If it hasn’t happened already, I’m predicting that the NHL is going to get some coverage on a few ESPN commentary/opinion shows. And, like always, they’ll say something stupid.
Last night in the Penguins/Capitals game, Jay Beagle roughed up Kris Letang a bit along the boards, so Arron Asham came over to let Beagle know that he wasn’t going to allow that happen. He challenged him to a fight, and Beagle agreed to throw down. A few seconds and two Asham punches later, Beagle was out cold on the ice. The Penguins fans roared and Asham made several gestures while being escorted to the penalty box, including a nighty-night one, as seen below:
I can see it now: I don’t know if anyone even watches it anymore (or even if it’s been cancelled yet), but resident ESPN knuckleheads Mike Wilbon and Tony Kornheiser on PTI will do us all a solid and cover this story like only two people with a combined hockey knowledge that’s less than a shovel’s can.
Wilbon will reference Asham as the “typical hockey goon” and chide the fans in Pittsburgh for being bloodthirsty, violent whatevers and inevitably to throw all hockey fans into that group. Kornheiser will inevitably follow that up with one of his always clever, never forced one-liners: “I went to a fight and a hockey game broke out.”
And this will lead to my all-time favorite discussion: people who have no idea about anything hockey-related will tell the NHL how to change the game to make it better. Of course, this will center on fighting and the horribly troglodyte practice that it is. Without ever bothering to be educated in why fighting not only happens, but is allowed, we’ll hear that the reason why hockey is still less popular in the United States than log throwing (which when the NBA season is officially cancelled, will be the next “sport” that ESPN will tell us is the thing watch) is because the league allows fighting.