Who is Micheal Haley?
Micheal Haley recently made a name for himself, and at the same time, endeared himself to the
hundreds thousands of Islanders fans in attendance. In the span of 5:31 TOI, Haley earned 39 PIM’s. On a team that currently has Trevor Gillies and Zenon Konopka on their lineup, the Islanders sent a message that they are not going to be pushed around or bullied anymore. Throw in a player like Jeremy Yablonski, and the Islanders still have more tough guys waiting in Bridgeport. However, I do agree with some people that are saying that the game got out of control. The incident that triggered all the action, was kind of a weak move by Matt Martin on Max Talbot. If he wanted a piece of him, go face to face like a man. That being said, I fully agree with Godard leaving the bench to protect his goalie from Haley. You can’t let your goalie stand on his own to fight a tough guy, unless your goalie happens to be Ray Emery. All of this action probably had Gary Bettman and Colin Campbell spooning a little closer than normal. Speaking of Bettman, what would an entry by me be without one slanderous reference to him.
Do the Montreal Canadiens need to toughen up? That is a tough call to make. They have been doing fairly well as a team utilizing their speed and finesse, but the majority of us saw what happened if they run into a tougher team. You need players to stand up and protect their smaller players like Gomez, Gionta and Cammalleri. But at the same time, you have to make sure that the players you bring in aren’t going to be a liability every time they are on the ice. Sure, the Habs were team tough, sticking up for each other, but does that help if you are losing the majority of the battles? If the Habs keep playing good hockey and make the playoffs, it is curious to see what may happen if they happen to draw a team like Philadelphia or Boston in the opening round. Will those teams rely on their toughness to take the wind out of Montreal’s sails? With the trade deadline fast approaching, I expect that the Habs won’t tinker with their chemistry too much and throw things off by bringing in a tougher player. The trick is, you have to get a tougher player that isn’t going to be a liability when they are on the ice. Come playoffs, that player will only be a healthy scratch most of the time anyways. Tough and effective players like a Shawn Thornton don’t come along all the time.
In my humble opinion, and I was talking to Sully about this the other day, I think that Shawn Thornton is one of the most underrated enforcers in the game today. As of Saturday night, Thornton has 8 and 6 for 14 points, along with 103 PIM’s. Players like the Colton Orrs and Matt Carkner are a dime a dozen. If one of those types of players gets injured, there is always someone in the minors just as tough. However, Thornton is a very responsible player and Claude Julien is using him in many different situations. I’m not trying to be a homer fan here, just stating the obvious. What I am trying to say is that Thornton is not your run of the mill enforcer.
I thought that the Bruins/Habs game on Wednesday night was the best game of the year so far. Lots of scoring, lots of hitting, and lots of fights. In case you haven’t noticed, I’m a big fan of fighting in hockey. So I thought about it, and I think it may be time to present some of the highlights of this storied rivalry. First up, we have the legendary Jay Miller and John Kordic rivalry. Kordic and Miller fought 7 times while Kordic was a Hab and Miller was a Bruin. Great fight, and these two guys just didn’t like each other very much. But then again, I don’t think Kordic liked very many people either.
Then we have the famous bout between Stan Jonathon and Pierre Bouchard. Stan Jonathon gave up inches and pounds to everyone he fought as he was only 5’8” and 175 lbs. Pierre Bouchard stood 6’2” and weighed 205 lbs. Great tilt, and the one thing that stands out with this clip is the fact that Cherry always wore awful suits.
Next, we have a little clip with Chris Nilan. Now, Chris Nilan received some negative media attention a couple of summers ago when he was brought down by two mall cops while he was caught stealing a pair of Tommy Bahama swim trunks. How the mighty have fallen. This is possibly Chris Nilan’s best night of his career.
Bottom line is this…this rivalry has been going on for a very long time, and I could be here forever reminiscing about it all. It all boils down to extremely entertaining hockey, no ifs ands or buts. Great stuff. Lets all watch for the rematch on March 8th.
Fight of the week.
This one, ladies and gentlemen, is too close to call. So I’ll just show you both. Obviously, we are talking about the Islanders/Pens game and the Bruins/Habs game. If you haven’t seen the highlights yet, enjoy.
Thanks for stopping by.
Happy Valentines Day to everyone. Enjoy a little Steel Panther.