Saturday, November 02, 2013

Is the NHL starting to channel the Charlestown Chiefs?

It's been some rather ugly hockey out of northwestern New York state since October started, the Buffalo Sabres finding themselves, on highlight packages for all the wrong reasons and making frequent contact with the NHL's chief disciplinarian Brendan Shanahan.

The results of the latter, making for holes in a line up that wasn't exactly overflowing with offensive talent to begin with.

Of late, the conversation when it comes to Sabres games isn't about Ryan Miller's talents in the net, or the occasional offensive play to bring people out of their seats, instead, it's about the kind of activities that gave us the era of Slapshot, with the Sabres seemingly channeling their inner Charlestown Chiefs.

So far in 2013, the Sabres have provided the punch-tuation point to many a discussion on out of control play.

Observations that tend to revolve around players that are in the line for but one particular talent, that of intimidation and in the case of the Sabres, it would seem the ability to send opposing players out of the line up for lengthy periods of time.

Sabres place Patrick Kaleta on waivers
Bettman upholds Kaleta suspension
Buffalo Sabres an awful and embarrassing organization
Don Cherry sticks up for suspended Buffalo Sabres enforcer Scott
NHL suspends Buffalo Sabres' John Scott seven games
John Scott suspended indefinitely by NHL
Buffalo Sabres 'classless last days of hockey fights...
NHL fines Sabres Coach Ron Rolston following brawl
Leafs' win over Sabres highlighted by intense brawl
Maple Leafs' win over Sabres overshadowed by Brawl
Leafs and Sabres in epic pre season brawl
That escalated quickly

While the Sabres appeared to be getting their gangster on in the first month of play, they have had some company and don't look now, but there is a bit of a move being made from a crew in Philly.

The Flyers, having already cost one coach his job and clearly frustrated at their inability to score goals and win games, resurrected the days of the Broad Street bullies this week. Providing for a Friday night performance that left more than a few commentators stunned at the retro look of hockey.

Don Cherry defends Philadelphia Flyers' line brawl with Washington Capitals
It's all bad for Flyers: Boos, Brawls Blanked
Flyers embarrassed in 7-0 loss
Downie, Lecavalier injured in fights
Ward's hat trick leads Capitals demolition of Flyers
Not exactly a new deal for the Flyers
Flyers' frustrations spill over in 7-0 loss to the Capitals
NHL not suspending Flyers' Emery for instigating fight with Capitals' Holtby
No Suspension for Flyers' Ray Emery
Ray Emery Earns 3rd Star of Flyers-Capitals game despite Allowing 4 goals, Getting ejected
Emery starts goalie fight in Flyers' 7-0 loss
Goalies Ray Emery and Braden Holtby fight in Flyers-Capitals blowout
Braden Holtby, Ray Emery brawl as Capitals' win turns into fight night in Philadelphia

The Flyers and Capitals brawl was the talk of the league (and beyond) for most of Friday night and into Saturday, I mean really, you know things are bad when Pat Sajack is weighing in on the night's theme.

About the only thing that was missing from Friday's review. was a short clip of the Flyers pulling on the foil between periods.

All of it making for a month of mayhem and we haven't even mentioned the return of Patrick Roy, or the season opening get-together of the Habs and Leafs...

Indeed the first month of the NHL came in like a Lion, a whirlwind at times of wanton madness, one that has provided for volumes of digital review from almost every corner of the league.

Indeed, after all the antics of the last thirty days, one thing seems certain.

Brendan Shanahan, already having put in some full days at the office, may want to pop open a bottle  er, make that a  case (or two) of Jameson.

It appears that he's going to be very, very busy in the video room for the next little while...

No comments: