Regarding the inevitable fighting discussion, I think there's a distinction to be made between preventing all out cheapshots a la Matt Cooke, and being a deterrent to guys running around and agitating all game without having to answer for it. One example that comes to mind is when Bertuzzi fought Shane O'Brien twice in the same game against the Predators a couple seasons ago.
They were running the Wings all game. After that, not so much. Having a guy that plays 6 minutes a night to fight isn't as much of a deterrent anymore, but if you have someone playing fairly regularly who's also willing to drop the gloves, I think that absolutely can be a deterrent. Many times I've seen an agitator throttle back a little bit after the prospect of getting punched in the face becomes a real threat. It shows you won't be pushed around, and no one likes getting punched in the face.
Some thoughts from Wings players and coach after that Predators game, which I think explains the concept well.
I think staged fights are mostly garbage. A side spectacle by enforcers who usually don't have much else to offer. But players sticking up for themselves and keeping from getting run, or the "keeping the flies off" as Babcock puts it, yes please.
That being said, I don't think Tootoo provides a ton of deterrent. He plays such a limited role on the team, I'm guessing because when he's most effective hitting and agitating is also when he's least effective defensively. And while he's a good fighter given his size, I don't think he puts the fear into many people, other than being afraid he'll suckerpunch you.
Your feelings towards tootoo have not changed since he was on nashville example what was bolded. Did he sucker anyone while playing with the wings so far? so you saying tootoo is pretty much worthless I feel you are not giving him a fair shake and really seeing what he brings and how he could help in games like the chicago series where the wings started to get bullied around because no one wanted to stand up. Tootoo played with a ton of heart every shift out there and if you and others didn't see that I'm not sure what else to say. He went non stop every shift hitting everything trying to score..trying to make plays. I compare him to Helm with his heart of the game. Like a lion. Of course he doesn't have helms skill really but I would take 100 players like that over players like miller,eaves or emmerton. There were a ton of times I didn't even know Miller or Emmerton was even on the ice. When Tootoo is out there everyone on the ice and in the stands knows he is there.
- GMRwings1983 likes this