FanDuel - WFBC

February 23, 2007

The "old NHL" lives on.: Two of the most skilled teams in the league went at it Broad-Street-Bullies-style last night. After a questionable late hit to Chris Drury, all hell broke loose. Senators goalie Ray Emery, back from a 3-game suspension, celebrated by fighting Sabres keeper Martin Biron and enforcer Andrew Peters. Does the NHL need more or less of this?

posted by qbert72 to hockey at 02:20 PM - 59 comments

Old-time hockey.

posted by igottheblues at 02:47 PM on February 23

That was awesome. Man I love hockey.

posted by emoeby at 03:01 PM on February 23

Apparently a debate is raging on between Canadian analysts as to whether Andrew Peters broke the code by going after goalie Emery. On a related noted, Peters scored his third career goal earlier this week. He was awarded the third star in honor of this rare feat.

posted by qbert72 at 03:15 PM on February 23

I love this time of year when the games really start to mean something. GOd help my Rangers...if the fighting can bring more fans to the game, i'm totally cool with it.

posted by NYRBeeker16 at 03:18 PM on February 23

Well, Emery put a pretty good lickin' on Biron, but it was over by the time Peters came in. I guess he wasn't getting any satisfaction beating up on Heatley and Spezza. Does the NHL need more or less of this? Neither.

posted by Amateur at 03:48 PM on February 23

I generally think fighting in hockey is silly, but if you're going to do it, go all the way. I suppose the coaches could have actually jumped on the ice, instead of just screaming at each other from the ends of their benches, but otherwise, this pretty much defines 'all the way'. The smile on Ray Emery's face as he got ready to fight was awesome, by the way.

posted by tieguy at 03:48 PM on February 23

I love the broadcasters. "Biron is down and helpless and right now Ray Emery can absolutely murder him. If Biron is smart he'll stop throwing punches. Emery's trying to help him back up so he can pump him some more." "What an unfair fight this is." "For who?" "Is there anything better ... than a good goaltending fight?" "Well, it wasn't good for Martin Biron." By the way, I thought it was a dirty hit in real time, and would have reacted as such. But, on replay, it looks like a clean hit.

posted by SummersEve at 04:30 PM on February 23

Clean hit by the letter of the law, but still very much a head-hunting (and close to being late). I think that with the armour these guys have on now - these shoulders pads are lightweight, yet hit like a freight train - the NHL needs to take a look at maybe limiting some of this equipment. The NHL needs the Drurys of the world a tad more than it needs the Neils. But nothing wrong with the fisticuffs that ensued. Not bad for two supposed finesse teams.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 04:46 PM on February 23

I'm torn on this. On the plus side, it was a hell of a fight and very entertaining. On the negative side, I've always found it somewhat reprehensible that an activity that is grounds for suspension or banning in most other sports is, let's face it, encouraged in hockey. The crowd reaction is what scares me. Baying for blood like they're watching Lions vs Christians on PPV...

posted by Drood at 04:46 PM on February 23

It wasn't a clean hit. The puck was away for a good two seconds, and Neil went after Drury's head. Completely unnecessary, and it shows what a cheap-shit thug Chris Neil is. There are two ways to end this sort of thing. Either a) hand out suspensions in the area of five to 10 games for this sort of headhunting or b) don't complain when Buffalo sends out the goon squad to try and maul one of your own top players. Brian Murray needs to STFU and think about whether he wants to try and make it through the playoffs without one of his top players when Spezza, Heatley or Alfredsson takes a cheap shot in retaliation for Neil's stupidity. I doubt he does, and he's the one who can rein in his idiot. Me, I'd like to see the Sabres call up some guy from the lowest level of their system and tell him, "We'll make sure you're looked after financially. Go out and breaking your fucking stick across neil's teeth." And I don't want to hear any of that "Two wrongs don't make a right" crap -- I consider this like putting out traps to get rid of rats.

posted by wfrazerjr at 04:59 PM on February 23

Cheap shot, for sure. I'm all for laying the body, but don't try to cripple the guy. As far as the fight, awesome. Sorry, Drood, but that's old-time hockey. Peters missed the Gordie Howe Hat Trick by an assist. Emery's smirk was sweet, by the way. This reminds me of the old Wings-Avs fights of last decade.

posted by wingnut4life at 05:03 PM on February 23

The puck was away for a good two seconds, and Neil went after Drury's head. Well, in slow motion it might have seemed like two seconds, but I'm betting it was closer to a second. If Neil simply checked Drury in the chest with his shoulder and knocked him 6 feet backwards, it would have been perfectly okay in my books. However, it is quite obvious that he went for Drury's head and was trying to injure, not knock down, his man. I'm not sure I agree with Ruff's reaction by sending out the goon squad against the Senators but if you simply end up with 12 guys with sore knuckles and bruised chins, it's a better result than having one player take the matter into his own hands and go "Todd Bertuzzi" on Neil in the next game. BTW, this may be the first time I've wished for a Senators game on the main CBC Saturday night broadcast instead of the Leaf game. I guess I'll have to catch all the "highlights" later that night. "We'll make sure you're looked after financially. Go out and breaking your fucking stick across neil's teeth." And I don't want to hear any of that "Two wrongs don't make a right" crap -- I consider this like putting out traps to get rid of rats. So I'm guessing you were "pro-Bertuzzi" for what he did a couple of years ago, because that's almost exactly what you are condoning in that sentence...

posted by grum@work at 05:09 PM on February 23

I believe the definition of body-checking should not include the head. Period.

posted by garfield at 05:22 PM on February 23

So I'm guessing you were "pro-Bertuzzi" for what he did a couple of years ago, because that's almost exactly what you are condoning in that sentence... You know I wasn't. But I would have advocated exactly the same fate for Bertuzzi. If the NHL won't get rid of these guys, perhaps it's incumbent upon the teams themselves to do it. You end up with a round-robin knockout of all the idiots, and we move on from there. Mike Hogan of The FAN 590 in Toronto said this morning something I brought up in the Bertuzzi assault -- if Neil is suspended, where will the NHLPA side? Will they appeal the suspension for Neil, or will they try to protect the injured player, as they failed to do for Steve Moore?

posted by wfrazerjr at 05:42 PM on February 23

Watch Drury. He stands straight up after making the pass. If he's in a more naturally protective position, it probably doesn't appear as nasty. The puck isn't gone for full second, MAYBE a full second at most, so he's still fair game. I really do think it's a good, hard hit. He does an excellent job of getting position and then getting his weight into it. The result sucks, but that's the game. I do not like Ruff. He's one of those guys that you love if he's with your team but can't stand otherwise. But I agree with his response, mainly because it's a key game in setting up the playoffs. By the way, this was a great game too. So many times the goonery happens once the games out of hand. Crossing my fingers for a seven-game series between these two. Edit: I can not see this warranting a suspension. They've taken enough of the physicality out of the game. Sucks someone got hurt, but injury doesn't mean there should be a suspension.

posted by SummersEve at 06:11 PM on February 23

Emery was a golden gloves boxer in his youth so he can take care of himself. The thing that should bother Sens fans is that no one came to his defence when Peters went after him. What did Murray think Ruff was going to do on the next shift? He is an idiot for sending out 3 of his top skill players when he knows Buffalo's tough guys are coming out. Senators are a gifted talented team that will be gone in the first round again.

posted by GOD at 06:52 PM on February 23

I would have advocated exactly the same fate for Bertuzzi. Hmmm, I think you completely missed grum's analogy, here. Chris Neil = Steve Moore, i.e. the marginal player who goes for a big hit on a star player, with a very believable intention to injure the other guy. Bertuzzi, then, is the team guy exacting vengeance, just like you want it. And therein lies the big problem with an eye for an eye. The interested parties never agree on the count.

posted by qbert72 at 07:24 PM on February 23

I don't think the hit itself was a illegal hit, but it was too long (in hockey time) after Drury had gotten rid of the puck. That being said, it was fun to watch (I had the game on TV). Ottawa's players just standing around as spectators while Andrew Peters goes after their goalie was kind of distrurbing, though. How can they all just stand there and let that happen (regardless of how tough Emery may be)?

posted by dyams at 07:58 PM on February 23

Also, wfrazerjr, weren't you the one saying not long ago that: Those shifts have made no-tool Neanderthals such as Downey a vanishing breed in NHL arenas, and it's no big loss. So no-tool Neanderthals such as Andrew Peters are only OK if they get to paste a Chris Neil once in a while. Well, that's always been their only use: protect star players from thugs. So we're back to square one.

posted by qbert72 at 08:05 PM on February 23

If there has to be the occasional brawl in hockey, lord, let it be like that. And I'm with everyone who loved the look on Emery's face just before he jumped in. It was like a part of him had been waiting for this moment his whole life. It's a shame he had nothing left after Biron, but throwing haymakers in full equipment, especially if you've never done it before, will wear you out fast. He won't have to pay for a drink in Ottawa for the next couple of months. As far as the hit on Drury, it may have been legal, but it wasn't right. I like the idea of making any shot to the head, even accidental ones, a major (or more) penalty. They upped the price for accidental stickwork, and now people are paying way more attention to where their sticks are. This is no different. If you're going to hit someone, pay attention to where their head is, and stay away from it. This rule works fine in football; it should pass easily in the NHL, especially if Drury's out for any length of time.

posted by chicobangs at 09:04 PM on February 23

This doesn't add much to the discussion but still Pics (and videos) of some other clashes between goalies.

posted by ucsdlafan at 09:29 PM on February 23

Chris Neil = Steve Moore, i.e. the marginal player who goes for a big hit on a star player, with a very believable intention to injure the other guy. Except I don't buy that analogy. I didn't see Steve Moore's hit as a blatant, out-and-out intent to injure shot. He didn't go out of his way to try and hurt Marcus Naslund; Moore hit Naslund while Naslund was in an awkward position. Neil went headhunting. If a guy (Moore) trashes your guy, you send out your fighter and they go at it. That's where it should have ended in the Bertuzzi incident, but it didn't. If a guy (Neil) deliberately intends to injure your player and goes well out of his way to do so, by all means, take his ass out with all prejudice if the league is not willing to do so. So no-tool Neanderthals such as Andrew Peters are only OK if they get to paste a Chris Neil once in a while. Exactly. I'm advocating this as a way to slowly but surely drive all the Chris Neils out of the league with head injuries caused from having them lodge their sticks in one another's skulls. What's the loss?

posted by wfrazerjr at 10:34 PM on February 23

As far as the hit on Drury, it may have been legal, but it wasn't right. I like the idea of making any shot to the head, even accidental ones, a major (or more) penalty. Except I don' think he hit Drury in the head with his elbow. It was Drury hitting his head on the ice from being hit which caused the injury.

posted by jmd82 at 10:39 PM on February 23

I think that with the armour these guys have on now - these shoulders pads are lightweight, yet hit like a freight train - the NHL needs to take a look at maybe limiting some of this equipment. maybe the NHL also need to make players actually strap their helmets on so they don't fly off before their heads hit the ice. yes, i'm talking to you, petr prucha.

posted by goddam at 10:50 PM on February 23

Excellent point, goddam. To make it work, they'd need some form of "illegal equipment" penalty that the opposing team can call on a player, much like the illegal stick. They'd have to measure the (usually gaping) space between the strap and the chin.

posted by qbert72 at 11:05 PM on February 23

What did Murray think Ruff was going to do on the next shift? He is an idiot for sending out 3 of his top skill players when he knows Buffalo's tough guys are coming out. Well, Ruff had the last change as the game was in Buffalo. I agree that Murray was negligent in not sending out at least one tough guy (other than Emery), but Ruff saw the opportunity and played his move right then. I didn't see Steve Moore's hit as a blatant, out-and-out intent to injure shot. Oh, yes he did. He DELIBERATELY went after Naslund's head with his elbow/arm. It wasn't a check to knock the man off the puck, it was a check to knock him out. Just watch this clip at the 20 second mark. He doesn't even bother to properly play the puck that is coming right to him, just so he can get the dirty shot in on Naslund. Except I don' think he hit Drury in the head with his elbow. It was Drury hitting his head on the ice from being hit which caused the injury. The contact was to the head with the shoulder, which knocked the helmet off the head (and it broke/snapped the strap as previous video shows it done up). What makes it dirty is that Neil crouches a bit and then leaps UP to catch Drury in the head with his shoulder. Ottawa's players just standing around as spectators while Andrew Peters goes after their goalie was kind of distrurbing, though. How can they all just stand there and let that happen (regardless of how tough Emery may be)? Probably because Ottawa is a bunch of pussies? /Leaf fan represents

posted by grum@work at 11:22 PM on February 23

The crowd reaction is what scares me. Baying for blood like they're watching Lions vs Christians on PPV... Count me in for that behavior if I was there, that was fun to watch.

posted by danjel at 06:12 AM on February 24

Jeff Kugel makes me laugh.

posted by The_Black_Hand at 07:23 AM on February 24

The NHL tried to take the fighting out of the game several years ago. They found out that they'd really rather have the players beating each other with fists than carving each other up with sticks. Hockey is a very agressive game, and fighting is an integral part of it. People who don't know the game think that the fighting is what makes the game, rather than the speed which the puck travels and how fast the players can skate compared to how fast a football or basketball player can run. Television also does not do hockey justice.

posted by TXGLFR at 07:43 AM on February 24

I like the idea of making any shot to the head, even accidental ones, a major (or more) penalty. No way. I could not disagree more. It sounds great on the surface, but then every single hit will be investigated to see if there was any chance that maybe the head was touched. Hockey moves too fast in too many different directions to do this. Football, the movement is more uniform since the ball's intended to only go one direction and the plays are only short bursts. Plus, all you would do is take out another level of hitting. Take for example the boarding calls that have been taken to an extreme. They've not only decreased hits along the boards, but they've had another negative effect. You already have guys setting themselves up a foot from the glass in hopes of drawing a boarding call. Used to be you got up against the glass to protect yourself from a potential hit. But now the reward is a power play, and a possible double minor or even a major. So by increasing the penalty, you're increased players putting themselves in a dangerous situation. You'll have guys leading with their heads. And then if a player is 6'3" and he hits a guy who's 5'9", he's going to get a suspension because his shoulder is at the other guy's head. That's not to say there shouldn't be rules to protect the head, or rules to protect players against the boards. But let's stop over-legislating this game and have coaches teach players to be in safer situations. Like don't stand straight up and relax while setting up a play in front of the other teams net. Also, we need to understand that, unfortunately, people are going to get hurt playing this game. There are already rules that can be applied, we don't need any more. Not to mention, like jmd said, the head bouncing off the ice did the damage. I keep watching the clip, and I just don't see this being dirty. He gets position in front of Drury and then lays the shoulder a beat after the puck is off Drury's stick.

posted by SummersEve at 07:57 AM on February 24

Am I a complete goon for wishing the third-man in penalty had never been enacted? I suppose the fact it happened to coincide with the death of the Boston Bruins made it seem worse to me than it was, but it took some significant piece of enjoyment out of hockey for me. Yeah, I am a goon after reading that.

posted by yerfatma at 09:12 AM on February 24

Upon review: count me as a Ray Emery fan from now on and a fan of those announcers. If Comcast's Vs network had any sense, the rematch would be on today.

posted by yerfatma at 09:21 AM on February 24

He DELIBERATELY went after Naslund's head with his elbow/arm. It wasn't a check to knock the man off the puck, it was a check to knock him out. Jesus, it's not even close to that. Moore chips the puck away from Naslund, back presumably toward his own defense, then hits Naslund with a hip as he goes by. No elbow, no nothing. If he did, where's the follow through? Hell, he could have absolutely demolished Naslund if he had wanted. Moore didn't even step into him. I'd never spent any amount of time rolling that "incident" back and forth. If that's what got Todd Bertuzzi and the Canucks upset, it makes the reaction even more ridiculous than it already was.

posted by wfrazerjr at 09:43 AM on February 24

This was GREAT. It is old time hockey. Fightting is allowed, because it has been a part of the game forever AND the fans cant easily get involved. Does anyone remember the phily fan that took on tie domi when he was in the sin bin? Has that guy came out of the coma yet? I would pick a fight with an NFL player before a NHL player. Especially one of the enforcers.

posted by vipers-pit at 10:24 AM on February 24

then hits Naslund with a hip as he goes by. No elbow, no nothing. If he did, where's the follow through? Hip? Maybe if you think his arm grows out of his groin. It's his elbow that catches him in the side of the head. And his elbow DOES follow through, you can see it move away from his body after he made contact, indicating that he was moving the elbow towards Naslund's head Moore chips the puck away from Naslund, back presumably toward his own defense, That's the part I have a problem with. He didn't really play the puck, he was going for the knockout hit. He can easily play the puck (it's on his stick and Naslund is in no position to take it from him), but it's not in his mind to do so. No, he knows that Naslund is vulnerable for a headshot and he takes it. It was a dirty hit, but it's not something that I think deserved a retalitory strike from Bertuzzi.

posted by grum@work at 10:32 AM on February 24

I would pick a fight with an NFL player before a NHL player. Especially one of the enforcers. I wouldn't either. I suck at skating.

posted by wingnut4life at 10:50 AM on February 24

We can debate forever how dirty the Moore hit was. The bottomline is that it was dirty enough for the Canucks to believe he went after Naslund's head. And that's the only thing that matters. When your star teammate goes down from a hit to the head, the other guy is always "a no-tool thug that doesn't deserve to be in the NHL".

posted by qbert72 at 11:33 AM on February 24

2 great ranger enforcers from days past... Reggie Fleming & Nick Fotiu... understood their role to protect the "stars"..

posted by toradio at 11:57 AM on February 24

Neil's hit was neither illegal nor dirty. If Drury keeps his head up, he could have avoided the worst of it, and perhaps even been in a position to deliver a shot on Neil. Baying for blood like they're watching Lions vs Christians on PPV... Maybe St. Ignatius could have played in the NHL: May I enjoy the wild beasts that are prepared for me; and I pray they may be found eager to rush upon me, which also I will entice to devour me speedily, and not deal with me as with some, whom, out of fear, they have not touched. But if they be unwilling to assail me, I will compel them to do so. (St. Ignatius Letter to the Romans)

posted by Howard_T at 12:15 PM on February 24

After watching replays, it is pretty clear that the hit wasn't dirty, but what has to be remembered is none of the Sabres were able to watch several replays to see whether or not the hit was legal. The first time I saw it I thought it was a nasty, illegal hit. On another note, Ray Emery is amazing.

posted by Ying Yang Mafia at 12:50 PM on February 24

every team in this league is gunning for the Sabres....trying to knock them out...guess what...we aint going away!

posted by french-connection at 02:04 PM on February 24

But if they be unwilling to assail me, I will compel them to do so. So what you're saying is that St. Ignatius (sounds like a French Canadien pansy who scores 50 in the season but folds in the playoffs) would tell Darek Boogard his mother had a third nipple just to get some chicklets knocked out? Is that how you judge manhood?

posted by tahoemoj at 02:05 PM on February 24

Is that how you judge manhood? In St. Ignatius's case, his coach sent him out there to do a job. He just wanted to get it over with. I just thought St. Ignatius's writings went along with the Christians vs Lions thing. (The Christians would have been 3 point favorites over the Detroit Lions, but that's beside the point.)

posted by Howard_T at 03:02 PM on February 24

Fair enough.

posted by tahoemoj at 03:59 PM on February 24

sounds like a French Canadien pansy who scores 50 in the season but folds in the playoffs I believe you're mixed up in your stereotypes here. You probably wanted to say "Russian pansy"?

posted by qbert72 at 04:15 PM on February 24

Are we talking about the Ignatius who played @ Loyola? The Jesuit dude? He can scrap pretty good. Don't think he needs defending. But if I were looking for a defender, you could do worse than Chris Neilan. Also, "Reggie Fleming" sounds out a lot like "Reggie Lemlin". Who isn't an all-time great goon.

posted by yerfatma at 05:56 PM on February 24

sounds like a French Canadien pansy What does Lafleur mean? Does it mean 'The Lion', eh? Or 'The Tiger'? Actually it means 'The Flower'.

posted by SummersEve at 07:21 PM on February 24

I didn't get to see the fight and have no problem with saying "didn't get to see it" as opposed to something like "Oh my! That's terrible!". Fighting is as big a part of hockey as the puck. You can't have a real game without it. I had a co-worker for a number of years who said he'd be a hockey fan if they'd just find a way to stop the fighting. What he didn't understand is that's the same as saying "I'd be a fan of boxing if they didn't hit each other". Fighting brings in the intimidation factor which helps plan a strategy. As a known fighter flies toward him with the puck some players will cringe or hesitate and blow a play and coaches know that. Besides every truly great team through the ages has had an enforcer who made other teams players think twice about going after a teams star players of goalies. Enforcers (The great Joey Kocur for instance) are like the cops on the ice in ways that the ref's can't be. They enforce hockey law.

posted by commander cody at 10:05 PM on February 24

Wow, that might be the first time in history the words 'great' and 'Joey Kocur' have been used in the same sentence.

posted by tommytrump at 11:07 PM on February 24

The bottomline is that it was dirty enough for the Canucks to believe he went after Naslund's head. And that's the only thing that matters. That's the important point. When Scott Stevens laid out Eric Lindros, no one thought it was dirty, so (I don't believe) there were any retaliatory strikes from the Flyers. Side note: After coming across this video of Lindros pounding Stevens in a fight, I can understand why it might have been sweet revenge for Stevens...

posted by grum@work at 11:15 PM on February 24

Wow, that might be the first time in history the words 'great' and 'Joey Kocur' have been used in the same sentence. posted by tommytrump at 11:07 PM CST on February 24 Lol! Ok, I'll grant you that, but he could still strike fear into the hearts of sober men. A lot of people hated him, but only those who were fans of the teams that had to play him. I always thought of him as the Bill Laimbeer of hockey. Everyone hated him, but everyone would give their eye teeth to have him on their team.

posted by commander cody at 12:32 AM on February 25

so (I don't believe) there were any retaliatory strikes from the Flyers. The way things had become between Lindros and the Flyers, Stevens probably got thank you cards.

posted by SummersEve at 09:53 AM on February 25

The way things had become between Lindros and the Flyers, Stevens probably got thank you cards. Was it bad back then? I thought it was because of the hit and the concussion problems that resulted that led to the bad blood between the Lindros family and the Flyers.

posted by grum@work at 11:18 AM on February 25

The night it all went to hell was when he ended up half-dead in the bathtub. Actually, tub-night was just when it all came to a head and became public. There is a whole level of Lindros in Philadelphia that we'll likely never know, but former players all seem to agree he was not well liked. Rumors he didn't practice because of hangovers, rumors of ties to a local mobster, ("Skinny" Joey Merlino. When the whole Tocchet-Gretzky gambling thing came out, I really got scared that would all blow-up.) Which is sad because he was so much fun to watch. But, according to Keith Jones, the players made it clear they didn't want Lindros back in that Devils series. And f I recall correctly, there wasn't much retaliation for that hit.

posted by SummersEve at 06:17 PM on February 25

Where are the Hanson's when you need them Get the foil on

posted by Debo270 at 01:23 PM on February 26

"It's always something," Clarke said yesterday. "I don't know where all this stuff comes from. But whatever happens with Eric turns into a controversy. This organization has been around for 30 years. We've had 600 or 700 players pass through, and this stuff never happened before." After reading that article from SummersEve, and then reading this concluding quote from Clarke, I'm going to say that Bobby Clarke may be the biggest f*cking *sshole in NHL history. Interesting that the Flyers medical staff would lose a lawsuit filed against them by former player Dave Babych. Originally, I (somewhat) sided with the Flyers, in that Lindros (and his family) seemed to be whiners. Reading this article and seeing how badly the medical staffed f*cked up (including allowing Recchi to play in a hockey game while still suffering from post-concussion problems), I'm going to swing my support for Lindros.

posted by grum@work at 05:25 PM on February 26

The big rumor was that Lindros also went five-hole with Brind'Amour's wife. But the Flyers have hardly been Johnny McSaint in the whole saga. They almost killed Lindros by putting him on a plane with a collapsed lung they failed to correctly diagnose. Frankly, he and Bobby Clarke deserved one another. Both seem to be a couple of total assholes. Too bad to see Lindros such a shadow of his former self. I was a big fan for a time.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 08:43 AM on February 27

Always seemed Carl was the ass. Eric just got caught in the middle. There was a time when he would jump the boards and you'd move to the edge of your seat. He was just such a force, you knew there would be a big hit or a scoring chance. Like you said, too bad.

posted by SummersEve at 10:17 AM on February 27

Where are the Hanson's when you need them i totally agree with you.

posted by swj247 at 01:20 AM on March 15

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