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03-12-2009, 02:54 PM
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I have no problem with players challenging a hitter after one of their teammates gets leveled, clean hit or not. I think it's a good display of loyalty to one's teammates. I also have no problem with the challenger being given an instigator or unsportsmanlike conduct penalty for doing it. Sometimes it's worth giving the other team a power play - quite possibly giving the other team a goal - to make a point. Sometimes it's not, and in those cases you'll see less and less of these fights if there's a guaranteed penalty coming. The more often an instigator is called - the more often your fight will put your team at a disadvantage - the less often retaliatory fights over relatively trivial hits will happen. And conversely, the more often an instigator is called, the more willing the hitter may be to fight (earning his team a power play), which could lead to more fights for the fans of that. In the cases of guys like Patrick Kaleta who will no doubt look to exploit this by goading the other team into challenging them - being the real instigators in this case - you could hand out parallel unsportsmanlike conducts to offset the instigator, a la tripping/diving calls.

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