Monday, April 12, 2010

Five for Fighting Monday - Playoff Edition

Shortly after the Olympics were over, Terry Frei at the Denver Post wrote about the lack of fighting in the Games. His point was that most fans probably didn’t miss it. Now that it’s playoff season we will see a significant drop in fighting versus the regular season. Frei has a problem with all the pre-planned fights, the “gotta go” fights between the guys that play a mere two minutes a game.

Well, I didn’t really miss it during the Olympics but that doesn’t mean it wouldn’t have been fun. I like fighting in hockey, it’s entertaining! You just can’t compare the NHL regular season to tournament hockey, as Frei does concede.

And I agree that some of the gratuitous regular season fighting is tiring. The problem is that if team A signs a slug that can’t skate but is 6-6, 250 pounds and can and WILL beat the crap outa your guys, team B is forced to return fire. Could it be better? Of course, but it’s really easy to say that about anything. If it was completely ruled out of the game I would miss it.

Ideally all teams would always have a bench full of guys that can actually play hockey. And I include guys like Ian Laperriere in that list. He is a responsible defensive forward and rock solid on the penalty kill. Scott Parker, not so much. Does Lappy drop ‘em on occasion to fire up his team? Of course he does. Eighty two games is a grind. Completely different from the win or go home stakes that are on the line in the Olympics and the playoffs.

Not that there isn’t ever fighting in the playoffs. Here is Joe Thornton dropping the gloves with Ryan Getzlaf in game six of last years first round match up. That was a great series to watch last year, very entertaining. Now despite all the talk preceding this game about how it was time for Thornton to take a stand I’m not sure anyone was expecting them to go at the opening face off.

So, was it contrived?

Was it planned?

Was it entertaining?

Well THIS is entertaining!, lets hope the Sharks are the usual goldfish in the playoffs.

-From the Point

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