My View on Fighting in Hockey

In light of the recent debate in the nwew over fighting in hockey and whether it should be banned I decided to look at my own personal view on the subject. On twitter @vancan19, aka, Josh Hall got into a heated debate with @Raffi_RC, aka Raffi Cavoukian, longtime legendary children’s songwriter and singer and huge advocate for children’s rights.  Raffi also made headlines this week with his #muteDonCherry campaign.

In North America, ever since the inception of the NHL way back in the early 1900’s fighting has been not only allowed but at times encouraged on the ice. The arguments for fighting as as numerous as those against.

First a fight is often instigated as a way to get a team going. Its seen as a jolt if a “tough guy” beats up the opponent’s tough guy. This argument falls flat because if a team’s not ready to play at the beginning of the game how is a fight supposed to change things. Furthermore, if the player of the losing team loses the fight badly, wouldn’t that then make the play of the losing team worse having felt even more deflated than before with the dvastating loss?

Another argument for fighting is retribution or revenge for an injury to a star player, especialy if the hit is deemed to be dirty. Two things about hs argument: with regards to dirty hits, the league is currrently working  on trying toget those out of the game. I thnk much stiffer punishments would go a long way towards curbing the problem. And these punishments might include longer suspensions, making players serve the full time of the penalty regardless of it being a 2 minute minor or five minute major. The second point I want to make here is thatthe old eye-or-an-eye adage comes into play here. I realize hits area part of the gamebut fighting the player who delvered the hit doesn’t change the fact that th hit occurred.

A third argument made is its for the fans. This one has some legitimacy. Like it or not there are many red-necks out there, like Don Cherry who enjoy watching players duke it ut with their fists. Getting rid of fighting will in fact cause some fans to be turned off of hockey. I personally don’t buy that argument. Yes some fans will no longer be fans but they are shallow if they only watch hockey to see a fight, they can go watch boxig or MMFC if they want to see this stuff. Anyway the league will almost certainly replace those fans wit fans who never watched hockey because of the fighting.

An argument against fighting is the injuries caused by fghting, especially to the head. When players fight they do so by punching their opponents in the head repeatedly. In light of the recent concussion pidemic, do we really want to see more players sidelned unnecessarily? @vancan19 doeshave a valid pint about most head injuries being from plays on the ice and not fighting. Head injuries are such a grey area and we’re still in the process of learning about the brainand the consequences of injuring it. Opponents of fighting certainly got fuel to their fire with the recent deaths of several players who had the role of enforcer on their teams. This is controversial as one can’t leap to such a profound conclusion from a small sample size.

Another argument against fighting is players receive a 5-minute major minimum, more if the refs give them 10 mnute misconducts or  additional penalties. This means if its a defenseman, and the team is only playing 6 D that night and one has already been injured then that team is down to 4 defensemen until the penalty(s) expire.

@raffi_rc made the argument that fighting is banned in soccer, basketball and football but not hockey. He is only partially correct. At the Olympic level, and I believe the European leagues (I’m not sure about Women’s hockey) if you fight your not only out of that game but your suspended for at least the next and the team is fined. It’s only in North American leagues where players are allowed to play after fighting.

Conclusion: I’ve presented and critiqued arguments both pro/against fighting in hockey. Personally I think the game of hockey would survive if fighting was banned from the game tomorrow. However before that occurs, suspension of dorty hits and hits to the head must be curbed. There are far too many players currently out with head injuries, including leading scorer Claude Giroux, stalwart defenseman Chris Pronger and the biggest asset to the NHL Sidney Crosby. Yo’ll never completely eliminate head injuries but they can be mnimized through harsher consequences, more sensible equipment and eliminiating unnecessary injuries through fighting.

Mason Raymond: The heart of a Canuck

June 13, 2011. Canucks fans will remember this date as the one where Boston effectively ended the Canucks hopes of winning the Stanley Cup. At the time the Canucks were banged up from the physical beating at the hands of their foes the Boston Bruins. Aaron Rome was kicked out of the series for this hit on Nathan Horton in game 3. Just 20 seconds into game 6 this happened. Canucks fans everywhere held their collective breaths praying that Raymond would be okay.

It turns out that Raymond had broken his back badly and would be forced to wear a back brace for the next six weeks. He had to endure excrutiating pain and lived with the notion that he may never play a hockey game again.

After 4 months of rehab and sheer determination, Mason Raymond will make his season debut tomorrow night vs. the Calgary Flames, a team he has lit up in the past. It will be a successful night for MayRay if he makes it through the game without an injury. If he gets on the scoreboard too bonus. Look for Raymond to play 10-15 minutes with time on the PK and/or 2nd PP units.  Also, I wouldn’t be surprised if coach AV puts him in the starting line-up to get that first shift out of the way.

Mason Raymond not only has the heart of a Canuck, he  has the heart of a warrior.

Vancouver Canucks vs. Minnesota Wild game review

The Vancouver Canuck defeated the Minnesota Wild 3-2 in OT in a matinee game at Roger’s Arena. Heading into the game the Canucks were looking to build off the dominating performance the previous game against Nashville. The Wild were coming off a 2-1 SO defeat of the Edmonton Oilers who the Canucks face next.

The Canucks took a while to get their skating legs under them. They took three straight minors to start the game, killing all three, but the Wild opened the scoring after one penakty had just expired. Late in the second the Canucks tied it wth a PP marker by Daniel Sedin off a Wild defenseman only to have the ild come right back to take the lead heading into the intermission. Early in the third the Canucks tied it up again on a Jannik Hansen tip-in. After that the Canucks took over, getting unlucky to win it in regulation. In overtime Dany Heatlley took an il-advised hack at Ryan Kesler’s stick, snapping it in two leading to a slashing minor. The Canucks capitalized as Sami Salo slammed one home from the point.

The positives from this game were the play of the special teams (the PK unit killed off all four penalties and the PP took advantage of 2 of the 3 chances). Goalie Corey Schenider was solid in net stopping 22/23 shots.

On the negative side of thhe coin, the Canucks are still not playing a complete 60-minute game. They are not coming in ready to play and as a result their taking way too many penalties in the opening period. This means the Sedins aren’t getting into thegame as they don’t kill penalties. I don’t think the twins should start killing penalties either. Whyrisk one of the twins brreaking a bone blocking a shot on the PK when they could have been on the bench resting up for the shift after the kill when they’ll be fresh and the opposition might be tired if tey were out there a which trying to score. Also they are allowing the opening goal too often which puts the team on its heels and in the case of the Rangers game defensemen started taking chances leading to more goals or the goalie having to make a great save. I think that teams are coming in looking to use the Canucks as a measuring stick to where they are at since the Canucks did so well last year.

My three stars

1. G Corey Schneider. The back-up did his job today keeping his team in it until they found their skating legs. Schneider made several highlight reel saves, especially in the second period

2. the 4th line. Wiese, Volpatti and Lappierre continue to eat up valuable minutes to help save the top three lines some energy. Wiese lost the fight in the seond period against the bigger Stoner but that seemed to spark the Canucks as they took over the game from there. Volpatti and Lappierre were banging opponents around and being aggressive on the PK

3. Sami Salo. He scored the winner and was part of a solid 1st PP unit. Hopefully he continues to stay healthy this season.

Trade after the game

After the game GM Mike Gillis announced that forwards Mikeal Samuelsson and Marco Sturm had been traded to the Florida Panthers for David Booth and Steve Reinprecht. For Samuelsson this will be an opportunity to earn solid minutes and rhab his sports hernia in a warmer environment. Sturm was signed as a free agent and turned out to be a bust, looking a step behind, perhaps the result of 2 major knee surgeries in 3 years. Booth is also looking to redeem himself 2 years removed from a bad concussion, he’ll be on the second line to start. Reinprecht will head to Chicago and will be a potential injury replacement later on in the season, although he’ll need to clear waivers first.

Here’s the highlights from today’s game

http://video.nhl.com/videocenter/console?hlg=20112012,2,96&navid=sb:highlights

 

Thoughts on tonight’s game

Wow what an emotional night it was. Before the puck dropped the Canucks paid tribute to Rick Rypien who tragically committed suicide over the summer. This ceremony was very touching and the look on Kevin Bieksa’s face during the ceremony said it all. Bieksa was Rypien’s brother and best friend during his time with the Canucks

Onto my thoughts on the game

My three Stars

1. NY Ranger Goalie Henrik Lundqvist. He was phenomenol throughout the game especially on the penalty kill. Midway through the third one save in particular where it looked like the Canucks had an open net Lundqvist leaped up and blocked it with his chest leading to a Rangers rush that ended with a goal. Kudos to Lundqvist for an outstanding game.

2. The NY Rangers special teams. Simply put the Rangers wouldn’t have been in position to win it in the third had the penalty kill not come up big especially in the first and second periods when the Rangers took five straight penalties, usually not a good idea versus such a lethal power play. Theyblocked shots and pressured the Canucks forwards into turnovers which were quickly shot down the ice. It should be noted that the Rangers have been having trouble stayig out of the penalty box and tonight was no exception with the Canucks getting eight chances on the PP tonight.

3. NY Rangers D Bryan McDonagh.  Although he took a lazy hooking penaly 200 feet from his net, he made up for it and finished with a solid goal and assist and was +3 for the night.

 

One huge positive for the Canucks on this night was the return of Ryan Kesler from hip surgery. Kesler looked dangerous all night and played 19:07. ot surprisingly he was a bit off with his timing and missed a couple of chances in tight buthe’ll get that back soon enough through playing games. In the faceoff circle Kesler won 4 of the 6 draws he took. 

Looking at the stats Luongo let in 4 goals on 10 shots in the thrd period. Their are anti-Luongo fans out there who will put the blame for this loss clearly on the goalie with the lifetime contract. But those fans clearly weren’t watching the game. None of the four goals are Luongo’s fault. All four came off the rush and were either great shots or in the case of goal #4 came as a result of really poor defense, not checking and Hamhuis not having position on Marion Gaborik who scored perhaps the easiest goal of his career. One stat that really concerns me from tonight is the -3 rating of top defensive pairing Alex Edler and Dan Hamhuis. The loss of Christian Ehrhoff has put more pressure on Edler not only on the PP but in his own end. Hamhuis on the other hand is normally reliable defensively. He too had major surgey at the end of the season. One has to question whether Hamhuis is still bothered by the injured abdomen/groin/sports hernia. 

For those who missed the game or just want to see what happened again here’s the highlights

http://video.nhl.com/videocenter/console?20112012,2,76&navid=sb:highlights

In a nutshell the Rangers hung on in the first two periods; maybe tired the Canucks out with the multiple PP chances and simply won the third period. After the first goal was scored, it was like a snowball effect. The Rangers smelled blood and conjured up whatever reserves they had left despite the extended road trip and took it to the Canucks

Next up for the Canucks is a visit from the Nashville Predators. They boast another strong goalie who gave the Canucks fits in the second round of the playoffs in Pekka Rinne and all-star defensemen Shea Weber and Ryan Suter. It will be another tough test for the defending WC Champs.

 

Vancouver Canucks Vs. New York Rangers Preview

Tomorrow night the NY Rangers roll into town for their bennial visit to Roger’s Arena, The Rangers come in searching for their first win of this young season. Whereas the Canucks are coming off a tough eastern road swing where they split the four games winning in Columbus and Edmonton while losing hard fought battles to the Red Wings and Flyers oth of whom are early favorites to win the Stanley cup

Keys to the Game

1. stay out of the box. The Canucks must stay out of the penalty box as they don’t want to give the Rangers any confidence early on. Also you generaly don’t score when killing penalties

2. Score first. It’s small sample but the Canucks are 1-0 when scoring first and 1-3 when they give up the first goal.

3. Roberto Luongo has to stay on his feet. Luongo’s a big goalie and he needs to realize that he covers more net vertically than horizontally.

4. Secondary scoring. So far this weakness has been exposed with the Sedin twins forced to carry the scoring load. Their great players but guy like Samuelsson, Hansen, Kesler (once he gets back in the groove of things) and Hodgson are being counted on to pot afew pucks in the net from time to time.

Here’s a link to highlights of the last time the Rangers were in town November 3, 2009

Hello Canucks Fans

My name is Tina Poole and I will be posting regularly on this blog about all things Vanacouver Canucks and on the happenings around the NHL. I’m still relatively new to this blogging thing so please let me knowif something’s not working like a link or a Youtube video not embedded right.

A bit about me. I’m currently a student at SFU studying to be a Sports Psychologist.  I have a Havanese Shih tzu who’s also a Canucks fan.

My favorite all-time Canuck is Trevor Linden because of his heart both on and off the ice. On the current team I like Warrior Ryan Kesler who is returning after missing the first five games due to a hip injury

That’s all for now. GO CANUCKS GO!