Sunday, December 02, 2007

Game Day Post: Canucks at Wild

As the Canucks get set to face the Wild for the third time in two weeks, the whining has begun (Michael Russo, Star-Tribune):

When Vancouver came to St. Paul 11 days ago, the four referees and linesmen stood on each bench during warmups in order to avoid a pregame skirmish.

When Derek Boogaard fell next to the red line to stretch like he always does, you could sense all eight eyes focused on Boogaard, who was warned before the game that he better behave.

The thing is: Why's the NHL worrying about Boogaard when Matt Cooke, Ryan Kesler and Alex Burrows are the ones who run around every night? Is it possible that the NHL is this unaware of how the Canucks, back to face the Wild today, and several other teams have turned agitating into an art?
First of all, I like Michael Russo and I try to link to his pieces whenever the Canucks play the Wild. I do agree with him that the instigator rule needs to be scrapped because doing so will only discourage dirty hits and hold the offending player accountable for his actions.

The fact is, however, being an effective checker and being annoying is not dirty. Ryan Kesler and Alex Burrows are not dirty players. They're aggresive and effective and they certainly yap a lot. They're annoying to play against, but they don't hit late and they don't hit high. For examples of late, high hits, see Gaborik, Marion and Koivu, Mikko.

And the reason Derek Boogard received so much attention from the league during the last Canucks/Wild game? Well, he was stupid enough to spout off a lot of garbage prior to it. Repeatedly uttering threats directed to the Canucks' best players was stupid, and surely, he didn't expect the league to not pay attention.

Much like last game, first place in the Northwest Division is on the line this afternoon. So are the Canucks' 9-0-2 record against divisional opponents and Roberto Luongo's streak of you-know-whats.

Kesler, Burrows and Mattias Ohlund, who returned last week after serving a four-game suspension, may be marked men, but with so much on the line, I hope the Canucks simply play like they did two Wednesdays ago - annoy the Wild and go for the two points.

More previews from today's MSM:
Comments/Questions: Feel free to post in the comments section or email me at gocanucksgo10 (at) hotmail (dot) com.

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posted by J.J. Guerrero, 9:32 AM


At December 02, 2007 11:50 AM, Anonymous Kyle said...

I notice that you failed to mention Cooke when standing up for our agitators, JJ. lol

I for one am about fed up with him and his BS, mostly because I worry that the rest of the team is sick of having to fight his battles.

At December 02, 2007 2:50 PM, Blogger hoopsjunky said...

haha! I just completely forgot about him, to be honest. I was gonna say something about that low, hip check. :P

Anyway, Cookie's annoying as well - as we all know - but like Kesler and Burrows, he's not a dirty player. He's just annoying and I know if I played for the other team, I'd want to pound his face in.


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