Kukla's Korner Hockey

Kukla's Korner Hockey

Brooks: Emery-Holtby scrap speaks poorly of Flyers, NHL

11/03/2013 at 2:01am EST

I never fought when I played goal, and I'd delicately describe the practice as "dumb" in the modern-day NHL, so you'd be correct to suggest that I thought Ray Emery's scrap with Braden Holtby was idiotic, and that the combination of injuries sustained during the Caps-Flyers brawl and the lack of supplemental discipline for Emery because there are apparently "no rules" prohibiting one goalie from skating to the other end of the ice and choosing to lay a beating upon another goalie all yielded a lack of team discipline and a lack of responsiblity-taking on the part of the NHL.

The New York Post's Larry Brooks' Sunday column includes a pondering about the Vanek-Moulson trade, a note about the Oilers' goaltending, suspension talk and much more, but his main thrust involves the Flyers-Capitals brawl and Emery's conduct, with Brooks suggesting that the Flyers' lack of discipline can be traced down from its ownership to the GM coach and players:

This is the culture in Philadelphia of which owner Mr. Ed Snider is so proud and protective. An unprovoked third period fight between a goaltender a touchdown behind and one pitching a shutout. Who ever would believe such a thing could occur with Prof. Craig Berube behind the bench?

It is difficult to conjure the scenario under which Emery would be suspended. There’s no mechanism under which the NHL would seem to have the authority to discipline the goaltender beyond the instigator, misconduct and fighting penalties assessed at the time on the ice under Rule 46. The last thing the league needs is VP Brendan Shanahan to go rogue and apply punishment without the express authority to do so.

If the NHL allows, endorses and promotes fighting, this is the type of fight the league and all of the pro-fisticuffs crowd is going to get from time to time. The “I like fighting, but not this kind” protestations in the wake of incidents such as this are hilarious.

Fighting is not the chivalrous act that so many of its defenders claim. Of all the reason players fight, “frustration,” “embarrassment” and “sending a message” are at the top of the list.

“They’re sending a calling card!” one of the Flyers’ announcers uttered excitedly during the four-ring circus of fights that included the Emery attack on Holtby. A calling card to whom? The Devils, for Saturday night’s game?

Emery went the length of the ice to fight a barely willing combatant because he still can in a league dominated by a thought process out of the 1950s. It was a calling card, don’t you know, just the way the designation of Emery as third star by a Philadelphia writer is a snapshot of the NHL in 2013-14.

Brooks continues at length, and he included a video of the incident:

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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.

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