Good Afternoon Wilderness... Nice to see that the Minnesota Wild are looking pretty good so far this year. Currently, the Wild are 6-2-2 in their last 10-games. For those keeping track at home, former North Dakota Fighting Sioux Alumnus and Minnesota Wild forward Zach Parise is on fire. Parise is leading the team with (6g-7a-15pts) in 17 games. Shameless plug for the former University of North Dakota Star, but this post isn't going to be about Zach's awesomeness.
Also, nice to see former Bull Dog Justin Fontaine third on the team in goals right now. I told you guys that he had a chance of making the Minnesota Wild out of training camp and he did. This post isn't going to be about me finally getting it right for once.
There is something that really bugs me about NHL hockey. There's one part of the game that I would like to see changed. Whenever someone is hit with a nice crisp, hard, legal, bone jarring check, there has to be a fight. Why? I don't get this; hockey is a contact sport played by men, checking is part of the game. Or did I miss something?
Whatever happened to taking a number and hitting that player later in the game? We used to refer to it as taking the license plate of the truck that hit you. It's hockey you're going to get another chance to get them later. I think this is where the instigator penalty needs to be given out more frequently. Don't get me wrong I like a good fight. I also like a good staged fight; I think it fires up the team. I love watching Zenon Konopka and Clayton Stoner beating the tar out of people.
Nice hit followed by a fight
Watch this hit, Los Angeles Kings forward Matt Frattin is making a nice shoulder-to-shoulder hit on Buffalo Sabres center Cody McCorrmick. If you watch the video, it doesn't appear that Frattin hits McCormick in the head, he comes close, but there doesn't appear to be any contact with the Buffalo center's head. We can debate this point if you want, but take a look at the video. I don't see anything wrong with this hit.
In my opinion, the head is not the principle point of contact. I wouldn't call this a violation of the NHL's Rule 48. This is a legal check in my opinion. There's no need for a fight in this instance, take your hit like a man and move on, you're slowing down the game with a senseless fight. Myers wasn't given an extra two-minutes for instigating, he was given an extra two-minutes for holding Frattin. To me that makes no sense at all. Myers should have been two-minute instigator, five for fighting and a 10-minute misconduct. But whatever!
Here's an example that I don't have a problem with, this is a high, questionable hit, by the Washington Capitals forward Michael Latta on Florida Panthers forward Tomas Fleischmann. Panthers forward Marcel Goc comes to his teammates aid and goes after Latta, this is a guy that plays five minutes a game. For his efforts, Goc was given an two-minute instigator penalty, a five minute major and a 10-minute misconduct penalty. You could say that the system worked in this instance.
This is from a game last March. Minnesota Wild defenseman Clayton Stoner lights up Ducks forward Matt Beleskey with an awesome check. I see nothing wrong with the hit. Of course, Beleskey takes exception to the Stoner check and immediately wants to fight the Wild defenseman. Being a gamer, the Wild defenseman obliges the young forward and beats the tar out of him. So now, Beleskey has lost twice. The moral of the story learn to take a hit. In my opinion, Beleskey should have been given a two-minute minor for instigation, a five-minute major for fighting and a 10-minute misconduct penalty. Thoughts?