Archive for Downie

Smithers, Release the Hounds

Posted in Sports with tags , , , , on January 20, 2008 by bsbp

No doubt many fans of both the Flyers and Senators have had this day circled in red on their calendars. As is often the case with these games, nothing, absolutely nothing may happen.

For all of its attempts at stirring the pot, the fine folks at TSN have largely failed, producing none of the venom and vitriolic spew that followed the September 25thgame. It was during that preseason game that Steve Downie caught Dean McAmmond following the pass instead of being aware of his surroundings in what is a ‘dead zone’ for NHL players on every ice surface in the league. We can’t afford this game to deteriorate into the miss-matched series of mini-brawls that occurred March 5, 2004 on the same ice. This is why I’m going to make a suggestion, one that will no doubt have a lot of folk shaking their heads in disagreement. This team’s core is a bunch of kids a few years out of juniors, where bench clearings still happen and fights in –general still hold a lot more sway and haven’t been legislated out of the sport. The Flyers in 2004 mistakenly believed that one fight could settle anything.

I’m not calling for a brawl, I’m not suggesting the Flyers go out and goon it up. I am saying, don’t let the Senators dictate events should ‘retribution’ come into play. It’s not a Downie versus The Senators thing. It’s a Flyers versus the Senators thing handle it that way.

The Flyers, like many teams in this day and age, make it a point to engage in team building exercises, nothing wrong with it, so long as you live up to it. It’s clear that Holmgren and the front office are building this team for the long haul and while our immediate future certainly looks dazzling, especially given last year’s mess, it’s as much about today and tomorrowas next year and the year after.

So if the Senators want to play rough, let’s live up to the ‘you come after one of us, you come after all of us’ motto that the pundits have hung on the flying P. I’d rather deal with the suspensions and fines then watch guys like Kukkonen, Briere and Gagne get rag-dolled on a lopsided shift. Send ‘em all out at once and settle it, get all of the Sens toughies off the ice with all of ours and then finish the game. Learn from the 2004 event. Most of all the fact that the guys you play with aren’t going to leave you on the ice to take a lumping is one surefire way to build team unity and strengthen bonds.