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The celebrated "response" to the dirty hit...

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Moving away from the Sabres/Avs game to the more general hit/response meme that gets played over and over... I have a lot of thoughts on what appears to me as fan speak, stemming from some programming they received when they were fans in the 70s. 

I don't see anything compelling about these responses. Why? Because what *actually happens*? Sam Reinhart tackles someone? Someone throws an errant punch or two against a helmet or a shield? Two players pull jerseys and spin on the ice for 20 seconds?

Are these really payback events? Are these actual deterrents? Am I actually scared someone is going to pseudo-wrestle with me after delivering a dirty hit? When was the last time you saw the celebrated "response" and thought to yourself, "Wow, that guy learned his lesson! They will NEVER do that to us again after THAT brutal response!"

I went looking for opinions and answers. Here is an article I found from 2015. It confirmed my thoughts and it is 4 years old. The conclusion would be magnified today.

https://www.cbssports.com/nhl/news/how-do-teams-respond-to-dirty-hits/

One quote:

Quote

Ken Hitchcock: "If you just become a reactionary team, then that is what you're going to do every game," Hitchcock said. "There are opportunities to react every game. If you're continually doing that stuff, then you're going to end up dealing with a high level of frustration.

"I've experienced that. I've coached teams where we needed to get even the next shift, or the next period, and all we did was get messed up. In a lot of cases we did get even, but we never won the hockey game, we never were able to create any rhythm in our season because we were just reacting to anything anybody did. Then after a while, the word came out that if you touch them up, they're going to react right away."

That's what I saw against the Avs. The team was far more physical the rest of the game, but got out shot 3 to 1 and was shutout. Yet the old guard needed a bigger, more grandeur response because of the Code written 50 years ago.... I don't think it really works that way anymore.

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I think fans think that the 'code' is still a thing, but I think you are right that it really isn't anymore.  It hasn't been for a long time, IMO.  Certainly, Lucic-Miller time frame it was not a thing.  

Goose fighting Lucic next game was just silly.  The Sabres probably heard about the 'lack of response' and the 'code' stuff in the media.

That said, I think there could be something said about retaliation / retribution if someone runs your goalie, but it needs to be immediate.

 

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Still works for the teams that are built to play that way. The Bruins are a prime example of this and they are pretty good on a consistent basis.

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Neo ...  old school, “We want Ray” chanting suit wearer who called hockey games passion plays of good vs evil.  I found “The Code” in Myth and Religion classes, at work, and on school yards.

Fast forward.  There’s no stronger, no more resilient, no more demoralizing to your opponent, response than walking away and continuing to grind away.  Retaliatory swings and scrums scream “I got under your skin”.  That’s a far more effective “hit” than the one you just laid on some winger.

 Acknowledgement ..  my wise, aged, approach requires a competent referee to give you the confidence that dangerous mayhem will be punished.  I think that’s the rub.  The Code is tethered to “let ‘em play” and “put your whistles away”. They’re here, or they’re not, in unison.

127 words!  Not bad?

Edited by Neo
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There will always be fans with opinions. Before the internet you didn’t get exposed  to them as much.  

This issue cannot be “fans speak” when the media asked questions about “the response “ to every player and coach immediately after the game.   The newspaper articles covered it. The TV and internet news covered it.   The guys on talk radio just covered it. 

If you need to blame something for perpetuating a notion that you don’t agree with the look no further to the media. Social media, and the professional hockey media in Buffalo. 

My concern is not the response... we could have scored some goals and played  a better game as a team.  My concern is we can’t play  good hockey while involved in a chippy game.   7 shots after 2 periods is a bigger problem than how many fighters we have.  

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I think what fans really want to see is a team that rallies around their wronged star.  Esprit de corp.  Sense of team.  Passion for the victimized.  Regardless of how it is displayed.

Peppering the goalie with shots and sneaking one through on the ensuing powerplay is just as satisfying as any facewash or rabbit punch.

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2 minutes ago, Weave said:

I think what fans really want to see is a team that rallies around their wronged star.  Esprit de corp.  Sense of team.  Passion for the victimized.  Regardless of how it is displayed.

Peppering the goalie with shots and sneaking one through on the ensuing powerplay is just as satisfying as any facewash or rabbit punch.

And this years version of the Sabres can't do both at the same time effectively, and unfortunately can't play one way or the other very well anyways. 

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28 minutes ago, Weave said:

I think what fans really want to see is a team that rallies around their wronged star.  Esprit de corp.  Sense of team.  Passion for the victimized.  Regardless of how it is displayed.

Peppering the goalie with shots and sneaking one through on the ensuing powerplay is just as satisfying as any facewash or rabbit punch.

I said this earlier in the year, if you're going to build a team on speed and offense at the potential loss of toughness (which seems to be JBot's idea) it is essential to have a great power play a la Pittsburgh when JBot was there. If you don't have that power play you are a push over and a joke.  Until we get that power play that is us. At this stage we don't even have a Marcus Foligno, yet alone a real tough guy.  

 

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3 hours ago, SDS said:

Moving away from the Sabres/Avs game to the more general hit/response meme that gets played over and over... I have a lot of thoughts on what appears to me as fan speak, stemming from some programming they received when they were fans in the 70s. 

I don't see anything compelling about these responses. Why? Because what *actually happens*? Sam Reinhart tackles someone? Someone throws an errant punch or two against a helmet or a shield? Two players pull jerseys and spin on the ice for 20 seconds?

Are these really payback events? Are these actual deterrents? Am I actually scared someone is going to pseudo-wrestle with me after delivering a dirty hit? When was the last time you saw the celebrated "response" and thought to yourself, "Wow, that guy learned his lesson! They will NEVER do that to us again after THAT brutal response!"

I went looking for opinions and answers. Here is an article I found from 2015. It confirmed my thoughts and it is 4 years old. The conclusion would be magnified today.

https://www.cbssports.com/nhl/news/how-do-teams-respond-to-dirty-hits/

One quote:

That's what I saw against the Avs. The team was far more physical the rest of the game, but got out shot 3 to 1 and was shutout. Yet the old guard needed a bigger, more grandeur response because of the Code written 50 years ago.... I don't think it really works that way anymore.

Having the guy/guys that are capable of responding is a deterent from "having to respond" nearly as often. Also, if that response were to happen there would be no need to react on a continuous basis throughout the rest of the game (or the next time the teams meet).

That said....I don't think that Z hit qualified for the true "old time" response.

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I’m feeling the SDS vibe(I think)...why respond with some faux aggression when you can let that ***** stew in your mind until you’re ready to bite someone’s nose off the next time you see them.

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1 hour ago, PerreaultForever said:

I said this earlier in the year, if you're going to build a team on speed and offense at the potential loss of toughness (which seems to be JBot's idea) it is essential to have a great power play a la Pittsburgh when JBot was there. If you don't have that power play you are a push over and a joke.  Until we get that power play that is us. At this stage we don't even have a Marcus Foligno, yet alone a real tough guy.  

 

... lol what? 

Every team needs a good powerplay. Has nothing to do with being a speed team. 

4 hours ago, Claude Balls said:

Still works for the teams that are built to play that way. The Bruins are a prime example of this and they are pretty good on a consistent basis.

I couldn't thumbs down this but I tried. 

Edited by LGR4GM

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3 hours ago, Claude Balls said:

And this years version of the Sabres can't do both at the same time effectively, and unfortunately can't play one way or the other very well anyways. 

You nailed it. They can't play either way. This team is fundamentally flawed. As is their coaching staff in my humble opinion. What exactly is this teams identity ? Phil throws the boys out there and stands back and watches like the rest of us. Never raises his voice. Occasionally seems to get a bit of a red neck. Maybe thats anger or consternation or maybe its constipation ? But if he's coaching this team it seems he's doing the majority of it behind closed doors. In all fairness to him there are coaches in the league that show little to no emotion and are successful but this team obviously isn't. I hope JB stays the course because doing otherwise seems to indicate we'll be starting over again. And if you're not going to be a team that stands up for each other and turns the other cheek then you'd better get more talent on this damn team and do it fast. I have a hard time listening to guys say it has to be one or the other when we are neither. I'd rather have a skilled team that stands together than what we have now.

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Everyone went at Zed, and few got at him.  Even Scandella was in there.  This is a non-issue.

As was Lucic-Miller, BTW.  Everyone went in there, too, and the linesmen and refs already were there to protect the Boston man.

Let it go. This team isn't weak on account of either of these incidents.

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3 minutes ago, Eleven said:

Everyone went at Zed, and few got at him.  Even Scandella was in there.  This is a non-issue.

As was Lucic-Miller, BTW.  Everyone went in there, too, and the linesmen and refs already were there to protect the Boston man.

Let it go. This team isn't weak on account of either of these incidents.

I disagree my friend. Mo. Fo. Kill. 

Really though Nelson was first to the punch and didn’t...he pussed out...any other contact looks like aggression...I’ve been pleading...mo fo...pleading for you guys to see what a giant pudding pop that Nelson is...he wasn’t drafted for a very good reason.

 

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It's when they respond to the "clean" hit that really bugs me.

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18 minutes ago, SwampD said:

It's when they respond to the "clean" hit that really bugs me.

A good clean hit should be celebrated.

Unfortunately I think the league would rather that go away too.

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4 hours ago, LGR4GM said:

... lol what? 

Every team needs a good powerplay. Has nothing to do with being a speed team. 

I couldn't thumbs down this but I tried. 

No need to be obtuse. The point, obviously, is you have to have a way to make an opponent refrain from taking liberties. If you aren't physical enough to make them back down or think twice, then you need to have a lethal power play so they think twice about taking penalties.  So thumb to the side and hitch on out of here will ya jeez.

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4 hours ago, PerreaultForever said:

No need to be obtuse. The point, obviously, is you have to have a way to make an opponent refrain from taking liberties. If you aren't physical enough to make them back down or think twice, then you need to have a lethal power play so they think twice about taking penalties.  So thumb to the side and hitch on out of here will ya jeez.

I tried to give this two thumbs up but it wouldn't let me. 

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7 hours ago, PerreaultForever said:

No need to be obtuse. The point, obviously, is you have to have a way to make an opponent refrain from taking liberties. If you aren't physical enough to make them back down or think twice, then you need to have a lethal power play so they think twice about taking penalties.  So thumb to the side and hitch on out of here will ya jeez.

No because your statement didn't make sense. The only thing that matters is winning hockey games. Buffalo didn't lose to Colorado because Colorado was just so physical Buffalo couldn't handle it. They lost to Colorado because of a lack of effort and tenacity. Tenacity: perseverance, determination, persistence. All things the Sabres lack. 

2 hours ago, Claude Balls said:

I tried to give this two thumbs up but it wouldn't let me. 

I keep trying to give you more thumbs down because it isn't 1987 anymore but I am pretty sure that feature was disabled. 😉

Edited by LGR4GM

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my reaction is "who cares"...they absolutely stunk the joint out perhaps the lowest point of the year and all we talk about is the hit? I was hoping that maybe that would wake the team up but nope...and Housley has clearly been ousted by the players. PLEASE bring in Quenville sooner the better

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I find it interesting that the last 3 coaches, Rolston, Bylsma, and Housley have all been quiet milquetoast type guys and low and behold you get a quiet team that doesn't work hard when it matters. Just something to think about.  

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9 hours ago, SwampD said:

It's when they respond to the "clean" hit that really bugs me.

I think here's where the problem is, the old school, tough guy, Don Cherry lovers want to see blood for blood, that even clean hits should end with someone in the other team getting hit or in a fight. Not retaliating after a clean hit is not some big team breaking deal. It's the dirty hits that need retaliation, and not just someone a game later trying to get the person to fight them. Players should be jumping in after a dirty hit to defend their teammate, and that's what you dont see much of from the Sabres. They dont have the ability to jump in after a dirty hit and go after anyone. 

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11 hours ago, bunomatic said:

You nailed it. They can't play either way. This team is fundamentally flawed. As is their coaching staff in my humble opinion. What exactly is this teams identity ? Phil throws the boys out there and stands back and watches like the rest of us. Never raises his voice. Occasionally seems to get a bit of a red neck. Maybe thats anger or consternation or maybe its constipation ? But if he's coaching this team it seems he's doing the majority of it behind closed doors. In all fairness to him there are coaches in the league that show little to no emotion and are successful but this team obviously isn't. I hope JB stays the course because doing otherwise seems to indicate we'll be starting over again. And if you're not going to be a team that stands up for each other and turns the other cheek then you'd better get more talent on this damn team and do it fast. I have a hard time listening to guys say it has to be one or the other when we are neither. I'd rather have a skilled team that stands together than what we have now.

The teams that will seriously be competing for the Cup in a few weeks will have both character/toughness and skill out the wazoo.

As you say, we have neither.

We aren't even a "team" per se.  We have a collection of maybe 4 guys that are great and you can use to build a team around.  The rest is just camouflage.

This team could and perhaps should have 50% and more turnover next season.

 

 

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6 hours ago, LGR4GM said:

No because your statement didn't make sense. The only thing that matters is winning hockey games. Buffalo didn't lose to Colorado because Colorado was just so physical Buffalo couldn't handle it. They lost to Colorado because of a lack of effort and tenacity. Tenacity: perseverance, determination, persistence. All things the Sabres lack. 

I keep trying to give you more thumbs down because it isn't 1987 anymore but I am pretty sure that feature was disabled. 😉

The thread however, is about the response to the dirty hit and NOT about why we lost the game or games in general. Your rebuttal, "every team needs a good power play" is just plain silly. You can say that about everything and if you go that way why have any sports discussion boards at all? Every team needs a good power play, and a good penalty kill, and a good goalie, and a good coach, and good defensemen and good forwards who can score and good forwards who can check and speed and toughness. My god I think you've solved it! Quick get on the phone to Pegula, you can be the next GM.

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6 hours ago, apuszczalowski said:

I think here's where the problem is, the old school, tough guy, Don Cherry lovers want to see blood for blood, that even clean hits should end with someone in the other team getting hit or in a fight. Not retaliating after a clean hit is not some big team breaking deal. It's the dirty hits that need retaliation, and not just someone a game later trying to get the person to fight them. Players should be jumping in after a dirty hit to defend their teammate, and that's what you dont see much of from the Sabres. They dont have the ability to jump in after a dirty hit and go after anyone. 

Except when you see the top scorers wrestling guys and throwing punches after the Captain gets hit in Colorado.

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