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This Stinks!

from Nicholas J. Cotsonika of Yahoo,

It should have been the best of the NHL – the Pittsburgh Penguins versus the Boston Bruins on Saturday night, a rematch of the Eastern Conference final, skill and speed and defense and toughness and all that good stuff.

Instead, it was the worst of the NHL – a seek-and-destroy hit, a concussion, a sneaky-dirty knee to the head, a vicious attack, another concussion and a stretcher, then finger-pointing and lies and apologies.

In the aftermath, it's like sorting garbage at the dump. This stinks. This stinks more. This stinks most. You have to draw distinctions, but the overwhelming overall stench leaves you holding your nose.

And it's going to get worse.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Boston Bruins, Pittsburgh Penguins, NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Comments

Zqto's avatar

The Penguins’ James Neal has only a phone hearing with the NHL’s department of player safety for kneeing the head of the Bruins’ Brad Marchand, which means he will receive a five-game suspension or less


Are you kidding me?!?!?!
This, right here, is the biggest problem with the league

I dont CARE if he says “Oh, I didnt see him”
They should give Neal 20 games at least, and Neal should HOPE he doesnt get criminally charged

Posted by Zqto on 12/08/13 at 03:26 PM ET

Hockeytown Wax's avatar

Well ... I hope Gary Bettman and all of the owners that agreed to the instigator penalty are happy with their results.  I wonder how many of those owners are still around ... hmmmmm.

Give a guy a helmet and a penalty to hide behind and you’ll get a cheap-shot artist that doesn’t have to answer to anyone.

Get rid of the instigator and 3rd man in penalties and you’ll see fewer “cheap shots” and fewer injuries.  Hockey will be a better game because fewer of its big money stars won’t be out injured from a hit that shouldn’t have happened.

I’ve been raving about this for years and probably will until the day I quit breathing.  The NHL is trying to be the parent of these players and protect them from themselves.  The NHL, in its parenting role, can only do so much.  Sometimes you have to trust the kids to do the right thing.  Making up penalties so the players can’t look after themselves properly is just a bad idea.  You have to have tough guys here & there to protect the “stars” that have offencive skills but aren’t the best fighters.  To use a popular buzz word these days ... there are “bullies” everywhere and the instigator penalty lets the bully do his thing without suffering any consequences.

Neal wouldn’t have stuck out his knee if he knew he was going to get jumped his next shift.  Thornton wouldn’t have slew footed Orpik because he could have just grabbed him and said this is what you get for hurting 2 of my teammates.

But noooooo .... there are penalties that prevent this from happening so the cheap-shot artists get away with their actions and suffer ZERO consequences.

I’m glad the owners enjoy paying out record amounts of money to players that sit out half the season because of injuries.

Posted by Hockeytown Wax from West Bloomfield, Mi. on 12/08/13 at 03:29 PM ET

Evilpens's avatar

Zqto another Jerkoff AMWings fan who obviously have NEVER played hockey, Neal is going to get suspended But good Lord Get your Head out of a Certain hole

Posted by Evilpens on 12/08/13 at 05:34 PM ET

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Hockeytown your logic is completely flawed. Before those rules existed hockey was far dirtier than it is now. All those goons in the 70s did was start bench clearing brawls. It never stopped the likes of Ken “the rat” Linseman for a second. The hockey code is a complete joke. No helmets is just plain stupid.
I’ll be sorry to see it go but the only long term solution is no fighting. There’s no fighting in the NFL and it’s just as tough and hard hitting as hockey.

Posted by vansteve on 12/08/13 at 05:35 PM ET

Evilpens's avatar

Hockeytown Wax Umm Genius Thornton is a GOON ! & what he did if out in public would be charged with assault & Battery

Posted by Evilpens on 12/08/13 at 05:36 PM ET

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Please don’t bring the “if he did that in public” ridiculousness into the conversation, EP.  For once I seem to agree with your take on the incidents from a game, but that type of comparison is foolish.

Posted by Valek from Chicago on 12/08/13 at 05:53 PM ET

Zqto's avatar

Evilpens, first of all… I’m really disapointed that you didnt block me

Second, what exactly did I say, that you disagree??
Are you really gonna tell me you think Neal didnt see Marchand on the ice??  That he was not trying to hurt him?
Last I heard, if you try to physically injury another person, its enough to get you into trouble with the law (or at least should be)

Think about this, and then tell me who really needs to take his head out of his ass, pls…

Posted by Zqto on 12/08/13 at 05:56 PM ET

Zqto's avatar

what he did if out in public would be charged with assault & Battery

same could be said about Neal, dumbass
Jesus, at least try to argue, dont just fire random remarks at all directions, stupidly…

Posted by Zqto on 12/08/13 at 05:57 PM ET

calquake's avatar

Jesus, at least try to argue, dont just fire random remarks at all directions, stupidly…

Posted by Zqto on 12/08/13 at 04:57 PM ET

He wouldn’t be able to comment then.

Posted by calquake on 12/08/13 at 06:03 PM ET

Mistercristo's avatar

Who?

Posted by Mistercristo from Cameron Frye's garage, circa 1987 on 12/08/13 at 06:16 PM ET

Evilpens's avatar

Zqto Umm no dumbass you can’t skate on the sidewalks or Roads Clown Fart BUT you can get the Jumped & be beaten up

& as for not blocking you Got to leave a few Morons from the AMWings around to remind how clueless they are & also you are Flea shit on the windshield of life. Random Fuch

Posted by Evilpens on 12/08/13 at 06:29 PM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

What a disgusting display of commenting.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 12/08/13 at 06:30 PM ET

Hockeytown Wax's avatar

vansteve ... I never said there would be less fighting or fewer ‘rats’ in the game.

What I was trying to shed light on was the targets of the cheap shots.

You have plenty of smaller, fast, skill oriented “star” players getting paid huge money that are getting blasted & injured and the offending player gets away with it.  Ask Mickey Redmond what it was like when he played.  Targets of hits were different.  The “goons” respected the “stars” and didn’t hit them because they knew there would be hell to pay.

No one respects anyone these days and it has almost become a free-for-all because the “rats” of the game get to hide behind potential penalties to the player that retaliates.

If you want the high paid “stars” that deserve respect and make the game pretty to survive, you have to remove the penalties so their teammates can protect them properly.

Its all about changing the location of the target.

Datsyuk takes an elbow to the chops and now he’s out of commission until at least Tuesday. If there was no instigator penalty, what do you think would have happened to Cowen before he had a chance to get back to the bench ??  If there was no instigator penalty, would Cowen even tried to check Datsyuk let alone throw an elbow ??

That one stupid useless penalty has done more damage to the game than anyone can imagine.  How many careers have ended early because that penalty allows the “rats” of the game to go after the “stars” without repercussion ??

Posted by Hockeytown Wax from West Bloomfield, Mi. on 12/08/13 at 06:32 PM ET

Evilpens's avatar

By the way AMWINGS fans How bout those Panthers ?? hahahahahahahaha

Posted by Evilpens on 12/08/13 at 06:32 PM ET

Paul's avatar

OK, enough of this crap.

I am not going to play any games here, instead I will start banning with no chance of coming back.

I am tired of this crap.  I’ve tried to give you folks some room but this is going to have to stop.

Too busy to play games.

Posted by Paul from Motown Area on 12/08/13 at 06:33 PM ET

11B4PF7 in MN's avatar

I’m glad Cotsonika brought up the Emerey “fight” with Holtby.  That was a situation where the NHL had an opportunity to curb ridiculous behavior before it got worse.  The league did nothing and what happened?  Well, last night we saw two instances of that lack of accountability.  Ronaldo was one connected punch from the same outcome of Thornton/Orpik catastrophe.  In both Thornton and Rinaldo, just as with Emerey, the aggressors were attempting to fight unwilling participants.  The league needs to address this—quickly.

Posted by 11B4PF7 in MN on 12/08/13 at 06:46 PM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

Posted by 11B4PF7 in MN on 12/08/13 at 05:46 PM ET

Agreed completely.  The league is reaping the mistake of not taking steps which might have prevented this, and that’s the most-infuriating thing.

The thing is that I disagree heartily with Hockeytown Wax about letting the players police themselves. Thornton didn’t go after Neal for that dirty incident; he went after Orpik for what was a legal hit.  Regardless of the instigator rule, Thornton tried to instigate anyway and it didn’t prevent anything.

I simply don’t trust guys like that to police the game. I think they cause the kind of problems they’re hired to prevent and I think Hockeytown Wax’s take on how it “used to be” kind of romanticizes an era in which plenty of brutally dirty things went down both despite of and in the name of players policing the game.

I continue to believe the best solution is to have the league administer justice severely enough to prevent the kind of plays like Neal did and every time they fail to do so ,the argument that a different system would be the better system gains more validity.

If I can’t trust the league to administer the kind of justice that I feel would prevent this, it’s harder to argue against HW’s argument.  After all, the players policing themselves is a better solution than nobody policing them, even though I don’t think that’s the right solution.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 12/08/13 at 07:02 PM ET

awould's avatar

As for the commenting, I can handle personal jabs, especially from anonymous folks on the internet who have none of my respect. What I can’t tolerate IS Random Capitalization that is just Weird and shows a Lack of Edumucation.

As for the game, there’s enough blame to go around. I basically agree w/ JJ here. The fighting serves no real purpose and the so-called sheriffs are usually the ones causing the original problems. Also, if the purpose is to police legal hits by overreacting and starting a brawl, that’s just ridiculous and really just proves the point.

Posted by awould on 12/08/13 at 07:32 PM ET

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Hockeytown I agree with your take on the state of the game now. I disagree completely with the idea that the players are capable of policing themselves. If a goon protects Datysuk then the other teams goon seeks revenge to protect his player and the circle of violence continues. We’ve tried your method of controlling the game and it didn’t work. Lots of skilled players were targeted back in the day, lots of players fought to protect them and lots of players careers were cut short. As I see it the only thing that hasn’t been tried is eliminating the goons from the game completely. Not exactly sure how we’re going to accomplish that, season ending suspensions would be a start.

Posted by vansteve on 12/08/13 at 08:15 PM ET

Avatar

Datsyuk takes an elbow to the chops and now he’s out of commission until at least Tuesday. If there was no instigator penalty, what do you think would have happened to Cowen before he had a chance to get back to the bench ??  If there was no instigator penalty, would Cowen even tried to check Datsyuk let alone throw an elbow ??


Posted by Hockeytown Wax from West Bloomfield, Mi. on 12/08/13 at 05:32 PM ET

Seriously? Yes, he would’ve still made that play with no instigator rule in play. As for what would’ve happened to him after that play had there been no instigator rule…nothing whatsoever.

That one stupid useless penalty has done more damage to the game than anyone can imagine.  How many careers have ended early because that penalty allows the “rats” of the game to go after the “stars” without repercussion ??

Players can stand up for their teammates whenever they choose to, regardless of the instigator rule. If there were Wings players who didn’t like the hit on Datsyuk then one of them SHOULD HAVE done something about it. You don’t have to be an “enforcer” to take up for a teammate.

I don’t personally think that the instigator rule does a goddamn thing, but don’t pretend that if you remove it that all of a sudden players will conscientiously and responsibly “handle” any on ice issue that may come up.

Posted by godblender on 12/08/13 at 08:20 PM ET

11B4PF7 in MN's avatar

I’ve looked on a couple of websites and no one is talking about any further action on Rinaldo.  Congrats NHL, you consistently miss opportunities to change systemic behavior. As for Neil, I am disappointed he does not have an in person hearing also.  This was a blatant attempt to injure a player in an exposed position, and a headshot no less!  He literally targeted the head of Marchant.  Talk about some give-me opportunities for the league to send the right message.

Posted by 11B4PF7 in MN on 12/08/13 at 08:31 PM ET

TeamDub's avatar

EP - time to up the meds, buddy.

Posted by TeamDub from The gratch. on 12/08/13 at 08:40 PM ET

Avatar

There’s always hyperbole and hyperventilation when something bad happens on the ice.  The reality here is that the thing which stands out isn’t the act, but the result.

If Thornton shoves Orpik twice while he’s down, no big deal.  Since Thornton buttoned him and he went out cold… boom.  Huge, huge crocodile tears.

Same thing happened with the ‘elbow’ Datsyuk took.  If that ‘elbow’ happens an inch one side or the other there’s no concussion and it’s likely a play noone even notices.  It’s just example 5 million of some big slow guy trying to make contact with Datsyuk and missing.

The real problem the league has is that they don’t penalize dangerous play either sufficiently or consistently, not that the amount of said play is getting either more frequent or ‘worse’, by whatever metric the handwringers of the day attempt to apply.  It’s the same kind of crap that’s happened since, well, forever.  In similar amounts and to similar effect.

When the NHL decides they’re serious about it, they’ll start ramping up suspensions and being more liberal in awarding suspensions.  So far, they haven’t been.  We’ll see if that changes.  Now that a couple GMs with Bettman’s ear (euphamistically speaking) have gotten burned by this sort of stuff we’ll see if there’s a tidal shift.

I tend to doubt it.  I think we’ll see some short-term lip service paid to ‘changing the nature of the league’, and maybe a big suspension but not much more than that, nor for any real length of time.

Posted by HockeyinHD on 12/08/13 at 09:20 PM ET

Avatar

Hockeytown I agree with your take on the state of the game now. I disagree completely with the idea that the players are capable of policing themselves. If a goon protects Datysuk then the other teams goon seeks revenge to protect his player and the circle of violence continues. We’ve tried your method of controlling the game and it didn’t work. Lots of skilled players were targeted back in the day, lots of players fought to protect them and lots of players careers were cut short. As I see it the only thing that hasn’t been tried is eliminating the goons from the game completely. Not exactly sure how we’re going to accomplish that, season ending suspensions would be a start.

Posted by vansteve on 12/08/13 at 07:15 PM ET

Eh. He’s not totally wrong. There’s a rose-tinted glasses element with the “back when the players respected each other” bit (they never, ever did), but the truth is fewer significant players spent as much time on IR back then as they do nowadays.

Some of that has to do with a raised threshold for how “healthy” a guy needs to be before he’s cleared, but there were also visibly, obviously a lot less of the types of hits that injure people and piss off clowns like Thornton.

It’s not really a leap to conclude the “using your body like a missile” hits were less frequent 30 years ago because there were more significant and immediate on-ice consequences than there are today.

Posted by larry on 12/09/13 at 12:14 AM ET

DrewBehr's avatar

I now look forward to Shanahan’s explanation videos for the same reasons I looked forward to Osama Bin Laden’s: to see how wrong they were, and how upset they would make me.

Posted by DrewBehr from The Mitten on 12/09/13 at 02:37 AM ET

Baroque's avatar

I’m not sure that I see a reason for it to change until the penalties are substantial in terms of money lost. Right now, it’s an advantage for a goon to destroy someone because that is how he makes some kind of impact on the game, even if it is a pure illusion, and that is the only way he gets a salary - and a pretty decent one, if he manages his money wisely (which, granted, very few professional athletes do, so they are broke at incredible speed after they retire). Players who act as goons lose ice time when their presence on the ice is more of a cost than a benefit - if their actions are more of a financial cost than a benefit to their own wallets then this kind of thing will stop. Right now it apparently is not enough to make them change their calculations before they try to do something shady, dirty, sneakily underhanded, or just plain brutal.

Even the minimal NHL contract is enough for someone to do an awful lot to keep that job and lifestyle going as long as he can. Maybe the increased pay is a factor in this, that fines and suspensions haven’t kept up with increasing wages so the penalties have gotten comparatively smaller?

Posted by Baroque from Michigan on 12/09/13 at 06:18 AM ET

bezukov's avatar

I think the problems with the NHL rules have been pretty well debated, so I won’t mention any of that now.  But one has to notice how this kind of trouble follows the Pens around.  No other team is as consistently under the microscope for this kind of stuff than the Pens.  I think that questions need to be asked of Ray Shero and Dan Bylsma about their organizational culture in Pittsburgh, because this crap keeps on happening to them.  Too many people have come and gone to blame it on players.  You can’t blame it on success, the Wings were a top flight organization, who got every team’s best every time, for two decades without this sideshow crap.  So what can it be besides a locker room culture that encourages physical brinkmanship?

Posted by bezukov from the kids are alright. on 12/09/13 at 10:41 AM ET

WingsFanInBeanLand's avatar

I’m going to say that “clean” hit that Orprik laid on Eriksson is just like the hit that Kronwall laid on Havlat in the ‘09 playoffs.

Kronner got a 5-minute interference penalty and a game misconduct.

Had the referees done their job and ejected Orprik from the game like they should have, especially because of the principle head shot, Thronton wouldn’t have had the chance to go all caveman on him.

Posted by WingsFanInBeanLand from where free agents no longer dare. on 12/09/13 at 11:07 AM ET

SK77's avatar

But one has to notice how this kind of trouble follows the Pens around.  No other team is as consistently under the microscope for this kind of stuff than the Pens.

Posted by bezukov from the kids are alright. on 12/09/13 at 09:41 AM ET

I don’t have any stats to back it up, but my gut feeling says Philadelphia is the franchise that is constantly getting into trouble and they definitely have a culture “issue” there … I put issue in quotes because I think that’s how they want it.

To me Boston also seems to get in just as much trouble as the Penguins, if not more.

Posted by SK77 on 12/09/13 at 12:57 PM ET

bezukov's avatar

Posted by some kid on 12/09/13 at 11:57 AM ET

I agree about Boston, but how much of Philly has to do with their past than their present?

Posted by bezukov from the kids are alright. on 12/09/13 at 01:00 PM ET

Avatar

I agree about Boston, but how much of Philly has to do with their past than their present?

Posted by bezukov from the kids are alright. on 12/09/13 at 12:00 PM ET

You’re kidding, right? On the same day as this Thornton incident, Zac Rinaldo skated up to Dom Roussel and threw a Pearl Harbor kill shot (which missed because Roussel somehow Matrixed the punch). Nothing visible precipitated this event. No slashes, no borderline hit, nothing.

Rinaldo simply didn’t like something the guy said and tried to introduce himself to Dallas with a surprise haymaker (this was on Rinaldo’s very first shift).

Then Rinaldo kicked him when the refs got in there.

Posted by larry on 12/09/13 at 01:09 PM ET

SK77's avatar

The Rinaldo thing, Ray Emery, Downie when he was with Philly got a 20 game suspension his first time through their organization, … turns out there’s a website for this!

Mar. 3, 2013 Harry Zolnierczuk Philadelphia Charging 4 Games
May 7 , 2012 Claude Giroux Philadelphia Illegal hit to the head 1 playoff game
Feb. 13, 2012 Zac Rinaldo Philadelphia Charging 2 games
Sep. 28, 2011 Tom Sestito Philadelphia Checking from behind 4 games
(2 pre-season, 2 regular season)
Sep. 22, 2011 Jody Shelley Philadelphia Boarding 10 games
(5 pre-season, 5 regular season)
Dec. 29, 2010 Jody Shelley Philadelphia Sucker punch 2 games
Dec. 13, 2010 Jody Shelley Philadelphia Boarding 2 games
Nov. 01, 2010 Daniel Briere Philadelphia Cross-check to head 3 games
Mar. 30, 2010 Daniel Carcillo Philadelphia Cross check to face 2 games
Dec. 06, 2009 Daniel Carcillo Philadelphia Sucker-punch 4 games
Nov. 24, 2009 Daniel Briere Philadelphia Cross check to head 2 games

So that’s 11 suspensions, plus having a lot of general douchebaggery. In that same period of time Boston received six suspensions, Pittsburgh received nine, and Detroit received three suspensions (Pulkkinen, Abdelkader & Smith).

Check out—http://nhlsuspensions.com

Posted by SK77 on 12/09/13 at 01:34 PM ET

bezukov's avatar

Posted by some kid on 12/09/13 at 12:34 PM ET

Well I guess the numbers don’t lie.  I concede.  Just seems that Pittsburgh has had a higher profile in the goon department and unlike Philly they’ve been under the same regime the entire time.  But that’s just my perception I suppose.

Posted by bezukov from the kids are alright. on 12/09/13 at 02:02 PM ET

Avatar

Same thing happened with the ‘elbow’ Datsyuk took.

That’s a completely different situation. Datsyuk was injured during game play while what happened to Orpik was when the game was stopped. Thorton’s actions were premeditated. He had time to decide to skate over, pull down Orpik and punch him in the face. You comparison is like thinking because a person might spend a few dollars in a city that gives them the right to lambast that city for its economic decisions.

It’s the same kind of crap that’s happened since, well, forever.  In similar amounts and to similar effect.

You just reasoned last week that players have time to make their own choices but now you are saying that the culture of hockey causes players to senselessly attack each other. Which side of the fence are you on?

I tend to doubt it.

If the NHL is disappointing to you why do you still watch it?

Posted by howeandhowe from Seattle on 12/09/13 at 03:24 PM ET

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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.

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