1. ScottM84
    Offline

    ScottM84 Member

    Joined:
    May 12, 2014
    Messages:
    51
    Likes Received:
    17

    Are there any fellow hockey fans here?

    Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by ScottM84, May 15, 2014.

    I'm watching game 6 between the Kings and Ducks in the NHL playoffs, and I'm curious as to who else here might be a hockey fan. Personally, it's my favorite sport, which is highly unusual for a Mississippian. I'm an Ottawa Senators fan.
     
  2. rhduke
    Offline

    rhduke Contributing Member Reviewer

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2013
    Messages:
    733
    Likes Received:
    158
    Location:
    Canada
    Well I used to be until I realized the Maple Leafs were a lost cause. Montreal beat Boston so I'm happy about that, even though I like Boston too..
     
  3. EdFromNY
    Offline

    EdFromNY Hope to improve with age Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2010
    Messages:
    4,684
    Likes Received:
    2,534
    Location:
    Queens, NY
    I love the sport of hockey, but I stopped watching the NHL after the "Summer of Suicides" and the NHL still took no action to stop fighting. So, I enjoy hockey every four years in the Winter Olympics - along with luge. bobsled and alpine skiing.
     
  4. Agreen
    Offline

    Agreen Faceless Man Contributor

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2009
    Messages:
    2,143
    Likes Received:
    67
    Location:
    Canada
    As a fan of the Leafs, I'm not sure if it's more accurate to say I love hockey, or I hate hockey.

    Re: EdFromNY- The NHL's lack of true action against the worst elements of the game are wearing on me as well. Hockey's so much a part of the local culture I will always love it, it's in my blood, but I'm finding it harder to justify some of the league's decisions. The fact that Matt Cooke or Raffi Torres, or a half dozen guys like them can earn roster spots over guys that actually play hockey is embarrassing.
     
  5. MainerMikeBrown
    Offline

    MainerMikeBrown Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2011
    Messages:
    378
    Likes Received:
    60
    I'm not a huge hockey fan. Their are too many fights.
     
  6. Garball
    Offline

    Garball Sometimes nothing can be a real cool hand. Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2013
    Messages:
    2,846
    Likes Received:
    1,332
    Location:
    S'port, LA
    I have no reason to dislike hockey, I've just never gotten into it.

    Blades of Steel on Sega might be one of the last video games I ever played. Does that count for anything?
     
  7. EdFromNY
    Offline

    EdFromNY Hope to improve with age Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2010
    Messages:
    4,684
    Likes Received:
    2,534
    Location:
    Queens, NY
    It was Derek Boogaard's death that tore it for me. I wasn't happy when the Rangers signed him because that wasn't the direction I wanted to see them take. And the fights were predictable. But one night during the season, my wife, son and I had tickets to see the Rangers against the Islanders at the Nassau Coliseum, and our seats were literally right behind the Rangers bench (sounds better than it is; you really can't see much of the game, but then the Coliseum is a lousy place to watch just about anything). The Rangers were coming off the ice at the end of warmups, and Boogaard smiled and waved to us, the only player who did so. Well, I thought that was pretty cool. Shortly after that game, I found out about "Boogaard's Boogaardians", a charity for at-risk kids, and he went up a few more notches in my estimation. Turns out he was actually a very nice kid.

    When he died, the Rangers organization said nothing. No black patches with his number on their uniforms, no memorial at the Garden, no commentary by the MSGazeera announcers. Silence. Several months later, the New York Times ran a three part series on Boogaard, going back to his days in the Western League. Like most Canadian kids, he had grown up dreaming of playing hockey, but at his size - well over six feet even as a teenager - and with his lack of coordination, he was never going to have the skills for him to play at that level, or even at the major junior level...except as an enforcer. He was never an aggressive kid, but they told him that was the tradeoff - be a goon, get to the top. So, he did. And even when he was still in junior, strangers would come up to him and pick fights with him just to see if they could take him. He had become a card-carrying member of hockey's traveling freak show, and he was a basket case before he ever played his first NHL game.

    Being a fighter meant taking constant blows to the head - in hockey fights, the goal is to be the first to pop your opponent's helmet so you can hit him in the head and not break your hand. Between the concussions and the other injuries, it wasn't long before he was on a steady diet of painkillers. Soon, he was addicted. He was addicted when the Rangers signed him to that fat contract. And Glen Sather knew it. Didn't bother to provide any support for him, though. No counseling, no treatment, no plan to get from one end of the long season to the other without more pills. Ranger team doctors even dispensed painkillers to him during the season. No wonder the team didn't want to talk about it when he died of an overdose the day after getting out of treatment (which in a panic he had realized he needed).

    Boogaard's family gave permission for his brain to be studied after his death. That study revealed extensive brain damage - so extensive, in fact, that had he lived, he very likely would have begun experiencing some form of dementia before he was 50. The same summer that Boogaard died, so did Rick Rypien and Wade Belak, both of whom fought, both of whom suffered from depression and both of whom are believed to have taken their own lives (Belak is known for certain; Rypien is widely believed to have done so, but the Canadian government does not release such information).

    Hockey fighting demeans the fighters, risks brain injuries to the fighters and others, encourages additional on-ice violence (thereby risking further injuries) and all for some cheap thrills for people who aren't really hockey fans. Over the last several years, the fights that were once defended as a spontaneous safety valve for emotions have now become staged affairs, some of them at the opening faceoff. So, I made a decision that I could no longer support NHL hockey. And I won't until and unless fighting is banned - as it is throughout the rest of the hockey-playing world.
     
  8. MainerMikeBrown
    Offline

    MainerMikeBrown Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2011
    Messages:
    378
    Likes Received:
    60
    The idea of two guys fighting each other while on skates is kind of odd in a way.
     
  9. Agreen
    Offline

    Agreen Faceless Man Contributor

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2009
    Messages:
    2,143
    Likes Received:
    67
    Location:
    Canada
    It's the second worst thing about the game, and takes a sport that features breathtaking skill and unbelievable speed, and reduces it to a carnival act. The worst thing is this idiot notion of 'finishing your check.' What that actually means, at least by modern NHL standards, is try to hurt your opponent with a late hit for the crime of having once touched the puck. Get rid of this garbage, and the fighting will go down, there will be significantly less injuries, and more people- those interested in a legitimate sporting event and not a side show- will watch the games.

    On the bright side, Montreal is out. Montreal losing is the one thing that brings me joy in the NHL...

    I'm hoping New York pulls the upset, but it's not likely. Right now it seems the only team that can beat the Kings is Chicago, and LA is the only team that can beat the Blackhawks.

    Needless to say, the Leafs remain a gong show. Resigning Carlyle might be the worst thing they've done since hiring JFJ, especially because it likely means they're getting rid of Gardiner, Kadri, and Reimer, in favour of more players that bring grit and toughness and leadership and a complete lack of skill like Clarkson.
     
  10. EdFromNY
    Offline

    EdFromNY Hope to improve with age Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2010
    Messages:
    4,684
    Likes Received:
    2,534
    Location:
    Queens, NY
    Sigh.

    There was a time when "finishing your check" meant not getting out of your opponent's way until it was too late for him to get back into the flow of the play.
     
  11. Agreen
    Offline

    Agreen Faceless Man Contributor

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2009
    Messages:
    2,143
    Likes Received:
    67
    Location:
    Canada
    The problem is that the majority of current NHL general managers and coaches have bought into this belief that 'finish your check' means you should take every opportunity to lay a hit on your opponent. I've been trying for a while now to come up with an explanation on what changed in the league, how did it get this bad, and how can it be fixed. I read a column recently by the excellent Tyler Dellow on the subject, included below. He compares the modern game with that of the Broad Street Bullies, and concludes that by modern standards they would be far the 'softest' team in the league. He includes a video of 1975 Flyers playing in the Stanley Cup Final- and paused the video at certain key points, when you'd expect a devastating hit to happen based on the standard of the modern game. It's almost like watching a different sport.

    http://www.mc79hockey.com/2014/05/the-broad-street-bullies-were-soft/
     
  12. EdFromNY
    Offline

    EdFromNY Hope to improve with age Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2010
    Messages:
    4,684
    Likes Received:
    2,534
    Location:
    Queens, NY
    I think the more fundamental belief that NHL execs have bought into is: the more violence the better. Which is why I no longer watch the NHL (even the fact that the Rangers, whom I followed for decades, are in the finals means nothing to me).

    The Flyers of the mid-70s were the product of a sudden dilution of real talent. In less than a decade, the NHL had gone from 6 to 18 teams (with 14 more in the WHA). The inadequate supply of real hockey players opened the door to the thugs. For the most part, the thugs gravitated to the WHA, partly due to economics, partly to reputation, but the Flyers, who throughout their early existence had been repeatedly dominated by the St. Louis Blues and the Plager Brothers (Brad Park once wrote that playing against the Plager brothers was like being the guest of honor at a woodchoppers' ball) had filled in with goons where they couldn't get enough talent. It's no coincidence that two developments - the folding of the WHA (dropping "major league" hockey from a high of 32 teams down to 23) and the influx of substantial European talent were followed by a shift away from the Philly goon squad to three consecutive dynasties of quality play - the Lafleur/Lemaire Canadiens, the Bossy/Trottier/Goring Islanders (exception: Denis Potvin) and the Gretzky/Messier/Kurri/Anderson Oilers. None of these teams used either fighting or dirty play as a tactic.
     
  13. MainerMikeBrown
    Offline

    MainerMikeBrown Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2011
    Messages:
    378
    Likes Received:
    60
    It must be so embarrassing if you're a hockey player and you get your butt kicked in a one-sided fight in front of lots of fans.
     
  14. EdFromNY
    Offline

    EdFromNY Hope to improve with age Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2010
    Messages:
    4,684
    Likes Received:
    2,534
    Location:
    Queens, NY
    I suspect that embarrassment is the least of your worries when you're 45 and can't remember your name because the primary goal in all your hockey fights was to pop the opponent's helmet so he could be pounded in the head unimpeded.
     
  15. Agreen
    Offline

    Agreen Faceless Man Contributor

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2009
    Messages:
    2,143
    Likes Received:
    67
    Location:
    Canada
    Hopefully the rest of the league will follow the example of 3 of the Conference Finalists this year- the Rangers, Kings, and Blackhawks do not waste roster spots on 'enforcers.' The closest is probably the Rangers with Carcillo. The Rangers will be better when they don't bring him back next season, and likewise Montreal was a much better team once they stopped wasting a spot on the completely useless Parros.
     
  16. EdFromNY
    Offline

    EdFromNY Hope to improve with age Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2010
    Messages:
    4,684
    Likes Received:
    2,534
    Location:
    Queens, NY
    I remember Carcillo as one of the worst.

    No, as long as the NHL allows fighting, I've got far better things to do with my time.
     
  17. MainerMikeBrown
    Offline

    MainerMikeBrown Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2011
    Messages:
    378
    Likes Received:
    60
    You have to be really tough in order to be an NHL player.

    At least NFL players only play 16 regular season games per year. But NHL players have to play in many more games than that per season despite the fact that hockey is such a physically demanding sport.
     
  18. EdFromNY
    Offline

    EdFromNY Hope to improve with age Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2010
    Messages:
    4,684
    Likes Received:
    2,534
    Location:
    Queens, NY
    I have no problem with hockey being a physically demanding sport. So is basketball. So is soccer (a starting midfielder runs an average of 8 miles per match). My objection to hockey (and by that I mean North American hockey) is that one player can beat another player who has superior skills with his fists as a means of evening the odds. This, to me, is unconscionable. Moreover, the players who are specifically cultivated for this role are so physically abused over their careers as to suffer permanent brain damage, at which point the sport casts them aside. The justifications for fighting in the North American game have long since been debunked, yet they continue.
     

Share This Page