Some players and hockey management don’t like the media and sometimes the media deserves to be slagged.
One writer who deserves a good bollocking is columnist Mike Imrem of Chicago’s Daily Herald.
Yet Imrem condones them.
“I’m just getting back into hockey after years of ignoring the previously inept Blackhawks.
So maybe there’s a new NHL etiquette I’ll have to catch up with. You see, in my old-world hockey world, the Hawks waited too long Sunday night to start a riot.
Their raucous third-period brawl against Vancouver came two periods too late.
A more prompt fight wouldn’t have prevented the Canucks’ 4-0 victory, but it might have made the game a bit more competitive.
Less than 12 minutes in, Vancouver winger Darcy Hordichuk knocked out Hawks’ winger Troy Brouwer for the rest of the night … and for who knows how much longer?
Hawks captain Jonathan Toews said he didn’t get a great look at the play but added, “It was a race for the puck and they collided.”
Brouwer, who plays on the Hawks’ first line with Toews, was down on the ice for several minutes while being attended to by a trainer.
Hordichuk’s hit might or might not have been dirty. To be honest, I missed it. Regardless, doesn’t a team still take a run at someone who injures one of its own?
It’s like a pitcher who hits a batter. Whether it was intentional or not, somebody pays.
“Don’t the Hawks have to retaliate?” I asked the hockey expert sitting next to me.
“Who do they have that’s going to go after (Hordichuk)?” he answered with a question.
Maybe that’s the problem. Maybe the Hawks don’t have an enforcer who takes an eye for an eye or a tooth for a tooth or a whatever for a whatever was injured on Brouwer.
Or it could be that this was a big game for playoff position, so maybe the Hawks felt they couldn’t afford a penalty that would cost them a goal.
Still, with more than 11 minutes remaining in the first period, I figured for sure that the Hawks would blast a Canuck to settle the score in aches if not goals.
But it didn’t happen … the first period ended … and didn’t happen … the second period ended … and didn’t happen …
Finally, trailing 3-0 in the third, mumble turned to grumble and grumble turned to rumble near the Canucks’ net.
Hawks’ feisty winger Adam Burish kept grabbing the shirt of Vancouver winger Alex Burrows. The next thing you knew, the teams were pairing off like it was singles night at the dancehall.
“Throwback,” is how Hawks coach Joel Quenneville described the extracurricular activity.
Yes, this was an old-time hockey fight. The United Center crowd of 21,673 roared as gloves, shirts, pads and helmets all went flying.
“It was a good that we stood up for ourselves and our teammates,” Toews said.
Sooner than later would have been better, however. Then it clearly would have been for Brouwer’s sake.
“I think the score probably had to do with what happened,” Quenneville said. “We couldn’t be pleased with the way we played.”
The teams are tied in points now, though the Hawks have a game in hand. This might have been a first-round playoff preview.
If so, the Hawks will have to play better and perhaps stand up for themselves more quickly.
Or is that macho mentality outdated in the NHL now?”