Disagreeing with Greg Wyshynski

But this Ducks/Wings fight shows us the difference between sending a message and “message sending.” This was a nasty but emotionally organic bit of olde tyme hockey; none of the players on the ice were knuckle-dragging goons looking for a target at the end of the blowout….
The NHL’s disciplinary system would become a parody of the joke it is if any of these players are suspended for Game 7.

Greg Wyshynski is the editor of Yahoo’s excellent Puck Daddy blog, and an irreverent and outspoken columnist who has far more good points than bad ones. On this point though, I think he’s letting Perry and Getzlaf’s point totals blind him just a little bit.

It looked to me like Perry and Getzlaf were looking for targets. Here’s a quick glance at three numbers from their two bouts: size, penalty minutes, career fights:

Getzlaf vs. Hossa

Size: 6’4, 221lbs vs. 6’1”, 208lbs. Advantage: Getzlaf
PIM: 121 vs. 63. Advantage: Getzlaf
Fights: 10 in 297GP vs. 4 in 775GP. Advantage: Getzlaf

When you toss in the fact that only one forward in the entire league took more penalties than Ryan Getzlaf, and that Getzlaf instigated the event and threw the first punch, I think the possibility that he was looking for a target to soften up before game seven becomes incredibly likely. Still, let’s move on to event #2.

Perry vs. Rafalski

Size: 6’3”, 209lbs vs. 5’10”, 200lbs. Advantage:Perry
PIM: 109 vs. 20. Advantage: Perry
Fights: 14 in 286GP vs. 2 in 692GP. Advantage: Perry

Corey Perry’s another guy on the frequently-penalized list, tied for fourth among NHL forwards (one back of Ethan Moreau). Meanwhile Brian Rafalski managed to take virtually no penalties all season; an incredible feat for a defenseman. Again, we have a case where Perry clearly instigated the altercation and used it as an excuse to whale on a clearly overmatched opponent.

I didn’t bother mentioning the third fight, although again in all categories Niedermayer is well ahead of Datsyuk (a Lady Byng candidate), since Niedermayer isn’t exactly a fighter himself. But Niedermayer’s elbow to Datsyuk’s face wasn’t exactly a clean move itself either, and works back to the overall point: that the Ducks blatantly provoked this incident.

Suspensions?

Of course, the NHL has a suspension policy for players involved in an altercation in the last minutes of a game – a policy that I’ve never been especially fond of – but if the policy is there it should be enforced, particularly when one team has two big, tough players attacking a pair of smaller, less-willing combatants. The fact that those two players happen to be scoring stars is incidental – they clearly defied NHL policy, and neither of the “fights” was an equal contest: it was a pair of big guys beating up on a pair of smaller guys.

They won’t be suspended, obviously; the NHL has repeatedly shown that it has a two-tiered justice system, one for stars and one for role players. Since Getzlaf and Perry are stars, and it would look too much like the NHL was rigging the series, they will not suspend the offenders.

If the league were just, though, neither Perry or Getzlaf would suit up for Game 7. And it wouldn’t be the travesty that Wyshynski claims – it would be two players who willfully went after smaller, less physical opponents with no time left on the clock getting exactly what they deserved.

  • Hippy

    RossCreek wrote:

    @ OB You’re completely leaving Getzlaf out of the picture!

    No I'd take Getz for Hemmer in a Heartbeat, I just dont think a front line of Getz/Gagner/Penner would be any better then a front line of Hemsky/Horc/Penner… for at least a couple of years.

  • Hippy

    Archaeologuy wrote:

    Cole wasnt top 20

    I agree. But the point is, Lowe traded Pitkanen for Cole, and he wanted him on the first line. When Cole wasn't comfortable on the left side, they never even tried to switch him and Hemsky…

  • Hippy

    Ogden Brother wrote:

    @ Archaeologuy:
    Hardly, I’m yet to see real solid proof that adding another top end guy significanly increases the first top end guys #’s.

    All i said is they rarely do it on their own. Look down the list of the league's top scorers, you will find a lot of the guys have teammates that are also near the top. It isnt common for for top producers to have guys below 60 points as the #2 on their team.

  • Hippy

    Both Getzalaugh & Perry & Niedermayer NEED to be suspended, and Randy Carlyle should be FINED for letting/advising his players to play dirty. The Ducks went right after the Wings players ( and this was their mostly smaller "finesse" line) after the Buzzer. If it were anothere Wing Line, such as Kronwall, Stuart, Cleary, Ericsson, Abdelkader, This after the "Bell" antics most likely would'nt have taken place. The Officiating in this series has been LAUGHABLE. The Ref.s have chosen to have a blind eye towards the Ducks dirty play; such as deliberate elbowing, cross-checking, head-hunting cheap shots,& boarding, all with intent to injure. Also, the Ref.s have "manufactured" penalties, such as an "Interference" Penalty when a Duck player skates into a Wings player!!?? And as for the "Fighting", you can see for yourself, the film clip is a view of a bigger problem; i.e., the Ducks always "Pick on the smaller player". While someone may say that I am whining; you have to ask yourself, would you like it if someone 6 inches and 20lbs.more than you were to work out on YOU every chance they got during a game?? The "Ducks" as a Team, Play Dirty. This is their "Mantra". They think that their black uniforms their dirty play, and George Parros, (foaming at the mouth ), waiting on the Bench, will somehow intimidate
    the Players of the other Team. If anything, these antics after the "Bell" of Game 6 will serve to "P!ss Off the Wings,…..and if they have enough WILL to WIN the CUP ( and a LARGE set of COJONES) they are going to give the Ducks a Beating, …… on the Scoreboard.!!!!

  • Hippy

    Raoul Duke is right, and obvious by that name well lubricated also.

    Disappointing to see Neidermayer act like that.

    The real problem is that these losers can't win with class.

    Bettman and the NHL aren't known for that either.