Sure, we’re going to hear the NHL reinstated Bertuzzi to help with star power after the lockout. I’m sure they did — but that doesn’t make it wrong.
Let’s review the facts here. Mr. Moore did not have clean hands here. He is exactly the type of player that would never be in the NHL if the Lady Byngists had their way. Yet there he was, playing the role of “grinder” and making Markus Naslund’s night a living hell. And when he got a beat down for it, everyone cried.
Sure, he suffered terribly injury, but that’s the kind of injury you have to be willing to accept whenever you play in the NHL. These things happen in hockey. Now, sure, Bertuzzi could have not hit him from behind, or not at all, but does anyone believe for a minute that Bertuzzi wanted to breake Moore’s neck and deal with all of this? No. No one does. Bertuzzi was punished for what happened, when what he did happens in almost every game in the NHL. This was nothing more than a calculated campaign by the Avalanche and their promoters at ESPN as one of the more marketable teams. When this kind of crap was perpetrated by Colorado or Toronto, no one did a thing.
And all of these scribes decrying how this reflects on the NHL should realize that now is not the time that the NHL should be alienating their true fans, the ones who accept some violence. Witness the outcry in Toronto when it looked like Tie Domi–the guy who climbed out of the penalty box to fight a fan in Philadelphia–might walk away.
Sure, you can attract some fans to watch the 10 PIM per year European pass and pass and pass and pass and shoot game, but these are exactly the fans who run away during, oh, say a lockout. Those of us that like gritty play AND skill both are the ones that are even around to read these puckpundit’s scrawls.
Let’s cut the crap. Obstruction makes the game boring, but hitting and emotion and fighting make it exciting. All penalties are not created equal.