What do you think of players being challenged to fight after a big but clean hit?Scott Burnside: I guess I’ll never fully understand The Code. In theory shouldn’t The Code applaud a big, hard hit like the one that Jake McCabe of the Buffalo Sabres put on super rookie Patrik Laine of the Winnipeg Jets on Saturday? Instead, every hit, regardless of whether it’s a clean one or not and let’s be clear, the McCabe hit on Laine was within the rules is followed by players leaping to their teammate’s defense. It happened the moment Laine went down. Guess that’s part of The Code too. Don’t get me wrong, it’s unfortunate cheap jerseys china
that Laine was diagnosed with a concussion. But it would be refreshing to see, just once, a player take a big, clean hit and have players play on as if it these kinds of hits are part of the game. What a concept.
Joe McDonald: I understand coming to the defense of a teammate, but the idea of challenging an opponent after a good, clean hit is getting ridiculous. Hockey is a fast and physical game but it comes to a screeching halt when a player gets knocked off his skates. To the players, I say: Take the hit, suck it up and continue playing. As long as it’s a clean hit, there’s no need to retaliate. I also understand when it’s a franchise player on the receiving end of said hit, but it’s part of the game. It shouldn’t matter if it’s Nos. 99, 66, 87, 97 or any generational player. As long as it’s clean, it’s fair.
Craig Custance:I’m usually in Scott’s camp on this. No need to attack after every clean hit. But in the case of the hit on Laine, we’re talking about one of the game’s best, young players getting absolutely flattened. His teammates had a split second, not the benefit of replays, to decide what they thought of the hit, and I had no issues with them coming to his defense. Plus, if I’m the Jets, I want opposing players thinking twice before lining up Laine. So in this case, I liked the response from Winnipeg.
Corey Pronman: There is something illogical about a player acting within the rules (legal contact) and then subsequently being challenged to act outside the rules (fight and receive a major penalty). I’m sure Winnipeg players at the time would argue they thought McCabe’s hit was illegal. It’s not easy to determine this stuff at the time, given the speed of the play and amid all the emotions. The issue with unwritten codes is it’s hard to know when there’s been a violation. I think the hockey community in general needs to have a hard look at whether this is the way we want our game to operate. Based on recent rule changes at the amateur level, like the OHL for example, it might not be the case in the long term.
Pierre LeBrun: More interesting to me was the reaction from Shea Weber on Saturday night in Toronto after Zach Hyman plowed into Carey Price and the Maple Leafs winger got penalized for it. As most people know about me, I’m not a big fan of fighting but there is a time and a place. Weber tried to engage Hyman at the second period buzzer, and I don’t blame the Leafs rookie for not exactly being interested in a dance with the Montreal Man Mountain. But after Price lost his marbles on Kyle Palmieri earlier this season following being run into by the New Jersey Devils winger, no question a recycled narrative that is re emerging is the protection of goalies. There should be zero tolerance for crashing the crease.