This prepare isn’t late. The NHL had an excellent evening final evening. The playoffs kicked off, and it’s onerous to discover a unhealthy matchup wherever (although Flames-Stars and Avs-Predators ought to be nothing greater than ritual killings). And although there have been solely two aggressive video games of the 4 final evening (the Canes didn’t draw back till late), the goal-heavy developments of the final a part of the common season carried over, as no sport featured lower than 4 targets. The Leafs plastering the Lightning was a significant story, even when the sport was a laugher. There have been nice highlights like Connor McDavid simply lacing via the Kings to attain to alleviate his boredom or Teuvo Teravainen’s snipe to present the Canes some respiration room or Jonathan Fast conserving the Kings alive within the second interval when the Oilers have been actually pushing (you may not put Teravainen’s purpose in the identical class however Teuvo going for an oil change is a spotlight worthy of point out and he’s my candy child boy and fuck you!).
However the darkish passenger of the playoffs that’s by no means too removed from the floor is that playoff time causes gamers to develop into totally unhinged. And but there doesn’t appear to be anybody who needs to rein this in to maintain the give attention to the highlights and the precise excessive stage of competitors. The NHL Division of Participant Security whiffs greater than probably the most launch-angle obsessed slugger, and it actively sours the sport. Most likely a pure trigger and impact when it’s run by a former goon, George Parros, who would die of exhaustion if parachuted into right this moment’s sport inside 5 minutes.
The most recent participant to get off scot-free from what’s principally a heinous act is Minnesota’s Jared Spurgeon. Inform me, throughout what a part of hockey camp do they train children this?
This isn’t a hockey play. It has nothing to do with hockey. It’s only a pissed off participant boiling over as a result of his crew received its ass kicked eight methods to Sunday and attacking a participant (not even taking a look at him) at part of the physique that’s not protected. What if Pavel Buchnevich’s ankle bends one other manner? This couldn’t be a extra bare try to injure a participant. We settle for hockey is a bodily sport, and it ought to be, however makes an attempt to maim which might be nothing however makes an attempt to maim shouldn’t be welcome or accepted in any respect.
Spurgeon’s penalty? $5,000 fantastic. Jared Spurgeon’s wage? $7.5 million this yr. That’s 0.06 p.c of his pay. To you and me that’s wherever from $30 to $60 bucks. Positive, you is likely to be aggravated by shedding that, however it’s not precisely gonna change your conduct. You wouldn’t have to clarify that discrepancy to your companion when doing the financials, let’s say.
Absolutely Spurgeon’s standing as an necessary participant for the Wild, their captain even, performed into this. As a result of typically the Dept. of Participant Security demures from punishing somebody a crew would possibly miss, whereas shrouding it in earlier offenses and fame. However actually, who offers a shit? How do you count on to set precedent and try to change the sport for the higher while you’re solely prepared to punish the blatantly apparent and the non-essential?
Solely partially relievingly, it seems that Toronto’s Kyle Clifford (who’s been an ox happening a decade now) goes to get a suspension for this blindside cheapshot/Keith Lee Impression on Tampa’s Ross Colton:
Once more, this has nothing to do with hockey, or being powerful, or making an attempt to win a sport. That is simply an ogre doing what ogres do and benefiting from an opponent not taking a look at him as a result of he’s, y’know, following the play. Nonetheless, one most likely shouldn’t maintain their breath for Clifford to get a suspension that will elevate eyebrows.
The playoffs ought to be a theater for the perfect of hockey, and particularly the pace these video games are performed at now solely heightens the already coke-binge ranges of stress it brings. However so long as the NHL has to pull across the Dept. of Participant Security like a stone of disgrace as an alternative of forcing it to steer, the playoffs will proceed to be a theater for all of hockey, with its silly and unneccessary element entrance and middle.