The NHL’s new playoff commercials have fallen a little flat. The theme is “Because it’s the Cup,” and the initial offering is designed to court the casual fan, portraying the NHL playoffs as a great excuse for gathering together socially. The line “Because in hockey, there are two halftimes” definitely made me cringe. What’s worse, “Two Halftimes” is the official title of the commercial.
Now the NHL has begun trotting out their team specific commercials, and they’re a bit more on the mark. The Canucks get a Sedin-centric commercial that is all about togetherness.Continue Reading —›
It baffles me, the way people continue to misunderstand the reasoning behind January’s five-game suspension to Brad Marchand. The Boston Bruins’ winger wasn’t simply suspended for clipping; he was suspended for the circumstances surrounding the clip as well. What makes Marchand’s supplemental discipine stand out from the manifold Shanabans served by the Department of Player Safety this season is, simply, that the Department saw intent.
Most of the time, it’s impossible to judge an ugly play on anything other than the split-second in which it happens. In this case, Sheriff Shanahan saw the incident the same way we did: predatory, based on the way Marchand chases Sami Salo around the ice prior to injuring him.
There are two reasons I bring this up. The first is to dismiss out of hand any and all comparisons between what Marchand did and other clips before or after it. At this point, the entire Boston media has a screenshot of the Marchand clip saved to their desktop, and every low hit that follows inspires a half-assed and contextually (and intellectually) devoid juxtaposition. But, unless you can go back and find evidence that the hitter targeted the hittee, that he punched the hittee in the back of the head multiple times in an effort to draw a response before turning to the low-bridge, don’t waste your breath. Most ugly incidents are instinctive, a word Brendan Shanahan used to describe Shane Doan’s elbow to the head of Jamie Benn, which drew a three-gamer on Wednesday. The Marchand incident was premeditated.
The second reason I refer to this incident is because Duncan Keith’s elbow to the face of Daniel Sedin from Wednesday’s game between the Vancouver Canucks and Chicago Blackhawks actually does have something in common with it: while the hits were very different in type, both injurious hits shared the unique distinction of being best described as “premeditated”, rather than “instinctive”.
Keith is in trouble.Continue Reading —›