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Brashear on Fighting: Don't Change a Thing

Here's the latest must-read from our good friend Slava Malamud of Sport Express:

The curtailing of the NHL fighting culture proposed by the general managers this week is making news in Russia, too. Sport-Express is running a big story on it in tomorrow's edition, which includes my interview with Caps enforcer Donald Brashear. The interview was done several weeks ago in anticipation of the league's upcoming measures, and, as one might have expected, Brash was not too hot on the idea of tampering with this aspect of the game.

"Accidents happen," Brashear said, "and every time they happen they want to take fighting out of hockey. It is only fighting that they want to eliminate, and it is only in the United States [where you hear it]. Probably, people here take their family values seriously and don't want to expose their kids to violence. They probably should explain to their children that violence in the game is one thing and violence away from the game is another. We in Canada love our families too, but we also like fighting in hockey. People [in Canada] don't kill each other more often because of this."

Brashear, however, seemed to share the GMs' dislike of staged fights.

"The staged fight, one without any reasons for it, is really just violence," Brashear said. "It often happens that someone wants to challenge me but if I don't see any reason to fight him, I won't accept. And that's how it probably should be. But when someone is out there trying to hit as many people as he can in a shift to heat things up, his opponents will send a guy out to get him. That is normal... I would recommend to leave everything as it is. Let the guys do their job. It's always been like this. It's not like someone is trying to poke an opponent with a stick in the throat or intentionally hurt anyone. A fight is a part of the game."

Brashear also remembered that his most painful memory from his fighting days was a knockdown suffered at the hands of Chris Simon in the minors. (The interview, once again, was done well before the Wade Belak fight in Nashville.) When I mentioned that Simon is currently playing in the KHL and seems to enjoy it, Brashear expressed a lot of interest and asked me to tell him more about the Russian league. As his contract is up at the end of this year, he wants to consider this option too and, to tell you the truth, it is not so bad an option.

As a matter of fact, currently there are serious talks about fighting in the KHL as well, except the Russians are going in the opposite direction: they want to lessen the penalties and make fighting more prevalent.

In the KHL -- as in the rest of Europe -- both fighters receive an automatic game misconduct, which doesn't stop the likes of Simon from practicing their trade from time to time. A proposal is out there right now to make fighting punishable with a 10-minute misconduct instead, which, of course, will still keep it a riskier business than in the NHL. However, there are some things that can make Russia a better option for Brashear, Georges Laraque and other members of the NHL's endangered species.

The KHL's long-term goal is to become a major competitor for the NHL -- in talent, quality of play and overall business viability. However, one thing that won't happen in a hurry over in the Mother Country is parity. In Russian hockey, as in most European sports leagues, there are perennial haves and perennial have-nots.

Some teams, like Vityaz Chekhov (where Simon plays) for example, have no designs on capturing the Gagarin Cup at any time in the foreseeable future. But they play in a small, blue-collar town and one way of attracting fans to their games is brawling. Vityaz's head coach, Mike Krushelnyski, though himself not a PIM leader in his NHL days, welcomes this North American aspect of the game. As does Traktor Chelyabink's head coach Andrei "Dirty Naz" Nazarov, the only Russian enforcer in NHL history. Regular-season battles between Traktor and Vityaz this year were as big a fan and media attraction as some of the games between marquee clubs.

So, there are teams in Russia willing to pay top dollar to North American enforcers, especially if they can also play some hockey. Which Brashear still can, by the way. Consider also that in Russia they will actually be able to keep most of that money for themselves, thanks to the 13 percent flat tax, and that they will have to work much less for it, thanks to the shorter season. Somewhere like Chekhov, a player like Brashear can actually be a demi-god to the locals and enjoy front-page exposure in the national press.

What's not to like? I can tell you that Brashear clearly looked very interested.
I don't think anyone has ever thought they'd see the day when a Russian league would out-brawl the NHL. It may be coming.

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  March 12, 2009; 3:03 PM ET
 
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Comments

Brash seems to share the same view I have.

staged fights are dumb.

remove the instigator and everything will go back to how it needs to be.

Posted by: richmondphil | March 12, 2009 3:10 PM | Report abuse

I want to play devil's advocate here. Donald says that parents "should explain to their children that violence in the game is one thing and violence away from the game is another." I ask the question, though, how do you teach the values of sportsmanship when you have fighting in the game?

Posted by: stwasm | March 12, 2009 3:11 PM | Report abuse

"if it ain't broke, don't fix it"

bettman brought in RBK Edge jerseys, which I dont think have had a significantly positive effect.

bettman made goalie gear smaller, which didn't increase goal scoring.

now bettman is advocating and persuading his GMS to eliminate fighting?!

what a joke. while we're at it,
why don't we do the following:

1) put rubber on the outside of the goals because someone might get hurt hitting the post!
2)make the goals soccer size
3) make sure every player has a full cage on
4) eliminate body checks, only hip checks are allowed.


i hate bettman.

Posted by: capsfan8 | March 12, 2009 3:17 PM | Report abuse

you can keep your dirty commie hands off of him.

Posted by: jamebow | March 12, 2009 3:18 PM | Report abuse

Of course Brashear wants to keep fighting in the game -- it's the only talent he has. It's certainly not playing hockey. Most, if not all, teams have a resident goon like Brashear. I've been an avid hockey fan for more than two decades, and I've attended games for a lot longer than that. But I don't buy the "old school" arguments. It's time to rid the sport of fighting as part of an effort to get the game's following and TV viewership on par with the other big three sports. There's simply too much talent to watch with the Ovechkins and Crosbys of the world to waste roster spots with goons like Brashear.

Posted by: Jumpy66 | March 12, 2009 3:18 PM | Report abuse

@caraveli

I hope you are right about everyone's assessment of Varly. I tend to agree with you that people know and hope that they don't let some silly principle interfere and make a silly decision. I do think that he should be here a little before PO's, though, to play some games and get in sync with the rest of the team. Hope BB is reading all this.

Posted by: caraveli | March 12, 2009 2:52 PM

Exactly. Let him get as much ice team as he can soak up and then call him up here before the playoffs and put him in some regular season games.

Now, if Neuvy somehow looks like superman in his next start, then maybe they should think about it more, but i dont think there is any question that Varly should be our second guy. He has tons of more experience and playoff experience, albeit in Russia.

Posted by: richmondphil | March 12, 2009 3:19 PM | Report abuse

which is to say, you russians keep your dirty commie hands off our brash.

Posted by: jamebow | March 12, 2009 3:19 PM | Report abuse

if bettman takes fighting out of hockey, i will personally find him and punch him in the face

Posted by: _stevo | March 12, 2009 3:21 PM | Report abuse

@capsfan8

I support making the goalies wear certain sized pads. Also, they dont go into effect next year. Then muffin man up in Calgary aint gunna stop anything.

Posted by: richmondphil | March 12, 2009 3:22 PM | Report abuse

richmond, et al,
explain the issue w/ the instigator rule and why it is such a big issue. i seriously dont get it. is it because it might prevent a guy from going after another player because they are fearful of getting and extra two and 10 plus game?

the instigator rule has been there for a while, correct? i think it's appropriate to have a rule about instigating a fight. what if the flyers put a guy out there for the sole purposes of instigating a fight w/ ovie? at least if that happens now, the team gets an extra minor and loses the man for the game. without the instigator, assuming ovie drops em, then both get 5. not a fair trade. i'd rather have a rule to prevent that from occuring then worrying about whether it prevents two fighters from dropping the mittens.

maybe i'm missing something obvious...

Posted by: dcsportsfan1 | March 12, 2009 3:22 PM | Report abuse

From an earlier thread:

how do you "impose" a finesse style of play on a game??? In my book, a team with a couple of guys that can drop the gloves are in a better position to do this as opposed to a team that does not (Detroit aside).

Posted by: doughless | March 12, 2009 2:01 PM

@doughless,

Are you suggesting that the only way to win hockey games, series, or Stanley cups is to have players that drop the gloves more than other teams. I'll admit that I'm pretty new to hockey but that makes no sense whatsoever. If that were the case, the Flyers would have 10 Stanley Cups. The idea between two teams of differing styles - whatever styles they might be - is to force the other team to play to your strengths. So, if you trap you always trap and make the other team dump and chase. If you're a finesse team you skate, work hard, and stay out of the box. If your team is more physical than you try to play that game. The only way to impose a team's style of play is to force the other team to do it - if the other team won't participate, what do you do? Are the Flyers going to punch everyone in the face and go to the box for 20 penalties? Probably not. Are they going to hit? Yep. The Caps just have to refuse to play cheap ass hockey and force the Flyers to play a more open ice game. Whichever team is more sucessful will probably win.

Really? I think you believe that impose and physical are synonyms. Do you watch any other sports? Have you ever seen Nolan Richardson's Arkansas teams play baskbetball? The Lakers forcing the pace? The Pistons playing lockdown D and getting physical? How about the Chargers throwing in the Fouts days? The Giants running the ball with Parcells? Maybe John Chaney's Temple basketball teams? Dean Smith's UNC squads running the backdoor? Stockton and Malone on the pick-and-roll? The Oklahoma wishbone? Need any more? Let me know, I got a million of them. Imposing your game plan is not directly related at all to your style of play.

Posted by: saintex | March 12, 2009 3:28 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: richmondphil | March 12, 2009 3:29 PM | Report abuse

KHL can have the Jagrs and Simons of the world...the problem children...send 'em Avery too and then they really will have the NHL's "sloppy seconds."

Posted by: lylewimbledon | March 12, 2009 3:32 PM | Report abuse

@steveo

That sounds like a staged fight...outlawed!

Posted by: saintex | March 12, 2009 3:32 PM | Report abuse

I'll take a shot. The predominant view is that the instigator rule prevents cops on the ice (i.e. Brash, Cote, Boogaard, Orr) from beating up the guys who like to run around and hit 5 players per shift (i.e. Carcillo, Hollweg, Jarkko and Tuomo Ruutu, Boll, Cooke, Dorsett etc).

Tough guys feel that the "hitters" will lay off the "skill" guys if they know that a tough guy can beat them up without fear of the instigating penalty. You would still get the extra minor for roughing but the instigator and accompanying misconduct penalties would be extinguished.

Frankly, I don't like or buy into this logic. Why shouldn't players like Hollweg, Cooke and the Ruutus run into the likes of Crosby, Ovy, Semin, Heatley etc? Hitting is part of hockey is it not ? There's nothing in the rules that prevents players from being hit. So if Brash wants to beat up Hollweg because he ran Semin, give Brash the extra 2 minutes for roughing but don't give him the instigator.

The only rule I would do away with is giving an automatic instigator/game misc for a fight in the last 5 mins of a game, and I'd ease up on the automatic suspensions relating to that.

Posted by: cstanton1 | March 12, 2009 3:33 PM | Report abuse

if bettman takes fighting out of hockey, i will personally find him and punch him in the face

Posted by: _stevo | March 12, 2009 3:21 PM

make sure you wait till the puck drops and his suit jacket is properly tied down or he gets an extra misconduct penalty.

Posted by: dcsportsfan1 | March 12, 2009 3:34 PM | Report abuse

TO say Brashear doesn't have any skills outside of fighting is stupid. He is a hell of a fore checker and does exactly what you need a 4th line guy to do.

Posted by: SombreroGuy | March 12, 2009 3:34 PM | Report abuse

@ capsfan8

I keep reading all this Bettman bashing and frankly I find it annoying. People of very low intelligence just like to bash things they don't have the capacity to understand. The NHL is now is a better league to watch than it's ever been. The game is faster, more skillful. There's actually more hitting and fighting than ever (opposed to the popular opinion). There's also more parity keeping more teams in the playoff race until the very end. Bettman deserves a lot of credit for that. Also, all the changes aren't just made by him. He's not some kind of a monarch. These are all done in cooperation with all of the NHL GM's. People who have a brain and really understand hockey agree that the game is by far the best it's ever been. People who constantly bash Bettman aren't very smart and don't operate with facts at all.

Here's an interesting fact, for example. The Flyers already have 62 fighting majors this season. During the years when they were know as broad street bullies the most they had for an entire season was 58.

Also, a fact, Bettman never said he wants to take the fighting out of the game. Read what he actually says, not the garbage some retards attribute to him.

And who the hell cares about RBK jerseys? It's just a different company that was signed up to make them. It has zero effect on the game. It's a manufactured controversy about nothing for people like you who are just looking for another reason to jump on Bettman.

Hitting is also up and the hits are more violent than ever. Look at the facts, not your fantasies, and you'll see that the NHL has greatly improved under Bettman in every regard.

Watch interviews with former players, current GMs, anyone who really understand the game and they all say that they're amazed at how awesome the current game of hockey is. Stop listening to idiots like Don Cherry who want it to go back to the dark ages.

Posted by: ranndino | March 12, 2009 3:35 PM | Report abuse

We could sure use Andrei "Dirty Naz" Nazarov tonight.

Instead we'll settle for Michael "Dirty Nyls" Nylander.

Posted by: SA-Town | March 12, 2009 3:36 PM | Report abuse

also, the instigator rule has always been there, but it wasnt until the 06-07 season that it was solidified.

The problem with the instigator rule? Enforcers are too scared to do their job for fear of getting a minor, and star players are getting ran without repercussions. What if a guy like Ott or Avery (who are pests and usually dont fight; note the difference between a pest and an enforcer), clips Ovies legs from him and Ovie gets injured. With the instigator rule in place no one on the ice can go after the guy. We have to wait until our two enforcers are on the ice to "settle it?" So Orr fights Brash, but did Avery get any repurcussions for his run at Ovie? No.

Posted by: richmondphil | March 12, 2009 3:36 PM | Report abuse

Saintex "The Caps just have to refuse to play cheap ass hockey and force the Flyers to play a more open ice game. Whichever team is more sucessful will probably win"

This isn't realistic. The Caps will not simply just be able to force the Flyers to play a wide open style. The Flyers style of play will influence what the Caps are able to do. We have skill, but the skill or speed advantage isn't so great that we can simply force other teams to adapt to whatever style WE want to play. If that was the case you wouldn't see stinker games against the Avs or Canes where we decided to be overly fancy and not have a balance. Every time we have a stinker, the prevailing opinion of coaches, players and fans alike is that we screwed ourselves by being too fancy (i.e. wide open). Its a losing proposition to expect to avoid a hitting game by using our skill only.

Posted by: cstanton1 | March 12, 2009 3:37 PM | Report abuse

@ dcsportsfan1

stupid bettman

Posted by: _stevo | March 12, 2009 3:38 PM | Report abuse

The instigator is never enforced, yet it has set the stage for this dumb staged fighting.

remove the instigator, let players police themselves.

Posted by: richmondphil | March 12, 2009 3:39 PM | Report abuse

TO say Brashear doesn't have any skills outside of fighting is stupid. He is a hell of a fore checker and does exactly what you need a 4th line guy to do.

Posted by: SombreroGuy | March 12, 2009 3:34 PM

huuge overstatement :) Brash's "forechecking" abilities are very very weak at this point in his career. He's lost too much speed. He was never a great forechecker but he was a more effective one than he is today. If you watch him skate now, he realizes quite early in the play that he won't be able to get there in time so he peels off.

Forechecking is not why he's on this team. Guys like Bradley or Laing are much better forecheckers. Gordon had a very good forecheck going in the last 2 games as well.

Posted by: cstanton1 | March 12, 2009 3:41 PM | Report abuse

Fighting is necessary...get rid of the instigator rule.

The dumbest change is the TV time out after icing...completely defeats the purpose!

Posted by: lylewimbledon | March 12, 2009 3:42 PM | Report abuse

@ cstanton1

You are WRONG -- you play the other teams game, you are playing to lose. You play your game and make the other team react.

That's what the miracle team did in 1980, playing to their own strengths, not trying to outdo the Soviet team at their own game. The Rangers and NHL All-Stars tried that and lost big time.

Play the game with the system that you have with the personnel you have. If the Caps avoid fights, but play fast and physical, press the Flowers to keep up with them, then they will prevail.

Posted by: JIMALLCAPS | March 12, 2009 3:43 PM | Report abuse

@ cstanton1

You are WRONG -- you play the other teams game, you are playing to lose. You play your game and make the other team react.

That's what the miracle team did in 1980, playing to their own strengths, not trying to outdo the Soviet team at their own game. The Rangers and NHL All-Stars tried that and lost big time.

Play the game with the system that you have with the personnel you have. If the Caps avoid fights, but play fast and physical, press the Flowers to keep up with them, then they will prevail.

Posted by: JIMALLCAPS | March 12, 2009 3:43 PM

apparently you don't read very well. I didn't say the caps had to fight to win the game. I just said they couldn't avoid a "hitting" game and simply expect their skill to beat the Flyers. They still have to hit, compete hard down low and in the trenches.

Posted by: cstanton1 | March 12, 2009 3:45 PM | Report abuse

dcsportsfan1, under current NHL reffing, the idea is that the instigator prevents immediate retaliation. So someone like Avery could refuse to fight and thus the enforcer then has to fight for him. Now, in theory, the enforcer would then tell Avery to cool it because he hates fighting on his behalf, but it's more likely Avery just keeps doing whatever.

Posted by: koalatek | March 12, 2009 3:45 PM | Report abuse

"You can't fight a guy if he makes a dirty hit on a player. You can't fight him on the ensuing face off. You can't fight him if he has a visor or you do, or you'll get an extra penalty. You can't take your helmet off (which you'd do to shed your visor to make it even) because that will be a penalty".

Well, geez, might as well and just ban it Bettman.

Posted by: richmondphil | March 12, 2009 3:46 PM | Report abuse

and if you know your history, you'd know that when the Bolts played Calgary in the Finals a few years ago, they had to adjust THEIR game to beat Calgary by matching Calgary's hitting and work ethic. They admitted so themselves :) Their skill simply wasn't enough on its own to do the trick.

Posted by: cstanton1 | March 12, 2009 3:46 PM | Report abuse

Is it just me or is there something about the last 20 games that so many end in 3 point games? Are there any stats out that about it?

Posted by: jay18 | March 12, 2009 3:47 PM | Report abuse

3 point games are the worst.

Posted by: richmondphil | March 12, 2009 3:49 PM | Report abuse

Just an observation.

If Scott Stevens played today he would be getting attacked in every game. Today players will simply attack other players after clean checks.

That stuff rarely happened in the past unless the player who got hit was named Gretz or Lemieux. Now even if a fringe player gets blasted his teammates will immediately drop the gloves and attack the other guy.

The Cappies don't do that often or ever but other teams sure do as mentioned before here

Posted by: maven1918 | March 12, 2009 3:51 PM | Report abuse

richmond, thanks. i see what you mean. to use a slippery slope arguement, what if everytime someone feels like their teammate was treated unfairly they tried to exact punishment. it would be rediculous. i think thats why having a guy like brash on the bench is valuable. before someone does something stupid like that, they need to think about what brash would do to their top guy. that should be enough of a deterrent right there.

i think it's important to apply the instigator rule appropriately. a guy takes an illegal run at your guy or injures him and you come to his aid. no problem. someone cleanly checks your guy and you take issue, instigator.

i agree with cstanton, the late game rule is rediculous, but i understand why its there. there was a game a few years ago when sutton from atl tried to elbow green late in the game. someone on the caps went after him. the late game instigator penalty was not called because, frankly, it was justified and not a typical late game message sending fight the rule was intended to prevent.

Posted by: dcsportsfan1 | March 12, 2009 3:51 PM | Report abuse

3 point games do sting a bit. i think there is some logic that would say the games are tighter at the end of the season and therefore more go the three point route. but hey i could be way off.

Posted by: jay18 | March 12, 2009 3:52 PM | Report abuse

@ No you wrote the Caps play a "fancy" game and they lose in response to Saintex who emphaiszed the Caps need to balance their game, which seems to indicate that they need to m=odify their fancy system to play a gameplan modeled on how the other team plays. Therefore, the Caps need to play a half-fancy and a half-tough game.

I disagree -- BB's system is not fancy. He critiques his team when he sees them playing a too "finesse" game: too much passing, waiting for the wide-open beauty shot. BB stresses dirty goals, clearing the crease with the body and stick-checks, pushing the puck up ice, setting up over-powering, quick attacks.

Posted by: JIMALLCAPS | March 12, 2009 3:52 PM | Report abuse

full agreement with sombero guy, Brashear is a great 4th liner; he hits on every shift, often has the puck, and mostly has it in the opposing zone. What's not to like?

remove the instigator rule and the game will clean up pronto. with the rule, we get Ruutu and his suspendable hits. Without the rule, weber a tame Ruutu.

The enforcer is like god. Fear of him keeps players in check. No god means players will do things they know are wrong, but there is no incentive to walk the straight and narrow. Without wrath, a dangerous game becomes threatening.

Posted by: oo7 | March 12, 2009 3:54 PM | Report abuse

@ No you wrote the Caps play a "fancy" game and they lose in response to Saintex who emphaiszed the Caps need to balance their game, which seems to indicate that they need to m=odify their fancy system to play a gameplan modeled on how the other team plays. Therefore, the Caps need to play a half-fancy and a half-tough game.

I disagree -- BB's system is not fancy. He critiques his team when he sees them playing a too "finesse" game: too much passing, waiting for the wide-open beauty shot. BB stresses dirty goals, clearing the crease with the body and stick-checks, pushing the puck up ice, setting up over-powering, quick attacks.

Posted by: JIMALLCAPS | March 12, 2009 3:52 PM

Seriously you should learn to read. Where did Saintex say the Caps needed to "balance their game" ? He/She said that if a team plays a "finesse" style then it needs to use that finesse style to its advantage and that should be enough to dictate the style of play to the other team. When was the last time the Caps were able to shrug off a hard forecheck with no consequences? Every time the Caps try to be fancy and the other team brings their "A" game and a hard forecheck it usually leads to our defensemen running around our own end with their heads cut off.

And if bruce really emphasized a hardnosed approach in front of our net why is Jeff Schultz playing hockey for the Washington Capitals?

Posted by: cstanton1 | March 12, 2009 3:58 PM | Report abuse

You could say its a slippery slope now in hindsight, since the instigator was revitalized a few seasons ago. That is how it has always been though, and I feel that is how it should work.

Of course no one should go after someone after a clean hit. I am talking about borderline charges, runs, cheap shots, etc which needs to be met with repercussions. Unfortunately that does not happen anymore. Instead, an enforcer eats fists because your teammate wanted to take a cheap shot.

If the instigator could be implemented properly, like you say, then I would have no problem with it. People should not be going after other players after a clean hit anyway. The problem is that it is never called, no matter what, so all it does is take away real fights and ups this dumb staged fighting.

If a player does something on the ice that you disagree with, then handle it right then. Don't wait until both teams get their 4th lines on the ice so they can dance for 30 minutes, throw 4 punches, and fall on each other.
vinny v iginla is a real fight.
lucic fighting is a real fight.
staged fighting is dumb and is a direct result of the even dumber instigator rule.

Posted by: richmondphil | March 12, 2009 3:58 PM | Report abuse

@jay18

Because unless your fighting for a place against the team your playing, teams are cruising into OT...

Hey...If teams want to cruise into OT and play a sit back style in the 3rd to solidify the point that is good for us.

Posted by: SA-Town | March 12, 2009 3:58 PM | Report abuse

"People of very low intelligence just like to bash things they don't have the capacity to understand." - Randinno

Very true. Well said Randinno.

Posted by: opita1 | March 12, 2009 3:59 PM | Report abuse

my problem is not the fights, it's weakly penalized blows to the head that are not part of fights and usually one shots (e.g. an elbow during a check, check from behind, crosby punching a guy to the back of the head who wasn't fighting him). imo those should be penalized more. i think their should be stiffere blow to the head outside of fighting penalties which automatically increase if the victim is injured.

Posted by: am_jim | March 12, 2009 3:59 PM | Report abuse

"full agreement with sombero guy, Brashear is a great 4th liner; he hits on every shift, often has the puck, and mostly has it in the opposing zone. What's not to like? "


Again, not true. Brashear doesn't do any of those things often enough as described above. He USED to, but his lack of speed precludes him from being effective in that role. He's on his last dying legs.

Posted by: cstanton1 | March 12, 2009 3:59 PM | Report abuse

"People of very low intelligence just like to bash things they don't have the capacity to understand." - Randinno

Randinno seems to have a great grasp on his own shortcomings!

Posted by: cstanton1 | March 12, 2009 4:01 PM | Report abuse

As for the Bolts in 94, Dave Andreychuk pushed them to be a tougher team well before the Finals game

Posted by: JIMALLCAPS | March 12, 2009 4:01 PM | Report abuse

As far as the third man in rule is concerned, there is actually a rule about it. Like the instigator rule, it is never called, especially when the culprit is a guy named Crosby.

Posted by: richmondphil | March 12, 2009 4:02 PM | Report abuse

Re the Russian league: I've just finished (and strongly recommend) an excellent book on the subject: *King of Russia* by former NHL coach Dave King (w/co-author), essentially a journal of his year coaching a Russian-league team during the 2005-06 season. (His team's star was Malkin, incidentally, and it finished in first place.) It contains some very insightful comments on Russian players and hockey culture, esp. in the conclusion, which might offer some helpful hints to deciphering the Caps' Russian stars.

Posted by: jhershb | March 12, 2009 4:02 PM | Report abuse

Did someone jsut sya Dave AndreyUPchuck was tough?

bwaahaaa!

Posted by: maven1918 | March 12, 2009 4:02 PM | Report abuse

I still don't understand what's wrong with "trying to hit as many people as he can in a shift to heat things up".

Posted by: spacecadetkid | March 12, 2009 4:02 PM | Report abuse

@richmondphil

lucic fighting is not always real, he did a bunch of "staged" fighting last year

Posted by: _stevo | March 12, 2009 4:03 PM | Report abuse

I am well aware, and I am not talking about those fights.

Posted by: richmondphil | March 12, 2009 4:03 PM | Report abuse

so i think we all agree that there are too many times where guys go after other guys after clean hard checks. wont repeal of the instigator rule make that more likely to happen? again, maybe i'm just being thick, but i dont see the big deal w/ the rule.

in fact, i think it might be more beneficial. if a guy like orr or ruutu gets running around, whats a bigger deterrent. that he might have to deal with brash right away, or that brash is on the other teams bench and would take his next opportunity to exact revenge on one of their skill guys? brash might not even be on the ice when those guys get to running around. seems to me i'd be more concerned about losing my skill guys...

Posted by: dcsportsfan1 | March 12, 2009 4:04 PM | Report abuse

I still don't understand what's wrong with "trying to hit as many people as he can in a shift to heat things up".

Posted by: spacecadetkid | March 12, 2009 4:02 PM

Is this supposed to be in defense of pests, and therefore in defense of the instigator?

There is no problem with that, until you take a cheapie.

Posted by: richmondphil | March 12, 2009 4:04 PM | Report abuse

gotcha

Posted by: _stevo | March 12, 2009 4:04 PM | Report abuse

in fact, i think it might be more beneficial. if a guy like orr or ruutu gets running around, whats a bigger deterrent. that he might have to deal with brash right away, or that brash is on the other teams bench and would take his next opportunity to exact revenge on one of their skill guys? brash might not even be on the ice when those guys get to running around. seems to me i'd be more concerned about losing my skill guys...

Posted by: dcsportsfan1 | March 12, 2009 4:04 PM

it has nothing to do with enforcers. If Ruutu takes a cheap shot on Ovie, then whoever is on the ice should come to Ovie's aid. Bottom line.

Once again, please distinguish between a clean check and a cheap shot.

Posted by: richmondphil | March 12, 2009 4:06 PM | Report abuse

stevo:
which quote were you talking about on the previous thread?

Posted by: --Boo-- | March 12, 2009 4:06 PM | Report abuse

how come not a single reporter wrote about Crosby not getting suspended after 1: jumping someone in the circle, and 2: punching someone in the head and groin that was already engaged in a fight? That isn't news? How was that brushed aside? those are a typical, no? Smack a red in the ahl get 20 games, jump people and ball smack and get a GQ/playgirl spread?

talk about double standards.

Posted by: oo7 | March 12, 2009 4:07 PM | Report abuse

@richmondphil,

Maybe we should just ban Bettman.

Posted by: oldtimehockey | March 12, 2009 4:07 PM | Report abuse

The purpose of the instigator rule is to protect a player or penalize someone for fighting an unwilling player. Let's say Green make a hit on Danny Briere and Hartnell doesn't like it so he drops the gloves and goes after Green. We all know Green doesnt fight but if Hartnell attacks him Green is probably going to fight back in an attempt to defend himself. Now both players are given 5 for fighting. Is that really fair to Green? If he didnt fight back he would probably get pummeled. So the instigator penalty should be given out to Hartnell to cancel out Greens fighting major. Situations like this give a perfect example as to the times when the instigator is necessary.

Posted by: CapsFan211 | March 12, 2009 4:08 PM | Report abuse

Notice no one came to green's aid after he got rocked by Pronger against the boards.

Lets say Pronger threw an elbow in there, if no one came to Green's aid then I would be pretty pissed off at my teammates. Oh wait, the instigator rule prevents that anyway.

Posted by: richmondphil | March 12, 2009 4:08 PM | Report abuse

However, god forbid Milan Jurcina makes one freaking mistake and Bruce decides to call him out in the press.

Posted by: cstanton1 | March 12, 2009 2:53 PM

When you see Schultz close his hand on the puck and throw it over the boards, be sure to let us know, K?

Posted by: Section117 | March 12, 2009 4:08 PM | Report abuse

Brashear is right. Accidents can happen in fighting... but they happen just as much in other aspects of the game. If Zednik had died last year, would the NHL have banned skates and we'd now be watching floor hockey?

Besides, their are much bigger problems to address in the NHL, like the terrible, uneven, and inconsistent officiating, or the awful marketing. A game with such a basis in physical play, so much so that fighting occurs on a regular basis, should be loved by Americans.

Posted by: Fatloui | March 12, 2009 4:08 PM | Report abuse

@boo

Danny Briere is returning to the Philadelphia lineup tonight because of "reduced swelling and less bleeding in his groin." - Philadelphia Inquirer


Posted by: _stevo | March 12, 2009 2:37 PM


this was in the article, thought it was kind of funny

Posted by: _stevo | March 12, 2009 4:09 PM | Report abuse

seems to me i'd be more concerned about losing my skill guys...

Posted by: dcsportsfan1 | March 12, 2009 4:04 PM

let me correct that. if i were an NHL hockey player i would be more concerned about my skill guys. in my current life, i would just assume not get beat up myself.

Posted by: dcsportsfan1 | March 12, 2009 4:10 PM | Report abuse

The purpose of the instigator rule is to protect a player or penalize someone for fighting an unwilling player. Let's say Green make a hit on Danny Briere and Hartnell doesn't like it so he drops the gloves and goes after Green. We all know Green doesnt fight but if Hartnell attacks him Green is probably going to fight back in an attempt to defend himself. Now both players are given 5 for fighting. Is that really fair to Green? If he didnt fight back he would probably get pummeled. So the instigator penalty should be given out to Hartnell to cancel out Greens fighting major. Situations like this give a perfect example as to the times when the instigator is necessary.

Posted by: CapsFan211 | March 12, 2009 4:08 PM

Now what is the problem with this hypothetical situation?

first off, green should not ever be taking a run at someone and if he does hit someone that warrants repercussions, then Green needs to man up and deal with it. Dont dish it if you cant take it.

Second off, Hartnell aint going to do anything because of the instigator and if he did it isnt going to be called anyway.


as i said, either ENFORCE the rule properly, or just get rid of it.

I for one, would just like them to get rid of it, though it will never happen.

Posted by: richmondphil | March 12, 2009 4:11 PM | Report abuse

cstanton, I don't know what games your watching, or how sober you are when you do, but to claim that brashear doesn't forecheck much anymore is assinine. the guy does it every shift he takes. hemight not have the legs he once had, but he does it anyway.

Posted by: oo7 | March 12, 2009 4:12 PM | Report abuse

Notice no one came to green's aid after he got rocked by Pronger against the boards.

Lets say Pronger threw an elbow in there, if no one came to Green's aid then I would be pretty pissed off at my teammates. Oh wait, the instigator rule prevents that anyway.

Posted by: richmondphil | March 12, 2009 4:08 PM

no one should have come after pronger, it was a clean hit. but if he did toss an elbow in there and someone went after him, i think that would be an instance where a ref might not implement the instigator rule taking into account (a) prongers actions and (b) that it's chris f*in pronger and he most likely deserves a beat down.

Posted by: dcsportsfan1 | March 12, 2009 4:14 PM | Report abuse

Hey, Pothier's on the Clear Day Roster for the Bears. I didn't think a guy on a conditioning stint and a one-way NHL contract could be on the clear roster. Anyone?

Posted by: oldtimehockey | March 12, 2009 4:14 PM | Report abuse

Brash is done...... he fights like every 8 or 10 games ( 9 all this year)
he goes entire games with o or 1 hIts cause he cant skate fast enough to catch anybody....1million plus is way too much for a washed up fighter with a bad knee
DONT RESIGN HIM!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: wendel2 | March 12, 2009 4:21 PM | Report abuse

The games The Caps lost vs. the Avs, Columbus, etc. were games where they plopped four guys on the blueline and we tried to skate through them - getting too 'fancy' as BB said - and the Caps absolutely stink when they do that. Yes, they are a finesse team and not a more physical team like the Flyers but the point of my reply was that if the Caps game plan vs. a four-man blue line is to dump-and-chase (which I believe is the correct tactic) then they have to do that...the entire game. What you've then got are two teams attempting to exert (impose seems to confuse people) their will (style seems to confuse folks). At some point something will break - the Caps score a goal a two after digging hard in the corners - and the other team will then have to change it's plan. No point in sitting in a trap when you're down 2-0. Or, the trapping team scores two and now we get Semin, AO, and everyone else trying to skate through the blue line. One team or the other will, by maintaining their play, force the other to respond. That's all I'm saying.

So, if the Flyers decide they want to trap or slash or fight or thug their way through a game, so be it. If the Caps want to dump and chase, dig out of the corner, and use their pucking moving/stick skills to win, you've got a match-up that'll need to be sorted. I'll try to simplify: if the Caps go into tonight's game and don't do the things they plan and the things they do well, and if they decide to retaliate and spend 24 minutes in the box...they will get slaughtered. Killed. If, on the other hand, they stick to the plan, work hard in the corners, make good passes, and stay out of the box, I think they'll win. That's what I meant by imposing a style of play. Get off the idea that because I think a team is more skills-based or finesse driven that I mean, in any way, that there won't be hard hits, battles in the corner, and dudes going down on the ice.

I'm not blind and I'm pretty sure the Laich, Feds, AO, Semin, Nicky, Bradley, Steckel, Fehr, and Flash hold their own - or better - when digging pucks out of the corner on the dump. Do they take hits? Sure. Does that mean they don't get the puck or that they aren't physical? Nope.

As a final comparison: if you had a choice, as a Caps fan, which would you prefer to see? Both teams with 8-10 minors or both teams with 2-3 minors?

Posted by: saintex | March 12, 2009 4:21 PM | Report abuse

Can anyone explain to me why you would have a problem with Bettman forcing regulated sized pads on goalies?

capsfan8?
anyone?

This is one of the better decisions he made.
Watch the Muffin Man's numbers dwindle next year!

Posted by: richmondphil | March 12, 2009 4:21 PM | Report abuse

bettman sucks

Posted by: daddy_axe | March 12, 2009 4:26 PM | Report abuse

richmondphil, why do you think of Kiprusoff as the muffin man? he's playing with the size allowed. it's not like he's Trevor Kidd. Am I missing something?

Posted by: oo7 | March 12, 2009 4:27 PM | Report abuse

Caps just signed Andrei "Dirty Naz" Nazarov to a one day contract.

He will skate on the Bradley - Gordon - "Dirty Naz" line.

He put a bounty on Riley Cote's head, and said he is ready to collect.

Posted by: SA-Town | March 12, 2009 4:28 PM | Report abuse

tons of goalies still use "illegal" pads, and maybe its just me, but Kip's pads look awfully big to me on TV.

Posted by: richmondphil | March 12, 2009 4:31 PM | Report abuse

And if bruce really emphasized a hardnosed approach in front of our net why is Jeff Schultz playing hockey for the Washington Capitals?

Posted by: cstanton1 | March 12, 2009 3:58 PM

I wish BB would come straight out and say exactly why he keeps playing Schultz, so instead of all the speculative debating, we could actually have an informed discussion over whether we agree with BB's actual rationale or not.

Posted by: capsfan26 | March 12, 2009 4:32 PM | Report abuse

Also, like i said, the real enforcements and goalie pad changes (long term changes) are supposed to go into effect 09-2010, next year.

Posted by: richmondphil | March 12, 2009 4:34 PM | Report abuse

I don't want to bash Schultz, because he is still pretty young, but he might as well just throw flowers at opposing forwards. Alzner will hopefully be taking his place.

Anyone notice how the flyers draft or trade for hulking forwards that can score and we get waifish players? Steckel is killing me. 6'5" of marshmellow. Can hardly stickhandle. how did he put up 30 in Hershey? At 26, is mngt expecting him to come around? what's going on there? other than a long reach and some faceoff skills, wtf?

Posted by: oo7 | March 12, 2009 4:40 PM | Report abuse

I don't want to bash Schultz, because he is still pretty young, but he might as well just throw flowers at opposing forwards.

Posted by: oo7 | March 12, 2009 4:40 PM

Harsh. Not wrong, and not unfunny, but harsh.

Posted by: capsfan26 | March 12, 2009 4:43 PM | Report abuse

Wendel, I understand why you don't like Brashear, because he is taking a roster spot that could go to Laing.

Brash is 3rd on the team with 119 hits, behind Ovechkin and Jurcina.

Guess who is averaging the most hits per minute played?

Brash is registering .23 hits per minute.
Jurcina is at .12 hits per minute.
Ovechkin is at .14 per minute.
Bradley is at .14 as well.

These are all different types of players, but Brash is averaging about 2 hits per game, in 8 minutes of ice time. It's fairly clear that he is throwing his body around pretty well.

Posted by: Jeff_ | March 12, 2009 4:48 PM | Report abuse

"I want to play devil's advocate here. Donald says that parents "should explain to their children that violence in the game is one thing and violence away from the game is another." I ask the question, though, how do you teach the values of sportsmanship when you have fighting in the game?"

If you put your children in martial arts you tell them not to throw 'throat chops' at school. If they play soccer you tell them not to slide tackle a guy carrying a book bag. It's about take personal responsibility for yourself and children. Something our society is seriously lacking.

Posted by: FLDave | March 12, 2009 4:52 PM | Report abuse

but dave, video games made me do it.

Posted by: richmondphil | March 12, 2009 4:57 PM | Report abuse

If you put your children in martial arts you tell them not to throw 'throat chops' at school. If they play soccer you tell them not to slide tackle a guy carrying a book bag. It's about take personal responsibility for yourself and children. Something our society is seriously lacking.

Posted by: FLDave | March 12, 2009 4:52 PM

Exactly.

Posted by: capsfan26 | March 12, 2009 4:58 PM | Report abuse

"Randinno seems to have a great grasp on his own shortcomings!

Posted by: cstanton1 | March 12, 2009 4:01 PM "

@cstanton1
I am not here to defend ranndino, but you make his point more affirmative by your post. It is obvious you read my post and not his, your spelling gave you away, so your comment seems empty.

@Ranndino,
my apologies for misspelling your name.

Posted by: opita1 | March 12, 2009 4:59 PM | Report abuse

caps recall giroux. is that his brother who plays for philly?

Posted by: dcsportsfan1 | March 12, 2009 5:06 PM | Report abuse

caps recall giroux. is that his brother who plays for philly?

Posted by: dcsportsfan1 | March 12, 2009 5:06 PM

I WISH.

Claude is going to be SO good.

Posted by: richmondphil | March 12, 2009 5:08 PM | Report abuse

The only sensible rationale for not making the rules completely intolerant of any fighting at all is just that players in any sport will occasionally get mad at their opponents, and in a sport where everyone carries a weapon, it's wise to in some sense tolerate the dropping of those weapons before any violence starts.

It's common for teams to insist that some especially talented players not fight, for fear that they will hurt their hands or other parts, no matter how angry they get. These players' anger can be assuaged only by the team sending out a fighter-type to fight someone on the other team. This is often the genesis of so-called "staged fights."

So, really, the same rationale that supports tolerance of fighting in general really supports tolerance of staged fighting as well.

Harshly penalizing staged fighting will (a) result in fighters taking acting lessons and learning how to make a fight seem unstaged (for example, two fighters who know that it's come time to fight one another because of what has gone on in the game will tacitly agree to just start a yelling match beforehand so it won't seem "staged"); and/or (b) make it more likely that those talented players whose teams don't want them fighting will use their sticks as weapons.

I feel the NHL would like to stop those staged fights that are staged only with the intent of changing the momentum in the game, or that are staged between two fighters just for the fun or it. That would be wonderful if there were some way of distinguishing those from fights where the fighter is staging a fight in response to a talented non-fighter's anger, but there really isn't.

So, I think the idea of cracking down on staged fighting is shortsighted and misguided.

Posted by: youaresquishy | March 12, 2009 5:28 PM | Report abuse

However, god forbid Milan Jurcina makes one freaking mistake and Bruce decides to call him out in the press.

Posted by: cstanton1 | March 12, 2009 2:53 PM

When you see Schultz close his hand on the puck and throw it over the boards, be sure to let us know, K?

Posted by: Section117 | March 12, 2009 4:08 PM


lmao!
Yep you're right Sect117, Schultz NEVER does anything that resembles that. I mean its not like he ever just stands around while forwards skate around him, or he never bumps his own goalie over or sets the perfect screen on his own goalie. Get a clue.

Posted by: cstanton1 | March 12, 2009 5:34 PM | Report abuse

@jeff where are u quoting those stats from?

Posted by: wendel2 | March 12, 2009 5:35 PM | Report abuse

i agree with cstanton, the late game rule is rediculous, but i understand why its there. there was a game a few years ago when sutton from atl tried to elbow green late in the game. someone on the caps went after him. the late game instigator penalty was not called because, frankly, it was justified and not a typical late game message sending fight the rule was intended to prevent.


Posted by: dcsportsfan1 | March 12, 2009 3:51 PM

And to add, if McPhee's own personal ideas about these rule changes get implemented, then Brashear, Sutherby and a few other Caps would have faced suspensions in the aftermath of the Atl game.

Posted by: cstanton1 | March 12, 2009 5:35 PM | Report abuse

The purpose of the instigator rule is to protect a player or penalize someone for fighting an unwilling player. Let's say Green make a hit on Danny Briere and Hartnell doesn't like it so he drops the gloves and goes after Green. We all know Green doesnt fight but if Hartnell attacks him Green is probably going to fight back in an attempt to defend himself. Now both players are given 5 for fighting. Is that really fair to Green? If he didnt fight back he would probably get pummeled. So the instigator penalty should be given out to Hartnell to cancel out Greens fighting major. Situations like this give a perfect example as to the times when the instigator is necessary.

Posted by: CapsFan211 | March 12, 2009 4:08 PM


Actually the way the rules used to be implemented prior to the instigator rule was that the player who started the fight would get a roughing minor on top of his fighting major. So still a PP for the caps in that situation, but not a misconduct penalty for Hartnell and nothing accumulating towards a suspension.

Posted by: cstanton1 | March 12, 2009 5:37 PM | Report abuse

Get a clue.

Posted by: cstanton1 | March 12, 2009 5:34 PM

Dude, YOU are using an incident that Jurcina did and trying to use it as part of a larger agenda, when apparently YOU forget what Jurcina did during that Montreal game?

But whatever. To quote the owner, "We wouldn’t want facts to ever get in the way of fans’ opinions though, would we?"

Posted by: Section117 | March 12, 2009 5:38 PM | Report abuse

cstanton, I don't know what games your watching, or how sober you are when you do, but to claim that brashear doesn't forecheck much anymore is assinine. the guy does it every shift he takes. hemight not have the legs he once had, but he does it anyway.

Posted by: oo7 | March 12, 2009 4:12 PM


yeah ok, you made a great case, i believe you. Don't let your Brashear love cloud reality. TRYING to forecheck and actually doing it effectively are not the same thing. He's one of the slowest if not the slowest skating forward in the NHL. Even Boogaard with his slow behemothness gets in on the forecheck more effectively which is why he ends up upsetting other teams so much with big hits deep in the zone against the opposition.

I like Brashear but a great forechecker he is not, sorry.

Posted by: cstanton1 | March 12, 2009 5:40 PM | Report abuse

Dude, YOU are using an incident that Jurcina did and trying to use it as part of a larger agenda, when apparently YOU forget what Jurcina did during that Montreal game?

But whatever. To quote the owner, "We wouldn’t want facts to ever get in the way of fans’ opinions though, would we?"

Posted by: Section117 | March 12, 2009 5:38 PM

No, I just weigh the benefits that Jurcina brings to the table and put them against what Schultz does, no contest.

Posted by: cstanton1 | March 12, 2009 5:40 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: richmondphil | March 12, 2009 5:42 PM | Report abuse

"Randinno seems to have a great grasp on his own shortcomings!

Posted by: cstanton1 | March 12, 2009 4:01 PM "

@cstanton1
I am not here to defend ranndino, but you make his point more affirmative by your post. It is obvious you read my post and not his, your spelling gave you away, so your comment seems empty.


my spelling "gave me away" ? Nothing gave me away, I wasn't pretending I read anything but your post Opita. Sorry, Randinno just gets in everyone's face if they god forbid criticize anything the Caps GM, coach or any player does. I have a problem with that. You can't critique without being called a "troll". He has the analysis skills of a 10 yr old.

Posted by: cstanton1 | March 12, 2009 5:43 PM | Report abuse

They want to stop people fighting after a clean hit? I agree, but who decides if the hit was clean or dirty? Players don't usually fight if the offending player was penalized by the refs, other than some boarding calls. If no penalty was called, the refs obviously do not think the hit was dirty or they would have called a roughing, elbowing, kneeing, charging, or boarding penalty.

Posted by: Padow1 | March 12, 2009 5:44 PM | Report abuse

players know if it was dirty padow.

Posted by: richmondphil | March 12, 2009 5:47 PM | Report abuse

oo7 "remove the instigator rule and the game will clean up pronto. with the rule, we get Ruutu and his suspendable hits. Without the rule, weber a tame Ruutu. "

you mean you had no dirty hits before the instigator rule came about? I didn't know that. You must not have watched hockey very much then. Dirty hits haven't increased at all, in fact they've decreased. Anyone here who has watched hockey closely for the past 20+ years should be able to attest to that. Dirty hits were plentiful in the pre-instigator era. Taking it out now won't "clean up the game". It will just make it easier for our favorite pests to get the snot beaten out of them. Which I really am looking forward to actually.

Posted by: cstanton1 | March 12, 2009 5:48 PM | Report abuse

And if bruce really emphasized a hardnosed approach in front of our net why is Jeff Schultz playing hockey for the Washington Capitals?

Posted by: cstanton1 | March 12, 2009 3:58 PM

I wish BB would come straight out and say exactly why he keeps playing Schultz, so instead of all the speculative debating, we could actually have an informed discussion over whether we agree with BB's actual rationale or not.

Posted by: capsfan26 | March 12, 2009 4:32 PM

I would welcome that, and I agree. It would be a lot easier to have an informed discussion after hearing exactly what about Schultz's game makes him so invaluable to our lineup. I for one have never seen a dropoff in play when #55 is on the DL. Has anyone else?

Posted by: cstanton1 | March 12, 2009 5:50 PM | Report abuse

No, I just weigh the benefits that Jurcina brings to the table and put them against what Schultz does, no contest.

Posted by: cstanton1 | March 12, 2009 5:40 PM


Good luck with that.

Posted by: Section117 | March 12, 2009 5:50 PM | Report abuse

@richmndphil - Kipper's pads just look bigger because TV adds 10 lbs.

Posted by: ds_kelly | March 12, 2009 5:51 PM | Report abuse

Another well informed astute commentary via Section117. Well done! Maybe you'll get your wish and Schultz's ice time will increase to over 30 mins a game. They oughta just hand us over the Cup at that point eh!

Posted by: cstanton1 | March 12, 2009 5:52 PM | Report abuse

Another well informed astute commentary via Section117. Well done! Maybe you'll get your wish and Schultz's ice time will increase to over 30 mins a game. They oughta just hand us over the Cup at that point eh!

Posted by: cstanton1 | March 12, 2009 5:52 PM

Hey, I'm just wishing you well, but if you want commentary...

http://www.japersrink.com/2009/3/10/782480/defending-sarge-from-the-s#comments

Oh but wait, that quotes STATS! But you go ahead and pine for the days of Franceschetti, and continue to turkey call anyone who wears the number 55.

Peace.

Posted by: Section117 | March 12, 2009 5:57 PM | Report abuse

No one likes Jeff Powderpuff Schultz. Boudreau has to play him because McPhee drafted him. You'll never get him to admit that. Has Boudreau ever said anything complimentary about Schultz? when he's outtie the lineup you never hear the coach say o man i wish we had that beanpole Schultzie back in here, we need him bad! he said that about poti but not js

Posted by: maven1918 | March 12, 2009 5:59 PM | Report abuse

Oh but wait, that quotes STATS! But you go ahead and pine for the days of Franceschetti, and continue to turkey call anyone who wears the number 55.

Peace.

Posted by: Section117 | March 12, 2009 5:57 PM


Oh you're one of those "stat" fans. Got it! Usually thats a sign for not being able to think for yourself.

Posted by: cstanton1 | March 12, 2009 6:02 PM | Report abuse

@saintex:

Well said. You have to be ready to hit against an aggressive team, you have to be ready to check tightly against a skilled/fast team, but you have to stay within yourself and play to your strengths.

I'm not too worried about the Caps though.. they're very much like early version of Red Wings in the 90s.. it takes experience/maturity to convert pure skill into efficiency.

Posted by: VladG | March 12, 2009 6:16 PM | Report abuse

cstanton-
yeah, about 20 years. the rules have changed, and now they call elbows, slashes, whacks and grabbing. Taking out the instigator, while continuing to make the proper calls, which happens less at caps games lately, will clean up those players who laugh when they dish out cheap shots, like Ruutu.

I have no problem with you having opinions, and we all know the saying, but you keep making absolute statements, and by definition those have issues attached. Brash is the slowest in the league and only tries to forcheck? come on.

as for stats and schultz, he gets paired with green, makes one easy pas to mikey, ovie backs and whomever take care of the rest and he gets a +. many of the goals against he is responsible for. We shouldn't complain too much about + players but we should also ackowledge why they are pluses. Its not because Schultz is doing a lot right.

Posted by: oo7 | March 12, 2009 6:37 PM | Report abuse

The purpose of the instigator rule is to protect a player or penalize someone for fighting an unwilling player. Let's say Green make a hit on Danny Briere and Hartnell doesn't like it so he drops the gloves and goes after Green. We all know Green doesnt fight but if Hartnell attacks him Green is probably going to fight back in an attempt to defend himself. Now both players are given 5 for fighting. Is that really fair to Green? If he didnt fight back he would probably get pummeled. So the instigator penalty should be given out to Hartnell to cancel out Greens fighting major. Situations like this give a perfect example as to the times when the instigator is necessary.

Posted by: CapsFan211 | March 12, 2009 4:08 PM

Now what is the problem with this hypothetical situation?

first off, green should not ever be taking a run at someone and if he does hit someone that warrants repercussions, then Green needs to man up and deal with it. Dont dish it if you cant take it.

Second off, Hartnell aint going to do anything because of the instigator and if he did it isnt going to be called anyway.


as i said, either ENFORCE the rule properly, or just get rid of it.

I for one, would just like them to get rid of it, though it will never happen.

Posted by: richmondphil | March 12, 2009 4:11 PM

I see your point but you're missing the concept. "Green should have to man up". Why should Green be forced into a fight for a clean hit? Brian Burke made several comments regarding the fact that a player can't make a clean hit anymore with out being dragged into a brawl. I think the instigator if properly enforced would help eliminate that. the main issue today is that the penalty is misconstrued by a good chunk of the officials.

Posted by: CapsFan211 | March 12, 2009 9:32 PM | Report abuse

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