Scott Hartnell, speaking to the media today:
“Obviously, fighting is part of the game. It’s been a while since you see three or four fights in one stoppage and a goalie going down and attacking another team’s goalie,” Hartnell said after Monday’s practice in Voorhees. “People are all over Razor (Emery) for doing that. But look what he did. He played solid for us and got us a shutout. We were excited. Even though the crowd booed us the whole game, it felt like a win after that little scrum. We love it, fans love it here in Philly. It’s part of our heritage. We definitely fed off it. We gotta keep doing it. We can’t win one and lose two every time. It’s got to continue.”
It felt like a win after that little scrum. No it didn’t. The Flyers lost 7-0, their new acquisition was in the hospital, and Vincent Lecavalier was injured. The next night, they fed off the victory so much that they scored one whole goal, backing their way into a win. Awesome.
Even former referee Paul Stewart, known for letting fights go, says Emery went too far and that he would’ve let Capitals teammates come to Holtby’s rescue:
Anyway, if I was refereeing that Philly-Washington game, I would probably have let Latta stay in the game if he had come to Holtby’s assistance. I might have heard about it afterwards from my supervisor and certainly would have gotten into it with the Philadelphia bench, but I would not have cared one little bit.
What Emery did on the ice in that situation was wrong. At times like that, there needs to be a moral compass and a “human rulebook” applied beyond just following the written rulebook and its protocols to the letter.
I’m not anti-fighting. As I said, I love that stuff in hockey. But to hear Hartnell say “it’s part of our heritage” and “it felt like a win” is maddening. And it’s compounded by the fact that Luke Schenn, acquired for James van Riemsdyk, who has 25 goals in 51 games since being traded by the Flyers, will be a healthy scratch for the second game in a row tomorrow. And goon Jay Rosehill will reportedly start in favor of THE TEAM’S SECOND LEADING SCORER, Tye Mcginn. THIS ISN’T WORKING, FLYERS.
Meanwhile, Ray Emery, who was at the White House with the Chicago Blackhawks being honored by President Obama today, wasn’t suspended because Gary Bettman couldn’t find a rule in the rulebook that he broke. But now the league will have to look at implementing the Emery Rule:
The league might consider implementing a 10-game suspension similar to the rule in place for skaters that leave the bench to join a fight, according to Gary Lawless of the Winnipeg Free Press. Lawless cites multiple league sources who state that goaltenders who leave their zone could face such a penalty in the future. This type of legislation could be tabled at the upcoming general managers meeting on Nov. 12 in Toronto. Legislation would require several more steps but the process could gain momentum with a favorable reception by the managers.
Rule changes in response to Flyers goonery? I guess Hartnell was right in one regard: this is part of Flyers’ heritage. But I’d rather that heritage be winning stuff.