I'm puzzled by people mentioning the Draper/Lemiuex and Lidstrom/Laperrierre hits. On both occasions we had fighters on the team., on both occasions they did nothing to prevent the hit occuring. No point circle jerking over Downey dropping the gloves when Lidstrom is already out injured. Clearly Downey failed as an enforcer.
Lemiuex was a dirty SOB his entire career and enforcers did nothing to stop his cheap-shotting.
Its been speculated for at least as long as I've been following hockey (20 years for the record) that one day someone will be killed in a fight when they hit their head on the ice, and that will be the trigger for banning fighting.
Its why I hate "takedowns", far more dangerous than punching someones helmet, and one day someone will suffer brain damage or worse from it as they get pile driven head first into the ice.
Heard the same thing when Flieschman and Matthias left, heard it countless times.
This same argument is had every year when a promising youngster sits the pine to a vet. In fact it happened last summer with these same names.
The difference is that at this point Tatar and Nyquist are our best forward prospects since probably Hudler and Filpulla in the mid-2000's, and in the long run one or both of them may turn out to be better. Huds and Flip were also battling to get a spot on a far superior roster than we have now.
I don't actually have much against Bert, Cleary, Miller, Eaves, Tootoo, even Sammy. I do have a problem with all of them together, plus Emmerton as well who is clearly not an NHL player. One of Miller or Eaves. One of Bert or Cleary. Emmerton in the AHL where he belongs. We've got a collection of bit-part players - every squad has to have them to fill out their roster in the cap world. Problem is, they're not filling out the roster, they're half the roster, and they're keeping better players out.
Bert-Andersson-Cleary may not be the worst line in the NHL but it sure as hell is the slowest. I fear for Andersson without the dynamism of Nyquist and Brunnner Tatar on his wings.
Personally, I'm just hoping that being in the East, Pavel will get some of the recognition he deserves - both from fans and the media. The post-season awards seem to have become even more east-centric the last few years, and I'm sick of hearing fans of Eastern teams yapping on about how defence and two-way play are over-rated and how they'd take Ovechkins 100 points and no defence over Pavel's 80 points and Selke level defence.
My personal fave was during the '08 finals. For some reason the NHL stops giving us the CBC/Versus/NBC/local feed during the finals and gives us a special "international" commentary that treats the viewers like idiots. Anyway, the intermission interviews are always a Euro from each team and they always finish the interview by saying "would you like to say something in you native tongue for the folks back home?" and the player will give a line in whatever language.
So one game it was Sammy for Detroit.
Dave Strader: Mikael, one last thing, would you like to say something in your native tongue for the folks back home?
Lidstrom can live to be 100, win 5 consecutive terms as Swedish Prime Minister, be awarded the Nobel Prizes for Peace, Medicine and Literature, win the Oscar for best actor for his portrayal of Gustavos Alophus in Sean Avery's 9 hour epic "The 30 Years War", be raised to Sainthood by the Roman Catholic Church, all to go with his 4 Stanley Cups, Olympic Gold, World Championship gold, 12 All-Star appearances, 7 Norris Trophies, and 1 Conn Smythe.
And on his deathbed, all he will be able to think about is that last second shot that he fired straight into MAF's chest.
There is a thread for this in the Griffins forum, but since no-one goes there, and no-one has seemingly seen it, I hope the mods allow this thread to remain.
The Griffins did an HBO 24/7 style "behind the benches" series of videos for each round of their playoff run, which are frankly amazing. The production values are incredible and they offer a fascinating insight. The links are for the 2 videos from the finals, but all the previous rounds are linked beneath the videos.
Several things spring to mind watching them.
Blashill is mini-Babcock. Very cool and proffesional.
Ferraro has a mouth and an agitating style to match Maltby, and drops the gloves to boot.
Tatar is a VERY confident individual, borderline arrogance and I can see why he rubs some Wings fans the wrong way. He's going to really wind the opposition up.
The importance of the veterans on that team. Some round here would I think like every player on the Griffins to be under-21, but its clear guys like Hoggan and Grant were hugely important on and off the ice.
Best line of the series - Triston Grant on being complimented on his playoff beard "Thanks, I have my mothers genes"