Sunday, March 07, 2004

Bobby Clarke is an unhappy guy, boo hoo!

Bobby Clarke is making noise again, railing on about those gooning thugs from Ottawa. Last seen Clarke was trying to get into the Sens dressing room Friday night, so as to discuss the lack of civility of the game with Sens coach Jacques Martin.

Particularly upsetting for Clarke was the sending of goons out to face the Flyers poor, weak, scared and non fighting Europeans. Claiming that Martin is a "gutless puke" who particularly targeted European players on the Flyers squad for punishment on Friday night.

Not disguising his threats Clarke said that Ottawa's European players such as Alfreddson, Bondra, Havlat et al would feel the wrath of Flyer justice, in the final regular season match up in Philly on April 2nd. As Clarke put it, he (Martin) won't be able to hide them that night.

Words that I'm sure will perk up the ears of Colin Campbell and Gary Bettman, who recently had to contend with the unbridled hatred of the Avs and Canucks. For that game Bettman himself went to Denver to watch the game, purely a coincidence we are expected to believe. One assumes another coincidence will take place April 2nd, in Philadelphia.

As for Clarke, it's delightful irony his newfound belief in pacifistic leanings. The two most well documented moments of Clarke's career in hockey revolve around rather brutal incidents with Russian players. The much discussed slash of Valeri Kharlamov's leg in the 1972 Canada/Russia series, and of course the infamous Soviet Red Army tour of NHL cities in 1976. When the Broad Street Bullies, led by Captain Clarke, intimidated the Russians right off the ice, becoming the only NHL team to beat the Soviets on that tour. We can still hear Bob Cole saying; "they're going home folks, the Russians are going home". They of course came back, because they wanted to get paid, but they did leave the ice in protest against goonery.

In fact, Friday night's fights brought back some special memories for Flyer defenceman Alexei Zhamnov, who's father was a member of the Soviet team that walked off the ice on that famous night. Clarke's history with the Flyers has been intertwined with physical, brutal and at times violent incidents, since the very beginning. His outburst is more a laughable sideshow, than indicative of a change of attitude.

Please Bobby, really, he who has not sinned, shall cast the first stone. Time to put down your rocks Mr. Clarke.

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