Monday, May 12, 2008

The whole US-Finland "brawl" thing

Earlier today while I was at work, my girlfriend sent me the following email:

"Subject: US vs. Finland hockey tournament debacle

Did you hear about this? Talk about poor sportsmanship--- bad call or not, how embarassing..."

When I saw her later, she asked why I hadn't emailed her back on the subject. It turns out she'd read this AP article on a link from AOL, which detailed the US team's 3-2 loss to Finland and a supposed cheap shot by Dustin Brown on Jussi Jokinen with time running out. I explained to her that I wanted to see the play before I commented on it.

After seeing the play and ensuing altercation (video below), I can say while the hit by Brown was illegal (shots to the head are automatic penalties in international play) he had every right to make a physical play on Jokinen. Brown was covering back defensively to keep Jokinen from potting an empty net goal, which is type of play the US expects from its youngsters. He lined up Jokinen for a big hit, which should not be unexpected as the game was not over yet and separating his opponent from the puck was the best way to prevent him from scoring. There would be nothing at all for the Finns to complain about had Jokinen's momentum not been slowed by the US defensemen's initial check, as Brown would have leveled the Finn with a perfectly clean check.

And as for the ensuing "brawl" (IIHF term for shoving match), the Finns have nobody to blame but themselves. They grabbed and pulled on the US players, as players in the European game like to do. But this time, Anssi Salmela took it a step too far and starting throwing punches, which he would immediately regret. He probably expected David Backes to throw a couple punches with his gloves on and back away. How very wrong he was.

Backes kept from throwing any big bombs and kept his gloves on until the moment Salmela dropped his gloves. Salmela didn't know it, but he was now in very big, very real trouble. Three Backes punches and a bloodied nose later, Salmela was holding on for dear life.

So just to clear it up, it was the Finns that turned a two minute minor into a rinkwide shoving match, and Anssi Salmela has no one to blame for the black and blue marks surrounding his eyesocket but himself.


pcsolotto said...

I agree with you about these. Well someday Ill create a blog to compete you! lolz.

Anoobis said...

I know this is kinda late, but theres no reason for the Americans to get pissy about losing the match, no fluky goal or not. The buzzer had gone off and the game was over when Brown tackled Jokinen and the game was over. Also, there would be no way of Jokinen getting the puck and putting it in the net, so in my opinion, your point is kinda moot. I can understand being mad about losing, but don't take it out like that. As far as the brawl goes, you drop your gloves and its only your fault. Oh well, yet again we see that Fins are better at hockey and the Americans at pointless brawling

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