The Fight is Right

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PC America is what we live in now. No matter what the instance, there will always be someone chirping over your shoulder to change the way you do things or even worse, the people that make a huge deal about something as insignificant as a kid wearing a “Federal Body Inspector” shirt to school. The parents that lobby for no sports in gym class so that there are no losers, saying Charlie Brown promotes bullying, and getting coaches fired for yelling at their players; these are the products of parents and concerned citizens that care too much about nothing. They probably weren’t “cool” in school so they made it their mission to make sure nobody is “cool” and that we should all live in their perfect fascist society. This is the age of try-hards.

Now with that said, clearly the reason the NHL is tightening up on fighting and dangerous hits is to protect the players and minimize the number and severity of concussions. But lets think about this for a minute. Is the NHL acting proactively to insure the safety of players or are they merely reacting to public outcry?

I’m all for reducing the risk of concussions as I have had a couple myself and we are becoming more aware of the detrimental long term side-effects, but to put a ban on fighting? Get outta here. This isn’t me trying to be a tough guy or a hockey purist that believes no rules should ever change. We simply need to recognize that fighting does have a history with the league and should not disappear entirely. The league is currently working to cut down fighting occasions and implement more penalties and suspensions for rash actions but players will still choose to enforce the game themselves when the time comes. Refs have done great jobs regulating the flow of games and catching infractions but sometimes that isn’t enough. A double minor won’t deter an enforcer type player from clobbering the poor sap that put your sniper on his ass. Sometimes that guy just deserves to have the snot beat out of him instead of a meek couple minutes in the box.

But what about real enforcers? Do they still have a role in the NHL? You know the 4th liner who can hardly skate, has maybe a dozen career points, and seems to get his playing tips from Mike Tyson. Yeah just like this guy!

John Scott Fight

A lot of people will argue that players like him are brutes and don’t deserve to play professional hockey. Oh that’s odd, since when did they become GMs and gain the power to manage rosters? There is a reason they got signed, there is a reason they are still on the team, and there is a reason they get paid way more than 95% of the country. Entertainment! Yes, they are hockey players first but what are professional sports really? Again, entertainment. They have their roles just like every other player. Bergeron dominates face-offs, Ovechkin scores, Suter eats up time on ice, and John Scott beats the shit out of anyone he wants to. They all do what they need to do in order to put on a show for us. Don’t you see that fighting is a gift?

Also, I don’t have any stats to back this, but I’m fairly sure the vast majority of concussions arise from legal hits rather than punches thrown. Even if I’m wrong (I won’t admit it) the players are supposed to keep their helmets on and new players are to be wearing facemasks. That alone should be enough concussion prevention, the rest is just part of the sport.

The other day Scott was slammed with a two game suspension for the fight above. But wait, wait, wait… The only illegal thing he did was not make a hockey play before engaging in a fight? Boooo. I get we want to protect the players but come on, have some balls one time. Tim Jackson just came out of the box for roughing. The Sharks had to protect their own and make the statement that you don’t mess with our guys especially with a four-goal lead. If Logan Couture was injured in the last period from a reckless roughing the Sharks would have been furious they didn’t take preemptive measures. Brawlers like Scott exist for that reason. (And to pump up the crowd after going all Kimbo-Slice on Jackson)

And now to pump up our crowd…my top 5 fights from this young season

5. Clayton Stoner v Zach Sill
Starts slow, then wild haymakers go flying. Helmet lost, head blows (that how we get concussed), and unreal stamina/determination. This is why we fight.

4. Andrew Desjardins v Tanner Glass
A classic little team tussle to get it going. It then develops to a one v one twelve round fight ending with Desjardines getting emasculated and tossed to his own bench.

3. Cody McLeod v Chris Neil
A real power struggle here chalk full of vicegrips and spit. Neil casually tosses him in a headlock and proceeds to rip McLeod’s head clean off his shoulders.

2. Derek MacKenzie v Marc-Andre Cliche
Pretty much what you would expect when two rabid dogs go at it. Lightning quick punches, flying legs, haphazard diving at the knees, no willingness to go down and surrender. It ends with both curled up trying to bite each others ears off. You can’t teach that kind of vicious tenacity.

1. Mats Zuccarello v TJ Oshie
Oh thats just Mr. America himself, TJ. You can almost see his red, white, and blue blood boiling in this scrap. I was waiting for a bald eagle to come streaking in and attack Zuccarello too. Anything Oshie does is #1 in any countdown.

Thank you to hockeyfights.com for all the fight footage. And let this be a lesson to all the do-good, try-hard, PC police out there; hockey fights are really bloody entertaining. You want them to stop? Close your eyes and turn away because they are as much part of the game as ice is.

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About Author

More than a fan of hockey, baseball, football, beer, and the color green. Green Mountain College alum. I always dress up for Halloween. We all ought to strive to find silver linings and humor in everything.

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