THE CLOTH MUST CUT BOTH WAYS

Let me begin by saying I loathe the Canucks.

There is not a single strand of cognizance floating through my scrambled head that wishes even the smallest success on that franchise. I am not going to go into the details of why I feel this way as you have all been witnessing it throughout the Stanley Cup Finals. From the diving to the dirty little hacks and slashes to the ugliness of both their players faces and Luongo’s inept words towards Tim Thomas and to their fan’s fickle whining and unfounded entitlement, besides a fancy power play there is virtually nothing redeeming I can say about this team.

I was livid when Aaron Rome sent Nathan Horton out of the playoffs. My disdain for his team certainly fueled that particular fire.

But at some point the glasses of sport fan bias must come off and right now they fall to the floor and their shattered pieces spell “Suspend Boychuk”.

Boston defenseman Johnny Boychuk’s first period hit on Mason Raymond in game 6 was one of the nastiest I have seen. I am by no means a master of the NHL rulebook but I do not believe there is a specific provision for what Boychuk did. However the manner of the hit was viscous and could have killed Raymond, who is reported to miss the next 3-4 months with a compression fracture on his vertebrae. Layman’s terms – broken fucking back.

I’ve enjoyed Boychuk’s play throughout the playoffs and particularly in the finals. His early series hit on Kesler was a game changer and a beauty. Boychuk has shown ability to move the puck, make smart decisions and even sneak a puck or two through the opposing goaltender when he isn’t delivering highlight reel hits.

But he should not be playing in game 7, despite how desperately I want to afford the Bruin’s every opportunity to win the Cup tomorrow night and send the Sedin’s back to Sweden with only the cup that protects whatever they misconstrue as testicles to show for their efforts.

Here is the hit:

Disgusting. Malicious. Obscenely violent.

There is no more prone position than the one Raymond was in when Boychuk slammed him into the boards. Raymond did not have the puck and was already well out of the play. This play is simply illegal if Raymond is upright. With Raymond doubled over, practically blowing himself with the back of his head to Boychuk’s extending arms, this hit becomes fully suspension worthy. Had Boychuk simply glided with Raymond, then it if an unfortunate situation. However Boychuk’s extension of the arms at the end, to drive Raymond into the boards makes this hit so deplorable.

I can not ask for the NHL to be consistent in their punishment of ill-intended and uselessly violent hits if I only hem and haw against a players I dislike.

That being said, with the decision to force Boychuk out of the Bruin’s lineup nowhere near my ability to control, I will cheer for every Canuck that Boychuk flattens tomorrow.

I wish Raymond a speedy recover.

I wish the rest of the Vancouver Canucks a summer full of tears and regret.



Categories: L.A. Kings News

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15 replies

  1. Raymond was about to get the puck before Boychuk corkscrewed him (which should probably have been a tripping/obstruction penalty due to the stick work), so that makes his attempt to take the body legitimate. I don’t think his intent was malicious at the end, I think he was just trying to finish the check off. Ordinarily no one gets injured on this type of tie-up play, so I don’t really feel so strongly about a suspension like you do. I could see this going either way this year, hopefully they will clear these things up for next year.

    • Even in real time, too much time passes for my liking. The initial corkscrew doesn’t really bother me. It’s the follow through. It’s knowing that the back of someone’s head is in on your knuckles and still driving forward. It’s not hard to recognize in the split seconds that hockey decisions are made that if you do anything to a guy in that position you will probably break his neck. The initial attempt to take the body is fine. It’s what happens in the next 2 seconds that I find so upsetting. Realistically, this is probably just the adrenaline that comes with the puck drop of an elimination game in the finals, but I don’t feel comfortable making an excuse for Boychuk based off that.

      • Boychuck (I know! I spelled it wrong on porpose, because I suspect he’s sweet on boys) seemed as if he was just following through and taking Raymond all the way to the boards. If you watch, you can see him skating away normally, and almost track the exact momment that he notices that Raymond is down. He instantly turns, skates to his side, and looks to the ref with concern. I’m not justifying the hit, just sayin his reaction seemed to indicate that he wasn’t trying to hurt someone, and had no idea he did.

        I’m looking forward to this game 7. I picked Boston from the start because Vancouver is a rival, but I’m not a big Boston fan either, so just give me a battle and not a blow out and I’ll be stoked.

        Everybodies pissed at Vancouver which kind of makes them an underdog for me.

        • Everybodies pissed at Vancouver which kind of makes them an underdog for me.

          … Honestly, if 99% of the Kings’ fan base cheered half as hard for the Kings as they have against the Canucks in this series, we’d have the best and most supportive fans in the NHL.

          • Hyperbole much? Its not just king fans. Seems the entire hockey world wants Vancouver to crash and burn. I’ve watched the last few games at a bar and have seen fans of several teams and every last one of them is cheering for the Bruins. This is David and Goliath. US and Russia at Lake Placid. Frodo and Gollum. You just can’t root for the Canucks unless you are a Vancouver fan. There are no nice stories on their team. No modesty. No sportsmanship on or off the ice.

            I’ll take your statement as an amusing joke, but for each percentage of seriousness attached to it I will be incrementally more offended on behalf our fan base. This series isn’t about being a fan of anything other than the game of hockey and from a purely hockey, non-team centric biased standpoint, Boston is simply the right team to win it. Boston wins and we will all remember it fondly for many many years. If Vancouver wins it we will all try to forget how crappy a perfectly good playoff year turned out in the end. Kind of like in 2007…

          • Seems the entire hockey world wants Vancouver to crash and burn.

            … The “entire hockey world” does not = the United States. But this is a very American thing to say, since most in this country don’t really count the rest of the World as significant anyway.

            This is David and Goliath. US and Russia at Lake Placid.

            … Ahhh, yes. Fight hyperbole with hyperbole. They’re just two pretty evenly-matched good teams. That’s all. Two teams who have their annoying traits. One team whines and dives, the other is mostly made up of dirty shitstains who also do their share of diving. It’s just that there’s one side of hockey’s fan base (the American side of it) that has chosen the American-based team over the non-American-based team. That’s all it is, pretty much. And, with many Kings’ fans, it’s magnified because the Kings were owned in the playoffs by Vancouver a year ago. Not too hard to figure out.

            This series isn’t about being a fan of anything other than the game of hockey and from a purely hockey, non-team centric biased standpoint, Boston is simply the right team to win it.

            … Ahahahahahahahaha! The “right” team? Based on what? Checking smaller people into stanchions and then lying about intent and saying “I didn’t know where we were in the rink lolz”? Giving little love-tap punches to other people to goad them into taking penalties and saying later that “I felt like it lolz”? Checking other people in defenseless positions into the boards and giving them vertebral compression fractures? Yes, they’re so RIGHT. Paragons of rightness, in fact.

            Boston wins and we will all remember it fondly for many many years. If Vancouver wins it we will all try to forget how crappy a perfectly good playoff year turned out in the end.

            … If Boston wins, it would be an upset. If Vancouver wins, it wouldn’t. Pretty much it’s a battle between two annoying teams, one possibly a little more annoying than the other. I don’t really care much who wins, but seeing all the silly and irrational (and amusing) hatred toward the Canucks makes me want to root for Vancouver that much more. We’ll see how it all shakes down, but there’s no way I would look at this season’s playoffs as crap because one team not named the Ducks finally won out.

          • I’m going to assume you didn’t quote me on ‘frodo and gollum’ because you know deep down that it’s a dead on simile. If the Sedin’s skin tone alone doesn’t prove they grew up in caves like Gollum, I don’t know which way is up anymore.

            I like that you also implicitly said that Canada=Russia. Same annoying and tired elitist crap from Russia in the 80s and Canada in the… Well, always. I will say that i have read of many Canadians who also have a bone to pick with the Canucks. I’m sure country pride forces them to hope the cup finally goes back to Canada, but deep down manyof their own people are embarrassed by a team that disgraced their nation. Besides, their best players are either Swedes or Americans anyway :). If Kesler does lift the cup i hope he says that this makes up for those grimy Canadians stealing Olympic gold from him.

            And yes, Boston is the right team. They may be dirty but they are tough.

            I’m curious how you can reconcile saying that this series is between two pretty evenly matched teams but that if one wins it would be an upset. They are either evenly matched or one is an underdog.

            And to be perfectly honest, a lot of this right and wrong stuff comes down to what you said at the start of the series, it’s a tale of two goaltenders. One goaltender has worked his ass off as a journeyman for his entire career to get here and has done with toughness on the ice and humble pride off it. The other has spent his time diving, being bipolar in his performance, incapable of playing well on the road without his fan support, support that disappears as soon as he starts to play poorly, and making unnecessary, arrogant and inaccurate statements off the ice. In no way shape or form does Luongo deserve that cup over Thomas. That is the true battle of the noble and the impure.

          • I’m going to assume you didn’t quote me on ‘frodo and gollum’ because you know deep down that it’s a dead on simile.

            … Actually I don’t know who those are. I know of a Fredo Corleone from ‘The Godfather’, that’s as close as I get.

            I like that you also implicitly said that Canada=Russia. Same annoying and tired elitist crap from Russia in the 80s and Canada in the… Well, always. I will say that i have read of many Canadians who also have a bone to pick with the Canucks. I’m sure country pride forces them to hope the cup finally goes back to Canada, but deep down manyof their own people are embarrassed by a team that disgraced their nation.

            … I never implicitly said anything here, only that a lot are rooting for the Bruins because they’re based in America and their opponents are not. Most of the places I have gone to watch the games have even started up “U-S-A” chants. It’s pretty obvious to see, and not many give a shit about where the players are originally from. By the way, I never even mentioned Russia; you did that.

            Not too many Canadians I know or have met up with have any problem with the Canucks, other than Oilers’ and Flames’ fans who are still bitter than Vancouver usually beat them down during the season. And “disgraced their nation”, LMAO. The general consensus of people in Canada would be all too happy to have the Cup reside in their country for the first time since about the War of 1812. Like I said, these irrational (but funny) rationalizations you and others are making are a bit “out there”. I guess you need to make it OK in your minds somehow to root for the Bruins? I dunno, but it’s silly.

            And yes, Boston is the right team. They may be dirty but they are tough.

            … Like I said, it’s cool to root for Boston, but these little rationalizations are comical. They’re just dirty. It’s OK – so were the Ducks in ’07. So were the Flyers in ’74. It’s obviously being allowed by the NHL, so they may as well keep at it.

            I’m curious how you can reconcile saying that this series is between two pretty evenly matched teams but that if one wins it would be an upset. They are either evenly matched or one is an underdog.

            … I’d say it would be a bit of an upset if the Bruins won, but this isn’t the ’80 Olympics here. The gap in talent/experience is very small. Boston’s pretty damn talented in their own right and they’re playoff tested. They’re pretty even teams, but Vancouver’s a bit better.

            And to be perfectly honest, a lot of this right and wrong stuff comes down to what you said at the start of the series, it’s a tale of two goaltenders. One goaltender has worked his ass off as a journeyman for his entire career to get here and has done with toughness on the ice and humble pride off it. The other has spent his time diving, being bipolar in his performance, incapable of playing well on the road without his fan support, support that disappears as soon as he starts to play poorly, and making unnecessary, arrogant and inaccurate statements off the ice.

            … This sounds like that whining reporter in Boston – I can’t remember his name? Ahh yeah, Steve Buckley. Oh wait, there’s Joe Haggerty, as well.The true face of butthurt.

            It’s not like Luongo has cornered the market on diving, by the way. Thomas is good at it, too!

            Luongo said what he said in the context of “We play different styles. Tim Thomas makes saves I can’t, and I make saves he can’t.” HOLY GODS, HOW DARE HE. Talk about looking for a reason to turn this into some sort of holy war in hockey.

            In no way shape or form does Luongo deserve that cup over Thomas. That is the true battle of the noble and the impure.

            … Luongo has worked for eleven years in the NHL, many with bad teams which he had to carry, to get where he is now. He deserves a title just as much as Thomas does.

          • It is comical. That’s half the point. Welcome to Surly and Scribe! Otherwise known as the funniest damn site in hockey.

            I disagree with you for one very simple reason- because I can. Who ever said anything about being rational? That’s no fun.

          • I wasn’t there, but I’m pretty sure our fans were quite loud in the playoffs.

        • Yeah I too think he was just finishing his rub out play. You get tied up with someone, and you want to pin him for a moment and then get back to the play. That’s how you finish checks in the defensive zone. You don’t release immediately. I definitely don’t think intent was there.

          • The intent question is interesting.

            I can see how you can say he didn’t intend to hurt him. Im willing to buy that. But can you say he did not know he could have really hurt him? Wasn’t there plenty of time to realize how prone and vulnerable Raymond was? Does a lack of regard for a player’s safety equate to intent? I think in this case it ca.

            It’s like if a player falls in front of you. Are you obligated to jump over him? Not technically. There is nothing against skating into and tripping over a player if they fall right in front of you. However if his face falls in front of your skate blade, aren’t you obligated the law of decency and respect for your opponent to try and jump over him before your skate smashes into his face? If you hit him, there may not be intent, but there can still be negligence.

          • Absolutely. If he’s aware of the situation, and has enough time to make that decision, then he should. That thought did come to mind, so that is why I said I’m not justifying it, just pointing out his reaction. You can’t really say he intended to hurt him, but he did have enough time to avoid the hit. If he was aware that the player was vulnerable, then it’s a matter of whether he should of followed through or not. Hard to tell from the camara views, so it’s a judgement call by those who watch it. Unless Boychuck confesses.

          • imo it could go either way whether he knew he could have hurt him or he was in a very vulnerable position.

  2. Re: the diving issue. I think it is lol to say the Bruins came even close to diving like the Canucks. And the Canucks diving wasn’t limited to the Boston series either. We also saw a few other teams diving this playoffs (NSH). I think overall this crap needs to go before this sport turns into soccer. Have post game reviews and hand out fines next year. Dustin Brown may be a little bit poorer next season.

    I really don’t think getting into a scrum after the whistle is dirty play, either is a positional battle on a faceoff, or an accidental high stick that went uncalled. Being able to take a love tap or a facewash is a part of being a hockey player. You should be able to take it and dish something that isn’t going to get you penalized. And you don’t fall on the ice like you just got shot. Don’t be such a gotdamn pussy.

    I did see Lucic throwing some legitimate punches in a scrum against a player who wasn’t really prepared for it, and I would agree that type of play is dirty. So is spearing someone in the junk. There were plenty of hits that were close to questionable but didn’t end up in any injuries, on both sides.

    imo.

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