Is That It?

by Ryan

I’m pretty sure I’ll never understand the CBA.

Mair’s shenanigans cost him $2,500, which isn’t all that much when you think about it. For all that talk of him getting suspended for calling someone a “f#$king joke”, that seems like a slap on the wrist at best.

As we step away from it more and more of the story seems to come out. The Tick had it right in the comments, Mair was looking for Neil, who of course was classy in his explanation of the situation.

“I said, ‘I’ve used you as a punching bag before,'” Neil told the Ottawa Citizen on Tuesday. “That’s the only thing I said to him out there, and he didn’t like that too much.”

Of course he is free to skate to the bench after this, because we don’t believe in the code anymore, right? Listen, I hate Chris Neil as much as the next guy, but these things are going to happen when you consider it okay to have guys turtle and coaches shake their head “no” trying to draw penalties. This league has completely lost its collective balls when it comes to fighting, and that’s sad to see.

This isn’t just about Kaleta, this is a fundamental shift in the structure and philosophy of the league. The officials don’t want to see on ice violence so they give Mair and Neil misconducts for talking. Ten years ago those two are free to drop and settle the conflict right there. Instead, the officials took the situation out of their hands and hurt the game. One fight, maybe five minutes of our time, takes care of this entire thing.

Instead, the situation festers and Mair tries to solve it his own way. No, it’s not smart, but if he wasn’t castrated by the referees on the ice he wouldn’t need to settle it in a hallway. These are the situations that arise when people aren’t allowed to settle it on the ice the way it has been settled decades before, and it will only get worse.

Before the game on Monday they showed a game against Ottawa from the final year in the Aud.

How is this fight even in the same league as the crap we see night in and night out now?

7 Comments

  1. Steve

    Oh man, thank you, with all the crappy commentary he’s been doing I forgot how awesome Rob Ray used to be.

  2. dave in Rocha

    Some major disagreements here.

    1) Re. Kaleta, not just in this post but in general: Just because guys on the other team can’t take a good hit (or can’t have their teammate take one), doesn’t mean Kaleta should have to get into a fight every game. It seems like whenever he nails someone good, they or someone else on their team (like Smith on Monday) wants to jump Pat and get him to drop the gloves. Then when Kaleta skates away everyone says he’s a pussy. If anything it’s the other guy who’s a pussy. Now when things get more heated and a fight is more “logical”, then Pat will drop the gloves like we saw him do on Monday. But I have no problem with him not getting a penalty just to defend a legal thing he did.

    2) They gave Mair and Neil misconducts because they were baiting each other while other fights were going on. The linesmen were already tied up and the refs couldn’t afford to have another fight break out.

    3) I think it was kind of funny to have Mair yelling in the hallway, and don’t regard it as a negative side effect of his misconduct.

    4) You talk about how things would have been settled decades ago. Well, another way that guys settled things back then was to get the guy next time, even if “next time” was the next game. Hell, you hear stories about how someone like Messier (just using him as an example) would put a guy through the boards out of nowhere just because the guy caught Messier with a good hit the previous year. Mair knows we’ve got 5 more against these fuckers this year. He’ll get his chance.

  3. Ryan

    Steve,

    Make sure you check out the entire series of fights between the two. Some real good ones in there…

    Dave,

    I think we are closer on this than you think. I’ll go through the numbers, that seems easier.

    1) I actually am with you on this. Kaleta doesn’t have to fight every time, but not every hit of his is legal. My problem is with the “look to the bench get a nod” philosophy. If he wants to defend himself he should be able to without Lindy taking the kid gloves off.

    Again, this post wasn’t just about Kaleta, but with a lot of guys who are in the same vein. Pat is nowhere near as bad as others, I just think the wheels are turning in that direction and I hope for better results for him.

    2) Not to be dismissive of the point, but so what if there was another fight going on? The only thing a misconduct does it take them off the ice for the last 90 seconds. They can give out all the misconducts they want but it wouldn’t change if they were to drop right then and there. They didn’t, of course, but the refs took the chance out of their hands and to me that seems cowardly. I know Bettman was in the building and they wanted to put on a good face, so that probably has a lot to do with it.

    3) I’m with you on this, too. I love Mair going after Neil or Ruutu or whoever he got a hold of. My point is that this all could have been avoided. Settling differences is the nature of the beast, and when players aren’t allowed to settle it on ice they will find other ways.

    4) I agree with you on this, too. This is great for the rivalry and Mair and Neil will get a chance to go eventually. My problem is with the preventative officiating that in effect cripples this sort of rivalry. Taking players off the ice doesn’t stop Neil and Mair from dropping over the next six months, but how many potential rivalries are they cutting short? There will be a next time for those two, but how many “first times” are getting cut short because of it.

    There are going to be a lot of different opinions on this, but I think the root of our differences is the same: we care about Kaleta and how he plays because we all see just how important he is to this team. It’s not often a guy with his game comes around, and we all want him to be the impact player we think he can be.

  4. Zach

    You guys are right, this is great for the rivalry. The only bad part is that we don’t play the Senators again until January 5th. So for the fan prospective, most of us are going to forget that this happened.

  5. Kevin

    Of course he is free to skate to the bench after this, because we don’t believe in the code anymore, right?

    Yes.

    It’s called trash-talking, and what’s the big deal? If it’s Kaleta asking how Mara’s face is or Neil telling Mair he’s used him for a punching bag before, it’s part of the game.

    Not every exchange of words has to end up in a brawl, nor do most of them. It has nothing to do with “The Code.” I happen to find Mair’s antics amusing, but honestly I wish he had just waited until the next game and had taken care of business with a clean, hard hit.

    What that has to do with “The Code” is beyond me, other than a weak attempt to tie in your disdain for Kaleta, that is.

  6. Kevin

    Sorry, I meant your disdain for Kaleta’s style of play.

  7. Anonymous

    I am glad we dont play them again until january.

    Hopefully we have our shit together by then. And healthy would be nice too.