Point/Counterpoint:Fighting in the playoffs and vigilante justice

Photo courtesy of Philly.com

Welcome to the newest edition of “Point/Counterpoint,” where a pair of Flyers Faithful scribes present both sides of one particular issue with their own unique view and flair.

This week Dain S. and Jim H. discuss whether players should fight in the playoffs to police themselves or let the NHL handle on ice incidents.

First up Dain: The NHL needs to punish those who target opponents for dangerous hits and stick fouls, not the players policing themselves.

The NHL Playoffs are the culmination of 8 months of hockey, building to a crescendo, where one team will finally raise Lord Stanley’s Cup. Emotions are high and the intensity is beyond belief. Players are willing to sacrifice their bodies and spill their blood to be called a champion. However, when spilling the blood of an opponent becomes the most important thing, something must be done.

During these playoffs, we have had Shea Weber smashing Henrik Zetterberg’s head into the glass and Sidney Crosby start two melees with his cowardly attempts at stirring the pot. I believe the players should police themselves ,but when the line is being crossed without any fear, the NHL needs to step up and take control or else the vigilante style of justice that will be meted out will not be pretty. Brendan Shanahan needs to suspend players who show a blatant disregard for the safety of their fellow players. If you leave it up to the players, they will police themselves, but you might not like the outcome.  Fighting one on one is one thing, but massive brawls and melees with stick fouls and cheap shots is not something that belongs in the playoffs.

Jim:

Old Time hockey. Sure,  the blatant attempts to injure are something that the NHL needs to deal with quickly and harshly but it’s hard to argue against the bombastic play that we’ve seen in this Flyers/ Penguins series. Early reports show Game 3 to be one of the most watched Playoff game in years. This, on what was considered one of the most beautiful afternoons of the year, in many parts of the NHL viewing audience.
You have to imagine NBC and NHL execs publicly wagging their fingers at the antics but secretly tipping their hats to the results. At a time when WWE style antics are trying to be quashed , Hulk Hogan himself steps up to endorse the shenanigans…and the crowd loved it.
So while I have to agree that much of the chippy, wussy behavior (COUGH*penguins*COUGH) that was on display in game 3 should be curtailed, the NHL needs to remember the aspects of Hockey , that separates them from the rest. Were we not entertained!?