Thursday, January 10, 2008

Cheap shots

Following is my response to Joe Michelletti's comment during the Rangers' game of January 10, 2008:
Joe - While you're right that the sucker punch by Downie on Blake was the fault of the linesmen, I always thought there should be a rule, among men of honor, that once the fight is 'called,' the fighters must go to their "neutral corners," just like in boxing's "clean break."
Don't laugh - pros are, indeed, men of honor, and will, I believe, abide by this rule if set down in black and white.
On this subject, I think players must be trained to drop their sticks in every scrum. Sticks inevitable get up around faces, and this should be make illegal. I'm not talking about 'dropping the gloves' in preparation of a fight, just in these chippy confrontations in the corners, along the boards, or in front of the net.

So ends my comments to MSG, but to continue my thoughts...
This is not the time or place for me to argue whether fights belong in hockey or not. For now, let's assume they are a part of the game, and will, for at least the near future, continue as such.

So, on the subject of fights, dropping the gloves before a fight should not lead to a penalty if the opponent does not. To clarify, for those who don't know, when two skaters skate towards one another with the intention of fighting, they are expected to remove their gloves before fighting, or else there is an automatic penalty to the player for fighting with gloves on.
In my opinion, it is too easy to be goaded into a situation where one player tricks the other into, or at least takes advantage of the opportunity, to make the other guy drop the gloves, and then skate away. It doesn't happen often, but the threat is there enough for players to be concerned about it.
And lastly, I think that Chris Simon does not belong in the NHL. If he was a felon, he'd have taken his third strike already. In my opinion, he cannot control his anger. It's sheer luck that he hasn't hurt someone severely yet. It's only a matter of time before he does. Maybe he's someone you'd like to have on your team, I don't know; his teammates seem to love him, and his coaches all get behind him, but really, I believe he's a catastrophe waiting to happen.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Obviously, NHL players, obviously.

Please, please, please, stop saying "obviously" so frequetly during your interviews.

Jason Blake is, to my ear, the worst offender, tallying 3 instances of "obviously" in a recent 75 second interview with Deb Kaufman at the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum. But the overuse and abuse of the word is an assault on my ears and my intelligence.

In the modern NHL broadcast, player interviews are commonplace. In the spirit of "Player Access," before, during, and after games, players are called upon to offer their views on what they expect to see, or have seen. Sometimes a player might recall a play that has been made, or he might make suggestions as to what might soon occur. In either case, the experienced hockey fan does not really need to hear the word "obviously," as in, "Obviously, we need to get the puck to the net." And to a less-than experienced hockey fan, it might not be "obvious."

I guess the player does not want to hear someone tell him, "No kidding," but please, enough with the "obviously," already.

Hummer Metro Ice Challenge

The Hummer Metro Ice Challenge, sponsored by the New York Metro Hummer dealers, rewards the winner of the regular season NHL games between the New York Rangers, New York Islanders and the New Jersey Devils with a $50,000 donation to the charity of their choice.

Pardon my cynicism, but $50,000 as a donation? While it is indeed noble to donate money to worthy charities, I can't help but think that the donation amount is dwarfed by the cost of airtime that the Hummer dealers spend to advertise their program.

Want to impress me? Advertise it only once per game, and increase the amount of the donation.