Wednesday, October 25, 2006

On Cue

As if reacting to the media criticism before the game last night, the Leafs and Sens provided us with the sparks and fireworks that had been deemed missing in their first two meetings. If you're looking for a game to spiral out of control you need one of the teams to embarrass its opposition, and the Senators happily obliged. Feeling their masculinity and hockey skill questioned, the Leafs responded by resorting to the kind of goonery that will surely raise the temperature going into tomorrow night's return engagement.

The Sens will no doubt have an answer to Darcy Tucker's gutless display, when he challenged Patrick Eaves to a fight after having been knocked solidly (and legally) to the ice by the aforementioned Eaves. To Eaves' credit, he refused to back down and took his licks in his first NHL fight. Only Tucker would react in such a fashion, and he must know that payback is coming (Chris Neil basically guaranteed it in an intermission interview).

While the media and message boards were saturated with the Tucker incident, the major incident was still to come. As if Tucker's antics weren't enough to get the Battle of Ontario back to its former emotional levels, Chad Kilger, in reacting to a trip from Christof Schubert, got back up and speared the German defencemen in the nether regions. Strangely, I haven't found any print or internet media that addresses this sickening act. As soon as I saw it I thought: "There's a two-game suspension". Hopefully the league reacts much the way I did.

All this to say that we needn't worry for too long when this rivalry appears to go through a lull. It's just a matter of time before someone reaches for the kerosene.


PPP said...

Will Chris Neil actually fight? He seems to prefer the after the whistle antics against the Leafs lately. I would love to see him actually fight Tucker.

Focusing on Tucker's fight is much easier for sens fans because they can get their sense of injustice much more riled up. Eaves had no issue with the fight.

Tucker has been cleaning up his act but he is bound to have relapses like last night.

Kilger's move was bad and completely out of character. Hopefully he gets away with it like Heatley did.

Steph D said...

I think the Sens-Leafs rivalry is dying down for the simple fact that its getting harder and harder to find Leafs to hate. It used to be so easy. Domi pounding a defenseless Magnus Arvedson is a trademark of just how goonish the Leafs used to be. You had guys like Travis Green who'd cheapshot anyone within reach. And of course, you had the Fighting Irishman behind the bench as ringleader for these thugs.

Nowadays, all you have is Tucker. The rest of the team is just not up there in terms of goonish reputation. Can you really despise Kyle Wellwood or Alex Steen? They're good young players with actual skill (a rarity in Toronto, but still). And while Paul Maurice is trying his best to fill Quinn's shoes, he'll need a whole lot of whiskey before he create as much bluster. If Quinn was still coach, you can bet he would have been all over the highlight reels, accusing Patrick Eaves of "spitting on the kid" or some such fabrication.

Still, as long as Tucker is running amok, you know there will be blood to be spilled. I'm just hoping that Neil and McGrattan get a hold of him before he cowers on the bench.