As tonight’s hockey game draws near, this hockey equipment store thinks it is the right time to inspect the state of the game of hockey. For years the Colorado Avalanche and the Detroit Red Wings were perennial playoff and regular season foes. With some of the more memorable clashes in recent hockey history rivalries like that do not just happen – they are born of incident. The pure hatred, disdain and utter malevolence that the fans alone could ooze for each other was the indication that for the most part, those two teams did not like each other one bit. The reason as we all know was the infamous Draper hit by Claude Lemieux during the 95-96 Playoffs.
Each rivalry needs a spark, and this seasons tender-box was created with the Max Pacioretty hit from Zdeno Chara. Whether or not the hit was legitimate is not up for debate here. The real issue at hand is whether this Original Six rivalry with all its storied tradition and overall feelings for one another will carry over into a carnage filled fight fest or just become one of the hardest hitting, highlight reel, all out heart series that it could be. The point being that good hockey is hard hitting and fast paced whether there are five goals or one it seems that the mix will always produce something good to watch. But it takes just that one little incident to push a team that is playing hard to just flat out retaliation.
Anyone who’s played hockey will tell you when the chips are down, a bad hit or a little extra shove gets the ire going and escalates into a fight for dominance. That’s when the refs are supposed to step in and keep the order. Beer League refs are not the same class of ref as the NHL guys, but its all the same, if they don’t take control things can get out of hand and fast. The next thing you know two goalies are staring each other down at the middle of the ice throwing their weight around in a not-so-pretty clash of the padded Titans. We as fans love it, we as players are fighting for something we feel strongly about – Our team, Our teammates and Our own sense of pride. I do not know many players in that situation that would say they love it, but more that it was necessary.
I know this boarders on the debate that “should fighting be taken out of hockey” but I really am not trying to go there. I just feel that if the players can get beyond the past, so to speak: that the history of these two franchises and the passion that their fans already have coupled with a resurgence of the Eastern Conference teams, then this could be a series to remember. Otherwise, I suppose for a pay-per-view night you’ll get some kicks, but there won’t really be much hockey to look forward to.
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