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Why has Pittsburgh never protected their stars?

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Old
03-11-2006, 02:05 PM
  #1
Big Phil
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Why has Pittsburgh never protected their stars?

I remember a few years back maybe about 12-15 years back, Don Cherry said that if Pittsburgh had Bob Probert then Mario Lemieux would not have the injuries he has today. Probert of course was there for Steve Yzerman. And lets be honest can you remember a time when Yzerman was cheap shotted? I can't.

Lemieux was 6'4" 230lbs., no slouch by any means, but he was a guy you hardly ever wanted fighting all the time. And some of his injuries were the cause of cheap shots that no one retaliated against.

Now its the same for Crosby, here's a kid who's 5'10" and after a guy like Derian Hatcher all 6'5" of him high sticks him blatantly no one jumps to his defense! What is it with Pittsburgh and not protecting their stars? Edmonton had it right with Semenko/McSorely watching Gretzky, Yzerman always had Probert, Lindros of course usually fought on his own, but even Mike Bossy had Clark Gilles. When is Pittsburgh going to get it right?

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Old
03-11-2006, 02:18 PM
  #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Big Phil
I remember a few years back maybe about 12-15 years back, Don Cherry said that if Pittsburgh had Bob Probert then Mario Lemieux would not have the injuries he has today. Probert of course was there for Steve Yzerman. And lets be honest can you remember a time when Yzerman was cheap shotted? I can't.

Lemieux was 6'4" 230lbs., no slouch by any means, but he was a guy you hardly ever wanted fighting all the time. And some of his injuries were the cause of cheap shots that no one retaliated against.

Now its the same for Crosby, here's a kid who's 5'10" and after a guy like Derian Hatcher all 6'5" of him high sticks him blatantly no one jumps to his defense! What is it with Pittsburgh and not protecting their stars? Edmonton had it right with Semenko/McSorely watching Gretzky, Yzerman always had Probert, Lindros of course usually fought on his own, but even Mike Bossy had Clark Gilles. When is Pittsburgh going to get it right?

In the game you were talking about Hatcher high sticking Sid,I have no idea why someone else on the Pens didn't go after Hatcher after he blatantly high sticked him twice. In that game,they did have guys dressed that get into fights,so I'm sure none of the other Pens fans can explain why there was no one to protect him or stick up for him incase of cheapshots.

That being said,since the Pens have gotten Cairns,no one has even attempted going after Crosby,which is a nice change from the beginning of the season. I'm sure after the Hatcher cheapshots in that game,they realized that no one on the roster was going to defend him,so that was the main reason for getting Cairns...so it seems they have finally learned that they have to protect him and other stars for the team in the future.

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03-11-2006, 02:22 PM
  #3
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Wasn't it a 0-0 game at the time Hatcher high-sticked him?

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Old
03-11-2006, 02:34 PM
  #4
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Ulf Samuelsson anyone?

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Old
03-11-2006, 03:09 PM
  #5
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I thought Bowman picked up Tocchet for Recchi, to be Mario's protector.Then they got Ulfie.

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Old
03-11-2006, 03:56 PM
  #6
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Ulf could never fight. He was tough like Kasparitus is tough.

After Tocchet had arrived from Philly it was to late. Lemieux had his back surgery in 1990 and I think that people forget the retirement talk at the time. It was pretty bad the first three years. I remember people just whacking the hell out of him if he had the puck or not. He fought for himself a few times but I think that was put to rest after Gould KOed him. I also remember him being very nasty with the stick, I'm guessing out of frustration, and even shooting the puck at people.

Even goalies seemed to get in on the act. In the 1992 playoffs Lemieux went to the net against Don Beaupre, held up while Beaupre covered the puck and then Beaupre stuck Lemieux in the chest with his stick.

I remember being so jealous of Gretzky, Yzerman and Savard because they were so well protected. Everyone pretty much knows about the Shaw incident. It was sickening to watch Dan Quinn go after Shaw with his stick and then get beat to a pulp. Even in the next game against the Rangers, the Penguins won, Lemieux gave out some hits, had 4 assists but I wouldn't say that the Rangers paid the price for headhunting.

I also remember after the great Shawn Mceachern / Marty McSorley trade. In a game against the Flames, Jagr came in on a rush and was just straight armed to the face. MM was on the ice and didn't do one thing.

Even this year, people are saying that Crosby dives and whine but until Cairnes came Sid was taking a beating every game. Crosby isn't a perimeter player by any means but he took alot of needless abuse. VanCan laid a nice beating on him and I think that's when people took notice and again the Pens were the joke of the league.

It was always so frusurateing to watch this team even during the good years because their stars were cheapshot alot IMO. Give me Al Abror's way of thinking and "Boys will be boys" statement anyday. At least Cairnes is with the Pens now and I'm hoping that their way of thinking is a thing of the past.

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Old
03-11-2006, 04:29 PM
  #7
Unholy Diver
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it always seemed that anytime a tough guy came to the pens he would always try to be an offensive player like the rest of the team and stop being an enforcer

then there were always the guys they had for a year or two like Rissling, Caufield, etc.

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Old
03-11-2006, 04:53 PM
  #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr Clayton Forrester
it always seemed that anytime a tough guy came to the pens he would always try to be an offensive player like the rest of the team and stop being an enforcer

then there were always the guys they had for a year or two like Rissling, Caufield, etc.
Don't forget the worst NHL player ever Richard Zemlak. I've seen him throw off the gloves to fight and then trip over them.

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Old
03-11-2006, 05:43 PM
  #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by #66
Ulf could never fight. He was tough like Kasparitus is tough.

After Tocchet had arrived from Philly it was to late. Lemieux had his back surgery in 1990 and I think that people forget the retirement talk at the time. It was pretty bad the first three years. I remember people just whacking the hell out of him if he had the puck or not. He fought for himself a few times but I think that was put to rest after Gould KOed him. I also remember him being very nasty with the stick, I'm guessing out of frustration, and even shooting the puck at people.

Even goalies seemed to get in on the act. In the 1992 playoffs Lemieux went to the net against Don Beaupre, held up while Beaupre covered the puck and then Beaupre stuck Lemieux in the chest with his stick.

I remember being so jealous of Gretzky, Yzerman and Savard because they were so well protected. Everyone pretty much knows about the Shaw incident. It was sickening to watch Dan Quinn go after Shaw with his stick and then get beat to a pulp. Even in the next game against the Rangers, the Penguins won, Lemieux gave out some hits, had 4 assists but I wouldn't say that the Rangers paid the price for headhunting.

I also remember after the great Shawn Mceachern / Marty McSorley trade. In a game against the Flames, Jagr came in on a rush and was just straight armed to the face. MM was on the ice and didn't do one thing.

Even this year, people are saying that Crosby dives and whine but until Cairnes came Sid was taking a beating every game. Crosby isn't a perimeter player by any means but he took alot of needless abuse. VanCan laid a nice beating on him and I think that's when people took notice and again the Pens were the joke of the league.

It was always so frusurateing to watch this team even during the good years because their stars were cheapshot alot IMO. Give me Al Abror's way of thinking and "Boys will be boys" statement anyday. At least Cairnes is with the Pens now and I'm hoping that their way of thinking is a thing of the past.
what the heck are you talking about? Bossy was assaulted by many teams including the Leafs one playoffs and retired from Lemieux-type injuries after 9 years.

The difference is in the conferences. Try Scott Stevens every other night etc.
Guys in the east always played tougher; Mario didn t need or want a bodyguard and when every team in the east had 10 guys who could whack and hit how do you really defend anyway. remember the Milbury -lafleur battles. Lafleur took 26 sticthes to the face in the 78 Finals when he was an established superstar but never asked Lupien or Bouchard to jump in.

Guys like him never put much value in having things given to them and then doing interviews with Mary Hart.

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Old
03-11-2006, 05:56 PM
  #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Big Phil
I remember a few years back maybe about 12-15 years back, Don Cherry said that if Pittsburgh had Bob Probert then Mario Lemieux would not have the injuries he has today. Probert of course was there for Steve Yzerman. And lets be honest can you remember a time when Yzerman was cheap shotted? I can't.

Lemieux was 6'4" 230lbs., no slouch by any means, but he was a guy you hardly ever wanted fighting all the time. And some of his injuries were the cause of cheap shots that no one retaliated against.

Now its the same for Crosby, here's a kid who's 5'10" and after a guy like Derian Hatcher all 6'5" of him high sticks him blatantly no one jumps to his defense!
#1. No tough guy is preventing cancer

#2. Mario's back injuries were never thought to be a direct result any hits, ala Gretzky from Suter. Mario not keeping himself in the best of shape when he was younger didn't help his back situation. Some people just have backs that are prone to problems.

#3. Mario had more "protection" that people think: hell in 88-89 the Pens were #1 in PIM's.

#4. Regarding the Hatcher/Crosby high stick, it wasn't like Hatcher tried to take his teeth out. They came together and Hatcher lost control of his stick and clipped him in the mouth. When Hatcher is looking to do serious damage he does so with an elbow or shoulder to the head, i.e Roenick or Lombardi.

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Old
03-11-2006, 08:15 PM
  #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Flyers Fan
#1. No tough guy is preventing cancer

#2. Mario's back injuries were never thought to be a direct result any hits, ala Gretzky from Suter. Mario not keeping himself in the best of shape when he was younger didn't help his back situation. Some people just have backs that are prone to problems.

#3. Mario had more "protection" that people think: hell in 88-89 the Pens were #1 in PIM's.

#4. Regarding the Hatcher/Crosby high stick, it wasn't like Hatcher tried to take his teeth out. They came together and Hatcher lost control of his stick and clipped him in the mouth. When Hatcher is looking to do serious damage he does so with an elbow or shoulder to the head, i.e Roenick or Lombardi.
You might want to take a look at that years team. Lemieux, Coffey, Brown, Cullen and Quinn all had 100 PM's that year, hardly tough guys. Their goon was Jay Caufield but he hardly struck fear into anyone.

As for Bossy, sure he took some shots but for the most part alot of his damage was done because he would go in front of the net and along the boards. The guy would just take a legit pounding to score goals.

chooch is right about Lemieux never wanting a goon though. I remember him being asked about bodyguards in interviews and he would say "...if they can play..." As a fan though I just wanted to see him protected because alot of the junk he took was needless.

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Old
03-12-2006, 12:15 AM
  #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by #66
You might want to take a look at that years team. Lemieux, Coffey, Brown, Cullen and Quinn all had 100 PM's that year, hardly tough guys. Their goon was Jay Caufield but he hardly struck fear into anyone.

As for Bossy, sure he took some shots but for the most part alot of his damage was done because he would go in front of the net and along the boards. The guy would just take a legit pounding to score goals.

chooch is right about Lemieux never wanting a goon though. I remember him being asked about bodyguards in interviews and he would say "...if they can play..." As a fan though I just wanted to see him protected because alot of the junk he took was needless.
Mario showed a lot of class in never wanting a goon to protect him. The superstars of the 50's & 60's fought there own battles. Howe, Hull, the Richards, Bathgate, Orr all could defend themselves. Even the smaller players like lindsay & mikita fought their own battles (although sometimes they had to swing their stick). The first goons that I can remember were John ferguson & Bugey watson whose sole purpose seemed to be to harass Bobby Hull. Mind you they could also play the game which is how they differ from today's goons.

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03-12-2006, 01:04 PM
  #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Big Phil
Probert of course was there for Steve Yzerman. And lets be honest can you remember a time when Yzerman was cheap shotted? I can't.
McGuire jumped and pummled Yzerman in a brawl in Buffalo I believe, although payback was quick

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Old
03-12-2006, 02:55 PM
  #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Quiksilver
McGuire jumped and pummled Yzerman in a brawl in Buffalo I believe, although payback was quick
Oh man Yzerman actually did a great job fighting McGuire but Probert went nuts. I remember him punching off Tom Barrasso's helmet and anyone else that came near him. Even the refs seemed to keep their distance. Then when McGuire was finally wrestled to the ground, Probert almost did a basebal (head first) slide on the ice and punched him. Jeez that brawl was huge.

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Old
03-12-2006, 03:13 PM
  #15
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Cairns will do a decent job watching Sid the Kid...as long as he gets enough icetime to protect him

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03-12-2006, 04:04 PM
  #16
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Mario could protect himself. Just ask Brad Ference ;-)

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03-12-2006, 04:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Flyers Fan
#1. No tough guy is preventing cancer

#2. Mario's back injuries were never thought to be a direct result any hits, ala Gretzky from Suter. Mario not keeping himself in the best of shape when he was younger didn't help his back situation. Some people just have backs that are prone to problems.

#3. Mario had more "protection" that people think: hell in 88-89 the Pens were #1 in PIM's.

#4. Regarding the Hatcher/Crosby high stick, it wasn't like Hatcher tried to take his teeth out. They came together and Hatcher lost control of his stick and clipped him in the mouth. When Hatcher is looking to do serious damage he does so with an elbow or shoulder to the head, i.e Roenick or Lombardi.


So I guess the next shift Crosby was on the ice and Hatcher high sticked him again,that was an accident too eh? He knew full well he got Crosby in the mouth the first time,yet went right back out and got him in the mouth again...the arguement him losing control of his stick and didn't mean it just doesn't work in this case.

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Old
03-12-2006, 04:33 PM
  #18
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it was also never an unwritten rule not to hit lemieux like it was for gretzky. sure gretzky had his enforcers but even then i doubt he would have been given much trouble. if i were lemieux i would have wanted an enforcer simply to make my life easier.

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03-14-2006, 04:36 PM
  #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by acr
Ulf Samuelsson anyone?
'



Ulfie equals exactly to Darius Kasparaitis of that era. He was no fighter. You can go and ask Cam Neely if he was, when in game between Pittsburgh and Boston in 90's Samuelsson instigated Neely to drop gloves while he kept his on. The event resulted that Neely went out, but Samuelsson stayed on. Don Cherry was anti-european but especially against Samuelsson. And I must admit, for a reason.

I think Pens have had quite a few tough guys in their rosters. Marty McSorley anyone? Or Chris Tamer, Krzysztof Oliwa, Steve McKenna, Matt Barnaby for that matter. I would not describe Kevin Stevens or Rick Tocchet soft players, either.

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Old
03-14-2006, 04:49 PM
  #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by murray
Mario showed a lot of class in never wanting a goon to protect him. The superstars of the 50's & 60's fought there own battles. Howe, Hull, the Richards, Bathgate, Orr all could defend themselves. Even the smaller players like lindsay & mikita fought their own battles (although sometimes they had to swing their stick). The first goons that I can remember were John ferguson & Bugey watson whose sole purpose seemed to be to harass Bobby Hull. Mind you they could also play the game which is how they differ from today's goons.
That was the difference I guess. That goons couldn't stick in the league back in the day unless they could play. They're a lot bigger now too.

Nowadays Crosby or any other star could be as noble as they want and refuse protection, but if he's being tossed around by some 6'5 ape what's he supposed to do? Fight the guy? He'd get killed. At least Mario and Lindros were big and strong enough to dish it back the other way...

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03-14-2006, 05:48 PM
  #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by phillypensfan
[/B]

So I guess the next shift Crosby was on the ice and Hatcher high sticked him again,that was an accident too eh? He knew full well he got Crosby in the mouth the first time,yet went right back out and got him in the mouth again...the arguement him losing control of his stick and didn't mean it just doesn't work in this case.
Bingo . . . we have a winner.

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Old
03-26-2006, 09:39 PM
  #22
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Maybe they should find McKenna again

Kidding aside... Pittsburgh has had trouble finding tough guys who can play a regular shift and still be tough. The NHL today makes it hard for tough guys to play on a scoring line unless they have the skill.

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