Thursday, February 14, 2008


I've not had cause to brag yet this year. This team has been annoying me since the beginning of the season, even though they have had a couple of flashes are skill. I doubt they're out of the woods yet...there's still plenty of games left in the season for them to fuck it up and/or trade Brian Campbell for some magic beans.

However, they are on a 10-game point streak, Vanek had his first career hat trick, they beat the shit out of the Sens, Miller got a shutout last night (which may not be big news for the Brodeur's of the league, but the Sabres rarely shut out their opponents) and he's got a 1.67 GAA over the past 9 games. All these are things to be happy about.

Plus, as Richard Zednik learned, they are willing to go to great lengths to keep their opponents from winning...Ok, that's not really a nice joke. I'm very glad that Zednik is doing ok, that's a very scary situation. I personally don't know if they should've continued the game - Colin Campbell, Darcy Regier and Bill McCreary all decided to let the game go forward - but if you ask the douchebags at Sportsline's Counterpoint-Counterpoint they say absolutely not, stop it now, we hate hockey, we hate you (or something, I may have paraphrased). They both (Erin "I'm a woman, damnit!" Brown and Greg "So Tired" Cimilluca) compare this to Jiri Fischer's cardiac arrest during a game in the 2005 season. This isn't the same thing at all. I understand that Zednik was a scary moment for everyone, but let's not kid ourselves...Once Zednik's carotid had been clamped his prognosis was significantly better. They had him stabilized within minutes and he was in the ambulance and to the hospital shortly thereafter. Jiri Fischer had cardiac-fucking-arrest; on the bench; during the game. No one knew what the result was going to be for a long time after.

Cue the melodramatics: "I tell you, it's going to save a lot of lives" - Teemu Selanne on mandating neck guards.

You've got people arguing about forcing players to wear all kinds of safety gear and even this idiot who wants someone to invent a skate with a protective plastic shield. On the NHL level it seems to me that the players are big boys and they can decide what they want to do...I'm glad that they all have to wear helmets, but if they didn't want to wear helmets, why should the league force them to? My view of safety equipment is to make the players be able to take more punishment and still one wants people dropping dead on the ice; but the point of safety equipment is to make it so these guys can play 82 games per year with the minimum amount of injuries...Someone doesn't want to wear a mask...wants to risk losing an eye...Fine. Sucks to be him, but I don't understand why people think it's the league's job to force these players to protect themselves. If it's anyone's job, it's up to the individual teams to regulate how they want their players to be protected.

I hate to admit it, but this is something that the league has done well at so far...Not over regulating safety material.

All this talk about neck guards, but, as far as I can tell this is only the second time that someone has had their neck slashed at the NHL level...I'm sure it's happened in lower leagues, and I am sure people have died (I guess there was a death in Sweden in '95 that lead to the mandating of neck guards there), but it's far from a common occurrence.

I fully expect to see Zednik back on the ice soon...Malarchuk practiced four days after his jugular was sliced and played less than two weeks later. Fuck all the other sports, hockey players are the toughest.

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