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Brawled Filled Playoffs Have Fans Media Craving Different Results

Written by Matt Stevens   
Monday, 16 April 2012 22:04

Hockey OddsOver the past week, the NHL has gone from the coolest game on earth, to a scene from A Clockwork Orange. The chaos in five of the eight-playoff series to open round one of the Bovada playoffs, has fans and medias on opposite sides of the fighting in hockey debate. Where the media looks to outlaw fighting, the fans are hoping this current brawl filled round, is only a sign of things to come. Today we wonder, if the NHL Disciplinary Panel increased the odds of bloodshed due to a double standard to begin the playoffs a week ago?

For all intents and purposes, the NHL is not a violent league. Despite what we have seen from five of the eight series this past week, and in particular over the last 48 hours, fighting has actually diminished statistically from this year, compared to previous seasons. But if this is truly the case, why are bookie software agents setting the lines for fights per game? Essentially, to open up the playoffs last Wednesday, Shea Weber of the Nashville Predators in the heat of the moment slammed Henrik Zetterberg’s face into the boards in a move similar to a head bash in professional wrestling.

However, rather then suspend Weber for at least one game for his actions, the NDP and in particular Disciplinary boss Brendan Shanahan, gave Weber a $2500 fine for his actions. To put that into perspective, various media outlets, equated the Weber fine, to a fan giving their boss $20 for punching another employee.

As a result of the slap on the wrist to Weber, the other 15 teams decided that if a fight or any cheap shots should be laid on an opponent, they had the right to fight. This viewpoint became evident in three series, New York Rangers v Ottawa Senators, Philadelphia Flyers v Pittsburgh Penguins, and San Jose Sharks v St. Louis Blues. In the Rangers and Senators series, Matt Carkner attacked and beat Brian Boyle while he was prone on the ice in game two of the series, after Boyle had spent game one and part of game two picking on Senators star Erik Karlsson. Then, Carl Hagelin of the New York Rangers gave Senators Captain Daniel Alfredson an elbow to the head in retaliation for Carkner’s actions. Carkner would be suspended one game, while Hagelin would receive three games for his suspension. Thus causing an outcry from sportsbook review fan bases of both clubs, because their players were suspended, while Weber went unpunished.

If that wasn’t enough, Brent Burns of the San Jose Sharks, laid an elbow to the head of St. Louis Blues forward Scott Nichol, leading to the latter’s helmet being broken. While the incident was not seen as enough to warrant a suspension for Burns, it did lead to a violent line brawl at the end of the game, resulting in several injuries. In the Philadelphia v Pittsburgh series, there were several cheap shots delivered by both teams, which resulted in a series of line brawls. In fact, of the 182 minutes played in the Flyers and Penguins series, the two teams have set an NHL picks record, by combining for 192 penalty minutes.

As fans, we have been groomed by the big four major sports leagues and their media outlets to want to watch high intensity games in the playoffs. With the games meaning more, we understand that fights will happen, as both teams do not like each other. Yet, having said that, we as fans are not fools either. While the media and NHL attempt to play the current issues developing between the remaining teams as something they did not influence, fans know that they are being hypocrites. With four rounds remaining, we hope the intensity picks up, but we also hope that the NHL takes some responsibility for the dilemma it has created.

 
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