Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Maybe I'm Just Crazy...

In the course of doing research for the gameday preview below, I had the misfortune of coming across this steaming pile of garbage.

Of course the Ultimate Fighting on Ice fans are all over the possibility that the much maligned instigator penalty could be removed if not "lightened." However this line struck me as all kinds of odd...

In Washington, Crosby's contemporary -- Alex Ovechkin -- has not suffered nearly as much abuse. Why? Well, the Capitals spent US-$1.1-million on Donald Brashear last summer, and the effects are undeniable.

Huh? So it was only my imagination that A.O. was kneed by Tim Gleason of the Carolina Hurricanes in the home opener? That Scumbag Daniel Briere never speared A.O. in the gonads up in Loserville...er... Buffalo? And of course, Colton Orr's cross check to the head of A.O. didn't happen in Madison Square Garden either?

You know, if I wanted to, I could certainly argue that Mr. Donald Brashear isn't "doing his job" based upon the logic that the UFOI fans subscribe to. I mean hey, Mark Spector says that A.O. has nothing but wide open ice in front of him so it must be true right? Just having Brashear on the bench scares everybody and everything into keeping their hands off A.O. Of course, the UFOI fans babble on incoherently about the instigator penalty. And of course the one example of a player disregarding the instigator penalty (Todd Bertuzzi-Steve Moore), the UFOI fans won't touch with a ten foot pole. Anything to keep from having to explain the failure of the much ballyhooed 1970's and 1980's NHL.

Of course, it is also widely claimed by the UFOI Neanderthals that a fight "gets the team going." It should be interesting to note that a cross-checking of Mr. Brashear's fights and the Caps schedule/results shows that the Caps have a record of 3-7 when he drops the gloves. Hardly an impressive boost I would say. As a matter of fact, the last time Brashear fought in a game the Caps won was December 23rd in Toronto, right about the time the wheels came off this season. As a matter of fact, it is the last time the Caps won a game in which they had a fighting major. (So much for that "boost" a team gets when its goon(s) fights...) It looks to me like the Caps winning and losing hockey games has more to do with the way the team as a whole plays and not who Mr. Brashear (or anybody else for that matter) is looking to pummel.

Finally, in the grand tradition of Mark Twain's "Liars, Damn Liars, and Statistics" the old "selective statistics" trick is pulled by Mr. Spector when he mentions that Anaheim and Nashville lead the NHL in fighting majors and are near the top in the NHL standings. However, half of the teams in the Top 10 for fighting majors are currently on the out of the playoffs. In the Bottom 10 of fighting majors, half of those team are in the playoffs right now. So please, again tell me just exactly what any of this proves about fighting in the NHL other than it being a sideshow that distracts from the game itself?



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