Nothing irks me more than abuse. As in women abuse, elderly abuse, child abuse. When it comes to hockey, very little gets more on my nerves than seeing accountability and fear of retribution gone from the game that I’ve loved for 5 decades. Today’s players know that they can drive the net hard and will have to suffer little to no consequences. Chris Kreider took Carey Price out a few years ago, Derek Grant almost did the same last night… and no one on the Habs batted an eye, except Price himself.
“Oh but he was pushed in by Xavier Ouellet“, I’ve heard. Yes, yes he was. But unless you’re new to hockey, ask yourself something: What would have John Ferguson done if someone did that to Lorne “Gump” Worsley, Charlie Hodge or Rogatien Vachon? What would have Chris “Knuckles” Nilan done had someone with a 30 year-old fourth liner with a career 70 points had done that to Ken Dryden? I wonder what Tie Domi would have done had he done that to Felix Potvin or Curtis Joseph? Yes, even if “pushed in” as Grant was…
It pains me to even think of what would have happened had Price been seriously injured again, and needed surgery for this COVID Cup, this sideshow by the NHL. The one player on the ice that showed the most passion about it was… Price himself! Only in today’s NHL is it deemed as ‘right’ or ‘okay’ to see your goaltender having to defend himself like that.
Look at what Max Domi, the son of a man, a real man who defended his teammates, did when Farabee went to the net hard at Price. Now THAT’S HOCKEY!
When there are actions like this happening, someone on the team has to step up but who’s going to do it? “Do you take a stupid penalty for that?”, someone asked me on Twitter last night. Darn right you do. What’s worse? Killing a penalty or losing your best player for the playoffs and possibly next season? Haven’t we suffered enough of it? Is our memory that short? Asking the question is answering it, as far as I’m concerned.
A Nice Little Team
I’m so tired of this figure-skating with sticks, rats and non-hockey people running the show! “Oh we will enforce discipline on the ice with tighter refereeing and stricter discipline“, said the NHL when they changed to Instigator Rule. Truth is: they didn’t, they can’t and they won’t to do it! Why? It’s impossible to do and there’s a lack of willingness to do so.
Just like it wasn’t Larry Robinson or any other member of the Big Three’s job to pound the face of opponents trying to take liberties, it’s not Shea Weber, Jeff Petry or even Ben Chiarot‘s job to do so. They play too important of minutes to be lost for 5-10-17 minutes in a game. And you can’t ask Paul Byron to do it either, nor can you expect it from other players in his mold.
But where are today’s version of the Habs’ Ferguson and Nilan? Where are the Mario Tremblay, Doug Risebrough, Pierre Bouchard or Gilles Lupien? Those were not goons, they were hockey players who had their teammates at heart.
The Canadiens form a very pretty and little team. Can they ever skate I tell you. But do whatever you want to them, they’ll throw water balloons at you as they don’t have the weapons to go to war. Go Habs Go!