Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Little Hockey Trash Talk

Todd Bertuzzi's hit on Steve Morse is widely regarded as one of the most brutal acts in hockey history:

And then there's this...

They're not the same, since one occurred after fights had broken out, and the other instigated a series of fights. But they're less different than I think people have suggested.


Mark said...

didn't look like the punch to the nuts you were talking it up as at wings. he hits the back of his leg. looked more or less like an eyes closed swinging shot. we can all muster up 'cheap shot' vids of the star players we hate on youtube... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_8dqVbjsVNU

GoodPointJoe said...

This looks like the Hurricane just scooted his body out of the way, but his legs hadn't caught up, and Ovechkin was moving full speed and didn't react quickly enough to avoid contact. I feel like the knee-on-knee hit Ovechkin had against Gonchar looked suspect, though, like he was leaning out to make contact.

I try to be objective when I look at videos, but it's possible I'm seeing it through Washingtonian eyes. Still, punching a guy in the back of the head while he's on all fours on the ground is pretty unnecessary.

Mark said...

I don't think that when the hockey announcers react the way they do and say the things they do about the Ovi knee on knee hit on Gleason, that it was an accident or a happenstance.

Whos to say what happened earlier in the game that caused Crosby to start to rail on a guy like that? Hes not the kind of player to just react like that for no reason. Maybe that guy gave Crosby a pretty bad cheap shot earlier in the game and that was just payback? Of course whoever the Crosby hater is that posted that video isn't going to show anything but Crosby looking like an idiot. Besides, punching someone in the back of a helmet with a hockey glove on isn't going to do too much damage. Especially when its Crosby. If it were Brashear or Laraque maybe....but Crosby probably isn't the strongest puncher.

GoodPointJoe said...

That's like saying it's more okay for a mother to beat her child than a father, because she's not as strong. Back of the head punching is just a bad idea.

I'd be willing to say that Ovechkin is an undisciplined checker, and probably too aggressive in his attempts to check guys. His couple of knee-on-knee hits seem to have been a result of him flying in to try to check somebody and not reading their movements correctly. He goes for huge hits, and when he misses, there's sometimes collateral damage.

Mike Mattingly said...

i think both parents have equal rights to beat their kids :)

james said...

Unreally different. Bertuzzi pulled the guy, cocked his fist back and pull all he could into an unsuspecting player.
Crosby gave a rabbit punch that barely connects to the back of the dudes head.
The punch to the body with a hockey glove on is nothing. Was the punch to the beanbag necessary? No, but he was just flailing punches.

This is a non issue. Ovechkin's kneeing is a different story. Also the lack of him winning big games. Again a different story.

GoodPointJoe said...

Thank you, Mike.

And come on, James. Put a red #8 jersey on Crosby in that video, and you'd talk about it being yet another example of Ovie being a cheap shot artist. At least TRY to be honest with yourself.

Oh, and players don't win games; teams win games. The way I know that is that the banner says "Pittsburgh Penguins - Stanley Cup Champions", not "Sidney Crosby - Stanley Cup Champion". Go watch golf if you like cheering for one guy so much.

GPjames said...

I agree it's a team game, but that said the grreatest players are remembered for the big gmaes they won. As much as it hurts me to say it, my favorite quarterback of all time will never be in the conversation for the greatest quarterback of all time because he never won the big game. Put Marino on Joe Montana's 49ers and he would have multiple rings. But Marino never had a team to get him there and will never be known as a big game quarterback.

But the chances are pretty good that Ovechkin will get his Cup one year, maybe this one. So this will probably all be a moot point anyway.

GoodPointJoe said...

I don't deny that conventional evaluations tend to incorporate team success, but I think that's generally unfair in many team sports. The most active players in hockey spend a little less than half a game on the ice; Ovechkin and Crosby average about 22 minutes of ice time per game.

Even an NFL quarterback is on the field for less than half a game. I have trouble saying that Dan Marino is somehow less impressive than John Elway. Elway's got a career 79.9 passer rating. He's the most overrated quarterback in history. In fact, I think I've just thought of an article to write...Dan Marino vs. John Elway - Why It's Not Even Close

And of course, in the middle of this discussion, Ovechkin does this. Goddamn it.

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