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01-25-2013, 09:23 PM
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Originally Posted by HugginThePost View Post
I'm really not sure what to say here. You admit that he was following the "code" by sticking up for his skill guy, something that is to be expected. You can't let hits like that go un-punished. But yet he didn't instigate the fight? I don't understand that. Smid instigated the fight by getting in his face after he legally hit Eberle.

On the same topic, let's say Eberle tore his MCL in that play. What did Smid do that would make that better? Getting beat up cures Eberle's knee. People are now afraid to hit the Oiler stars?? It all makes no sense?

I don't want to be the "get off my lawn" guy. But this is a relatively new thing. There were exceptions in the past, Gretz being the obvious one. But if you can't take a clean hit without someone having to attack the player for you, maybe hockey isn't your sport?
Never said it was a perfect science, one that makes sense all the time. Just responding to your appeal that big hits shouldn't have to elicit a challenge to fight. And I disagree that this is a "relatively new thing". I can't, nor do I claim to, speak to your personal experience with the game of hockey. But this mentality had accompanied all my years playing in far lesser levels of leagues. And while I agree that Gretzky was certainly "stuck up for", the concept of defending a teammate has been commonplace in the NHL for as long as I can recall.

Your point about Eberle's hypothetical MCL is fair: fighting Nolan doesn't somehow "repair" the damage done. But intimidation is far more a part of hockey than it is a part of soccer, for instance. Knowing that you'll have to face the risk of having your face punched by an opponent that wants to set you straight no doubt has an influence on a player's likelihood to bash another body, let alone an impact on the momentum that is at play.

To your point about instigation, I guess it's apples to oranges unless we're talking the same definition. Going up to a player while play is still on and asking another to fight doesn't amount to instigation, and the NHL would agree. Instigation is the act of dropping the gloves and beginning to fight, whereby the play is needing to be stopped. I'll have to acknowledge being wrong if highlights confirm otherwise - I'm going by recollection, here - but my memory doesn't have Smid attacking Nolan. Instead, he challenged him, and responded to Nolan's willingness by (simultaneously) dropping the gloves from there.

But each to his own, I suppose.

I am in agreement that the frequency of fights that are evoked by hits can get a little ridiculous. But if the league (read: predominantly American media) eradicates fighting, a lot of people that appreciate its role in hockey figure the game will change, and not for the better.

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