I almost never post on here, because people are so harsh about topics that have been discussed before, but I felt pretty strongly about this subject after watching the game last night, and I saw the topic, so here goes:
I live in a time zone where I can't watch too many games. Yesterday was a nice exception.
I watched the game with my wife, who fell asleep half way through the second. After the game, she asked if I enjoyed it, since she said I sounded angry a lot while watching it.
I'm not a guy who gets angry if my team loses. If you do, I don't think sports is a healthy pass time. But what I get angry about when I watch sports, is the cheap shots, diving, faking...basically the unsportsmanlike stuff.
Don't get me wrong...I grew up playing hockey, and I was a stay-at-home physical defencemen. I was never afraid of getting dirty. I actually really enjoyed that part of the game.
Also, growing up watching the Canucks, I cheered for Garth, Gino, and all the tough guys the Canucks had on the team over the years. When you went to a game (for 5 or 10 bucks btw), at first you thought they might win, but by the end you just hoped that they would have a few fights and show a good effort. Usually they didn't disappoint.
Obviously the Bertuzzi incident changed a lot about the organization, as times were changing in the NHL. The league was trying to sanitize its image, while the Canucks had to get out from under the weight of that scandal. The Canucks shifted away from their grittier past, while the league worked to try to give off an image of being "clean."The incidents where I got angry last night were: the cross check to Hank, Tanev getting hammered from behind by Penner, Burrows getting cranked from behind (and mugged throughout the game, except that one was just too obvious to not call), and various runs on Schneids.
Physical hockey is a simple game. It's tit for tat. They take a shot, you hit back, and vice versa. The moment that the other team doesn't respond to your shot, you take a harder shot and they lose face. That's how you win.
When I see these incidents, I wait for the Canucks response. When Hank gets hammered, someone has to hammer the perpetrator. Someone has to take out Penner. I keep thinking that they're taking a number, and Sestito or someone will come get them. But it never happens. Bieksa talks a lot, but doesn't go after too many people. This is a problem. The team does not stand up for itself.
If discipline is going to be taken over by the league, and the tit for tat is gone (yeah right), then it has to be even handed. As it stands right now, certain teams know that they won't get suspensions, while other teams will for the same thing. All of those incidents yesterday were much worse than any Edler or Hansen hit (like these guys are cheap shot artists...what a joke).
The Canucks are hamstrung right now, because they're not built to be cheap, and the moment they push the line at all, the league hammers them.
If players from Chi, NY, Bos, LA, etc. know that the most they're gonna get is a couple of minutes; no punches in the face (or worse), long suspensions, etc, they're gonna keep doing this stuff. Who wouldn't if it could give you an edge.
There's a lot of hollow talk about how horrible the NHL is. But I'm getting to the point where that logo enrages me. The NHL stands for corruption, favouritism, and a general lack of integrity. It's becoming a BS league, that's almost not worth watching.
I've been a Canucks fan for 30 years, but I'm torn. I love the team, and I love to watch them win, but I'm growing to hate the league. The hypocracy, the inconsistency, and the corruption.
It's getting to the point where the frustration is spoiling my enjoying the games.
I was a physical player, and I love the rough stuff. I loved the old culture of the Canucks, and when they combined that work ethic and toughness with the right balance of skill in 94, it was magic. They came so close to taking down a champion in waiting.
But don't think the team could have made it there without Diduck, Odjick, Hunter, Momesso, and the like. They weren't pushovers by any stretch.
Now we've gotta fight other teams and the league. I don't really know what the answer is, and it's making me doubt being a fan.
I'll always love the Canucks, but I'm beginning to hate the NHL.
Edited by GarthButcher, 24 March 2013 - 06:47 AM.