Give me a list of the hardest hitting forwards in the league in your opinion. I disagree that Tootoo only finishes big hits behind the play, hes a consistent physical player on every shift hes out there but he also has the big hit potential which can mentally rattle a team by making them take penalties or have their defense nervous back there. I dont think Clutterbucks an elite power forward but hes one of the better hitting forwards in the league for sure.
You actually dont think a big hit can spark a teams momentum or have an effect on the other team?
Now give me a list of your top middleweight fighters. Tootoo is definitely top 5 in the NHL, arguably the best. If youre so sure then tell me who you think are way better... I'm sure your physics classes talked a lot about this so youll have an awesome list, maybe you'll get a stickerr for it.
Tootoo played 3 games against Detroit last year but he wasnt really needed because the team had enough toughness to beat Detroit and didnt have trust from Trotz after all he went through in Nashville. The last 3 or so years hes been on pace for about 30 points and last year he passed that number. Thats more than any player in the wings bottom 6 from last season while providing a physical edge and is a very good fighter.
So now if you dont want people questioning your hockey knowledge post your top 10 hitters in the NHL (hardest or best by your definition, either one) and lets see your top middleweight fighters. Oh and if you think Tootoo is just a guy fans raised on slap shot like than I guess Howard and Bert are big Slapshot fans, the effect of the crowd and momentum is a big dea in sports
I'm not going to keep going point-for-point with you on an argument that is subjective and cannot be won. Clutterbuck is as good as Tootoo (probably better), and that Wild team has been borderline terrible for his entire career. Of course momentum matters, and yes, a well-time hit, or a non-scripted fight can be a source of momentum. But they are not the ONLY sources of momentum. Some of the worst teams in hockey employ the best hitters and leaders in PIM/fighting majors, and it's been that way for years.
The fighting thing is a side show. You saw it again with Ken and Mickey last night. Ken (who I like as an announcer) saw Nik Kronwall get boarded and stagger off the ice with what looked like a possible concussion (turned out later he was okay, and Howard is apparently the one that is hurt). Ken seemed almost borderline excited that now Tootoo would have a reason to fight Rich Clune! As if a 45-second face smashing contest is a good trade-off for losing your best defenseman for a few games or weeks.
If you don't agree with me on the fighting thing, you probably won't agree with me on Tootoo either. But it's clear that:
(a) The presence of Tootoo didn't prevent Kronwall from being cheap-shotted in the first place, nor did it prevent Setoguchi from busting open Quincey's chin on Sunday (Setoguchi doesn't fight anyway), nor did Brad May (an actual heavyweight) prevent the rash of cheapshots and injuries that besieged the Wings after he was acquired in 2010.
(b) You can't spark anything from the bench, which is where Tootoo is for 52 out of 60 minutes every game
© Fighting as a reactive, symbolic gesture after somebody has already cheap-shotted your team feels good, but really doesn't impact short-term or long-term success of the team.
Tootoo played well yesterday, I'll give him that. The goal was lucky, but he had a great opportunity earlier where Rinne robbed him. He is on this team, and the Wings might as well play him if they're paying him. But he is a defensive liability, and I don't trust him long-term to avoid dumb penalties, which is what happened at the end of his Nashville run. He's also blocking the roster spot of a Griffins player that could potentially become a role player or Top 6 forward, which we're going to need a lot of in a big hurry with Cleary, Bertuzzi, Sammy, etc. aging fast.