This year is ending on a rough note, nine fights in total last night.
* The San Jose-Phoenix game was not televised, so there are no clips from that game, at least for now.
* I had both the Washington-NY Rangers and Montreal-Tampa Bay game in HD, and clipped both in widescreen aspect.
* Rupp-Eager, from Dec 02, was missed previously and has been added to the videos page.
* Ondrus-Ruutu from the 29th was also added, completing that night, so there’s a good amount of new videos today.
I made a combined highlight reel from the Caps-Rangers game that included all the fights for the Youtube preview, but it’s been an hour and a half and Youtube is still processing it. I’ll update once it’s available.
If I had to guess, I’d say it’s about a 5-game suspension turning into an 8-gamer due to this being the second time he’ll be suspended this season.
It’s late, so it’s just the facts tonight. Just in case there are no posts tomorrow, Happy New Year to everyone.
Update 640am: Brash isn’t just busy on the ice. He keeps the newsroom honest after the jump. Thanks to Eric at Off Wing Opinion for the link.
Update 600pm: Brash only got a game, but Orr received a fiver. You can see Orr’s high crosscheck on Ovechkin in the Orr-Morrisonn clip. One might wonder exactly what Ward said to Brashear to get him to throw that punch, and one might wonder exactly what Ward said that Brash’s punch only earned him a game. Brashear kept silent last night with the media and after just getting a one game seat I’d expect that silence to continue.
To those who inquired about the Youtube video: it wasn’t done processing early-afternoon so I re-uploaded it, left it be, and it’s still processing. I’ll just leave it be and hopefully it’ll finish soon.
Update 950pm: Youtube finally finished processing the Caps-Rangers vid. It’s the current preview on the videos page and added after the jump. New Year’s a comin’. Go party.
Colton Orr and Brian McGrattan had fans on their feet again last night. For the third time in the NHL these two met up and had a great fight. It’s the newest Youtube preview on the videos page and also after the jump.
Update 535pm: Alberts-Sharp added to the vids page.
Update Dec 31 535am: Ondrus-Ruutu added to the vids page.
Now, the Thornton-Tjarnqvist “fight” was really just one punch (Tjarnqvist didn’t get a major), but it’s still not the grouping of names you’d expect to see. The other scrap wasn’t a highlight reel bout, but good for Williams and Afinogenov for just letting it fly.
After the jump is the first episode of Mr. Odgers’ Neighborhood from the Thrashers. Jeff Odgers, currently a radio broadcaster for the team, sits down and has a chat with current bird Eric Boulton. Thanks to The Web Guy and the Blueland Blog.
Donald Brashear is like a rookie trying to make a name for himself right now with three fights in each of the Caps’ last three games, and a total of five in the month of December. Tonight he practiced starting his lawn mower on a willing, but overmatched Aaron Downey. That fight is the newest Youtube preview on the videos page.
Boogaard said he thinks he can’t find a willing combatant because his horrifying uppercut that rearranged the face of Anaheim’s Todd Fedoruk on Oct. 27 has become folklore.
“That just means they’re scared,” Boogaard said. “They don’t want to get hurt.”
Plus, the prototypical NHL fighter is a dying breed.
“We’re not playing a lot of physical teams right now,” Boogaard said. “They don’t feel they need a guy, so I’ll just go out and do whatever I want. I’ll just run them over.”
Thanks to Kukla’s Korner for the link.
The Christmas break is over and there was some good action last night, enough to temporarily add an extra Youtube preview to the videos page. Brash-Peters and Thornton-Bell are the two bouts in the spotlight, although the action in the StL-Nsh game was pretty good too.
Things to note:
* Florida-Carolina wasn’t televised, so there won’t be a clip of the Montador-Adams scrap for a while.
* Sutherby-Tucker was added to the videos page. I still have to add Brashear-Belak, hope to have that up by tonight.
Randomly: all the active team pages have logos now.
Update 950am: Fixed a typo in some of the video links, thanks to those who emailed me to let me know.
Update 1045pm: Brash-Belak added to the videos page.
Before the games start up tonight, let’s get to a couple played before the break. The videos page has been updated with the Svitov-Park and Willsie-Vasicek bouts. The Willsie-Vasicek fight came out of a scrum started by Dan Cloutier spearing and swinging at Scott Hartnell. No doubt that’ll get some attention, and I made it the newest Youtube preview, also embedding it after the jump. The Caps-Leafs clips should be added soon.
Update Dec 27 250am: Sutherby-Tucker added to the videos page, Brash-Belak should be up by tonight.
Update Dec 27 1045pm: Brash-Belak added to the videos page.
Just so you know you’re not going insane: yes, Alexander Svitov did just fight in back-to-back nights. It seems the Russian has caught a few off-guard, but as you can see from his card, his gloves are willing to come off. Too bad his visor isn’t as willing, even when squaring off.
Thomas Stinson, for The AJC, writes NHL goons are almost gone: But some lament the passing of a fighting culture.
First, the self-pimp quote:
And fighting is up, too – 514 fights projected this season by the hockeyfights.com Web site – after the dramatic drop-off last season (just 466 fights, compared to 789 in 2003-04, the year before the 2004-05 season was canceled due to a labor dispute).
Thanks for the mention, glad to be of use.
Some substance from former tough guy turned radio broadcaster, Jeff Odgers:
“In my opinion, they have taken a little bit of the courage out of the game,” said former Thrashers player Jeff Odgers, who holds the club career penalty minutes record three years after his retirement. “And I’m not talking about just the fighting. I’m talking about having to pay a price to get to a position to score a goal, to battle into the slot. It used to [risk] your life to stand in front of the net.”
Odgers, who spent 12 seasons in the NHL before joining the Atlanta club’s radio broadcast team, admits to enjoying watching the game’s most skillful players, who now maneuver without the defensive clutching of decades past. But he also hears regularly from others – fans as well as people in hockey – who feel something significant has gone missing.
“It’s not to say that the new game isn’t entertaining and it’s not good,” Odgers said. “But there’s a lot of people who do miss that old style, where it’s a little bit tougher, a little bit harder to play. In my opinion, you used to have to be more accountable for your actions, where you had to answer for them.”
Something else that stood out:
“Tough [guy] or not tough, if you can’t skate, you can’t play,” Campbell said. “If you can’t skate, you can’t survive.”
Many of the game’s top pugilists haven’t. Of the five busiest fighters from the 2003-04 season, two – Krzysztof Oliwa and Matt Johnson – are out of the league. Two others – Columbus’ Jody Shelley and Buffalo’s Andrew Peters – now barely see one shift a game.
This makes it sound like one of five survived the “new rules”, when it’s not really the case. Johnson retired due to injury. Shelley averages 1:42 less ice time per game than 03-04, Peters 0:14 less than 03-04. With all the special teams play, it’s not surprising. Oliwa was basically pushed out of the “New” NHL and the unnamed player is Chris Neil.
That’s all for now. Once again, Merry Christmas.
A few scraps last night. Brendan Witt went twice for the Isles. His first scrap against Scott Walker was a good one, and is the newest Youtube preview on the videos page. In the non-Witt bout of the night it looked like Alex Svitov surprised Ryan Kesler.
It’s time to take a holiday break. I’ll answer as many emails as I can, and try and update the log after tonight’s big schedule, but this will be the last video update until after the weekend.
So Happy Holidays! Wait, hold on, Wal-Mart says it’s cool to say Merry Christmas again - so Merry Christmas! Today’s the last day of Hanukkah, so Happy Hanukah! as well.
Remember that NBA highlight you saw a week ago (“brawl”, some called it)? In Detroit, Drew Sharp is writing how the NHL would love that publicity, negative and all, because eyes are eyes at this point. It seems all in Detroit agree things aren’t as good as they were before.
According to Bob McKenzie and TSN, the NHL is considering “significant overhaul”, but changing (I won’t say fixing) the schedule, or division alignment and playoff seeding doesn’t increase real flow of the game, help bring back passionate play or prevent the back and forth special teams games we see now.
However, if the NHL is truly considering going back to four divisions, don’t change unbalanced schedule too much. Instead, keep it division heavy (8 games to 7 or 6 games is fine, especially with the increased number of teams per division), and don’t use conference seeding. You want rivalries, go back to top 4 from each division make it. Nothing like playing a team that knocked you out of the playoffs the year before. Also, bring the real names back, especially if geography is going to become as warped as it could be. Don’t modernize them. Patrick, Adams, Norris and Smythe work just fine. “Casual” fans don’t pay attention to division names anyway. I’ve never had a fan tell me hockey was suddenly easier to follow once the Atlantic came to be.
Anyway, enough of that. Get your fight fix, watch a few games tonight and then take a break, it won’t be long until we’re all back here.
Alright, so after finding a way to finally upload the vids, my connection is now restored. Always works that way.
Both “fights” from last night are now available for download. Spacek vs Nichol was a fight per se, but it was certainly a highlight clip. Nichol received a nine-game suspension for his actions. I expected a few games, but that’s a bit much. I know, I know, they don’t want the Bertuzzi-Moore incident to repeat itself (nor do I), but this isn’t on par. It was an immediate reaction from Nichol to something that just happened to him.
More than that: what I am wondering is if Nichol received 9 games or 1+8? Nichol received an instigator with less than 5 minutes left in regulation. It’s an automatic one-game suspension. The rule was created to prevent players looking to go out and fight, for whatever reason, at the end of a game. However, the suspension can be lifted by Colin Campbell. Last year, when we all thought Shane Doan was picking up an instigator-related suspension, we became aware of Campbell’s power over the situation when he lifted the suspension. These were his comments:
“The key to the whole rule was that it would be automatic - no appeal by the team. But I would review every instigator in the last five minutes to see if it would pass the litmus test.
“And that would be, is this guy a two-shift guy who was out to send a message? Was it a tough guy doing his thing and leaving his calling card?
Nichol isn’t Doan, but he’s not a two-shift guy either (he averages over 12 minutes a game). He wasn’t on the ice to send a message, and it wasn’t premeditated. There was no additional fine announce for Nichol or Preds’ coach Barry Trotz, so one would think Nichol’s suspension isn’t be related to that rule, but who knows.
Why does it matter? Besides the fines that normally come along with the rule, if Nichol were to find himself in that situation again (receiving an instigator with less than five minutes left in regulation), the “automatic” part of suspension would double.
The clip was put up as a Youtube preview on the videos and is also after the jump.
Don’t forget about the Eager-Murray scrap, it was a good one.
We did Brandon Sugden signed bobble head giveaway a little while back. Alanah, formerly of VCOE, now of CandB, was one of our winners and she received Sugar in pieces. Like her, I’m just not sure if there isn’t something fitting about it, but I’d still break out the glue.
Unfortunately there’s some network error sitting right outside of my ISP and after hours of attempts I’ll finally admit uploading is just not an option for me right now. I’ll keep trying in the morning and update asap.
There are two clips coming: Eagers-Murray and Nichol popping Spacek.
Update 340pm: Ok, not exactly fast, but my connection just got worse throughout the day. While I was out I found an internet cafe with a solid connection and I’m uploading the clips right now (threw them on a thumbdrive before I went out just in case, no, I don’t normally carry them around). What this all means is my connection at home is probably good by now, because that’s the way things work. Either way, hopefully it won’t carry into tonight, and I’ll have this update completed soon.