CFN – Calgary and Vancouver played Saturday night.
The Canucks wangled a 3-2 win; but it was the opening 5 on 5 brawl that has the world of Social Media buzzing today.
Calgary started their Brian Burke kind of guys.
Vancouver coach, John Tortarella, never one to be mistaken for Mother Teresa, kicked it into high gear and made a statement. He also put on a show during and after the brawl and apparently headed to the opponents dressing room between periods.
The good news was that D man Kevin Bieksa took the face off and won. I’m not sure why Beiksa and Garrison were on D for the opening donnybrook; but that’s hockey!
6’6 Kellan Lain made his debut for Vancouver. It lasted 2 seconds, literally as he ate a game misconduct. Welcome to the NHL!
There were no other fights in the game, won by Chris Higgins in the shoot out and both times fired 33 shots on goal at each other.
PJ Stock, analyst on CBC sorta giggled about it and I’m sure Don Cherry was shocked, not!
However Peter Gammons; long time baseball writer was.
Calgary and Vancouver last night reiterated why the NHL is a minor sport
— Peter Gammons (@pgammo) January 19, 2014
Mr. Gammons may be right in some ways; and the debate about fighting is ongoing even among we Canadians; but as many pointed out; baseball, the sport Mr. Gammons has earned his living from for decades now is a dirty sport. It’s an embarrassing sport and one rotten to the core. I gave up personally on baseball in the late 90’s; while some would say because our beloved Expos in Montreal were stolen from us it came down for me to the game losing its soul.
It was just one impoverished pumped up immigrant going from being a skinny kid playing stick ball to massive bulls knocking 30, 40, 50, 60, 70 home runs out of ball parks and raping pitchers numbers. Short stops going from .240 2 home run guys turning in 20 home run hitters. And while eventually the majority of MLB players did something to give them an edge to the point where the came changed and frankly will never go back. Add in huge dollars and well…there are other things to do. Bud Selig; an owner and then commish turned blind eyes along with the rest of the baseball establishment including many writers because it made everyone….MONEY.
The NHL is partly on that path. It’s American Commish is pushing hard to bring the sport to a point where someone like Peter Gammons might prefer it; but hockey and Canada have proud history. It’s our spirit that made us the storm troopers in World Wars that the bad guys feared. Yes we fight in Hockey; but in life sometimes you have to fight. You can’t just turn your back and at it’s purest in Hockey you are fighting to defend your team mates. To defend your colours and stand up for those that can’t.
Those are qualities I will always be proud of. Can we ditch some of the staged fighting? Absolutely.
While Mr. Gammons’ is being scorned for his comments I don’t have ridicule for him; rather I think he deserves to cover hockey; and not at the NHL level I think he needs to head out to Saskatchewan for a few months, and maybe Quebec in February and learn what it means to love Hockey and why Hockey may be the last true sport in North America; at least until our American friends turn it into some freaky steroid filled NFL half time party mess.