Last night in Detroit, with just over ten minutes remaining in a hard fought 3-3 game between the Red Wings and the St. Louis Blues, Blues forward David Backes laid a questionable hit on Kent Wings defenseman Kent Huskins that sent Huskins first to the ice and then struggling to the Wings’ bench. Backes was assessed a five minute major for a hit to the head, and a match penalty (game misconduct). On the ensuing power play, Detroit wizard Pavel Datsyuk fired a puck past Blues goalie Brian Elliot to give the Red Wings the lead, and eventually the win after Henrik Zetterberg added an empty netter. Here’s the hit:
God, I hate the NHL right now. Usually when I hear about a “fight” or a “brawl” at the Garden I get pretty pumped up. Most of the time it’s Thornton or Lucic dropping the hammer, or if we get really lucky a ‘good old fashioned donnybrook‘ breaks out and we get multiple Jack-Edwardisms to enjoy. Well apparently there was a fight at the Garden last night, though I use the term very, very loosely.
After a vomit-inducing flop by Kevin Garnett the likes of which would make Sidney Crosby cringe, Rajon Rondo got into it (again, used loosely) with Brooklyn big man Kris Humphries and basketball mayhem ensued. By mayhem we of course mean some pushing and shoving, which resulted in numerous technical fouls and some ejections, along with a 2 game suspension for Rondo.
See it for yourself:
Perhaps even bigger news was that Humphries tweeted out his “battle wounds” after the game (click the link to see the picture):
Where to even begin with this. Let’s start with Humphries.
Hint: This is one of the least gruesome of the bunch.
Really though? You got a little scratched up? Time to take to the Twittersphere? Scratches! The outrage! First of all, scrums like that happen multiple times during a hockey game, and the worst that comes of it most of the time is two minutes in the box (alone, and you feel shame). Second, I am continually baffled at the ridiculousness of basketball players and what a huge deal it is when something like this happens. The incident itself was an absolute nothing event, and then you have a huge scrum and this clown tweeting a picture of his injuries. Next time, do me a favor and check out this article first. It’s called the ‘Top 5 Mangled NHL Faces on Twitter.’ This page should be the gold standard before anyone posts an injury shot to Twitter. I think this is pretty self explanatory.
Next, I can’t get over the announcers in that clip. Overall I think Celtics color man Tommy Heinsohn is a pretty funny guy. He’s to the Celtics what Jack Edwards is to the Bruins. But really, this was just a joke. Garnett didn’t get “hit in the face.” Humphries’ hand brushed over it, and Garnett went down trying to draw a call (which laughably he also failed to do). In the NHL, though diving is still an issue, if you pull a ‘Ryan Kesler‘ your teammates will defend you, except they have to defend you from getting jumped instead of going after a player that did absolutely nothing to you. Crazy right? Not to mention you’ll probably end up on the league list of diving queers next to Sid and Mike Ribeiro. I’d even have a hard time believing that Jack or Brick would defend such a gigantic dive and Oscar-worthy embellishment even if it were a Bruin (…ok, maybe Jack would).
On top of it all, here comes Rajon Rondo to save the day! Standing up for his teammate! Ok, if Humphries actually had even legitimately fouled KG, I’m probably for this play. But the fact that it came off a flop and everyone is so jacked up is absolutely hilarious. This had to be the most exciting part of the game, right?
I could spend time explaining why I love hockey or how similar incidents play out on the ice, or I can just show you instead. First, this is an actual reason to defend a teammate. You have Bruins defenseman Andy Ference, with good reason, responding to Adam Burish’s post-whistle shot on Tuukka Rask. There are numerous other examples of Ference doing the same if you need further proof. Second, and perhaps more importantly, you have Burish willingly obliging, and settling business right then and there. Maybe he meant to take the shot, and maybe he didn’t, but he’s game. Third, Burish gets his face broken on the play (literally – orbital bone), but no tweets after the game?
Well, I hope that’s clear. All the more reason to hate the NHL and NHLPA right now, since we’re relegated to hearing about this nonsense with no Bruins games, and thus no real scraps to talk about. Fuck you, NHL. I’ll never understand basketball.
We posted a quick note yesterday about Darren Dreger’s article on the crackdown that is hopefully coming regarding diving and embellishment. We failed to mention that Vancouver’s Ryan Kesler’s name (along with Chicago’s Dan Carcillo) was apparently atop the list when it came to players to be watched. With this story growing some legs across the web, it wasn’t long before a hilarious collection of Kesler-related images popped up. Some of these have been around for a while, but credit to user ‘Crossfire’ on the Bruins HFBoards forum for bringing them together. PuckDaddy also has the YouTube clips that go along with these, in case you’re a Canucks fan and need to see the real evidence. Enjoy.
News out of Boston today is that Bruins winger Nathan Horton has decided to stay in town rather than heading elsewhere during the lockout. This may seem troublesome at first glance for someone coming off multiple concussions, but Horton’s agent said this was a “personal choice” and didn’t have anything to do with his health. Consistent with reports over the summer from B’s GM Peter Chiarelli, Horton is reported to be doing well and has been cleared for contact once play resumes.
To us, this seems like the right thing to do for two reasons. First, given the symptoms he had from the last concussion, the more time he has to get his mind and body back in sync, the better. Assuming he’s ramped up workouts and is feeling good as was reported, the longer he can go symptom-free, the more himself he’ll feel and hopefully more confident he’ll be come the opener (speaking from experience). Taking it one step further, Horton seems to be most effective when he’s engaged physically and emotionally, and we’d like to think that feeling good for an extended period would remove any doubt in his mind regarding giving or taking hits. Not that we want him dropping the gloves on opening night, but the more confidence he has, the better off we think he’ll be.
The only potential downside to the decision that we can see would be that the opportunity to join one of the European leagues could have allowed Horton a chance to shake off the rust from his game that will undoubtedly be present (see Bergeron) in a lower pressure environment. But again, this seems like less of an issue than just getting back to feeling himself, so we fine with this news and hope to see #18 on the Garden ice soon.
Interesting article from TSN’s Darren Dreger this week about the NHL and the players agreeing that cracking down on diving and embellishment must again become a focus. Hockey Ops is working through some proposals that should reach GM’s in the not too distant future, which is music to our ears. We’re in agreement that this is an issue that needs to be addressed immediately, and that includes Bruins players as well. Brad Marchand was an embarrassment at times last year, and even Zdeno Chara was caught a few times feigning fatal injuries in the name of a two minute penalty. We’re most interested to see what the proposal is, this shouldn’t be a tough one to figure out. The real question is though, in an article about diving, how is there no mention of P.K. Subban or the Sedin Sisters?
Bruins legend Bobby Orr commented this week that he’d solve the lockout problem by “putting [the owners and players] in a room with bread and water and let them figure it out.” Who doesn’t love this guy?
From the sounds of it, there are currently no meetings between the players and owners scheduled, though we’re hoping that changes early next week.