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Quite a Riot

17 Jun

I’ve avoided talking about the riot in general, both on The Puck and at work/home/bars/the street (at least as much as one can avoid talking about these things).  But in the end, like everything else, it turns out I have an opinion on it!!

“Smile, shitheads!” *CLICK*

 

Those aren’t real Canucks fans!

Yes they are, shut up. Professional rioters don’t buy $200 vintage Trevor Linden jerseys before they turn over a garbage can.  But don’t fret Van-City, it’s ok that they’re Canuck fans, this is not a phenomenon unique to Vancouver.  Get a large enough group of people together and you’re going to have some idiots.  Make that group trend towards young, add in some alcohol, whip them into a frenzy and cram them into a small area and guess what? A few cars are going to get turned over.

Legacy

I think my biggest problem with the riot is that we may be beginning to set a precedent. Last year in Montreal, this year in Vancouver, I’m worried this may become a thing that we do, like putting maple syrup on sausages.  I sincerely hope that’s not the case because, while the occasional unruly mob doesn’t bother me, the idea that hockey playoffs will become tied with rioting is really terrible.  If for no reason other than I want to be able to stay downtown and drink after a game without being run over by a cop on a horse.

At the end of the day…

It wasn’t that bad.  Vancouver woke up the next morning as if from a horrible one-night stand, shook it’s head, looked around and was thoroughly embarrassed.  Now it’s dealing with the aftermath in a very Canadian way.  Hopefully the city’s memory is long enough that this doesn’t happen next year when Chicago beats them out of the playoffs in the first round.

Also, it’s not like Vancouver has the post-sporting-event-riot market cornered.

Vancouver riot police after Game 7

How do you know you’re at a Canadian riot?  The police wear hockey gloves and carry broom handles for clubs.

A man cheers in front of a burning car at the Vancouver riot

Nothing says “annoying riot dad” like a front-backpack, wrap-around sunglasses and a baldness hiding haircut.


Men standing in front of a burnt car

What’s the best way to look even dumber while having you’re photo taken in the middle of a riot?  Dress like Tank Girl.


Asian kid with a hockey stick at the riots

I have nothing that to say that could be as funny as this picture.




Horton hears a *WHOMP*

7 Jun

Nathan Horton on Ice after Aaron Rome hit

 

In case you missed it, for the second year in a row, the Boston Bruins are losing one of their top players for the rest of the playoffs to a crushing hit.  Last night Aaron Rome might as well have used a trampoline to launch himself at an unsuspecting Nathan Horton, not just knocking him out, but knocking him right out of the playoffs.

Everybody’s clambering to weigh-in on the hit, what it means and what the suspension will be so I figured…why not join in?

The Hit

Ugly.  So fucking ugly.  It was late, high, to the head and caused a severe injury.  If Rome’s not sweating, he should be.  There’s no defence for this hit, Rome committed to it at the same time Horton passed the puck off, there was time to call it off, or even tone it down, but he didn’t.  Rome had arguably the Bruins best player in his sights and he hit to hurt him.  Which brings us to…

The Suspension

Rome will be suspended.  This has all the ingredients of a serious suspension.  The fact that it’s already been announced that Horton will be out for the playoffs is going to hurt Rome big time.  I’m thinking 2-3 games, which since it’s the Stanly Cup Finals, is about 10-15 regular season games.

What it means…

The Bruins now have to play without a top line guy for the rest of the playoffs, the Canucks will have to play without a middle-tier defenceman for a minimum of two games, which on the surface doesn’t seem very fair (which is why I’m praying for a longer suspension, in the 4 game range. UPDATE: 4 it is.) but consider that the Vancouver D is already stretched thin with injuries, and Rome was playing on a top defensive pairing with Kevin Bieksa, and this becomes kind of a big deal.

This is also the first suspension since Colin Campbell announced he was moving out of the supplementary discipline game, so it’s a chance to set a new tone for suspensions. Three or four finals games would definitely do that, and nobody could argue with it.

Editorial Note: A lot of people are comparing this to the Stevens v. Lindros hit in 2000, saying that what was legal then should be legal now.  Two things; first, they’re completely different hits (Lindros had the fucking puck!! See video below). Second, laws change, get used to it.  We used to smoke on airplanes and drive without carseats for our kids. There are 90 guys in the NHL today that can hit as hard as Scott Stevens on his best day.  I don’t like the idea of a zero tolerance rule for head shots, but the players are changing, the rules need to change with them.

 

 

B-B-B-Ettman and the Jets!

1 Jun

Burton Cummings as Winnipeg Jets Captain

Burton Cummings, the embodiment of Jets fans everywhere right now.

First off, congratulations to Jets fans everywhere, and the city of Winnipeg.  Second, my condolences to Atlanta and all Thrashers fans.

I’ll have more to say on this in the future but here are my initial thoughts on this whole thing…

Bettman, no matter what he does, will never have any fans in the hockey world.  People complained that he would never allow another Canadian team under his watch, now they’re complaining that he wasn’t happy enough at the press conference announcing another Canadian team under his watch.  Well I’ll give you an idea as to why he may not be all that happy, he just watched a team move from the 9th largest metropolitan area in the United States, to Winnipeg.  Which brings me to my next thought…

Winnipeg is now the smallest market in the NHL. Because Winnipeg’s rink is so small, even if the Jets sell out every game next season, it will finish no better than 24th in attendance across the NHL, based on figures for the 2010-11 season, trailing the likes of Nashville, Florida and Dallas, all money-losers last year. (link)

– The issue of moving teams to Canada seems to be more about U.S. vs. Canada, or everyone vs. Bettman, than it does about the actual long term viability of a market or the overall health of a league.

– A lot of players do not want to play in Winnipeg, rightly or wrongly.  The response to the team moving to Winnipeg has been unprecedented; we’ve seen analysts, agents, players and more players all speak up about how much players do not want to play in Winnipeg.  That being said, you know there are lots of guys out there dying to play their hearts out for a rabid Canadian crowd that will hold them up as gods if they can only win a few playoff series.  It’s also going to depend on what kind of culture this team builds, if they win, players will come.  So we’ll have to wait and see how this plays out, but in the meantime, prepare yourself for story after story of players not wanting to move to Winnipeg.

– Everybody wants this team to be called the Jets.  Everyone.  Now just do it.  Why start this whole process by pissing everyone off, and possibly making a very poor decision about names, jerseys and logos?  You would think the owners would have enough on their plates without having to worry about whether or not they’re creating the next Wild Wing?!?

 

Anaheim Ducks Wild Wing Jersey

The "Wild Wing" jersey. There are no words.

You have a logo, colours and a team name that are popular enough (after 15 years of that team not existing) that they still sell merchandise based on it, and you’re going to try to outdo that. On top of all that, you’re going to have to deal with the accusations that you’re just trying gouge your fans by asking them all to buy new jerseys, hats, pennants, bedsheets and underwear.  Good luck.

R.I.P. Boogeyman

14 May

Derek Boogaard Celebrates with teammates

Earlier this evening, feared NHL enforcer Derek Boogaard was found dead in his apartment.

Minneapolis Star Tribune reporter Michael Russo first reported the news via Twitter on Friday evening. According to the New York Daily News, foul play is not suspected.