A lot has happened in the past five days. We've gotten into a big-time brawl with the Flyers at the end of Sunday's game, and last night, John Tortarella made some incredibly inflammatory remarks to reporters which suggested the Penguins are a dirty team. Lots of discussions have followed, and both Rangers and Flyers fans online have been especially vocal about how their respective teams get screwed over because the Penguins are dirty, cheap-shot artists.
I think this whole conversation is stupid. All of these "things" (the brawl, the knee-on-knee hit) are extraordinarily small samples of action that get blown out of proportion. With everything blown out of proportion, internet tough guys come out of the weeds and emphatically proclaim, based on these minuscule pieces of evidence, that "the Penguins are dirty, Crosby is a whiner, and they better watch their back." No one actually attempts to compile a database of evidence that looks to what all of the players in the league are doing and how often they're doing it. Instead of using numbers and arguments, we resort to yelling, ad hominem's, and swearing.
The result is that the mainstream media continues to prove how stupid everyone on the internet is; they know that by replaying one clip of Crosby/Ovechkin/Orpik/Keith doing anything, they can slowly convince people "hey, this guy is dirty/whiny," while completely ignoring the other 99.9% of data that shows this player is just as normal as everyone else in the league. Overreacting to small bits of information is not the hallmark of a civilized group of people.
Given the outcry by some Rangers and Flyers fans as of late, my post this week will be simple and to the point: below the fold is a collection of videos that include dirty hits by players that played for either the Flyers or the Rangers at the time. The whole point of this exercise is not to have everyone else turn around with their own thread of Matt Cooke or Cindy Crysby videos. The point is to acknowledge that no organization is perfect, and moreover, that no player is perfect. The sooner collective fan bases can stop pretending they always get shafted on calls, or that somehow they're the only team in the league with an ounce of respect for the game, the sooner we can stop arguing over the bullshit and start watching all of the hockey.
Carcillo cheap shot on Talbot Pens v. Flyers Game 1 09 Playoffs 04.15.09 (via yzerfan1922)
Boulerice Cheap Shot on Kesler (via ushlblog)
January 5 08 Downie's cheap shot on Blake (via inklinkinklink)
Hartnell Takes Out Alberts (via RancidMcGoiter)
Daniel Briere cheapshot on Franz Nielsen (via roughhousehockey)
View from my seats at the Flyers game. Dirty hit? (via phantomverse)
Riley Cote Hit (via hockeykid91)
Sean Avery's Dirty Hit On Haley - 03/15/52011 (via mokyboy11)
Kopecky Knocks Del Zotto down to the ice for playing dirty vs NY Rangers HD 12/30/11 (via HEATPOSTERIZED)
Flyers throw punches at Brandon Prust from the bench - Philly Flyers vs NY Rangers - 2011/01/16 (via Rangersaddicted)