Johnny Hockey is getting hit a lot this season, and it is causing quite the concern among the locals.
Or maybe not. When I drove to work this morning the sports morning show guys didn't bring it up, and I missed Peter Maher on the other station, so I don't know if he brought it up. But normal people are talking about it, I talked about it in the stands with the fellow fans at the game last night, and Eric Francis wrote an article on the national sport website about it.
I'm assuming it's a topic.
Now, I will admit, I like enforcers. I will also admit that Team Enforcer has lost this war, and the enforcer is effectively dead. So how do you protect Johnny from hits, late hits, dirty hits, in this new wide open age?
To me, the answer is simple, and the answer is to answer. That is, if a team hits Johnny late, then someone on the Flames needs to hit the other teams star player after the whistle. If someone knees on knees Johnny, then someone on the Flames should slew foot the other teams star player. And on and on.
Eye for an eye. Answer dirty or late or cheap hits with dirty or late or cheap hits of your own. I think that's the only way to do it in this open age of no enforcers.
There are other things that should happen, but won't, but I will still suggest them. The biggest guy on the Flames side, as far as forwards go, when Johnny is on the ice is Monahan. Monahan is going to have to stand up for Johnny one of these days. Now, when I say that, I mean it like: If Johnny is hit, Monahan should find the smallest opposition forward that is on the ice, and go attack him. Not every game, but at least once, and the earlier the better.
I have another idea about this, I call this one the nuclear option, and that is that the next time Johnny takes a late or dirty hit, the Flames coach should send his entire bench over the boards and start a brawl. The purpose of this in reality isn`t to beat up the other team: It`s to send a message to the NHL, and essentially embarrass them into protecting the star player.
Is there any other league in the North America where you could hit a star player after the whistle and not get ejected from the game? I want to keep hockey hockey, but I'm not paying 2 grand a seat for my season tickets to watch scrubs play. I pay it to see players like 13. So last night, as an example, when Johnny got hit after the whistle in the third, the refs gave the guy a 2 minute interference penalty. Ok. They should have given the guy another 2 minutes for unsportsmanlike, or roughing. He should have received a four minute penalty.
So, to summarize, I think the solution with regards to Johnny getting hit isn't to ice a slug who can't play to fight another slug who can't play. I think it's to ice a player who will go after the other teams good players.
Furthermore, I think Derek Wills should be fired.