... and all sorts of drama breaks out.
Greg Wyshynski, aka Puck Daddy, has taken exception to the actions of the Rangers.
Wyshy wrote a post today that the Rangers are coming off as "trifling and petty" after Tom Renney floated that idea that an opposing player should be investigated for intentionally attempting to injure another player. For those who didn't see, Mike Smith went at it with Aaron Voros during the third period Thursday, and nearly took out Voros' ACL with a vicious slash.
You can see it here (at the one minute mark) and it is clear that Smith was not just attempting to get Voros away from his crease but to take the Ranger's knee out. For Wyshynski to compare it to the contact that Voros and Sean Avery make with the netminder is absurd. One player plants his rear end at the top of the crease so the goaltender can't play the top of the paint, while the other is chopping wood.
When Brandon Sutter got his clock cleaned, Wyshynski said that "you have to draw the distinction between protection of players and what are, intrinsically, hockey plays." Now a slash like Smith's was a hockey play ... 20, 30 years ago.
It is not one today.
Today there is no instigator rule. Today cross checking is called on the player who finally fights back after three opposing players take turns hitting him (including a punch to the head). Today boarding or charging is called on at least half of the big hits on the boards. The NHL that Ron Hextall and Billy Smith played in was a distinctly different one than the one that Mike Smith plays in. In his NHL, penalties are called tightly (and inconsistently) and intent to injure is a major infraction, not something the coach tells Bobby Clarke to do.
There is nothing trifling or petty for a coach to come to the defense of one of his players and ask for the league's rules to be enforced.
You know, the legal drinking age was 18 years ago decades ago. It's illegal now. So if a high school party gets raided and no one gets hurt, maybe no one gets busted - depends on the cops mood. If one kid gets alcohol poisoning though, the hosts go to jail and the parent of the sick kid have the right to sue and they would win.
Had Voros been crippled by Smith's ax action, would the Rangers be allowed to complain then? Or would they just be trifling and petty?