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05-03-2004, 04:30 PM
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Originally Posted by Breenger
What disturbs me about this incident is that Perizhogan did not hold back at all when spining around and hitting that guy. He couldn't have hit him any harder...
don't take this personally, but it's an overstatement to say that he couldn't have hit him any harder. Ask any baseball player and they will tell you that the mechanics of hitting require fast wrists placed close together to get maximum effect (or ask any other engineer to back up my statement). While Perez did swing, his hands are actually way too far apart to merit your statement here. if i recall correctly, his hands actually get further apart as he swings around... mechanically, that is evidence that he's not trying to kill, he's holding back. I'm not defending the action, and it was a potentially lethal reaction on both sides (the missed swing and repeated crosschecks by stafford and perezhogins stick swinging reaction), but you simply can't make this statement... you aren't perezhogin, how would you know if he tried to hold back, or if he threw everything he had into it?? You don't.

After 48hours, with the other player obviously recovering well, it's time to take a step back and look at the entire situation... the refs lost control, failed to make appropriate calls leading up to the very unfortunate incident where two people could have lost their lives playing a contact game that was allowed to turn violent. The ref should face negligence charges, perezhogin should face assault charges, as should stafford for attempted assault with intent to injure (his stick swinging wasn't reactionary, so he's just as guilty... unless you can justify swinging a stick at someone else's head because you fall over him, and still find it in your heart to blast perezhogin for the same action??? I thought not.).

Both deserve to be severely reprimanded. The ref should be banned/fired from the AHL. Stick swinging isn't acceptable, but when looking for root causes, think of the fight-or-flight instinct most of us have... when you are backed into a corner, or when the powers that are supposed to protect you fail, what do you do?

Don Cherry in a fit of rational thinking mentioned a while back that players now are about 4inches and 30pounds heavier, and stronger than ever, yet we play on a rink the same size (relatively smaller since we play faster now with shorter, more intense shifts) with hard boards and bulletproof equipment. If the game isn't adjusted to account for the greater pain these guys can now inflict upon eachother, how far can you push your pain-tolerance threshold until you snap and return to fight-or-flight instincts? Out in an arena where another person's job is to abuse you and cause you so much pain that you are ineffectual despite your almost superhuman physique... can you imagine?? It's no wonder that we see increased incidences of behavior that makes us all want to vomit. It's not acceptable, but to close your eyes and say that there is no reason, that these guys are just horrible humans, that they are animals who chose to do this to one another is a failure to understand the limits we all have as humans.

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