PLAYER SELECTION

Brian Sutherby
January 20 2014 08:55AM

During and after the fireworks in Vancouver on Saturday night, many people wanted to get on Canucks head coach John Tortorella for being so mad. Claiming that if he didn’t want or expect that to happen, he should have put out a more skilled line.

I disagree.

He shouldn't have made his way to the Calgary Flames dressing room but that doesnt mean he can't be upset about the start to the game.

MCGRATTAN & WESTGARTH

Yes, every once in a while a team starts their fourth line and it doesn’t always result in a line brawl but Torterella couldn’t risk putting his skill guys out there. I don’t think if they countered Calgary’s fourth line with the Sedin line, the twins would have gotten mauled but how do you really know?

You don’t start that line with Brian McGrattan and Kevin Westgarth, two of the toughest in the game, without the intention of a big physical start. Whether it’s running around to set a physical tone or actually fighting someone.

It’s hard to know what was said between Westgarth who was playing center for some reason and Kevin Bieksa but it sure looked like Westgarth was more than ready to do something dumb and it didn’t matter who was taking the draw. Westgarth did immediately jump an unwilling guy and then grabbed Kellen Lain and made him fight 2 seconds into his first NHL game.

If things were different and a skilled Canuck player was injured or beat up badly because they didn’t respond with the right line, who is everyone blaming today?

The head coach of course.

It happened to Randy Carlyle in pre-season this year, when he put out Phil Kessel with John Scott. His best player was put in a bad spot because he didn’t expect it to happen. “I never believed in my wildest dreams that the attack would come directed at that type of player from the opposition, but I was wrong.” He said.

BOB HARTLEY

A very memorable game I was playing in 2006 had a similar situation as far as player selection. The game was in Washington versus the Atlanta Thrashers who were coached at that time by none other than Bob Hartley.  His teams were always pretty tough and we had some good battles with them.

It was late in the game and six foot five Andy Sutton took a big run at one of our young defenseman Mike Green. This wasn’t a little run; this was a take your head off and hurt you type run. The third or fourth time he had done this late in a hockey game against us. Green thankfully avoided it, but the intent was absolutely there to hurt someone once again.

After the hit, a small melee ensued. This left each team playing 3 on 3.  Our bench was irate. Many four letter words were exchanged before the next faceoff. What happened next is, Hartley either misread the situation or he intended to diffuse it with the players he put out.

WRONG MOVE

We were at home and had last change. Hartley sent out Greg DeVries, Vitaly Vishnevskiy and Marian Hossa of all guys. Our head coach Glen Hanlon answered with Donald Brashear, John Erskine and Matt Bradley. Everyone knew what was going to happen whether you like it or not. We were not going to be pushed around again.

Brashear beat the snot out of Vishnevskiy, Erskine gave Hossa a rough ride and DeVries and Bradley paired off.

Now this incident in 2006 happened at the end of an extremely heated game with rules in place to prevent instigating and shenanigans in the last 5 minutes so perhaps there was a sense of protection the Thrashers bench felt?

Either way, the end result was players that shouldn’t have been out there for Atlanta were and Hartley made a huge mistake. Andy Sutton and Bob Hartley have to feel terrible for getting their guys pummelled.

COACHING CALL

The situation in the Flames-Canucks game was different. There wasn’t a heated incident immediately before, but as a coach I don’t think you can take that chance, especially if you have last change.

Torterella is vilified more today if Daniel Sedin is mugged or their team is completely taken advantage of.  He protected his team, which is what a coach is supposed to do. He had no choice but to put out a comparable line of grit and toughness. That doesn’t mean he has to be happy with what unfolded next.

No one knows what might have happened had Tortorella put out a skilled line. This game is unpredictable and rules don’t often matter in the heat of the moment. Assuming nothing, could have been very costly for him, more than the fine or suspension he will likely receive and deserve for his intermission antics. He could have lost his best players or that dressing room.

Has Bob Hartley ever tried to diffuse a situation again, when put in Tortorella's spot?

I doubt it. 

C76a4c69c9026575581a01d4ac34111c
A Moose Jaw Warriors alumnus and veteran of 460 NHL games with the Capitals, Ducks and Stars—Sutherby is here to regale us with tales of the WJHC, life as an NHL player and much more from a Pro’s perspective. Co-Host's the Jason Gregor show on TSN1260 on Tuesday's from 3-5 and Coaches at www.proconnectionhockey.com Twitter:@briansutherby
Avatar
#1 Wonger
January 20 2014, 09:32AM
Trash it!
31
trashes
Props
16
props
Czar wrote:

Of all the teams that need a beatdown it's the Canucks! The only time I'll EVER cheer for Calgary is when they play Vancouver.

Time for the Oilers to trade for BIG JOHN SCOTT if they want to compete in the Wild West. BIG JOHN SCOTT would neutralize the Flames and the CANUCKLEHEADS by himself!

Avatar
#2 RexLibris
January 20 2014, 09:08AM
Trash it!
25
trashes
Props
50
props

Tortorella made a mistake in going to the Flames dressing room in the intermission and for that he should be suspended.

I have no love for him or the Canucks organization, but you are absolutely right that he is going to be vilified for this when Hartley shares responsibility.

Hartley's lineup to start the game was clearly meant to incite and he, and the Flames, deserve to be called out by the league for this as well.

Avatar
#3 Czar
January 20 2014, 09:14AM
Trash it!
22
trashes
Props
43
props

Of all the teams that need a beatdown it's the Canucks! The only time I'll EVER cheer for Calgary is when they play Vancouver.

Avatar
#4 Glenn
January 20 2014, 12:20PM
Trash it!
20
trashes
Props
15
props

I don't get how Hartley is to blame here.

The Canucks have been going on for the last 2 weeks about how they are going to be tough to play against. How's that working for ya?

Hartley has every right to throw out the big boys. Like has already been said, if the Flames had their 4th line out for an icing call and couldn't change, Torts would have had the Sedins out in an instant.

Did Hartley bait Torts? You bet he did. Did Torts take the bait? Right again.

Torts trip to the dressing room is where he crossed the line. About a 2 game suspension seems appropriate to me.

Avatar
#5 GeezMoney
January 20 2014, 01:55PM
Trash it!
19
trashes
Props
6
props

I thought Saturday was a great night for hockey. Sestito beat down McGratten, Kassian punked Bouma and the Canucks won.

Avatar
#6 vetinari
January 20 2014, 09:10AM
Trash it!
18
trashes
Props
51
props

What I can't understand is why Torts got so mad-- he had last change and elected to go with his toughies... fine... just don't bark at the other side because you accepted the challenge.

If Torts wanted to throw the Sedin line on the ice instead, he could have called over one of the refs before the faceoff, told them of his concerns and his expectations that if the Flames guys try to jump his guys, his guys were unwilling combatants and he'd hold the ref's responsible for player safety. I presume that the refs would have then skated over to the Flames bench and had a little conversation with Hartley about what would happen if his guys tried something (ejections for all of them, including the coach).

Clearly, Torts was out of line trying to go after Hartley and the Flames in their dressing room. What would have happened if Torts disappeared into their dressing room and the door closed behind him? He would have got the beat down of his life. Stupid. Suspend him for at least one game to send a message.

Avatar
#7 chillout
January 20 2014, 12:18PM
Trash it!
18
trashes
Props
14
props

@elvis15

His hands came up after initial contact. Have a close look at the video again.

Either way what you are saying is never ever put the sedins out against somebody's fourth line? I mean yeah they are little babies but that sounds kind of stupid to me.

If you think Mcgrattan is such a goon maybe you should look at the penalties he gets. He rarely ever takes a stupid penalty, he doesn't run around like an idiot trying to hurt people. His minutes are usually fighting and that's it.

Avatar
#8 Fish
January 20 2014, 10:00AM
Trash it!
17
trashes
Props
6
props

Disagree Brian. Coaches fight all game to get a match up like knuckle drag-er 4th line vs your top line. If you get that during a game, you take it, and you don't worry osmething stupid will happen. You wanna make the Flames look bad, score a goal 21 seconds into the game. The 4th line looks terrible, the coach looks even dumber, and you're winning. Yes, it's just a regular season game against a team they probably beat anyways, but I think the odds of the Flames trying anything against the Sedins are pretty low. If im Torts, I play the Sedins, and let it be know to MY ENTIRE TEAM to be ready off the faceoff. IF something happens and they DO try something crazy, then every man jumps off the bench like lightening and 21 guys pound those 5 idiots for 5 seconds before the rest of the Flames bench clears and then the real fireworks begin. If there is a dog pile on a few of these guys you can even get a couple "accidental kicks" in for pay back.

Avatar
#9 Parallex
January 20 2014, 12:33PM
Trash it!
15
trashes
Props
10
props

@cam

Sure... but I'm pretty sure he didn't put them out there to start a line brawl either. Blair Jones & Chris Butler aren't what folk would generally refer to as "tough customers"... why send those guys out when Lance Bouma and SOB are dressed? Probably thought that he'd put McGrattan out there to get the ritual "you injured my guy last time now we have to fight" over and done with but then Tortorella's maniac routine raised the temperture.

Regardless this whole articule is poorly thought out... by the logic expoused here no coach can ever put any line out against another teams fourth line except their own fourth line... for some reason I'm pretty sure if the Flames fourth line iced the puck Tortorella wouldn't have any objection to throwing the Sedins over the boards. He had a choice and he choose to take the outcome that Hartley offered up. His act of personal affrontery was buffoonish at best.

Avatar
#10 piscera.infada
January 20 2014, 12:42PM
Trash it!
15
trashes
Props
17
props

@elvis15

Ok, fair enough. Can we at least call Burrows "a joke"? No one's going to argue that one. Face protector or not, he deserves to have his jaw bashed in at any point. It would definitely stop him from his little sqwak-and-run-away routine.

Avatar
#11 elvis15
January 20 2014, 12:45PM
Trash it!
15
trashes
Props
7
props
piscera.infada wrote:

Ok, fair enough. Can we at least call Burrows "a joke"? No one's going to argue that one. Face protector or not, he deserves to have his jaw bashed in at any point. It would definitely stop him from his little sqwak-and-run-away routine.

:facepalm:

Uh, no.

Avatar
#12 mk
January 20 2014, 09:39AM
Trash it!
13
trashes
Props
34
props

What I don't get is the sudden change in attitude from everyone. I definitely don't like having Westgarth and McGrattan playing as much as they do, nor do I think teams need a "tough-guy" line.

However:

whenever a team's top line scores against another team's 4th line, EVERYONE congratulates the scoring-team's coach for getting line-up match that dramatically favours his team.

If Torts were smart, he'd start Burrows-Kesler-Booth (or someone) as the forwards. Burrows and Kesler actively practice running away from fights and the line is skilled enough to scare Hartley into changing his forwards PDQ when the puck is dropped. Stupid lineup by Hartley, stupid response by Tortorella.

Avatar
#13 elvis15
January 20 2014, 12:03PM
Trash it!
13
trashes
Props
15
props

@Brian Sutherby

Absolutely agreed, especially considering it doesn't have to be a fight right off the draw but rather it could be McGrattan or anyone else taking a run at one of the Sedins (or Burrows, who was wearing a full face guard in his first game back from a broken jaw) and causing injury that way.

Alberts still isn't healthy from the concussion he got from McGrattan in that Dec 29 game.

Avatar
#14 chillout
January 20 2014, 12:05PM
Trash it!
13
trashes
Props
13
props

@Brian Sutherby

Mcgrattan didn't Ko a canuck with an elbow. You should probably go back and review that video. That was one of the weirdest KO's I've ever seen. it was shoulder to shoulder and Mcgratts hands came up and that was it. Didn't appear to be any significant contact to the head. What contact there was, was secondary. He got the "elbow pit" (inside of the arm) in the face.

More likely it was just a unexpected impact for Alberts that stunned him

Avatar
#15 elvis15
January 20 2014, 12:39PM
Trash it!
12
trashes
Props
3
props

@chillout

They still come up as a part of the contact and he almost clotheslines Alberts with the way he goes in with his arms.

I get that McGratton isn't really a dirty player (he's not a Ben Eager for sure) so I have some respect for him there, but there is also Westgarth on the ice - particularly at center. The intent is fairly obvious to either fight right away or set a very physical tone (more so than any other time of the game).

It's not a match up you choose as the Canucks with a neutral zone faceoff at the start of the game. After an icing or something, sure, but as the home team with last change you don't pick that most of the time.

I'm glad you can argue a point without name calling or insults though... wait, what was that "little babies" comment? You might as well just call them sisters, something else that's derogatory but absolutely false considering the physical abuse they take while playing the cycle and still keep going.

Avatar
#16 Czar
January 20 2014, 09:42AM
Trash it!
11
trashes
Props
22
props

How many times have we seen Torts go off in a press conference or game in the past few years? The guys a tool who does more harm to the hockey with his BS and tirades than any fight, staged or otherwise has. I'd like to see him get 3-5 games but a good beating in the hallway would have been even better.

Avatar
#17 Spydyr
January 20 2014, 12:30PM
Trash it!
11
trashes
Props
8
props
cam wrote:

Bob Hartley sent out his 4th line, a line made up of players that had combined for 3 goals in 76 games this season, to start the game – the first time in 49 games this season he had done so. He sent out a player that had previously only taken 2 faceoffs all season to win the opening faceoff and to, apparently, score a goal. I think we all know why Hartley put those guys on the ice and it wasn't to create offence.

But, but what where their Corsi's?

For the stat guys that think everything can be measured on a stat sheet.

Avatar
#18 Jamie E
January 20 2014, 09:46AM
Trash it!
10
trashes
Props
19
props
Wonger wrote:

Time for the Oilers to trade for BIG JOHN SCOTT if they want to compete in the Wild West. BIG JOHN SCOTT would neutralize the Flames and the CANUCKLEHEADS by himself!

As a Canucks fan I completely agree. Eberle and a pick should do it.

Avatar
#19 Czar
January 20 2014, 10:09AM
Trash it!
10
trashes
Props
15
props
mk wrote:

Plus, we have lingering hatred from 2004. Am I right?

I had no problem with Calgary losing in 2004,in fact I enjoyed it. I just wish it would have happened in 1989 as well.

Avatar
#20 kesselkadri
January 20 2014, 10:53AM
Trash it!
10
trashes
Props
3
props

This is why skilled tough guys like Lucic, Clarkson and Phaneuf are important to successful hockey teams. Even Kadri is pretty tough and gritty and can throw down a fight.

Avatar
#21 elvis15
January 20 2014, 12:10PM
Trash it!
9
trashes
Props
8
props

@chillout

His hands and stick were up in the hit and contacted Alberts. Regardless, if you want to look at that as a legal play it's further evidence of what could happen if the Sedins were put out on that faceoff.

Avatar
#22 chillout
January 20 2014, 01:08PM
Trash it!
9
trashes
Props
11
props

@elvis15

I'm glad you take offense at that(ummm why?). At least I'm not calling you names. Besides what should you care what I call players. Vancouver Canucks Diving team probably upsets you too.

Anyway I can't respect players like the sedin sisters or kesler, burrows and kassian. Their actions are often disgusting, like the drinking motions burrows was directing at our bench (maybe at SOB) I don't know, but a bunch of gutter trash that I would be disgusted to have on my team.

I can't stand the soccer style dives those guys attempt time and again. Or the bitting or the idiotic locker room charges. It's a joke. There is space for a little embellishment but it's just so bad on that team.

Avatar
#23 SmellOfVictory
January 20 2014, 09:39AM
Trash it!
8
trashes
Props
6
props

This is something I don't understand: what is the requirement for "protection"? If one guy tries to fight another guy and second guy refuses, the refs will prevent a fight and instigator will get a penalty.

It's not like either Westgarth or McGrattan are good enough hockey players to be able to hurt people while playing; all they can do is punch dudes if the other dudes agree to fight them. I could see an issue if it was lining the Sedins up against a line of Lucics, but it's not even close to that.

Avatar
#24 elvis15
January 20 2014, 12:09PM
Trash it!
8
trashes
Props
10
props

One other point I don't think has been brought up is Hartley tries to sell them being the starters by saying they scored in the last game. While McGrattan and Westgarth were on the ice for the Bouma goal in the previous game (at the end when the game was out of reach) none of that line has had a single point in some time. The last point of any kind for that forward group was Dec 12, when McGrattan had an assist, and Dec 21 for the defence, when Butler had an assist.

Avatar
#25 Primo
January 20 2014, 12:57PM
Trash it!
8
trashes
Props
11
props

The heart, energy, desire that the Flames are showing despite that it's early in their rebuild and the team has very little talent is exciting. This identity is a critical element of a successful rebuild.

Unlike the Oilers who have had 3 consecutive 1st overall's (soon a 4th) and much more talent they are listless, lifeless, heartless, and most important they have developed a culture of no accountability and losing that will be very difficult to change!

Avatar
#26 chillout
January 20 2014, 02:11PM
Trash it!
8
trashes
Props
5
props

@elvis15

haha tough minutes all you want about the sisters but I have yet to see them stand up and fight for a win (playoffs????) Sure they can score but when the going gets tough they get diving. That doesn't win you hockey games. So yes I don't respect them nor do I want them on my team.

Comparing them to Mcgrattan is idiotic he's not supposed to carry a team. He plays a role and does what is asked of him. He doesn't dive or act like an idiot. He goes out and tries his best, he may not be very good but at least he tries.

The sisters disappear the moment things get physical. Also keeping your consecutive games streak going by going out for a 15 second shift to start the game and calling it quits after that is also extremely idiotic and hurts the teams chances at winning.

Avatar
#27 beloch
January 20 2014, 03:09PM
Trash it!
8
trashes
Props
9
props

First of all, I take issue with using "player selection" in the title of your article, which strongly suggests a comparison between Hartley and Ron Rolston, who was fined for "player selection" in the pre-season. That was a completely different situation. It wasn't the first faceoff. He sent a goon out to attack one of his opponents stars because he wanted revenge for a fight that occurred previously in the game.

I'm not going to pretend Hartley wasn't spoiling for a goon-fight. You don't start the game with your goon-squad if you aren't. However, Torts wanted it too. If he didn't want a fight, he had numerous options. He had four bloody lines to choose from, and three of them could have outplayed what Hartley put on the ice. He choose his goons. He could have instructed his goons that they were, under no circumstances, to accept a challenge to fight. They'd have looked like pussies but the Flames would have started the game with a penalty. Torts did no such thing. He sent his goons out there with implicit orders to do what goons do. Fight. He also sent out a rookie, which suggests he doesn't like that rookie very much, but whatever.

He clearly wasn't expecting a full line-brawl, and that's why he was probably so incensed after it happened. He must have thought Hartley sent his goon squad out with orders to not just start one fight, but five of them! If you ignore 20/20 hindsight and consider what's likely to happen if you send a line out with orders to start a 10 player brawl, you'll rapidly realize Torts assumption was utterly idiotic. One goon fight was intended by both sides. The brawl was spontaneous.

Now, no matter how angry you are, NHL coaches are generally expected to be above charging into their opponents dressing room looking for a physical confrontation. Torts owes a lot to McGrattan, one of the very goons he professes to despise, for first keeping him out of the dressing room (where he would have been gang-pummeled) and then stopping Clint Malarchuk from going after him. Malarchuk might not be a man-mountain, but he is one tough SOB. The goons had more class than Torts that day!

Avatar
#28 billythebullet
January 20 2014, 09:01AM
Trash it!
7
trashes
Props
60
props

Not sure what hartleys intents were but I for one think that this may have been the years most entertaining hockey game.

Avatar
#29 Hat Pughes
January 20 2014, 09:35AM
Trash it!
7
trashes
Props
81
props

Off topic but on the same situation. I don't get why Everyone (Cherry PJStock VanMedia)was so high on commending Bieksa for his leadership in the situation in protecting the rookie Lain.

Are you freaking kidding me???!!!???

Bieksa heroes up to take the draw.Then when the puck is dropped he refuses to engage with Westgarth. Instead, Bieksa beelines it to Smid and decides that who he wants to fight. Guess who Lain partners up with anyways without "Big Bro Bieksa" lookin out for him -- Yup Westgarth.

Avatar
#30 SeanCharles
January 20 2014, 10:10AM
Trash it!
7
trashes
Props
16
props

Coaches have started their 4th lines in games before...

This is not a foriegn concept.

Torterella could have started his 2nd line and wouldnt have to worry about the Sedins being out there or a scrappy line..

There is no rules against who you start in a game.

Torterella made a mistake by going to our dressing room and got what he should have expected by throwing his 4th line out to match.

I dont mind Torterella as much as most but he screwed up because he's a hot head and let his emotions get the best of him.

That was a great game, I love when this stuff happens.

Truculent it up! I miss when teams feared coming here because they knew Iggy, Regehr and Phaneuf would hit and fight anyone.

Size and grittiness does create offensive chances because you own the boards and cycle the puck around by winning battles. There is nothing wrong with this, so long as the players can also play.

This is what people fail to see in Burkes vision. He doesn't want a team of 4th liners. He want guys who can fight and skate on the 4th line. Guys who can skate and hit and have skill on the 3rd line and a mix of high end skill and grit in the top 6.

Players like Baertschi and Gaudreau have spots on the team, if they continue to improve... But they will be surrounded by players who have a physical presence which is what I miss out of the Flames lately.

Avatar
#31 China town man
January 20 2014, 09:35AM
Trash it!
6
trashes
Props
80
props

As a fan of the oilers! I ask that Calgary please don't hurt our players when we play against your team we are small and fragile just making good money skating in circles for 40min the other 20min is to embrace what a difficult life they have. And I also asked that Vancouver when we play against your team can you ask your coach to not scream and yell!!! Because our coach is the the weak and quiet type.

Avatar
#32 elvis15
January 20 2014, 01:28PM
Trash it!
6
trashes
Props
8
props

@chillout

Offence at those kind of comments? Not so much, actually kinda happy to think that's the only argument people can come up with against the Sedins. It's pretty sad though that people still resort to that after all these years of the Sedins playing tough minutes.

If that's your stance that you can't respect someone like the Sedins even, but you want people to respect McGrattan, then there's not much point in debating any of this with you.

Avatar
#34 pkam
January 20 2014, 10:00AM
Trash it!
5
trashes
Props
31
props

Didn't Torts do the same in Mar 19th 2012 when they visited the Devils?

Didn't he send his tough guys out in the first shift and start a line brawl when Deboer responded by sending his tough guys out.

So if Torts could send out his tough guy out in the first shift, why can't Bob Hartley?

Funny it was also Torts that yelled at Deboer. So he yelled at Deboer for responding to his challenge, and now he yelled at Hartley for starting it? So it is okay if he does it but not for anyone else?

what an embarrassment to the league. Hope the league not just fine him, but suspend him for a long time.

Avatar
#35 Terry
January 20 2014, 10:21AM
Trash it!
5
trashes
Props
12
props

Good read.

I've never respected Hartley as a coach going back to his days in Denver. He was and still a goon coach who liked his players sending messages when games were pretty much decided.

Avatar
#36 elvis15
January 20 2014, 10:28AM
Trash it!
5
trashes
Props
6
props

@mk

Here's the problem with that: all it takes is for one guy to get grabbed by a goon and the rest of his linemates will have to come help. It's easier said than done to maintain possession of the puck and stay away from getting punched.

The other important point is Henrik Sedin was questionable to even play and left later due to injury so Torts couldn't start them and risk even getting Henrik hit by a 4th liner. Starting the Kesler line and having this kind of result plus having Henrik unable to play the full game would leave the Canucks with basically only the 3rd and 4th lines for the rest of the game - not a good idea if you actually want to win the game since the Canucks need the points to stay in the playoff hunt.

Avatar
#37 chillout
January 20 2014, 02:43PM
Trash it!
5
trashes
Props
2
props

@PB

not really, but thankfully that's pretty rare on our team.

Avatar
#38 piscera.infada
January 20 2014, 09:41AM
Trash it!
4
trashes
Props
28
props
Hat Pughes wrote:

Off topic but on the same situation. I don't get why Everyone (Cherry PJStock VanMedia)was so high on commending Bieksa for his leadership in the situation in protecting the rookie Lain.

Are you freaking kidding me???!!!???

Bieksa heroes up to take the draw.Then when the puck is dropped he refuses to engage with Westgarth. Instead, Bieksa beelines it to Smid and decides that who he wants to fight. Guess who Lain partners up with anyways without "Big Bro Bieksa" lookin out for him -- Yup Westgarth.

I thought the exact same thing.

Avatar
#39 wineeditor
January 20 2014, 11:03AM
Trash it!
4
trashes
Props
2
props

There is nothing wrong with icing the line up you want (both Calgary and Vancouver).

There is nothing wrong with challenging someone to a fight at a face off and if BOTH agree there is nothing wrong with the ensuing fight.

There is nothing wrong with extracting retribution on an opponent at the faceoff for a previous cheap shot (whether or not the cheap shot artist wants to fight or not). I wish our tough guys did more of this.

What was wrong as sending Westgarth out to center ice with seeminly the sole purpose to start a fight right off the get go with an unwilling participant. (This assumes that Westgarth would have tried to start something with the rookie originally slated to take the face off which I suspect would have been the case.)

Not knowing who Torts would have put on the ice it is clear to me that Westgarth wasn't out to extract retribution for a previous cheap shot.

If Westgarth hadn't started the fight and McGratten or Jones found a WILLING partner I would have had no problem with the fight but Westgarth immediately dropping the gloves on an unwilling participant was wrong.

I like Hartley but if he gave orders to Westgarth he should be fined. I suspect that may have been the case. If that was the case Hartley was wrong and Westgarth was wrong although being in Westgarths position I don't see that he had any alternative and suspect he was pumped as well because he finally was able to contribute to a game in the manner his coach wanted.

Avatar
#40 Wonger
January 20 2014, 11:09AM
Trash it!
4
trashes
Props
9
props
Czar wrote:

Your sure consistent with the BIG JOHN SCOTT posts dude, are you his agent or brother?

Brother? I am 5'6" 245lbs and have more chins than a Vancouver phone book! I am just an die hard life long Oiler fan!

Avatar
#41 yomamen11
January 20 2014, 11:09AM
Trash it!
4
trashes
Props
6
props

@Hat Pughes

Amen bro! Bieksa is a pile of trash

Avatar
#42 ryan
January 20 2014, 11:25AM
Trash it!
4
trashes
Props
6
props

At least we don't have to worry about this stuff in edmonton. Look at the response we had when cooke ran yakapov..........

Avatar
#43 xeno
January 20 2014, 12:35PM
Trash it!
4
trashes
Props
13
props
Westcoastoil wrote:

I wonder if Hartley goes for physical intimidation the next time the Flames play the Oilers - if he starts with Stajan, Backlund and Cammelari we'll know he's doing it again.

Stajan couldn't beat a good hard on.

Avatar
#44 PB
January 20 2014, 02:06PM
Trash it!
4
trashes
Props
7
props

@chillout

You must have loved the dive Giordano took grabbing Kassian's stick then.

Avatar
#45 Clyde
January 20 2014, 02:16PM
Trash it!
4
trashes
Props
9
props
GeezMoney wrote:

I thought Saturday was a great night for hockey. Sestito beat down McGratten, Kassian punked Bouma and the Canucks won.

Sesito beat mcgratten? Lol

Avatar
#46 joshgladu
January 20 2014, 08:33PM
Trash it!
4
trashes
Props
1
props

oh so the capitals willingly sent out players to literally ASSAULT someone else. thats cool!

not

Avatar
#47 john
January 21 2014, 02:28AM
Trash it!
4
trashes
Props
3
props

I was wondering why so many teams hate the Canucks, Chi, Bos, now Flames, soon the Oilers. Classless and cheapshot with that clown Kassian after he broke Gagner jaws then taunt him last game. Somebody beat the snot out of him Tue game please.

Avatar
#48 camdog
January 20 2014, 09:13AM
Trash it!
3
trashes
Props
45
props

Hartley got called out by Burke for the team not playing tough enough. Burke still has a bad vibe with Canucks since he left the organization.

I know we in Edmonton like to pretend that the president of hockey operations doesn't effect day to day operations of the team, I on the other hand disagree.

Avatar
#49 acg5151
January 20 2014, 09:13AM
Trash it!
3
trashes
Props
27
props

Torts shouldn't have gone to the dressing room but he was pissed off and I might have made the same mistake as a coach.

Icing the fourth line with his toughest defensemen, however?

Not a mistake.

I for sure would have done the same thing - especially with the Kessel/Scott incident fresh in my mind. Believe it or not, this game is still violent people!

Avatar
#50 mk
January 20 2014, 09:44AM
Trash it!
3
trashes
Props
8
props
Czar wrote:

How many times have we seen Torts go off in a press conference or game in the past few years? The guys a tool who does more harm to the hockey with his BS and tirades than any fight, staged or otherwise has. I'd like to see him get 3-5 games but a good beating in the hallway would have been even better.

Plus, we have lingering hatred from 2004. Am I right?

Comments are closed for this article.