NHL Fighting Discussion

Has decreased fighting helped the game?

Growing up in Chicago, and following the home team Blackhawks, you can call me an old-school hockey fan. I’m talking the kind of fan who expected brawls, and invariably was witness to them on a regular basis.

Proponents of decreasing fighting in the NHL have brought up the injury factor as a key reason to stop all the fisticuffs. This adds merit to that argument when injuries are caused from fighting.

Take the Arizona Coyotes’ promising young forward Max Domi. Domi broke a bone in his right hand from a fight with Calgary Flames’ Garnet Hathway on December 8, 2016. He missed 24 games, which really affected the performance of his team. The Coyotes went 8-15-1 during the span, including a nine-game losing streak.

Domi has stated after he returned from his injury, that he would probably pick his battles better so as to not chance another costly injury. For him, it may just be in his upbringing, seeing that his father Tie Domi was a prolific fighter in the NHL for years.

Proponents of fighting say otherwise

It can be noticed that when a player sticks up for a teammate it inspires the team in some way. It shows the opposing team that they are not given free will to bully or intimidate a player just because they think they can.

Let’s face it, NHL hockey is a brutally physical sport. There is not other sport including NFL football, where players are flying down an iced surface at increased speeds causing collisions and flared tempers.

If one player feels he was hit illegally, he’s going after him with ruthless abandon. Adding a third official has helped a bit to see infractions before it comes to fisticuffs. But, every team still has an ‘enforcer’ who will protect top scorers and stars from bodily injury. And, that more times than not, will mean the gloves are dropping.

For this reason, fighting has been allowed to some degree. You don’t see as many fights as years ago. To my memory watching the WHL Phoenix Roadrunners, there were donnybrooks which delayed the game for up to 45 minutes. The old joke “I went to a fight and a hockey game broke out” was true to form.

Fighting won’t be completely banned

If you’ve ever attended a NHL game, fans still love to see two players square up and let the fists fly. It pumps up the crowd, and gets them excited. Are some of the fights staged? Perhaps, but let’s just say when two players don’t like each other a fight is bound to transpire. It does affect play in that one team could go short-handed from fighting penalties. Adding the ‘third man in’ penalty has decreased bench clearing brawls to a minimum.

Fighting in the NHL is here to stay, in its present capacity. The rules may be massaged to protect players from injury, but make no mistake it still is an integral part of the game.

 

 

 

Donald Trump’s Presidency is in turmoil

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By William Grigsby

Just three weeks into his infant presidency, Donald Trump is learning about crisis management. And, perhaps its due mainly to the turmoil he has created himself.

In his egotistical world, it’s all about him and winning. Well, lately that hasn’t been the case as his controversial travel ban (or Muslim ban) was struck down in the 9th district circuit court by a 3-0 vote.

Most experts stated that Trump’s team did not follow important steps in assuring the travel ban was constitutional, and mostly relied on the powers of the President to control immigration to the United States.

What transpired instead was complete and utter chaos at airports around the world. And, what the Justice Department attorneys failed to prove was that the U.S. is facing potential attacks from the nine countries listed in his ill thought-out ban.

Always confrontational and abrupt, Trump uses twitter as his tool to attack others whom he sees as enemies. It’s quite a different approach that no other President has used. To Trump social media helped him get elected, so he feels why not continue to use it?

The problem is he has no decorum or emotional intelligence to step back and read what he’s tweeting before he hits the send button. Brutally criticizing judges’ abilities to do their job is a mistake, and much like most things which have exploded in his face, he’s learning the hard way how to be President.

The problem lies in the fact that Trump is still behaving as he did when he ran his campaign, and whether he cares to admit it or not, his campaign statements are coming back to haunt him now. His childish temper tantrums will only continue to frighten most Americans, and hopefully all those who voted for him.

To put it into focus, this man is not qualified to be President. This has nothing to do with him winning the election. It has everything to do with his ability to act like a con-man and tell the voters everything they wanted to hear to get elected.

Illustrating his complete inability to govern thus far, he has used executive orders almost completely to push forward his agenda. This also displays the hypocrisy of the man because on the campaign trail he criticized President Obama for doing his job with a phone and a pen. Obama had actually used less executive orders than previous presidents.

This just goes to show that Donald Trump doesn’t think things out before he acts. That’s a dangerous trait for someone with the power to blow other countries off the face of the earth.

To be fair, he has only been in office for three weeks, and most of his followers say “just give him a chance.” It becomes a huge task to do that when the President is calling journalists names and complaining that they are throwing out “fake news.”

He has to stop doing this if he wishes to receive respect as a person, let alone as the leader of the most powerful nation in the world.

Will he?

We’ll see, but it’s a funny thing people don’t change their personalities. They can change their behavior, and the jury is still out whether Donald J. Trump will even consider doing that.

If he doesn’t his presidency will be at risk. All he needs to do is read how the leaders of the Republican party turned on Richard Nixon when he did things like fire his Attorney General and stonewall the courts during the Watergate Scandal.

Xxx

The first playoff game between the reining Cup champs Chicago Blackhawks and St. Louis Blues started fast and furious, with the Blues playing a more physical first period.

The Blackhawks had a 5-on3 advantage late in the period, but failed to get the rubber disc by Blues’ goalie Bryan Elliott. The Blackhawks are so talented at blocking the shooting lanes, and blocked shots before they were able to get to goalie Corey Crawford.

The scoreless first period showed that playoff goaltending will prevail as the formula for victory.

The second period had some additional scoring chances, with Jonathan Toews getting a partial breakaway only to be stymied by Eiliott. Through two periods, Elliott has been brilliant, playing the angles perfectly, and seeming very cool and calm. Elliott had to face 20 shots, but stopped each one.

Crawford had to only make 14 saves through two periods, but was just as solid. The Blues were pounding the Blackhawks with 28 hits, hoping to wear down last year’s Cup victors. 

It’s clear to the Blues that they need this first game win to prevent their playoff woes from continuing. Besides, losing game one would put them in the disadvantage of keeping home ice. Needless to say it would feel also destroy their already low confidence level they have due to past playoff failures. 

With the start of the third period, and four minutes in, the already short handed Chicago defense lost Michal Rozsival when he was hit it high with a legal check. He returned midway through the period. 

Patrick Kane was cross checked to the ice, and both teams got the impression that the refs were going to let them play. That didn’t prevent the NHL’s leading scorer from complaining about the lack of a call.

Artemi Panarin, the sensational rookie of the Hawks rifled a wrist shot high on Ellioitt late in the period, and was stopped. The scoreless Black and Blue playoff game was getting more and more bruising for the Hawks as the Blues tallied 41 hits for the three periods of play. Yet, their offense fell way short with only two shots on goal. That was due to the fact that the Blackhawks had possession of the puck for the last half of regulation. To all 

This games ended without a score, so overtime will be played. It marks the fifth straight year that the Chicago Blackhawks played an overtime game in the first game of the playoffs. They seem to feed off the drama and excitement.

The excitement ended for Chicago at 10:56 of overtime when Blues Captain David Backes scored when he he backed a shot off Trevor van Riensdyk’s stick and past Crawford. The Blues win game one. 

Obama Can’t Win

Ever since Mitch McConnell stated in 2008 that his party was going to do everything possible to not make this President successful, the right wing has proceeded to do just that. From calling the President a socialist, communist, to claiming he was not a U.S. born citizen. REALLY? What happened to respecting the President, or at least respecting the office? Those days are gone. When you listen to radicals like Sarah Palin, Louie Gohmert, Michelle Bachmann and the likes, it gets really old, and frankly ridiculous. They HATE this black man so much, they will throw out lies, claim whatever he is doing is all wrong, criticize his family, threaten to impeach him, and you know what? He keeps on going, like the Energizer bunny! If this President had had even a crumble of co-operation from the Republican Congress (approval rate at 7%), things could have gotten done over the last 5 years. Thank God he did get the Affordable Care Act passed, and millions of folks now have affordable health care coverage that they never experienced. You don’t hear “We’re going to appeal Obamacare” much these days, do you? Why? Because it’s working. It had its’ challenges as any huge healthcare program has had, but it is working. The GOP can’t deny that. but some diehards continue to pound away, because they HATE this President so much, and want to get him out of office in the worst way, that they will try any means however disgusting to accomplish it. 

I mean the man won not one, but TWO elections. Not good enough. He took office when the stock market was at 6800… let’s see last time I checked it is at 17,000. Unemployment is down to almost 6%, when the previous administration was losing 750,000 jobs a month. Are these things the Republicans can claim to do better if they were in office? Give me a break! They are really making the Tea Party look more pleasing everyday. The Speaker is frankly afraid of the Tea Party fringe, and doesn’t want to upset them, so he allows them to do things like shut down the U.S. government, costing taxpayers 26 Billion Dollars! Maybe we need a third party to show the Republicans they are losing all common sense with their obstructionism and lack of dignity to their office. Why are they getting paid $174,000 a year when they don’t pass any laws, are gone the majority of the time, and don’t vote what the people want.

For example: Take gun control. The majority of voters want background checks, but did the Republicans vote for that? Of course not. How many more innocent children, adults need to get murdered before they act? Perhaps if some of the victims were their family members, that would get their attention. Doubt it. 

President Obama has done what he can with one hand tied behind his back, and I applaud his efforts. The midterm elections will bring more surprises like Eric Cantor’s defeat. The GOP is headed in the wrong direction, and it may be too late to right the ship.