While we can understand why Bourque may have been frustrated, having been held to a single shot on goal, despite over four minutes of power play time (Although, to be fair, the Washington Capitals are known throughout the league for their ability to play stifling defence), there is still absolutely no excuse at all for that elbow Bourque threw. None, whatsoever. Rene Bourque is a paid professional, and sloppy elbow technique from him should not be tolerated.
Obviously, Brendan Shanahan, NHL head disciplinarian agrees, which is why he slapped Bourque with a five game suspension.
The NHL is trying to build a brand. It isn't going to let halfhearted efforts like that on the part of Bourque make it look like a joke league. This isn't even the first time with him. In fact, not more than three weeks ago Bourque was suspended for his soft and lackadaisical efforts against Brent Seabrook.
For whatever reason, it appears that left to his own devices, Rene Bourque is simply not going to improve this particular on-ice skill. We here at Dome Beers are possessed of a fundamentally Pollyanna-ish worldview. As such, we assume the problem in this situation to be one of knowledge; Rene can't go if Rene don't know.
To that end, allow us to help. After all, in the quest for 82 points, having Rene Bourque in the lineup certainly helps.
To begin with, we think that we should put up a mirror to the situation, in an effort to illuminate Bourque on what exactly the problem is. He may simply be too close to the situation to even perceive the problems.
You see? While it was a cool move, it was done slowly, deliberately, clumsily, and with telegraphed intent. That sloppy technique is simply unacceptable in a top flight league like the NHL, and especially on a top flight team like the Calgary Flames.
Bourque's illegal elbow did come at the end of his shift, so he may have been tired. That is no excuse.
As you can clearly see, though exhausted, Shawn Michaels maintains his good elbow technique all the way through the move. Bourque would do well to notice the follow through on the finish; the finish on Bourque's elbow was what most people, Shanahan included, had a problem with.
Some have speculated that the problem was not one of fatigue, but of poise. Being placed, through flow of the game, in a position to check the leading scorer on the Washington Capitals, perhaps Bourque simply panicked. Again, not an excuse. Here, watch as Shane O Mac demonstrates that no matter the circumstance, one has to be professional about these things.
Notice the calm, cool demeanor exuded by Mr. O Mac, in the face of quite extreme conditions. Notice how he does not panic and lose his head. Notice how he seems to get calmer as the moment of truth approaches. Notice how he finishes with character and conviction.
One final suggestion that has been made is that Bourque was unable to avoid throwing such a poor elbow because in the moment he was reaching to scratch an itch on his nose, he was teleported via trans-dimensional cosmic rift into a realm where everyone was a plastic toy. Once again, not an excuse.
Plain as day, Rene. Even when experiencing inter-dimensional physical disruptions, one can clearly see that it is indeed still possible to deliver an elbow with proper technique: 1) Don't be a Stajan; Climb to the top turnbuckle. 2) Flamboyantly motion to the crowd. 3) Leap and 4) Finish. Like you mean it, G'ddammit!
And again, circumstances should not matter. Home or on the road, it's all about the technique.
By following the above advice, Rene Bourque, should he choose to be a good student and study, should be delivering proper elbows in no time at all. And now that he has five days off from playing hockey, he really has no excuse for not hitting the books. In no time at all, Rene Bourque should be able to go from Big Show clumsy, to Macho Man confident.
Snap into a Slim Jim!
Furthermore, I think