Monday, September 17, 2007
First Monday Of Preseason
First off, as you can see, pain-in-the-ass Cam Janssen got his ass kicked, turtling to useless deadbeat Jesse Boulerice. While preseason box scores are often totally screwed up, especially those from non-franchise cities (this game was in Trenton), this game apparently had a nice five fights in five minutes of play. Now as much as I love the fisticuffs, I can admit that that is a bit much. But with the league's clear anti-fighting stance, I love the hockey glove in the face that rivalry games like this provide as the fans go wild for brawls. Fighting shouldn't get to the point where it is manufactured, but when two franchises genuinely dislike each other and play dictates it, why not? The passion-less, bland game that Bettman seems to wish would come true (c'mon; I submit the boring division names, instigator rule and meek marketing as just some of my evidence) doesn't drive new fans to the sport, it drives the old ones away. Bad blood brings ratings, that simple.
Also making me smile this evening, the Islanders traveled all the way to North Bay, Ontario just to lose in overtime to the Thrashers. Granted they had their triple backup Joey MacDonald in, and didn't dress Bil Guerin (or Miro Satan, or Mike Comrie) while Atlanta had Ilya Kovalchuk in the lineup (but no Hossa) but still, I always take heart in the Islanders losing.
But the game was not all good news in my eyes: even though Simon the Barbarian still has time left on his suspension after losing his mind across Ryan Hollweg's face, he played and was an alternate captain! Yeah, that's the kind of class I want leading my team. A real role model for a franchise of just so much integrity. I know that its a exhibition game and Simon will sit out the first games that count, but much like I ranted when he was playing cheerleader at the end of last season, I think his suspension should keep him away from the game. That simple. He should have to train on his own and watch the games on tv. Yes he got docked some pay but he shouldn't still be allowed to enjoy the benefits of being a NHL player after he soiled the virtue of the profession. Disgraceful.