01.19.14

In Which The Canucks & Flames Cut To The Chase

Posted in Hockey at 1:35 pm by

If you missed last night’s 5-on-5 melee in Vancouver, the New York Post’s Larry Brooks provides the details, but not before suggesting the situation was awfully reminscent of how current Canucks / former Rangers coach John Tortorella handeld the start of proceedings against the Devils nearly two years ago.

Tortorella matched Calgary’s opening line of Blair Jones, Brian McGrattan and Kevin Westgarth with Dale Weise, Tom Sestito and Kellan Lain. When the Flames chose noted pugilist Westgarth—who had taken two faceoffs all season and a total of nine in his four-year NHL career—to take the opening draw, Tortorella had Canucks’ defenseman Kevin Bieksa move up to replace and protect Lain, the Lake Superior State product who was making his NHL debut.

Mayhem ensued. Everyone on the ice other than the goaltenders dropped their gloves and fought. Tortorella moved down the bench and screamed at length at Hartley, who acted oblivious to it all and remained above the fray that he essentially had initiated.

After the match had ended with a shootout victory, Tortorella talked about the need to protect his team while all too predictably verbally attacking straw men (“all the pundits and all the people who moan about it, they don’t have a clue what a locker room is like”) who might take umbrage at his tactics.

2 Responses to “In Which The Canucks & Flames Cut To The Chase”

  1. john says:

    The arbitrary lines the league draws in these situations really highlights its garbage hypocrisy. Torts will be fined and suspended for yelling at the other team’s locker room. How ghastly! Hartley will get a stern talking to for using certain of his players at a certain time in the game. Several of those players are only in the league for situations like this, and everyone in the building knew it.

    The two biggest goons, McGrattan and Sestito, only got five for fighting and ten-minute misconducts because . . . they fought first. (McGrattan got 2:46 of ice time the rest of the game even though his team was down four players.) The other eight skaters were all tossed because they were slow to start throwing punches, as if their fights were any less premeditated.

    If this had happened in an NBA game, there’d be a 30 for 30 movie in the works and Mushnick would be blaming the hip-hoppers. Even if you truly believe in fighting policing the game (and if that involves slew-footing a guy and beating him unconscious while he’s on the ice, so be it), there was nothing to police in Vancouver. It was just a shitshow the league lacks the guts to outlaw.

  2. john says:

    Now hoping Torts shows up behind the bench wearing a fake mustache/glasses sometime over the next six games.

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