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unsaddleddonald

Are teams going to "bait" us into fighting?

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I honestly can't believe this whole discussion began because I said that having a good powerplay would make other teams hurt for trying to fight. Isn't that something of a truism? If I were to say the equal but opposite, e.g. having a bad powerplay doesn't make other teams hurt for trying to fight, everyone would agree. But here we are.

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I don't see the correlation between "fighting is trending downward" and "fighting is not going anywhere." Fights per game are at just over half of what they were 15 years ago, and a bit shy of a third what they were 25 years ago. Fighting is not a thing of the past---it will continue---but its old role is absolutely a thing of the past.

The difference between 1997 and 1998 was .03 fights per game. Not exactly huge. And as is habitually mentioned, this was the past. It's the distant past, by this stage: we're more than 15 years down the line from that '97 Stanley Cup.

Are we once again straying into discussion of guys who can play and also fight? We were talking pure fighters, so let's stick with that. There's no proof that having such a fighter increases a team's chances of winning, nor that not having such a player decreases a team's chances of winning.

Again, you're making a correlation that has no factual basis. Your logic is backwards. The simple fact is that teams have dressed tough guys for a very long time. The fact that so many Stanley Cup-winning teams had one is the direct result of that trend---one that teams have only begun to buck in the post-2006 lockout years---rather than from any belief in the vital importance of having a tough guy on the roster. The idea that the presence of a tough guy was a vital component in those championships is absolutely circumstantial and likely untrue.

All that I am saying is this, and It is my personal opinion: I believe that having a guy in the line-up, even if all he can really do is fight, is worth more to a team than one more extra scrub like a Kopecky in '09, when EVERYONE AND THEIR GRANDMOTHER'S were taking liberties with Detroit, or an Emmerton/Samuelsson on this team. Simple as that.

Teams have not targeted Detroit like they did in '09 for one simple reason: they are not all that relevant anymore. They are not the defending Stanley Cup champions, and they are not the barometer; Chicago and Boston are, and I guarantee you that their coach or GM would never let their top stars take the extra abuse game after game like Holland and Babcock did in '09 without some intervention.

Honestly, talk about reaching to make a point. I'm sure Aaron Downey's 56 regular season games were the key to our 08 cup :glare:

Anyway, as usual, a fighting thread has devolved into those who believe fighters should also be able to play vs Downey/May/Norton

Players said that they loved having Downey out there. Ask yourself why. No, he was not a major factor, at east not in a tangible way, in Detroit eventually winning the Cup, but don't knock what he did provide the team during the regular season. I'm not here to present indisputable evidence as to why or how having an enforcer in your line-up during the regular season correlates with winning a Cup, because there really isn't any -at least none that can be pointed to on a stat sheet, and most NHL teams routinely dress one anyways. All that I'm saying is that there is also no evidence that NOT dressing an enforcer during the regular season does anything more for your team than earn your star players a little extra abuse. That's it; that's my argument. Take it or leave it.

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Guest Crymson   
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All that I am saying is this, and It is my personal opinion: I believe that having a guy in the line-up, even if all he can really do is fight, is worth more to a team than one more extra scrub like a Kopecky in '09, when EVERYONE AND THEIR GRANDMOTHER'S were taking liberties with Detroit, or an Emmerton/Samuelsson on this team. Simple as that.

You'll need to remind me of this. Exactly when in the 2008-2009 season was everyone roughing up the Red Wings? Was it in the playoffs? Are you speaking of Commodore dumping himself into the bench after Stuart destroyed Umberger? Perhaps you're referring to the fights with the Ducks at the end of game six, but you're forgetting that Ericsson whooped Perry earlier in the series; I guess you could be referring to Brown's hit on Hudler, but it's rather hard to exact retribution on a guy who gets kicked out of the game and doesn't play in the rest of the series. Or maybe you're talking about the minor scrum after Kronwall obliterated Havlat? I mean, I really just don't get it. I don't remember any circumstances in the regular season either.

Teams have not targeted Detroit like they did in '09 for one simple reason: they are not all that relevant anymore. They are not the defending Stanley Cup champions, and they are not the barometer

Again, I nearly stopped reading here. This seems like an awfully easy way to give no examples in 2008-2009 and then say that there simply aren't any from the next season onward. Perhaps you're forgetting that in the 2009-2010 season, the Wings were coming off a three-season stretch in which they lost in the conference finals, made it to the finals twice, and won the Cup once. There were most certainly still one of the most hailed teams in the league, if not the most hailed. Nevertheless, your claim makes little sense: teams do what works. Whether they play more physically or less physically is a function of strategy and construction. They will not be stupidly aggressive simply because a team is prestigious.

Also, you're contravening your own argument. You're saying that the Wings regularly got roughed up in 2008-2009... but that everyone stopped because the Wings supposedly weren't irrelevant anymore. Um, OK. If that were actually the case, then why would the team need an enforcer now?

Chicago and Boston are, and I guarantee you that their coach or GM would never let their top stars take the extra abuse game after game like Holland and Babcock did in '09 without some intervention.

Again, what happened in that season? Whatever the case, Chicago doesn't play an enforcer. A couple of Blackhawks will fight, just as a few Wings will do.

Players said that they loved having Downey out there. Ask yourself why. No, he was not a major factor, at east not in a tangible way, in Detroit eventually winning the Cup, but don't knock what he did provide the team during the regular season. I'm not here to present indisputable evidence as to why or how having an enforcer in your line-up during the regular season correlates with winning a Cup, because there really isn't any -at least none that can be pointed to on a stat sheet, and most NHL teams routinely dress one anyways. All that I'm saying is that there is also no evidence that NOT dressing an enforcer during the regular season does anything more for your team than earn your star players a little extra abuse. That's it; that's my argument. Take it or leave it.

Saying that there's no evidence a measure will NOT help in its area of intent is not a very effective strategy in discussion. There's also no evidence that to say that, for example, standing on your head for four hours daily won't extend your lifespan by 20 years. I'll go with "leave it."

Edited by Crymson

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You'll need to remind me of this. Exactly when in the 2008-2009 season was everyone roughing up the Red Wings? Was it in the playoffs? Are you speaking of Commodore dumping himself into the bench after Stuart destroyed Kronwall? Perhaps you're referring to the fights with the Ducks at the end of game six, but you're forgetting that Ericsson whooped Perry earlier in the series; I guess you could be referring to Brown's hit on Hudler, but it's rather hard to exact retribution on a guy who gets kicked out of the game and doesn't play in the rest of the series. Or maybe you're talking about the minor scrum after Kronwall obliterated Havlat? I mean, I really just don't get it. I don't remember any circumstances in the regular season either.

Again, I nearly stopped reading here. This seems like an awfully easy way to give no examples in 2008-2009 and then say that there simply aren't any from the next season onward. Perhaps you're forgetting that in the 2009-2010 season, the Wings were coming off a three-season stretch in which they lost in the conference finals, made it to the finals twice, and won the Cup once. There were most certainly still one of the most hailed teams in the league, if not the most hailed. Nevertheless, your claim makes little sense: teams do what works. Whether they play more physically or less physically is a function of strategy and construction. They will not be stupidly aggressive simply because a team is prestigious.

Also, you're contravening your own argument. You're saying that the Wings regularly got roughed up in 2008-2009... but that everyone stopped because the Wings supposedly weren't irrelevant anymore. Um, OK. If that were actually the case, then why would the team need an enforcer now?

Again, what happened in that season? Whatever the case, Chicago doesn't play an enforcer. A couple of Blackhawks will fight, just as a few Wings will do.

Saying that there's no evidence a measure will NOT help in its area of intent is not a very effective strategy in discussion. There's also no evidence that to say that, for example, standing on your head for four hours daily won't extend your lifespan by 20 years. I'll go with "leave it."

Ok, now I have to assume you just don't watch the games, or perhaps you have the ability to overlook what you don't want to acknowledge. And I'm mostly talking about the '09 regular season. Examples? How about every game. Detroit was roughed up enough in that season that we got the lovely phrase: "our powerplay will be/is our enforcer" in response to much criticism of Detroit NOT having an enforcer. Just because there weren't a lot of significant injuries inflicted does not mean it did not take its toll. When the strategy of "ignore rather than address" actually yield's results, you'll have an argument. Like I said, I don't care if there is any direct, statistical correlation between team toughness and Championships, that fact is this, Detroit has yet to win a Stanley Cup with any of the soft teams they have iced over the last several seasons, and won with the one that was not soft. You can argue until you turn blue, but it's a fact. Last post-season, Tootoo absolutely should have played. Would it have made a difference? Who the hell knows. But it at least would have been a counter-punch to what Shaw and Bickell were doing for Chicago. You need those types of players in the playoffs, like Drake for us in '08. Hitting can be as big a part of hockey as scoring.

Edited by haroldsnepsts

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The Wings are not going to be intimidated or goaded. Sure there will be the odd fight, even the odd fight of Pavel Datsyuk teaching Cory Perry what's what. But all in all, with all the rough and tough teams of the last 20 years in the west, nothing much is going to change. The Wings are cool customers.

Like Coach Babcock says, "If you think the best way to help the hockey club is to get up and punch somebody in the head and take a penalty you do that."

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Guest Crymson   
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Ok, now I have to assume you just don't watch the games, or perhaps you have the ability to overlook what you don't want to acknowledge. And I'm mostly talking about the '09 regular season. Examples? How about every game. Detroit was roughed up enough in that season that we got the lovely phrase: "our powerplay will be/is our enforcer" in response to much criticism of Detroit NOT having an enforcer.

I hardly missed a game in that season. Sorry, but "every game" doesn't work. I'll need some actual examples if we're going to discuss this.

"Our power play is our enforcer" was coined by Mathieu Schneider during the 2005-2006 season.

Just because there weren't a lot of significant injuries inflicted does not mean it did not take its toll.

This can be neither quantified nor verified.

When the strategy of "ignore rather than address" actually yield's results, you'll have an argument. Like I said, I don't care if there is any direct, statistical correlation between team toughness and Championships, that fact is this, Detroit has yet to win a Stanley Cup with any of the soft teams they have iced over the last several seasons, and won with the one that was not soft.

Aaron Downey didn't play a single game in the playoffs; the team's only physical players were Kronwall, Drake, and Stuart. The 2007-2008 squad won the Cup on the power of its skill rather than its grit. The 2001-2002 team likewise won the Cup on skill; the only physical players on that roster were McCarty, Fischer, and Holmstrom.

Skill can win. It won this last season, and it won in 2002, 2006, 2008, 2009, and 2010.

Last post-season, Tootoo absolutely should have played. Would it have made a difference? Who the hell knows. But it at least would have been a counter-punch to what Shaw and Bickell were doing for Chicago. You need those types of players in the playoffs, like Drake for us in '08. Hitting can be as big a part of hockey as scoring.

Tootoo played in one game against the Ducks, a team substantially more physical than the Blackhawks. He played poorly. Tootoo is not good at playing defense, and he is undisciplined as well. He played himself off the roster.

As for the second round: the Red Wings outhit the Blackhawks, and generally played a more physical series. The Blackhawks were the softest team in last year's playoffs, as their fans will attest. They won the Cup anyway.

You can argue until you turn blue, but it's a fact.

If you're going to arbitrarily declare your viewpoint as fact, then we have little reason to continue this discussion.

Edited by Crymson

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Considering the fight Ericsson had last night with Clarkson and Kindl's fight against Boston last week, I'm concerned that teams will bait us into fighting with them. In other words, our guys won't be willing to fight, but the ref won't whistle the instigator and our guys will more or less be forced to fight.

Is this a valid concern?

I don't think they bait us as much as they'll want to push the envelope with physical play, or play with the intent to intimidate.

It'll be interesting.

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We seem to hear/read alot of opinions from journalists/sports writers/talk show hosts/bloggers/etc/etc on fighting in todays game (primarily the NHL).

How often do we hear the players side of things?

IMHO if fighting were to be eliminated at the NHL level - lets have the players vote it out of the game rather than public opinion.

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I am more worried about an aggressive forecheck, like that of the B's or the Blackhawks, than I am someone baiting.

This young D has not done very well under extreme forechecking.

I think that is what got the Hawks back in the series last year, ton of pressure on the young D and they tended to cough up the puck.

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@DarrenDreger: Yzerman, Shero and Rutherford speak candidly on elimination of fighting. http://t.co/o12FGCFe2P

Posting this here as it seems to be the most relevant open topic.

Some interesting viewpoints in that TSN article...Yzerman feeling that fighting should result in game misconducts (as mentioned in the article how he benifited with a certain element within the Wings line up during his days as a player), and Shero's stance on crackdowns to hits to the head (Matt Cooke - need I say more).

Quote from the article in which I support 100%...

Ninety-eight per cent of NHL players polled in 2011-2012 were in favour of keeping fighting in the game and while there's no immediate plan to conduct a new players survey, the overwhelming support to leave things as they are may not change. And while sensitive to Parros' injury, Flyers forward Vincent Lecavalier said Wednesday that if he was asked to vote again, he would vote the same way and believes fighting still has its place.

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I agree the players should have some say, but to cross reference the NFL here,

Not a single player was demanding the league do anything about hits to the head, not former players and certainly not current players. Then a ton of them sued the league over concussions and not educating the players enough.

Most professional athletes are ultra competitive and and carry a Machismo type of swagger, I think they see it as a being a wimp if they do not support fighting.

Not a societal pressure, just an innate feeling they have.

The league dodged a legal bullet when 3 enforcers died in the same off season and they did not get a class action suit filed against them (that I know of).

It would not surprise me if fighting were taken out of the game just simply so the NHL could avoid a potential law suit.

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Taking fighting out of the game eliminates peoples livelihoods. Not all of them of course, but alot of guys. Plus, the stars in the NHL still believe there's a place for fighting in the game. I don't think, for those 2 reasons, the PA will ever sign off on getting rid of fighting. As it shouldn't, it will always be a part of the game. It really disappoints me to see Stevie Y say those things, considering he played with Probie, Kocur, McCarty, Shanahan, and many others. I realize he's a GM now, but was a player for so long. Rick Tocchet said it best on Twitter today.

Rick Tocchet ‏@RealRocket22 33m

"Hey I can play with no fighting rules. I will agitate , play aggressive , etc ..against the other teams best players realizing that there
Isn't a damn thing the other team can do . Other than play the same way back . Becomes a very chippy game with stick work - trust me"

Rats are bad enough now, they'll absolutely get out of hand if any retribution for their actions is eliminated. You think those guys are afraid of suspension? Ya right, if Matt Cooke was never banned for life after his actions, no one ever will be. It's a slippery slope the NHL are dealing with now, and I hope they don't make the wrong move.

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Guest Crymson   
Guest Crymson

I'm not against fighting. I think it's a part of the game, though I also think that it's becoming less and less a part of the game. That's fine with me.

Some interesting viewpoints in that TSN article...Yzerman feeling that fighting should result in game misconducts (as mentioned in the article how he benifited with a certain element within the Wings line up during his days as a player), and Shero's stance on crackdowns to hits to the head (Matt Cooke - need I say more).

All the punches that Probert took in protecting Yzerman contributed to the latter's early death from chronic traumatic encephalopathy. I suspect it's a burden for Yzerman to know that the guys who took to the ice to protect him and other stars in his day very well may end up with traumatic brain injuries as a result, and that the same thing may begin happening---indeed, has begun happening, Boogaard being an example---to this generation's crop of enforcers.

I think many of those who burn to see more fighting in the NHL don't take into account the damage that years of hockey scraps can do to a player's brain.

Edited by Crymson

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All the punches that Probert took in protecting Yzerman contributed to the latter's early death from chronic traumatic encephalopathy. I suspect it's a burden for Yzerman to know that the guys who took to the ice to protect him and other stars in his day very well may end up with traumatic brain injuries as a result, and that the same thing may begin happening---indeed, has begun happening, Boogaard being an example---to this generation's crop of enforcers.

I think many of those who burn to see more fighting in the NHL don't take into account the damage that years of hockey scraps can do to a player's brain.

This is true, sooooo many studies have shown ties between heart attacks and getting punched in the head. Much more of a correlation than doing enough blow to kill the average man on a regular basis :rolleyes:

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I'm not against fighting. I think it's a part of the game, though I also think that it's becoming less and less a part of the game. That's fine with me.

All the punches that Probert took in protecting Yzerman contributed to the latter's early death from chronic traumatic encephalopathy. I suspect it's a burden for Yzerman to know that the guys who took to the ice to protect him and other stars in his day very well may end up with traumatic brain injuries as a result, and that the same thing may begin happening---indeed, has begun happening, Boogaard being an example---to this generation's crop of enforcers.

I think many of those who burn to see more fighting in the NHL don't take into account the damage that years of hockey scraps can do to a player's brain.

Bob Probert suffered a fatal heart attack while working on his boat in the middle of a lake in 80 plus degree heat...His death had nothing to do with the repeated blows he took to his noggin throughout his hockey career...Those 2 conditions - cardiac arrest, and encephalopathy (a degenerative brain disease) have little to nothing in common.

Probie's alcohol consumption/caffeine intake/drug use/family genetics (his dad also died from a heart attack) all played a role in his untimely death...Taking punches at that time did not...

Now with that being said...If Bob Probert were still alive today - he would most likely notice conditions related to his fisticuffs ie memory loss, loss of coordination, and motor skills over time are a few examples that occur as he ages.

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Another thought:

Seeing as most of the pro-fight crowd use people getting run to defend their position, where do you stand on fights after clean hits?

Fights right from the face off?

Fights because both enforcers are simply on the ice?

Fights where a the guy who "Ran" or committed the egregious act is no longer on the ice, so 2 guys go at it who were not involved in the original act?

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I see an osteopathic physician. (Basically, all about the brain, and stuff.) He hates what hockey did to me and what it does to, well, hockey players. Funny thing is, he's Canadian.

Anyway, I think I was going to post something slightly more relevant but I can't remember what it was.

Also, what year is it again?

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Taking fighting out of the game eliminates peoples livelihoods. Not all of them of course, but alot of guys. Plus, the stars in the NHL still believe there's a place for fighting in the game. I don't think, for those 2 reasons, the PA will ever sign off on getting rid of fighting. As it shouldn't, it will always be a part of the game. It really disappoints me to see Stevie Y say those things, considering he played with Probie, Kocur, McCarty, Shanahan, and many others. I realize he's a GM now, but was a player for so long. Rick Tocchet said it best on Twitter today.

Rick Tocchet ‏@RealRocket22 33m

"Hey I can play with no fighting rules. I will agitate , play aggressive , etc ..against the other teams best players realizing that there

Isn't a damn thing the other team can do . Other than play the same way back . Becomes a very chippy game with stick work - trust me"

Rats are bad enough now, they'll absolutely get out of hand if any retribution for their actions is eliminated. You think those guys are afraid of suspension? Ya right, if Matt Cooke was never banned for life after his actions, no one ever will be. It's a slippery slope the NHL are dealing with now, and I hope they don't make the wrong move.

That's just it...Not saying enforcers, or fighting equals less turds like Cooke on the ice, but I'd like to think that some form of retribution in the form of a fist being driven into one's face might persuade some opponents from taking liberties.

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Bob Probert suffered a fatal heart attack while working on his boat in the middle of a lake in 80 plus degree heat...His death had nothing to do with the repeated blows he took to his noggin throughout his hockey career...Those 2 conditions - cardiac arrest, and encephalopathy (a degenerative brain disease) have little to nothing in common.

Probie's alcohol consumption/caffeine intake/drug use/family genetics (his dad also died from a heart attack) all played a role in his untimely death...Taking punches at that time did not...

Now with that being said...If Bob Probert were still alive today - he would most likely notice conditions related to his fisticuffs ie memory loss, loss of coordination, and motor skills over time are a few examples that occur as he ages.

Actually the debate about the correlation between CTE and heart disease has been raging on between BU and U of M since 2011.

Seeing as the brain technically "controls" bodily functions some experts believe CTE can lead to worsening of existing heart conditions.

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Bob Probert suffered a fatal heart attack while working on his boat in the middle of a lake in 80 plus degree heat...His death had nothing to do with the repeated blows he took to his noggin throughout his hockey career...

The blows may not have been the direct cause. But I've gotta think they didn't exactly help matters.

Generally speaking, being punched in the head countless times is not good for you.

Edited by Dabura

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