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Photo Credit: Hockey Night In Canada/CBC

Matheson/Pettersson Hit Reveals the Futility of Overpaying for Grit

By now, we’ve all seen the play by Mike Matheson on Elias Pettersson. It was definitely ugly, likely  injurious, and arguably suspendable.

One thing it wasn’t? Preventable. At least, not by any of the players on the ice, other than Matheson.

If the league wants to protect it’s star players and prevent plays like this from happening in the future, they may decide to dole out supplemental discipline. Retribution and deterrence are the job of the Player Safety department, not the players themselves. Travis Green was correct in his assessment after the game:

“You gotta keep composure. It’s a 3-2 hockey game, there’s 12 minutes left. You’re talking about a guy that has 1 fight in his career. I don’t think he’s known as a dirty player. You’re in a hockey game, you don’t start chasing people around the rink. It’s not the way it is.”

Still, that may be a bitter pill for fans of this team to swallow given how much emphasis this team has placed on things like grit and toughness, often at the expense of other more important elements of the game.

The rationale behind so many of the decisions made over the past year, from the free agency signings to the Gudbranson extension, was that Elias Pettersson needed to be surrounded by players who could insulate him, protect him, and teach him how to be an NHLer. So far, over his brief career, he’s already proven he has much more to teach most of this roster about being a pro than they have to teach him. For all the talk of needing insulation, he’s been the team’s most consistent player, most dedicated backchecker, and among their best forwards defensively. The only thing he hasn’t been is immune to the type of unfortunate (or malicious, depending on who you ask) play we saw last night; and astonishingly, icing a couple of players who are ostensibly willing to get their hands dirty did nothing to prevent.

Some people are going to take away the wrong lesson from what happened. They’ll say the team is too soft, that it needs to get tougher. The truth is, the team has spent far too much time and money chasing players who could dish out hits and throw hands, all in service of finishing with the league’s worst record over the past three seasons. What the lesson should be is that any attempt to protect your star players from injury outside of increased investment in the sports science department is futile.

The argument in favour of icing an enforcer is an inherently reactionary one. Your designated knuckle-chucker fights an opposing player after a questionable hit so he’ll think twice before doing so next time; but the hit has already occurred, there’s no preventing it. Sometimes your best players are going to get hurt. Sometimes they’ll even get hurt because of a dirty play. There’s no avoiding that reality. What you can do is invest in players who are capable of stepping into an offensive role in the absence of that player. The Canucks have made no such investments.

Instead, they’ve invested in players who were supposed to keep this from happening, or at the very least answer the bell when it did. Those players failed to deliver. That would be fine if the organization had decided it was above those type of extracurricular activities, but their actions have indicated for years now that that isn’t the case.

So that leaves just one question: If the so-called “tough” players on this roster aren’t being paid to prevent this from happening, and aren’t being paid to respond when it does, what are they being paid to do?

  • The constant contradictions and rationalizations from this ownership and management is staggering. The complete lack of anyone taking accountability for lurching from one philosophy to the next is also staggering.

    Doing nothing about Matheson is fine with me. But when you rationalize a bunch of questionable to borderline ridiculous moves with direct quotes that the moves are intended to protect the likes of Pettersson, you must be held accountable.

    Quotes this morning from Benning indicate no responsibility is once again being taken, rather excuses fill the air. This has been happening for 5 off seasons and the cheerleaders lap it up.

    The cheerleaders making their own excuses and rationalizations for this constant garbage make things worse. Until there is pressure from the fanbase to fill the management team with educated people that know the processes in making good decisions, this team will spin constantly backwards, just like Edmonton.

    Chiarelli and Benning are soul mates. They make the same types of moves and the same types of excuses.

    Pathetic.

    • True about management but I think you have to realise that this blog doesn’t represent the vast majority of the fanbase. Indeed, most here as far as i can tell have no vested interest in the Canucks as far as buying season tickets or going to the games is concerned. Big difference there.

      • lmao what? Tickets are at an all time low…the team has two super stars in Brock and Elias…they are playing a fast up tempo game and are winning lol… why would you not go to watch entertaining hockey lmao… man there are some stupid fans out there…

        • Your reading comprehension needs some work. I said the vast majority of regulars/posters on this blog do not go to games or buy season tickets so their online opinions do not represent those of the fanbase with an actual vested interest in the Canucks. As Freud said they are just cheerleaders from afar so not to be taken seriously.

          • My reading comprehension needs no work. There are several here, with multiple accounts, who repeat the same negative things over and over while pontificating their intellectual superiority. Nobody’s opinion means less because they have less money. It means more to FA, that’s it.
            And to have these same people with the multiple accounts but the same writing style come on here not to debate to insult and condescend is no more than childish trolling. Trying to make people feel bad for having a differing opinion and doubling down by feigning intellectual and moral superiority is straight up obnoxious.
            If you’re not one of the jerks that does this, I apologize and I look forward to debating issues like an adult. If you are one of the multi-user trolls that uses every article to pretend you’re smart, get bent.

          • “Indeed, most here as far as i can tell have no vested interest in the Canucks as far as buying season tickets or going to the games is concerned. Big difference there.”

            lmao please do tell…

          • Your reading comprehension actually does need work because i was replying to Ser Jamie as the left hand column indicates. The vast majority of your remarks that i have seen on here are also downright nasty and condascending, so it’s a case of pot-kettle-black in my opinion. As for multiple accounts and trolling, I personally hav no idea, evidence or interest in it, so not bothered tbh. Just because lots of posters share similar opinions either positive or negative that doesn’t make them trolls or the same person imo, they just don’t always see it your way so why get so bent outta shape over it…

          • Since you showed up um today, you are either one of the multi account trolls or you haven’t been around long enough to notice the constant back and forth between long time readers and the troll brigade. There are a few with multiple accounts that are mean and condescending for no other reason than being a jerk.
            Many long time readers, readers that contribute to the debate here, posters that I respect have begged staff here to rid us of these trolls. Those are the people who’s opinion matter to me and I will continue to point out the stupidity of the trolls until they’re gone or I am. If you got caught in the crossfire sorry to you, never to the trollls.

        • Respectfully. Tickets sales are not at an all time low. Season tickets remain strong and jersey sales, etc are still decent. Nice article on the Athletic (If I remember correctly) the other day. Otherwise, agree completely with the rest of it. And I do believe the people posting on this site are representative of the fan base. Right from the trolls to the groupies. Cheers

    • So let’s have it your way and put Biega in for Gudbranson, Ganuce in for Beagle, and Motte in for Roussell. How exactly would any of those players have stopped something like this from happening? You constantly and your fellow self-loathers contradict yourself just like the ‘cheerleaders’ (apparently everyone on here who doesn’t blindly hate Benning) that you constantly go on about. When Benning makes a move to try and improve the team you whine that it’s not good enough and will only hurt their draft position. When he stands pat like he did with the defence and goaltending you howl that he should have done something more to improve them.

      “Doing nothing about Matheson is fine with me.” That’s the most honest thing you have ever written on here. You don’t care about this team or the players. All you’re concerned with is getting in your digs at Benning. You love seeing Pettersson get hurt because it gives you another reason to keep grinding your axe. At least Benning tried to do something to address the toughness on the team. You have never come up with an original idea of your own except to do nothing and place AHL players in NHL positions. Your idea of doing nothing but whine fits right in with your soul mates – Jackson and the two JDs.

      • I fully agree. The writers for this blog feel it is their job to constantly whine and complain about management, ownership, the coaches and the players. If there was retaliation for the Peterson hit and the Canucks lost the game because of it, they would write volumes about how poorly coached the team is. It’s annoying as hell.

  • What a bunch of drivel! Your words are as soft as this embarrassing team. That fact is they never stuck up for their star. It shows that the players on the ice don’t care about their fellow player, about the future of the team or the fans that actually had something to cheer for. I guess they didn’t enjoy young Elias stealing all the limelight. I hope they lose every game Elias misses. I hope the media has the balls to call out the GM, the coach, and the entire team. Obviously this writer doesn’t. You can guarantee all the other players in the NHL will see this and think, “ what a pathetic bunch of teammates!”

    • This is a delusional post. If you think they didn’t retaliate because they are jealous of Petterson then I don’t think you’ve ever spent any time in a locker room.

        • Sure it exists Bud, but I don’t think anyone is so jealous of Petterson that they would want him concussed and off the team. Without him they’d probably be 1-5 or 0-5. You guys sound demented if you believe that type of vindictive behavior is controlling the actions of the entire team. The hit happened away from the play in a tie game. Matheson wasn’t on the ice much after it. I know lots of the trolls on here watch hockey, but I wonder how many have played it beyond video games.

  • Karma is a *itch isn’t it! Canucks fans didn’t think anything of Gudbranson taking a cheap shot on Flames rookie Dube! No…that was a ‘clean hit’ by Canucks fans judgement. Feels a little different now that another team takes out a Canuck rookie! To me this would be easy for the NHL to tackle, but they won’t. First time a player makes a cheap hit…25 games. Second time 42 games. Third strike 84 games. Certainly there would need to be some way of ensuring a player had ‘forgiveness’ between cheap and dangerous plays like this. I wouldn’t want a player to be suspended for 84 games for his third cheap hit in 10 years…though most of the guys delivering crap like this don’t last 10 years in the league. When I lay out my $$ for tickets I want to see the Crosby, McDavid, Gudreau, Petterson, Ovechkin, and so on…not the Gudbranson and Mathesons!

    • Aren’t you a winner celebrating a concussion on a 19 year old kid. First, Dube was fine. Second, Gudbranson answered for the hit and apologized for it. Third, find me a single poster on here that said it was a clean hit and didn’t acknowledge that it was prior to the puck arriving.

      • So the standard you hold for whether a hit is cheap and dirty or not is whether the player is injured or not? Dube is barely 20…in fact is just 4 months older than Petterson. And by your logic if Matheson fights a Canuck and says he is sorry then all is good! Makes total sense to me.

        • You really need to work on your reading comprehension. Where did I say it was a clean hit? You’re the one who is saying that Pettersson suffering a concussion is somehow karma for a play four games prior that didn’t involve him in any way. This has nothing to do with the Dube and the two incidents are nowhere near to being the same. It’s a pathetic reach for you to somehow equate them.

          • Looks like your reading comprehension is the one that needs work. Where did I say anything about celebrating a 19 year old getting a concussion? Your point is a perfect example of the problem. According to your logic, because a player isn’t hurt and the player apologizes and ‘answers for the hit’ then cheap shots are fine. So because Matheson didn’t fight and Elias was injured the hit suddenly becomes dirty. Makes total sense!

          • ‘Karma is a *itch isn’t it!’ That’s where I got that you were celebrating a 19 year old getting a concussion. You don’t follow my logic at all because I never said that cheap shots were fine but I was pointing out how the incidents are completely different and the idiocy of saying that the play last night on Pettersson had anything to do with Gudbranson hitting Dube. Nothing more. The more you try and justify your karma statement the worse you sound. Don’t worry though, I’ve spent plenty of time in Alberta and know that Flames fans are the sharpest group.

    • You’re a moron Clayton, anyone who thinks they know what an entire group of people is thinking or how they feel is a moron. You don’t know what you’re talking about, I am a Canucks fan and I winced when I saw that Gudbranson hit. Wasn’t happy that Haminic was hurt either.

      • Classic Canuck Fan there! You think your argument is strengthened by calling someone a moron! Classic! Clearly that puts your argument over the top! Clearly Canucks Army isn’t a place for constructive, mature conversation! Good luck in the draft lotto canucks!

        • When you want to start constructive, mature conversation you might want to try starting your post with something other than ‘Karma is a *itch isn’t it!’. There was nothing mature or constructive about your comment and if you can’t handle being called a moron after making a moronic statement then you should probably just shut up.

          • Nice work Bud Poile with the cut and paste of the criminal code! So are you now advocating charges against Matheson? If so, good luck with that. If not, then your comment is completely irrelevant! Even Denis Wideman shoving a linesman into the boards wasn’t considered a criminal act!

          • So, because I have a dissenting opinion I must be a Flames fan? Brilliant logic. I am a regular Canucks season ticket holder, but would call myself a hockey fan more than a Canucks fan. If I had to be pinned to be a fan somewhere you would have to sign me up for the Wings and Bolts.

          • Now I am not just a moron…I am fu*king moron! Wow. Love how all logic disappears when someone has a different opinion. Rather than engaging in a meaningful debate about the topic all you have is juvenile name calling! So be it! Not my game, I’ll stick to the intelligent level and engage in hockey conversation. May not always be an opinion others like, but at least it is a few intelligence levels beyond junior high name calling!

          • Oh yea, totally schooled. I am not sure how I can go on after being called a ‘fu*king moron’! Hilarious! With the price of real estate in Vancouver it is amazing I found someone’s head to live in rent free!

          • “So because Matheson didn’t fight and Elias was injured the hit suddenly becomes dirty.” Clayton
            Dumping a player on his head after hitting his head into the glass is intent to injure.Matheson deliberately inflicted damage causing a brain injury.
            Canadian law regarding Intent to injure:
            267. Every one who, in committing an assault,
            (a) carries, uses or threatens to use a weapon or an imitation thereof, or
            (b) causes bodily harm to the complainant,

            is guilty of an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding ten years or an offence punishable on summary conviction and liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding eighteen months.
            Proof of Offence
            Including the essential elements of time and date of incident, jurisdiction, and identity, the crown should prove:

            1.the manner in which the assault occurred (open hand, fist, foot or weapon) / number of strikes
            2. the complainant had not consented to the assault (s. 265(3) and (4))
            3. the complainant had not assaulted, threatened or otherwise provoked the accused
            4.the accused used force intentionally
            5.the injuries caused by the assault / nature of injuries / pictures
            6.seriousness of injuries

          • Thanks for proving that you’re a fu*king moron even further by coming back for more. Typical Flames fan, can dish it out, but as soon as someone gives it back he starts crying about how mean Canucks fans are.

          • Oh you’re a Canucks season ticket holder are you and not a Flames fan? Sure you are bud. That’s why you posted this comment on Flames Nation on November 28th:

            ‘Matty is the guy you love when he is on your team and absolutely hate when he is on the other team. Glad he dropped to us in the draft and we get to see him in Red and White!’

            Get out of here with your BS you fu*king moron.

          • Well don’t you have an inflated sense of self-importance. He’s saying you got schooled because I called you out in your lie about not being a Flames fan. I guess you’ve got nothing to say about that?

        • So because I post on a Flames board that makes me a Flames fan. Well crap…guess I am a Flames Fan, Canucks Fan, Oilers Fan, Leafs Fan, Wings Fan, Jets Fan…this get become a long list if I have to post all the teams I have posted about. My only mistake I made here was in any way implying I wasn’t a Canucks Fan. That is why I posted how I posted on Flames Nation…apparently Canucks Fans aren’t much different than Flames Fans. Anyone disses their team they must be a moron or idiot!

          • Yes, because if you post anything on Flames site that even indicates you aren’t a Flames Fan you get called an idiot and moron…apparently Canucks Fans have the same level of intellect and maturity as Flames Fans. Figures, two teams who haven’t tasted success in decades have similar fans!

          • But feel free to think and believe what you want. The last time I cared what a Canucks Fan thought about me was…oh yea, NEVER! I suggest you go away and start reminiscing about all those Canucks Cup Victories. Oh, wait.

          • You referred to the Flames as ‘us’. Fu*k you’re a moron. The more you post the stupider you look.

          • No you don’t care. That’s why you’ve whined about how mean Canucks fans are in 10 separate posts now.

    • You are an idiot. The hit on Dube was early and deserved the penalty. Even Gudbranson said it was and apologized to Dube. But it would have been clean if the puck had been there. That does not make it alright, but it was a hockey play in which Gudbranson messed up his timing. At no point is Matheson’s body slam on Pettersson a legal play. It sure looked like a retaliation for being burned a couple seconds earlier and the slamming of him to the ice should be an intent to injure.

      • “At no point is Matheson’s body slam on Pettersson a legal play.” Nope. Never said it was. Please explain to me where the hit on Dube was a legal play? Not as bad for sure, but still illegal and still dangerous to the player. Still a larger marginal NHLer taking a cheap hit at a young NHL rookie. At least the Flames had a guy willing to stand up for a teammate. Whether you like the code, like the fighting or not, Canucks fans should be worried about the lack of response from anyone on the ice.

    • Gudbranson hit was shoulder to shoulder, but poorly timed. He admitted he screwed up. The hit was not violent enough to injure Dube. Matheson put his stick between Petterssen’s legs and lifted him as he pinned him on the boards, he then slammed him to ice in a way that his body rotated on around the stick that was holding him up. It’s the same as a low bridge, but with his stick, not his body. It’s dangerous because the player’s head can hit the ice. Which is why Petterssen has a concussion. The two incidences are not comparable.

  • There was nothing wrong with the initial check by Matheson, it was legal – it was the illegal WWE type throwdown after that crossed the line and that’s where the on ice policing comes in.

    This should’ve been when the TEAM stepped up and sent a message on the ice – you know like Bieksa, Burrows, Kesler, Lappy, Weise and Rome et al used to during the Gillis glory days. It’s not about ‘goons’ these days fellas, it’s about having tough guys who can both play and protect their star players and send a clear message to the rest of the league. The lack of pushback was a DISGRACE. Do I need to remind you that Boston won a cup playing this way.

    On a side note Petterssen needs to man up in the gym after this. He is a boy playing in a man’s league and you all KNEW it. I called this two days ago when the pom pom wavers were crowing about Calders and a hunded point season for EP… wipe that egg off your faces boys, it’s starting to scramble…

      • Another sad-o totally obsessed with my astute hockey mind i see. Last i checked Cody Glass (6 2, 190) was coming off a 102 point season in 64 games and has 17 points in 6 this term being nurtured ny Vegas the Right way… meanwhile Petterssen is getting rag dolled and is out indefinitly because Aquilini wants to sell tickets and keep mugs like you onboard at the kids expense…. WAKE UP!

        • Pqw/Chuck-ey,
          You are so wrong. Yes he’s a slender player, but that doesn’t mean he’s not ready for the NHL. Perhaps Kane, Point and Gaudreau should pack in it because they’re so small? This is SO anticipated thinking.

  • I cannot believe the amount of people on here who are not put off by there being no push back after what happened. And pretending guys like Dorsett, Prust and Roussel have been there to make the team ‘tough to play against’ (what does that now mean by the way?) instead of protecting the young guys by making the other team ‘accountable’. Your sensitivity to Canucks Army criticizing Benning and co. has skewed your minds. How you can be a fan and be ok with zero accountability is nauseating….and lets not pretend we’re all stoked for the big W. And no, we don’t need a Bertuzzi so don’t get hyperbolic but something needed to happen,….it didn’t…and now you’re all (as usual) making excuses.

    • Benning quote back in January: “I don’t know if Elias Pettersson will be ready when he comes to training camp next year. But we want our young players to be able to play and develop without worrying about getting picked on. We need to have guys who will stand up for them.”

      Most of you need to pull your heads out of your a$$#$

        • Looking forward to all the apologies from the guys who endlessly claimed this team needs plug veterans to insulate and protect the youth. Imagine seeing something like last nights incident and still have argue against the premise of the article. As said in the article- what is the point of these players. Would love to hear some reasoning. Unfortunately there isn’t any

        • You’re a troll because you are associated with the writers of this site, you clearly don’t care about the Canucks or the players, you have nothing to offer besides name-calling, you post deliberately provocative messages, and have no interest in being involved in a respectful discussion with anyone. Hope this helps but I’m sure it won’t.

          • This current ownership and management does not care about it’s fans. I’ve invested decades and dollars into this team and I care about them a great deal. I take issue with the lies, excuses and rationalizations the management has constantly presented to the fans when questioned. I lived through the 80’s when we were embarrassed to wear Canuck gear to school because you were ridiculed. I’ve see futility in the past and I won’t support more futility.

            I do not look at Benning’s tenure in simple minded terms like what has he done well and what has he done poorly. He made clear statements, turning the team around in a hurry, Sutter is foundational, Pettersson will be protected that have been proven to be so stunningly wrong that the very basic decision making process Benning uses has to be seriously questioned.

            I’ve been around long enough to see how a Canadian fan base can influence management. The cheerleading and cool-aid drinking just keeps the incompetent in power.

            If you care about this team as you appear to claim, you would demand better too. Anything less is a disservice to us all.

          • Sure you have bud. Nothing you have ever posted on here backs up your claims that you’ve supported this team since the 80’s.

            If you think that your comments have any influence in affecting change you might want to look at the number of thumbs down you routinely get. If anything they have the opposite effect that you seem to think they do. There is nothing simple minded about taking a pragmatic view of Benning’s work. It requires thought, analysis, and an ability to see beyond simple statements made to the media. If you think that coming on to a (supposed) fan blog, calling everyone names, acting like you’re the smartest guy on here, and making up facts to suit your narrative while ignoring the ones that don’t is a sign of intelligence, then you’re even dumber than I thought.

    • Canucks Army and many of the posters can criticize Benning all they want that’s their right but I’m in the camp that he’s not as terrible as they make out and I’m definitely not a fan of JMc. That stated, after the play on EP which was absolutely suspendible, the Canucks should have targeted Barzel, hit him every chance they got and made the last fifteen minutes of the game a very unpleasant memory that lasts all the way to January and made Matheson very aware that his actions have consequences, painful ones because if you don’t all the other Matheson clones around the league will think they have cart blanche on any of the Canuck’s younger talent. that’s a fact and that is what would have happened in the bad old days.

  • The Canucks best player gets injured and all you and your troll buddies can do is pat yourself on the back. The issue should be with the ref who didn’t call the blatant attempt to injure and with the league that doesn’t protect it’s star players. The outrage should be directed at the player who stuck his stick between Pettersson’s legs to take his feet out before blatantly body slamming him down. You and your troll buddies are a bunch of self-loathing fools who would rather take this oppurtunity to point out you were right than to show any concern for Pettersson or question why the NHL continues to allow this type of garbage to happen on the ice. Pathetic article from a pathetic writer on a pathetic site.

  • This was hockey at its worst!
    I remember in 98 Paul Karyia getting crossed checked in the face and no one on the Ducks doing anything, but they won the game. Karyia spent months in a dark room and missed the Olympics. But at least they got the 2pts.
    Travis says retribution doesn’t matter
    NHL to hold disciplinary hearing. Maybe a couple of games?
    Travis Harmonic was given a standing O in the Flames locker room for being a leader and standing up for a young teammate. The Canucks bench looked like they could careless. In a fast game, where big men carry sticks, someone will get hurt if the only consequence for cheap shots get a couple of days off. “4th line guy. Take out Player X” get 4 days off

    • Do you think what Harmonic did is going to cause any other player who might give Gaudreau a shot (say…like a Marchand) , to rethink that action?

      You and I both know the answer to that. What Hamonic did is totally meaningless and will prevent nothing from happening to any of the flames small stars in the future. Yay…they bonded in the locker room for 20 minutes. Then went home and nobody cares.

      And it’s not “get four days off”. For Matheson it’s “lose 237 805 dollars of your pay”. And in an NHL with real punishment, that hit would generate a minimum 10 game suspension for a first time offense. That’d be 600 grand for him.

      Pretty sure that’s far more effective for making him and his teammates think twice about doing something like that.

      • Obviously I’m not as smart as you so I will make it short. A disciplinary call is less than 5 games. Probably 2. So if EP is out for a long term with a head injury, that is fine with you, because this guy lost some dough. These guys don’t look at money the same way normal people did. You really think a former first round pick is squeezing over 2-4 days pay. Please!!!
        The rookie embarrassed him, he went after him vilolently and not one Canuck even jawed at him. Also, Harmonic gained a hell of a lot more than 20 mins respect.

        I wonder as far as Travis goes. He said Matheson only had one fight in his career, was that what he was thinking when the Franchise player was wobbling off the ice? If it was Marchand things would have been different. You don’t have to chase a guy around the ice all night ala Tuz, but making a point your team won’t stand for that BS is needed or welcome to Brock being next… again!

        • Obviously.

          Yes, it’s a phone hearing but you didn’t know that when you made your first post so you were speculating. And you’re still speculating by concluding it’s only going to be 2 games. Knowing the league and how garbage they are you could be right but that is not the point I was trying to make.

          Then you make a strawman assuming that a 2 game suspension would be “fine with me” when I clearly stated in my post that the only way to make a difference is with heavy fines that cost players a 1/4 of their yearly income. Not sure how you missed that because it was right there. Clearly written. Proving yourself correct on your first sentence I guess. You really think a player wouldn’t be upset at losing 1/4 of their yearly salary for one stupid move like he did?

          Really…who respects Hamonic now? Some Flames players? OK. How does that help Johnny hockey the next game he plays when some Matheson gets beat by him? Funny how you just ignored that part of my argument cause you don’t have a logical response for it. You know that what Hamonic did doesn’t make one little bit of difference to the risk of a Flames player being hit with a cheap shot.

          As to your last point, it’s just more of the same. Speculation with no proof to back it up. No response from the canucks would make any player any where play any differently against Brock or Goldy or any of them. It’s just the most stupid f…king logic with no basis in any reality. Goons and responses have never prevented any cheap shots. Ever.

  • Now just imagine you’re young Elias today. Every thing from yesterday is a blur. You have done everything possible to make yourself NHL ready. You eat right, you train right and study the game. You get to the Canucks give 100% and not only do you make the team. You’re arguably the best player on the team. So you keep giving 100%. Exceeding all expectations. Well today you look at the replay and see the dirty hit. Referee didn’t make a call on the dirty payback play. Hmmmm. Then you realize none of your teammates came to your side. None of them we’re there to help you up. None of them even stuck up for you. It kinda hurts because you have been giving 100%, everything you got, to this team. You’ve been helping guys improve their play. You’ve been helping them win games, because let’s face it, the first line is a league worst minus 7. Then the coach doesn’t want anyone to stick up for you because he wants the win. He shows that he doesn’t care about you. So eventually you’re back in the lineup. You look around the changing room and you think to yourself. None of these guys have my back. How do you even look them in the face? The coach doesn’t care about me, just wins. Obviously the referees don’t really care about my safety. So why am I even here? The truth is Elias needs to feel safe to play his best on the ice. He needs to know his teammates and coach have his back. It’s very apparent they don’t.