Do The Thrashers Have Large Talons?

Friday, February 08, 2008

Old School Payback?

I grew up watching old school Norris Division hockey where every Blackhawks-Wings game featured at least one fight and many took 4 hours to play because of all the extra curricular activities. I'm not really a big fan of fighting--I never go to but I am a fan of toughness.

Last night I saw a free hit on the Thrashers best player Ilya Kovalchuk. Yes Todd White jumped on him immediately (kudos to White) but does anyone really think that other players around the league are going to think twice about running Kovalchuk if Todd White is the biggest thing they have to worry about?

This gratuitous hit came in Kovalchuk's game in the first game back in the NHL after he was hit late by Ruutu of the Penguins. Again someone jumped on Ruutu (McCarthy) but is that going to stop future hits on Ilya? No.

I'm old fashioned. When someone takes a free shot at your best player that means someone on your team MUST take the same shot at THEIR best player. Once you do the other coach says "OK guys calm down we can't afford to lose Malkin or Luongo for a month"

I don't want to put too fine a point on it but here's how it works. Vancouver player hits Kovalchuk away from the puck and sends him into the boards. On their next shift Larsen or Slater (he losses his balance easily anyway) busts down the ice and skates directly into Luongo full speed. Message sent.

Will he be tossed from the game? Likely. Can the Thrashers win without Larsen, Slater or Boulton the rest of the game--yes they can. Can the Thrashers win if Kovalchuk gets hurt from another cheap shot--no, not over the long haul. Men of the checking lines--time to step up and do what needs to be done. I'm not an advocate of goon hockey, but I will say that a little of goonery can go a long way.

While I'm calling people out I think it also time time for Don Waddell to stand up after a game and say something that will get him fined. How about saying "the next time a guy takes a free shot at Ilya we're going after that team's best player!" Will it cost Don a $50,000 fine? Yes. Will the message get sent around the league? Absolutely. It will replayed on NHL On The Fly and in the pre-game show of every visiting team. Is it worth $50,000 for the organization to send that message that their $6,389,000-a-year top player is not fair game--yes it is. Besides they can just give DW a bonus at the end of the year.


  • Right on! I think you hit it right on the head. I also think Holik needs to step up once in a while and put that beautiful mug of his in some opponent's face and say, "Somone is gonna pay for that." Then he needs to throw his Captaincy around and send someone to do the job in the next 30 seconds. Lessons are best learned soon after the infraction.

    By Blogger diegohall, at 3:17 PM  

  • I am also a long time fan. Our Atl. Flames were in the James Patrick division with the Capitals, Rangers, Islanders and Broad Street Bullies. And I agree that we probably averaged one fight per game, and maybe more back then. Being in the same division with the Flyers was a real treat for guys that like rough play. Unlike you Falconer, I am a fan of fighting. Fighting should in no way be the focus of a game, but it is an enjoyable side benefit. To be successful you almost must play with a very physical edge. As young boys most of us remember that in any contest, be it a sports event, or the even going after the girl you wish to date, physical intimidation makes the route much easier. A good example is in the 07 playoffs between Anaheim & Detroit the camera & mich. caught Cory Perry telling Pavel Datysuk in a very threatening tone "we're going to get you Pavel". The bottom line is in hockey if you can truely intimidate your opponent, the job is half completed.
    The unspoken code is that your fighter goes against the other teams fighter, not their star player. So I would have to agree that if anyone takes a run at Kovy, it is time to hit Luongo and hit him hard. Knocking Ryan Miller out of the game was a good example. Do not intend to injure. But make sure that it hurts!

    Although it may be near the bottom of the "to do" list this summer, I hope that we are able to pick up a Parros/ Brashear/ Hordichuk type player. It is necessary.

    By Blogger Tween the Pipes, at 4:02 PM  

  • The joke is on me!
    30+ years can sometime make facts a little fuzzy.

    I intended to say "Lester Patrick" division not James.

    By Blogger Tween the Pipes, at 1:27 PM  

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