Have our sensibilites changed over time? Ken Dryden seems to think so in an article he wrote in last Friday's Globe and Mail about the level of violence in the NHL playoffs this year? (Okay, his arguement, and I do remember the Philadelphia Flyers of the 70's)
Dryden: "Then one moment chilled my spine (in this year's playoffs). It was the reported words of some of the coaches saying if the NHL isnt going to do something, were going to have to do it ourselves. But if they take it into their own hands, how far does that go?"
"In the 1980s, if opponents of the Edmonton Oilers had truly done everything to win the Cup, they wouldve gone after Wayne Gretzkys head. It wasnt Gretzkys enforcer teammate, Dave Semenko, who stopped them, nor the referees nor the league officials and the suspensions they would have levied. The players wouldnt do it."
Just some more fuel for the point-counter point discussion.
While I'm here, I'll throw in this story that Dryden included in this same article that I liked...
"It was the Stanley Cup final, the Detroit Red Wings and Toronto Maple Leafs, 1964. The game was in Toronto.
Leafs goaltender Johnny Bower was 39. He had kicked around the minor leagues almost all his professional career but everyone knew he would do anything to stop shots, even put his maskless face in front of them. In the last few years he had earned his chance.
Gordie Howe had always been great. He had the hands to score, the elbows and attitude to command the corners, and the fists to embarrass anyone foolish enough to take him on. He was 36.
Bower and Howe were both from Saskatchewan, Bower from Prince Albert, Howe from Floral. They had fished together. They were great competitors.
The puck was shot into the corner in the Leafs' zone. Bower moved toward the puck uncertainly, leaving himself exposed from behind. Howe bore down toward the puck. Howe, the toughest guy around, couldve plastered Bowers head against the glass, perhaps deciding the Cup.
Instead, he yelled: "Look out, John, Im behind you."
The Leafs won the Cup. I was 16, living in Toronto. I read the story the next day in the newspaper. Howes "Look out, John" comes to me 48 years later."
Posted on May 2, 2012, 9:06 AM from IP address 126.96.36.199