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A hard check thrown by Nolan on Bollig’s team mate was all was needed for these two to square off at the United Center on Monday night. Nolan was a gent and removed his visor as he took to the worthy opponent, Bollig.

From what I thought was going to be an immediate grapple/love hug fest, it soon became a slug out with Bollig throwing some good solid punches early. Nolan came back in the middle landing a few good ones. And Bollig caught Nolan who almost seemed to have a bad fall, and even kept the youngster in his cross hairs, still throwing and landing good solid hits with a resurgence at the end.

I give the edge to Bollig even though Nolan answered well with the two punches landed on Bollig’s jaw near the end of the fight. Great to see the respect at the end by Bollig to Nolan with the pats on the head. Good fight!

What’s your call? Was it a draw? Who won?

A hard check thrown by Nolan on Bollig’s team mate was all was needed for these two to square off at the United Center on Monday night. Nolan was a gent and removed his visor as he took to the worthy opponent, Bollig.

From what I thought was going to be an immediate grapple/love hug fest, it soon became a slug out with Bollig throwing some good solid punches early. Nolan came back in the middle landing a few good ones. And Bollig caught Nolan who almost seemed to have a bad fall, and even kept the youngster in his cross hairs, still throwing and landing good solid hits with a resurgence at the end.

I give the edge to Bollig even though Nolan answered well with the two punches landed on Bollig’s jaw near the end of the fight. Great to see the respect at the end by Bollig to Nolan with the pats on the head. Good fight!

What’s your call? Was it a draw? Who won?

Video  —  Posted: March 25, 2013 in Uncategorized
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Clifford Stands Tall against Murray

After an embarrassing loss up at the big ol’ Pepsi Can in San Jose, the Kings were hosting the Sharks at Staples Center on Saturday, March 16. Seems Kyle Clifford waited to punch a dance card with Douglas Murray of the Sharks, as they squared off after a face off. At first, Murray threw an airball at Clifford who skated about a dozen yards towards him. As a fighter, you must protect yourself at all times. In this fight, Clifford forced Murray’s hand, as he used poor technique and position, essentially making Murray’s only option the back of his head, which of course Murray definitely took advantage of. Murray got in a few decent hits to th back of Clifford’s head. But for some freak-of-nature reason, Clifford was unphased and wasn’t knocked out. If you aren’t tall enough to face your opponent, make them work for what they want. Good fight to both players. Clifford could only manage a couple of good hits to Murray, while Murray got the decision, even being taken down.

The Kings play the Coyotes not once, but twice Monday & Tuesday. And you think you’re sick of them, now…?

Image  —  Posted: March 17, 2013 in Uncategorized
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Just like opinions, everyone’s got one. Myself included.
The first organized indoor hockey game was played at McGill University in 1875. They used a flat block of wood as a puck and goals were fashioned from two poles with flags on the end. People crowded around the ice surface to watch as there was no official seating. According to the Montreal Gazette, the final score was “two games to the single” and spectators were “well satisfied with the evening’s entertainment”.

At the end of the game, a brawl broke out between …

Read the rest of the article entitled Hockey, Violence, and Cooperalls at http://www.armchairpools.com/blogs
I’ve been watching professional hockey for over 35 years. When I was a child at my first game, I was enthralled by an amazing performance by a goaltender going by the odd name of “Rogie.” In my teens, I enjoyed watching the Triple Crown Line as they were relentless against other teams that visited the Fabulous Forum in Inglewood. I’ve been privileged enough to have seen almost all amazing and great players live. I’ve met quite a bit. More and more with each game, I grew a soft spot for The Enforcers of hockey. Aside from watching the great Rogie Vachon in goal with a shut out at my first game, Dave “The Hammer” Schultz was also out there, patrolling the ice for players like Marcel Dionne and Butch Goring so they may do their job, which was to score. Schultz’ job was simple: “…willingness to fight anyone, anytime, for the good of the team.” That quote was straight out of the 1976-77 Los Angeles Kings’ Media Guide which not only described Schultz, but many a bodyguard for the teams in the NHL.
Mind you, I’m not an old geezer. However, I’m one to see both sides of a debate. Especially when they involve players that I enjoy watching on the ice when they are brave enough to settle things down or battle with other players to garner energy for their teams. Growing up watching the Kings, whether the game was televised or at the Forum, the organization had always employed players who could scrap with the best of them. Players like Tiger Williams, McSorely and Schultz were some of the best. There were many Kings fans over the years who would give praise to these players and very loudly.
I’ll always admit that I will be part of the side for fighting in hockey. It’s a violent, fast and aggressive sport full of hard working athletes that are like none other. Even though you will have those that believe that hockey should not be part of the sport, those who attend hockey games sometimes can’t get enough of the scraps that happen spontaneously or planned. I still have hockey cards that feature players who are Penalty Minute Leaders, something that is known with top scorers or amazing playmakers. It only means it is a part of the game’s history, and part of the spectacle.
As of late, there have been many debates, blogs and even watch dog-like web pages that are emitting high-pitched screams to call for the condemning of fighting in hockey. With the past weeks of reading article after article with the hockey “experts” beating yet another dead horse, this time known as the face shield discussion, it seems that another “shocking” fight took place, this time in Toronto on March 6 of this season. David Dziurzynski of the Ottawa Senators took on Frazer McLaren from the Leafs. Outmatched, Dziurzynski took on the seasoned McLaren who briefly knocked out his opponent with a few right hooks. Dziurzynski collapsed, slamming face down onto the ice. He was attended to immediately by the linesman and skated out on his own with the aid of two teammates. I don’t know the back-story of how or when the fight originated. But the video of Dziurzynski bouncing his face off the skating surface brought all the anti-fighting zealots out of the woodwork, insisting everyone drink their Kool-Aid and support them. In my opinion, I felt this fight wasn’t as “shocking” as those anti-fighting activists claim it to be. I’ve seen a ton more dirty hits and other more controversial nastiness by your average hockey player that makes fight between McLaren and Dziurzynski look like a shoving match at a Cub Scout Jamboree. But that doesn’t mean it was bad for the game. Just ask Frazer McLaren.
In an article from the National Post in Toronto, McLaren explained when interviewed, “I asked (Dziurzynski if he wanted to fight) and actually he said no and so I didn’t think we were going to go and then he ended up dropping his stuff when the puck dropped. It was a lucky punch. It happens sometimes.”
Dziurzynski did suffer a concussion as a result of the fight, as was obvious when he couldn’t skate off the ice under his own power. Keep in mind, it’s not as though Dziurzynski was bullied into the fight and McLaren didn’t just started pounding on him when the Ottawa rookie wasn’t ready. Dziurzynski made the choice to drop his gloves, and he lost the fight. That’s just the way it goes. As even McLaren said afterwards, sometimes you win, sometimes you don’t. If you notice during the video, McLaren looks as if he felt sympathy after he made his way to the penalty box. There was no sense of jubilation or signs of embellishing a knock out in order to pump up the crowd. He also didn’t stick around to ridicule Dziurzynski, and he didn’t skate away throwing his arms in the air, trying to pump up the crowd. McLaren kept it professional and went to straight to the box. It was a fair observation of the class fighters that exist in the National Hockey League; they’ve done their job, they are aware of it, and they move on. End of story.
Violence isn’t new to physical activities and sports. So-called blood sports were popular among the ancient Greeks and throughout the Roman Empire. Deaths occurred regularly in connection with ritual games among the Mayas and Aztecs. Tournaments in medieval and early modern Europe were designed as training for war and often had warlike consequences. Folk games were only loosely governed by rules, and they produced injuries and deaths at rates that would shock and disgust people today. Bearbaiting, cockfighting, dog fighting, and other “sporting” activities during those periods involved treatment of animals that most people today would define as brutal and violent. Further research shows that, as part of a civilizing process in Europe and North America, modern sports were developed as more rule-governed activities than the physical games in previous eras. As sports became formally organized, official rules prohibited certain forms of violence that had been common in many folk games. Bloodshed decreased, and there was a greater emphasis on self-control to restrict physical contact and the expression of aggressive impulses in the emotional heat of competition. Social historians also point out that rates of violence in sports do not automatically decrease over time. Actions and emotional expression have become more regulated and controlled in modern societies, players and spectators view the “controlled” violence in sports just as exciting. Sociologist Eric Dunning wrote in his book ‘Sport Matters: Sociological Studies of Sport, Violence, and Civilization’ (1999), that violence remains a crucial social issue in modern sports because their goal is to create tension rather than relieve or discharge it.
Yes, fighting happens in hockey than in other sports. But it does exist in other sports, despite the fact that it’s banned. Many fans who have been surveyed in recent polls indicate they’d like fighting banned. A recent online survey issued by Angus Reid Public Opinion indicated that “only eight per cent of people polled said they felt fighting was important to the game, while 67 percent of people who identified themselves as hockey fans deemed on-ice fights as “not important to hockey.’” And “more than three-quarters of people polled – 78 per cent — said they’d ban on-ice fights from Canada’s major junior elite hockey leagues altogether.” Mind you, there is absolutely nothing wrong with having a strong opinion on fighting in hockey, regardless of which side of the fence one is on. Both sides have pros and cons, and that’s all fine and dandy. But at the moment, most players seem to support keeping fighting in the game.
In the very popular swimsuit magazine that rarely covers hockey, a Sports Illustrated poll published in March of 2012 surveyed 202 NHL players regarding their opinion on the topic of removing fighting. The result: 99.5 percent of players said fighting shouldn’t be banned. That was 2012. In a recent 2013 poll in this week’s SI, they surveyed 324 NHL players on fighting. Yes votes were at 6%. No votes were down a whole .1 percent and were at 99.4%.
And though many who cry angrily for the elimination of fighting because of safety, today’s players understand there are risks involved when taking that chance in a fight. If eliminating fighting is based on the injury factor, perhaps bodychecking, shot blocking, incidental contact caused by fast skating should be eliminated and banned as well? I’ve had fans tell me, “I can’t just walk up to someone on the street and fight them because they upset me, so it shouldn’t be something allowed on the ice.” I can agree with that. But I’m not allowed to bodycheck or assault people by pushing against them by fighting for the last iPhone at WalMart (not even on Black Friday… it’s not allowed!). This isn’t a lateral argument. It’s weak. The ice rink isn’t a public place. This game works completely different than the average workplace. Again, let’s be real. Players will be hurt, but that’s the risk they have when they step onto the ice.
“Like a cell phone that distracts an actor on Broadway, a fight in hockey stops something good, and the play doesn’t continue afterwards at the same intensity.”
The quote above is from BanHockeyFights.com, a website that is all about removing fights from hockey. Keep in mind, when you visit the page, there is nothing solid there proving that hockey fighting is bad for the game. And they have been quiet for some time now unless something major occurs in the game. More from the site: “By saying fighting is necessary to the game, you’re implying two things: that pure hockey is boring, and that hockey players are dumber than baseball players, basketball players, and football players, because hockey players can’t control their manly urges to fight while all the others do.” And while the nice people at BHF.com seem to blow many of their findings out of proportion with a flair for the dramatic, I don’t remember anything where a scrap between players ruined or complicated the intensity of a game. If anything, a fight increased the emotions of both the crowd and the teams in the arena. Bottom line, it comes down to the players who put their bodies on the line in games. This is a voluntary risk they all are very aware of. They are the ones in charge. Unless the kind folks at BFH.com can convince the players that fighting should be banned, the need to remember that the players are the ones who make the last decision. It’s not as though fans are the only ones who feel fighting needs to stay. Many players truly believe fighting is a part of the game.
“I think you really have to understand the game and kind of understand the (dressing) room to know what it’s like to be on a bench when a guy fights,” Bruins forward Brad Marchand said before a victory over the Toronto Maple Leafs. “For fans that think that fighting has no part of the game, they don’t really know what they’re talking about. It gets guys excited, its gets us amped up. It’s more for the fact that we want to go to bat for (the player who fights), we want to respond for him. We have tremendous respect for guys who (fight). I think it really pushes a team to get excited and start playing better.”
Almost immediately after Dziurzynski was knocked out in his recent fight, there was an outcry for fighting to be banned from the sport.
“This column is going to rail against fighting in hockey,” wrote The Hockey News’ senior writer Ken Campbell at the top of a post shortly after McLaren’s knockout. “If that troubles you, feel free to move on and mutter under your breath – or in the comments section – about how pantywaists like me should go and cover figure skating or synchronized swimming.”
That’s works for me, Ken. There’s nothing wrong with anyone having an opinion. And to be honest, the effort to ban hockey fights is the majority among the fans. However, the bottom line is that it’s the players’ opinions and beliefs when it comes down to it. And for them, it’s always the “willingness to fight anyone, anytime, for the good of the team.”

Frazer McLaren interview:

http://sports.nationalpost.com/2013/03/06/leafs-frazer-mclaren-was-looking-for-a-spark-when-he-knocked-out-senators-dave-dziurzynski/

Players understanding risks in today’s hockey game:

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/sports/hockey/globe-on-hockey/players-today-understand-the-risks-involved-when-they-engage-in-a-fight/article9460214/

Video  —  Posted: March 14, 2013 in Uncategorized
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Nolan’s victory over Souray of the Ducks.

Video  —  Posted: February 26, 2013 in Uncategorized
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Mystery with the Avs; Insert Victory over the Ducks cliche, here

The fights that were in the game vs. the Avs were so baffling to me, I was dumbfounded when I reviewed the game, over and over. I attended the game and I saw, well… both. The first scrap wasn’t really a fight… but the officials on the ice claimed it was. Then the second bout that was called as roughing… wasn’t really roughing, as it was a fight. Are you as confused as I am? Good! Same here. I was as queasy as Hollywood, having to take a Morning After pill thanks to the late post-Oscar parties. But… Let’s forget about that game and continue. Shall we?

Which leads us to Monday, the game at Staples vs. the Anaheim Ducks. After a carefully played first period, the intensity between both teams continued to grow with each play. The Ducks scored under a minute in the 2nd and tempers were about to blow.
It was inevitable that Jordan Nolan from the Kings decided to drop the gloves with Sheldon Souray from the Ducks. Souray baited his younger opponent with a few taps and that’s all it took for Nolan to grapple quickly with Souray. Much to Souray’s surprise, he tried to get off a few quick love taps to Nolan’s head, which I doubt Nolan was aware that even landed. Nolan answered back with a good series of huge blows to Souray’s melon, as poor Sheldon didn’t realize his younger opponent of 13 years was a Southpaw. Huge props to Nolan, as when Souray was slipping on the ice, he stopped hitting him and waited for him to recover. However when both players went down, Souray gave Nolan a slug to the face while Nolan was laying on the ice in front of him. With that, I really hope Souray gets what he deserves this season, as it’s obvious he’s become not only a crappy player, but a cheap-shot bum. It’s that unwritten rule that you DO NOT HIT YOUR OPPONENT WHEN THEY ARE DOWN. PERIOD. Enjoy your next meal at a gas station. Jerk.

Clear victory to Nolan. First Nation strikes again.

Next game on tap: The Red Wings visit the Kings at Staples Center on Wednesday, February 27th at 7pm, local.

(photo courtesy of Eileen Esperago)

Image  —  Posted: February 26, 2013 in Uncategorized
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Now mind you, Nolan isn’t the enforcer for the L.A. Kings. The kid is gritty, hits hard and as a result, people challenge him because he’s tough. He flattened a Blues player on the boards in a hard, clean check. Then followed up with solid fight with Wade ($40 Million Dollar Man) Redden of the Blues. Before Redden knew it, he had been hit on the right side of the head with some solid left punches by Nolan. Props to Nolan, as he backed off when he was he had the upper hand in this scrap.

Video  —  Posted: February 14, 2013 in Uncategorized
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