Friday, July 30, 2010

Old Gloves and the Old Spice Guy

Sure the Old Spice Guy, Isaiah Mustafa, is a manly former pro-football player, with good grooming, but has he ever had a hockey face wash?

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Old School Philly Goon Hair Pulling

Dave "The Hammer" Schultz was a Philly tough guy from 1971 to 1976. He was one of hockey's most famous enforcers and he holds the NHL record for most penalty minutes in a single season, at 472, from the 1974-75 season. He was one of the ring leaders in turning the Flyers into the infamous Broad Street Bullies in 1972.

Somewhat overlooked as memories from that era fade, but "The Hammer" was really a notorious hair puller. Watch these two fights from the 1974 playoffs to review Schultz's hair pulling fighting style. He will grab a fist full of his opponent's hair with his right hand. He then uses the hair as leverage to yank their head back and find an opening for a head butt or left upper cuts. Call this classic goon fighting.

Old school looks like girl's school. It would be hard to imagine the Rangers newest bruiser, Derek Boogaard, teaching the young kids attending his summer hockey fighting camp how to grab someone's hair and use that as leverage for a unfair pummeling.

So why was Schultz called "The Hammer," when the self-confessed hair grabber should have been tagged Dave "The Hair Puller" Schultz?" However in the inglorious annals of Philly goon hockey he is a folk hero. Figures.

Dave Schultz pulling Dale Rolfe's hair
Dave Schultz pulling Dale Rolfe's hair

This first fight is the infamous Dave Schultz vs. Dale Rolfe fight from May 5, 1974. This was game 7 of the semi-finals. Schultz gets the hair pull on Rolfe and then beats him bloody. Rolfe doesn't turtle, but he is clearly getting pummeled after the hair pull gets him off balance. The Flyers end up winning this game 4-3 and go on to win their first Cup.

One reviewer had these thoughts regarding the significance of this fight:
This fight signified several things.

The Flyers were establishing themselves as the toughest team in hockey and were dubbed the Broad Street Bullies. Despite all their talent the New York Rangers were gaining a reputation as a talented team that couldn't win the big game. The Rangers however were in a 7th game with the Flyers. The winner of this game would go on to the Finals...

It can be argued that the Rangers lost the series when this occurred as none of the Rangers helped their overmatched teammate. Not surprisingly Rangers coach Emile Francis called the Rangers fat cats afterward.

The Rangers from then on would get a reputation as a team that could not protect its stars. This was seen over the years with Rod Gilbert, Jean Ratelle, Brad Park, Eric Lindros, and Jaromir Jagr. Philly's reputation as a rough and tumble team was established and has continued to this day.
Puck Daddy interviewed Schultz and asked about the Rolfe fight and hair pulling. Here is Schultz's confession:
"I was told by one of our assistant coaches that this guy Rolfe was playing really well, and that if I had a chance I should hit him. I never thought I'd fight him. If you take a look at this, he shoves [Orest] Kindrachuk and then he dropped his gloves. So I'm going, 'Holy [crap], here's a chance.' If he doesn't drop his gloves, I wouldn't have fought him."

What about the hair pulling. Was that really part of the code back in the 1970s?

"Gary Howatt came into the league and was winning all these fights. We had long hair back then. You grab a hold of your hair, and you can't move. You're done. I don't know why I grabbed hair. And I even head-butted. I got suspended one time. I couldn't keep up with all these rules changes."
The second fight: Dave Schultz vs Bryan Hextall, Jr. (Atl) from Apr 14, 1974, at 16:35 of the 2 period of a playoff game. The announcer even calls out Schultz's hair pulling. FYI: Bryan Hextall, Jr. is the son of Rangers legend Bryan Hextall, who played for NY from 1936 to 1948.

Dave Schultz pulling Bryan Hextall's hair

It's ironic that the The Broad Street Bullies really fought like schoolyard bullies. Schultz was the main attraction and you could also say he had a mane attraction.

Friday, July 09, 2010

VĂ¡monos to Voros

Aaron Voros has been traded to the Anaheim Ducks for defenseman Steve Eminger, 26. Voros tried to play a good game, but he skated like he was in molasses, fought like a rag doll, and warmed a lot of bench. Adjectives used by the media to describe Voros are gritty and frustrated. That description could equally apply to the Rangers fans, who had to watch him wiff again and again. He was a good teammate and locker room guy, but sans skills. Voros was a below the Mendoza Line player and it's a good move to give him a chance somewhere else.  Good luck AV. Me, @seanaverydotcom, and Henrik "Lambo" Lundqvist, waiting for Pearl Jam to start @ the Garden... (May 24, 2010)

Now what's going to happen with this stockpile of defensemen?

Andrew Gross / Rangers Rants:
Rangers swap Voros for Eminger

Michael Obernauer / The Blueshirts Blog:
Trade: Eminger to Rangers, Voros to Ducks

Rick Carpiniello / Rangers Report:
Rangers trade Voros to Ducks for Eminger

Friday, July 02, 2010

Arming Coach Class-less & the Stealth GM

Here is a video of "The 100 Greatest Movie Insults of All Time." Our own Coach Class-less, John Tortorella, and Stealth GM, Glen Sather, should check this one out to see if they can find any new material to hurl at the media or fans after their team under performs. (Warning: Contains *very* foul language)

List of films

Thursday, July 01, 2010

Is Sather Changing Course?

Glen Sather does not tell us, the fans, what he is doing with our team. (Why should he - he is invincible.) So, we are left to guess. Why does a team that cannot score goals pick a stay-at-home defenseman first? Why do we trade a first rounder in the puck moving power play quarterback style of Brian Leetch for two draft picks?

Since we must guess at what the Rangers are doing from reading the tea leaves, I would guess that they are changing direction again.

We started our new direction in the post-Jagr era as a puck moving attacking team with a long term commitment to Wade Redden. Then, Torts was brought in to up-tempo the team. We were to become a take risks, attacking, Sather's Edmonton Oilers reborn. That experiment failed because we did not have Gretzky, Kurri, Anderson and Messier to score, and Redden was no Paul Coffey.

So, with goodbye to Bobby Sanguinetti, is it also goodbye to the fast pace we were promised? Is hello to Dylan McIlrath an attempt to copy the Kjell Samuelsson, Andre “Moose” Dupont, Chris Pronger style of the Flyers? If Sather is admitting he has made a mistake, as much as I dislike him, I give him credit. Defense can win the Cup. The Flyers are not the only team to use that formula. The Devils and Martin Brodeur have shown us this formula before too, with great success.

So Glen, if this is your new direction then finish the job. It is time to send Redden to the minors and sign Paul Martin. Then, find the money for Ilya Kovalchuk. That would get me excited - and would make us a contender.

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