Friday, February 23, 2007

The Aftermath of the Sens/Sabres Brawl

All right... it's over for now. So let's sort out what will happen next. I am calling two, maybe three, suspensions.

The first will be to Emery for his two fighting majors. I will go with one game. The second will be to Mair for going after Spezza. And while the NHL wants you to think that it is going to start letting the players police themselves, that couldn't be any further from the truth. Remember Donald Brashear going after Vishnevski in response to a cheap hit by Andy Sutton? Same thing here. There is no difference. Brashear got one game and I wouldn't be surprised at all to see Mair get one as well. Finally, Andrew Peters will get one game for fighting Emery. Why you ask? Your guess is as good as mine. But probably for some general reason like, "Mr. Peter's actions were unacceptable by NHL standards."

The real answer for why these suspensions may occur is, of course, to squelch any possiblity of a revenge game come Saturday night. All it will take will be one game suspensions to ensure the usual suspects are not in that game. It would be a terrible PR move by the NHL. Again, they would best be served to sit back and watch their ratings sky rocket come Saturday night. But the NHL has proven time and time again that it would rather step and destroy any chance at an emotion filled game, you know, what some refer to as the beginnings of a rivalry. I would expect any suspensions to be handed out today since the two teams play tomorrow.

One of the best parts of a brawl are the post game comments and quotes. Let's take a peak at what was said:

"Emotions were running high . . . It didn't matter who was on the ice, anybody would've responded," said Biron, who was ejected along with Emery and Buffalo tough guy Andrew Peters. "That was really satisfying. "And it's satisfying to see the way we played after that."

"I put out skill players and he sends out the five guys on his team that are going to start a fight," Murray said, referring to Ruff. He then accused the Sabres coach of ordering his players to
start the fight.

Ruff's answer to that was: "I'm not going to comment what I had on my mind." After pausing, Ruff added: "Go out and run 'em."

Sabres right wing Patrick Kaleta said, "It was a lot faster, quicker - passes were on the tape." "Its a great game to be a part of, whole bunch of stuff went on and hopefully I can say up here and make a lot more memories." Patrick's father, Tom Kaleta, said, "I knew he was gonna hit some people. That's his game. Having a point his first game was odd. I wasn't expecting that, so it was kinda nice."

"The hit is obviously something the other team is going to react to," Emery said. "I think it's healthy for the game, as long as people don't get hurt. I think it was a fun game to play."

"It was a clean hit. Everyone has seen it," Neil said. "When you're out in the heat of the battle, you're not sure what happens. The ref asked me, 'Did you get him with your elbow?' and I was pretty sure I didn't. It was all shoulder."

"My take on it, it was a late hit, a dirty hit," said Ruff, who, after the game, backed off his claim that it had been an elbow. "We can't respond any other way. I was so proud. I don't condone the tail end of it, with Andrew (Peters), but the players did the right thing."

"I thought it was embarrassing. I think there should be suspensions and there probably will be," Murray said. "Lindy kept complaining that it was an elbow, but Drury's helmet wasn't done up properly. And then Lindy sends out five guys and suckers some of our skilled players. "Obviously, they were told to do it, and that's disappointing. It was a fair hit."

"I don't know if it's going to be different, but you'll see (Senators tough guy Brian McGrattan) in the lineup," Emery said. "There's probably a little bit of a revenge factor. "You can't just sit down after their tough guys went after our skilled players."

Note: Should anyone from Ottawa be suspended, or should Brian Murray get brave, the Sens have four capable tough guys in their system... Danny Bois, Mike Sgroi, Serge Payer, and Jamie Allison. Should Mair or Peters be told to sit a game, don't be surprised to see Stefan Mayer get the call.

Photograph by : Dan Cappellazzo/AP


Rob's Thinking Tank said...

I think you nailed it. We live in a world that involves people wanting to be entertained. The average person who does not have much NHL knowledge would try to tune in on Saturday night because of what he or she saw on ESPN or TSN.

When I found out that there will be a rematch on Saturday. I kinda figured that we will see a few suspensions.But should we? I wish it did not come down to fighting in the NHL but we can all admit well most of us that fighting is what keeps this sport alive.

In my opinion the NHL should not worry about suspensions for Saturday night. They should try and figure out, how they are going to get this game on Victory! :)

Anywho I just came across your blog and it is now on my favorites :)

Keep it up! Very Good Info!

Faux Rumors2 said...

1) Fighting needs to be encouraged. As Emory himself said as long as no one gets hurt its exciting.
2) The decline in fighting directly correlates with the decline in fan interest. Stop the pussification of the NHL. No suspensions. They should get bonuses!

Drew said...

"The ref asked me, 'Did you get him with your elbow?' and I was pretty sure I didn't. It was all shoulder."

Well gee, Neil won't admit to doing anything wrong, so I guess we can't penalize him for it.

Not that I'm complaining after the events that followed!

Sig said...

Mike Mancari has been called up by the Sabres... tough kid. More on him in a preview here tomorrow.