Hockey Hall of Famer Mario Lemieux ripped the NHL Sunday for going easy on the key combatants in Friday's brawl-filled game between the Pittsburgh Penguins and New York Islanders.
Lemieux rips NHL for brawl fallout
1. Continual rule changes that are bastardizing the game - for me if games were officiated the way they're supposed to be, the only change needed was getting rid of the red line for offside passes.
2. Officiating in this league is brutal. Inconsistent - regular season vs. playoffs, and within the same game. Maybe the game's too fast for many of today's referees to keep up with - linesmen do a great job for the most part - and many times I get the sense that the refs think they're the game and not the players. The number of bad and non calls is definitely on the rise.
3. The topic of this page -fighting has no place in any sport. If Bettman's trying to appeal to the uneducated masses (i.e. much but not all of the US hockey market - not to insult the many great fans in the more traditional US hockey cities) then so be it, but I can't believe true and knowledgable hockey fans enjoy it - particularly the staged fights. Hate to keep harping on the officials but they're partly to blame - when bad calls or non calls keep happening, tempers flare up and fighting often results.
Much of today's problems with the game are due to the bonehead officials - of course if you listen to Bettman, there's nothing wrong with the game.
Jake, 2011-02-14 19:34:55
TC, you say that it's a passionate game, do you think Football and Basketball are not passionate games? They are constantly bumping up against each other and pushing each other yet, they do not fight. If they do, they face huge punishments.
If the NHL wants the game of hockey to be accepted as a safe sport, then they should get tough on the dirty players. Headshot are an automatic 35 game suspension - no pay.
I don't care if it's accidental of not and I don't care if it happens to Crosby. Make the call after the game so you can see the people who drop their heads in order to get hit in the head (aka the fakers/baiters/instigators).
If I wanted to see untrained people punching each other, I can go downtown and watch what happens when the bars let out. If I want to watch people hitting each other, I can UFC or boxing. Me, I'm a fan of skill and ability and that is what I want in my hockey game.
Slype, 2011-02-14 14:45:51
Patrice, My IQ is probably higher than yours, but that's okay, I don't hold it against you. I don't agree with line brawls. However if you take fighting out of hockey you'll have more cheap shots like when Sidney Crosby got injured. Obviously you didn't play hockey either and don't understand it. It's a contact sport and tempers flair. You want to clean fighting in hockey, then put heavy fines on the dirty players and cheap shot artists.
tc, 2011-02-14 11:09:41