in their usual HUA nonsense of some securebots being properly programmed while the rest just get left to their AI’s own devices (which isn’t very I, if you ask me).
*:by “stalker”, I do not refer to those of us fans–male or female–that love to gawk at players they find hot. I guarantee you that the bulk of us that stood “out back” and make risqué comments about this or that player are gawkers, not stalkers.
I was so beat on Saturday night that when I got home from work, I just went right to bed.
Oh, what I missed.
I swear, I must be like the only person on the whole planet who was NOT surprised by Marek Malik’s shootout-winner the other night. I just laugh whenever I watch that highlight, because it’s just so him. I’ve been watching the guy for years, kids, and I’ve known for ages that he’s capable of pulling some crazy move out of thin air at any moment. It’s just the way he is.
Of course, not everyone thinks it’s so great. Kelly Hrudey, obviously bitter that the Leafs have sucked on toast in shootouts so far (or bitter that a Leaf didn’t score like that in a shootout–take your pick), has decided that he’s going to keep whining on the Ceeb (until somebody decides to take the goal away, apparently) that the Serene Master’s goal shouldn’t have counted because he looped the puck back around his left ankle before shooting it over Kolzig’s shoulder.
The bug that Hrudey has up his ass is the following clause from NHL Rule 30a (Penalty Shots):
The puck must be kept in motion towards the opponent’s goal line and once it is shot, the play shall be considered complete.
The argument presented is that the puck must always maintain forward motion, and that by bringing it back a bit, His Serenity negated that and the shot should not have counted.
I think that it’s time for what I like to call “Physics for Whiny Ex-goalies”. Let’s say that I am on a cruise ship that is sailing toward the Cayman Islands. I am running as fast as I can toward the stern of the ship. The ship is still moving toward the Cayman Islands, even though I’m running astern. It doesn’t matter that I’m technically running AWAY from the Cayman Islands; I am still on the ship, the ship is in control of me, therefore I am moving toward the Cayman Islands whether I want to be or not. The only way for me to NOT be moving toward the Cayman Islands would be to jump overboard.
By the same token, the only way for that shot not to have counted would be if Malik had lost control of the puck. If that had happened, THEN and ONLY then would the rule have applied. Since the Serene Master was still in control of the puck and still moving toward the goal, the puck was still moving toward the goal (i.e. forward) and therefore the shot counts.
Memo to Kelly Hrudey: The laws of physics say “Sit the fuck down, shut the fuck up, and stop trying to play rules-lawyer because you suck even more at that than you did as a goalie!”