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Monday, February 8, 2010

I reiterate: The Code is Dead

In the "good ol' days," this fantasy called "The Code" supposedly protected superstar players and provided the ability for players to police themselves on the ice. If there was ever any truth to that thought, that day is long gone.

Now, I wouldn't say myself that Jeff Carter is a superstar, but he's not bad. Yet, in Monday night's action against New Jersey, he did illustrate yet another facet of why "The Code" in hockey is dead - if it ever existed at all beyond a providing a reason for bloodthirty neaderthal hockey fans to scream and shout in support of fistfights. You see, Jeff Carter would be one of those players that opponents wouldn't be allowed to hit without enduring retribution. However, when Jeff Carter himself delivers a targeted shot to Anssi Salmela's hat rack, he proves that the idea of self-policing in order to protect superstar players is an antiquated notion - the superstars themselves are delivering the knockout blows these days (literally).

But then again, it could simply be that Philadelphia is made up entirely of goons that collectively just happen to have some semblence of hockey skills. Yeah, that seems a far more likely explanation.

P.S. I'm embedding a video replay of the hit --- Matteau:

5 comments:

  1. ... and Jeff Carter finished the game upright and conscious. Either there is no hockey justice, or Salmela was deemed quite expendible by his teammates (think Czechoslovakia circa 1940).

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  2. Scott Hartnell has no soulFebruary 9, 2010 at 8:03 AM

    He finished the game upright and conscious because it was a clean hit. Unfortunately for Anssi, he wasn't looking in Carter's direction and got checked hard. Clean hit though. You should be happy though - now the Pens are 2 pts behind the Devils.

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  3. 1) The NHL disagrees with you:

    “Carter's shoulder impacted heavily against Salmela's head, knocking him unconscious.”

    http://www.nhl.com/ice/news.htm?id=516852

    and 2) I hold no illusions that, first in the Atlantic Division or not, the Penguins can get past the Washington Capitals if the current state of play in the East holds into the playoffs. So New Jersey losing the opportunity to add to its 2 point lead over Pittsburgh by sacrificing less-than-vital cogs of their team to the Broad Street Goons is of no relevance to my position in the matter.

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  4. The way I see it, these blind-side hits are tricky because the NHL has to break a status quo that says that these hits are as much the inattentive player's fault as they are the hitter. But the unavoidable fact is, there is one player who is in complete control of the outcome of his action, and one who is not. Carter goes high on him; he could have chosen to drop him with a check to the center of his body. In many of these cases, the hitter is in complete control of location of the hit, power put into the hit, and ultimately whether the person they hit is hurt or just has the wind knocked out of him.

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  5. The hell you say! Seems every time I suggest to my Philadelphia hockey fan counterparts that a hockey player (read: Philadelphia Flyer) be responsible and respectful enough to not take advantage of an opponent being in a vulnerable position and lay body-to-body, rather than appendage-to-head, I am told to go watch figure skating.

    Philadelphia sports fans would have made great Roman masses.

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