I am not by nature a blood thirsty sort, would rather watch a well played game than a brawl fest and I’ve seen both many times. However, last night’s action by Taylor Hall is one I’m fine with as an Oiler fan. You never want to see a player injured–and Cal Clutterbuck tests that belief based on his own history–but the Oilers have been too flaccid for too long against Minnesota, against Calgary, against Dallas, against against against.
Adding mountain men, Coke Machines and enforcers never helps because those guys can only rattle their jewellry from the bench when the skilled men are on the ice (good morning, Pat Quinn).
No. It comes down to the young men who the Oilers have drafted to take them to the promised land, and the players who are on the ice with them, to change the tide, to stand up for themselves, to stop being the 110 pound weakling. It’s the old Charles Atlas commercial: you’re on the beach with your best girl, some musclebound guy comes over, kicks sand in your face and starts talking to her.
You have three choices: watch and lose, run away or stand up and defend your ground. Last night’s hit was a long time coming, the Wild have been beating the Oilers about the face and hands since Boogaard and before. Whatever else happened last night, at least one Minnesota Wild player is going to have his head on a swivel next time. No pantywaist’s on the Oiler side, brother.
It’s all good.
Bring it on. The NHL dishes out justice with the consistency of lumpy gravy. Bring it on. Give him 5 games. Go the freak ahead. That might be the thing to galvanize this bunch, it might be the turning point. Nothing else seems to have worked.
My father taught me that you needed to be a stand up guy: make a mistake and own it. As a long time fan of the game, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the following: it seemed to me that Taylor Hall was frustrated and was perhaps not pure of heart when he delivered the hit. I don’t think “kneeing” holds water, but “clipping” is in the video and they’re going to punish Hall.
Go ahead, NHL. Inflict the punishment. And for a day the Damian Cox media group can write columns of righteous indignation. But know this: coming over the middle against the Edmonton Oilers just got a little bit dangerous.
Intrare, tuo proprio periculo.