First off: Let me just say that I love a goalie deathmatch. I do, I really do. But last night, not so much–most cos it was Florida, and they’re whiny bitches.
So yeah. First period was a little eh. Second period scared the crap out of me, with all the penalties. Our defence was completely invisible, the offence stepped out for a Cuban (mmm…Cuban) at one point–and only one thing saved our asses:
(photo courtesy hfboards poster Vulcan91)
Seriously, the boy was nails for us last night. When he flat-out stoned (STONED!) Olli Jokinen on what would have been a sure-fire gamewinner, I swear I saw half the fans in attendance calling Miami-Dade PD to report a robbery.
The shootout, by the way? That was funny–especially the winner, which made Vokoun look like Bill Buckner in Game Six. Thank you, Mookie Staal.
Next game on the 25th. Go Canes.
I don’t know that I totally agree with Luke’s math, but the main thrust of the article is that there is a gross discrepancy/inequality in the way that the NHL hands out suspensions. I fired off an e-maul to Don LeGreca and EJ Hradek (the guys who make NHL Live such fun to listen to), with my comments (not all of which were read on the air, partly because of the length and–well, you’ll see):
Don and EJ,
Luke DeCock (yes that really is his name) has a rather interesting article in this morning’s News and Observer (Raleigh’s fishwrap).
http://www.newsobserver.com/sports/story/999555.html (So EJ can pull it up while this gets read)
Specifically, Luke talks about suspensions and the apparently random manner in which they are handed out.
For example: A guy who received two suspensions in the AHL for piledriving guys head-first at speed into the boards breaks an opponent’s neck by–surprise surprise–piledriving that opponent head-first at speed into the boards, is unrepentant about it…and gets a mere three games.
Another guy headshots an opponent in a critical playoff game, gets suspended one game–and then goes on to repeat his performance in the next round, knowing that at worst he’ll have to sit out the next game while the guy he headhunted is out for the rest of the playoffs and facing the possibility of having to retire early as a result of the hit.
Yet another player stomps on an opponent’s skate-boot, and gets only thirty games even though he has a rather lengthy history of being cheaper than a working girl from Newark. (For the record, I have been to Newark on several occasions. I stand by the jab–AQ)
And then we have the toolbox who deliberately piledrove the opposing team’s leading scorer head-first into the boards, and got nothing except a five-minute boarding major–and coaches just get told to keep their yaps shut and not say anything, for fear that their team may wind up becoming a target for some kind of retributive action.
I don’t get it–maybe I missed a memo or something, but perhaps you, illuminated scholars that you are, can explain to me the gross discrepancy in the (quote-unquote) “justice” that is meted out by the clownshoe who sits in the Discipline Czar’s seat to the 29 teams that his son doesn’t play for.
So there you have it–my comments, which got mangled in hilarious fashion by Don “Tee hee Del Greco”*. The first incident I cited in my example is officially dispensed with in my book, since the aggressor and aggressed threw down with each other and honour was satisfied. But still, only three games? Sorry, but that deserved more than the absolutely penurious suspension that was given.
Chris Pronger has almost as much of a history as Chris Simon, yet he gets dinky-doo for headhunting in two successive playoff rounds and nothing (at least, until the publication of Luke’s article) for his latest shenanigans–while Simon actually gets something approximating (in the Colin Campbell bizarre-world) a just and proper suspension.
It’s well past time for Colin Campbell to either step down or grow a pair and start giving out proper suspensions for cheap and dirty play. Hopefully this happens soon…and hopefully the Hurricanes don’t wind up suffering for the work of Luke and his compadres at the N&O.
*: An e-mailer playfully teased Don by ending her e-mail with “Tee Hee, Del Greco”–a reference to a retort John Davidson had to Don’s calling him the biggest homer in the NHL: “Why should I care what an ex-placekicker thinks?”
Back in ’04 when the Draft was held here in R’lyeh, I went with my dear friend Jenny from Nashville. She and I hung out and had a great time amid all the pomp and circumstance and what have you–including joining the Sharks table in laughing at a Red Wings scout that got hassled by one of the securebots because the picture on his credential didn’t look like him. It was very funny seeing Ken Holland have to get up from the table to go over and tell the NHL Security guy “yes, he’s one of my people. No, no really, he is. Seriously, I’m not kidding, he does belong to us. Yes, I am who my cred says I am–now will you let my guy come back to my table? Thank you.”
One of the highlights of the day, however, came after the first round was over and the people who don’t geek on Draft left the bowl to have fun perusing the card-show on the concourse and engaging in all the fun and games outside:
I got to heckle Annoying Blackhawks Fan (hereinafter referred to as “ABF”). This guy looks like Detroit goofball Mo Cheese, except he doesn’t wear a tinfoil hat, his jersey fits, and he neither has a terminal case of plumber’s butt nor does a lame dance where he flashes crack at the opposing bench in the hopes that they’ll be so wigged out that they’ll all die and let the Menses Munchers win.
But he’s equally annoying. Actually, no. He’s MORE annoying. This guy, so I was told by a couple other Hawks fans in attendance, goes to every Draft and stalks the Hawks scouting staff, trying to tell them who to draft and in what round. He shows up at the arena with laptop and clipboard in hand, and hollers out the names of guys to pick whenever the Hawks are up–I know, because I was sitting three sections over from him while he did it.
I and my buddy Erik started crackin’ on him in the second round, when the Hawks had something like 238972439827 picks and were up every other turn or so. Longest second round in history, I swear. ABF started in hollering out the names of guys to pick, and the Hawks table just blithely ignored him each and every time. He’s getting more and more upset, and Erik and I are getting more and more amusement.
When it got to Pick 68 in the third round, ABF calls out from his perch in Section 128:
The Hawks, of course, selected Adam Berti from the Oshawa Generals. ABF was mightily upset, and Erik and I were just laughing and laughing at him because there was no way in the Nine Worlds that anyone was going to listen to this guy (and it was obvious from watching the Hawks’ table that they were all having a chuckle at his expense too).
Next pick went to the ‘Canes. I called out “DEFENSE!”–and the ‘Canes selected Casey Borer from St. Cloud State University (true* story: when Borer was selected, ‘Canes defenseman Bret Hedican got so excited that he completely dorked out and called EVERYONE on the whole frakkin’ team to gush about it). I called out “THANK YOU!” and turned to neener at ABF, who was not at all pleased.
Soon it got to pick 83, which was held by the St. Louis Blues–who selected Viktor Alexandrov, the guy that ABF wanted the Hawks to pick. ABF was pissed. He threw his little clipboard and pencil down, stamped his feet, and looked like he wanted to drill his laptop in the general direction of the media section (where, if he managed to get it that far, it would have beaned TSN’s James Duthie). Erik and I kicked the heckling into high gear at that point:
Me: OH NOEZ! GUESS YOU BETTER BECOME A BLACKHAWKS FAN NOW!
Erik: LET’S GO BLUES, EH BUDDY?
(The next pick went to Montreal)
Me: ALEXANDROOOOV! OH WAIT, THE BLUES ALREADY TOOK HIM!
Erik: LET’S GO BLUES!
Not our most inventive, but it worked for us and was funny. ABF was all set to come over and throw down, but one of the RBC Securebots hauled ass down to the middle of 128 and tried to get him to chill out–and when that failed, Securebot just told him “You don’t have to go home, but you gotta get the heck up outta here.”
I got so much mileage out of that joke for the rest of the weekend, seriously. I actually got Bob Gainey to crack a smile (and made the whole table chuckle) on Day 2 (when I was sitting near the Habs and Preds tables) when it was Chicago’s turn to pick and I said “Hey, they should pick Alexandrov–oh wait, St. Louis took him yesterday. Doh!”
Of course, the best part of that was ABF hearing me from the other side of the arena and knowing that he couldn’t do a thing about it because the securebots would be all over him like Marek Malik on an empty net.
What was the point of this story? Well none really–I just wanted to share the mirth with all y’all. The Blackhawks won the Draft Lottery today, and since my car hasn’t blown up like it did last year at this time (knock on wood) I’ll actually be able to go to the Draft. We’ll see if I’m able to go and hassle ABF again–and y’all know that if I get to do it, I’ll be SURE to post it here.
*:true as in, “read in the N&O and not denied by Bret”. YMMV, void where prohibited, yadda yadda.