Hide this


Who’s Dirtier – Vancouver Canucks or Boston Bruins?

A typical scrum after the whistle in the Stanley Cup finals between Vancouver and Boston. A typical scrum after the whistle in the Stanley Cup finals between Vancouver and Boston.

In the 2011 Stanley Cup finals, a debate rages. Boston fans and media are painting the Vancouver Canucks as villains thanks to Alex Burrows’ bite on Patrice Bergeron and Aaron Rome’s hit on Nathan Horton. But on the other coast, Vancouver fans and media are pointing to the Bruins’ propensity for hacking, slashing, and face-washing Canucks at every turn. So who’s right? Who are the good guys and who are the bad guys of the NHL post-season?

First of all, in the interest of full disclosure, I should say off the top that I grew up in Vancouver and have spent my life rooting for the Canucks. As a member of the media, I do my best to be impartial, and that’s what I’m trying to do here.

I also grew up watching hockey in the ‘80s, when there was a much more "wild west" mentality, where the officials let players police themselves, and every team had an enforcer who would sort out anyone taking liberties with his teammates. Nowadays, the NHL officials are expected to assess appropriate penalties and suspensions, and the enforcer has more or less gone the way of the dodo.

All this is to say that when I saw Aaron Rome’s hit, while my heart went out to Nathan Horton, I didn’t think the hit was a great act of treachery by Rome, the way other people seemed to. (You can read more thoughts on the hit and suspension here.)

And when I saw the Burrows bite, I was similarly indifferent. It was a little crazy, and definitely unsportsmanlike, but there was no intent to injure and no one was injured. I didn’t think it warranted a suspension.

That said, I think it’s a little rich that Boston fans and media are making the Canucks out to be the second coming of the Charlestown Chiefs. To start with, it was less than a month ago that Michael Ryder took out the Tampa Bay Lightning’s Blair Jones with a dastardly hit that makes Rome’s hit on Horton look like a peck on the cheek. Horton’s injury may end up being more severe than Jones', but the dirtiness of the hits aren’t even in the same realm.

First, have a look at this:


Ryder hit a guy who never had the puck, was nowhere near the puck, and was cutting across the rink (as opposed to an acceptable “north-south” hit). Further, Ryder leaves his feet and makes primary contact with Jones’ head.

By contrast, according to NHL officials, Rome hit Horton about one second after he passed the puck; other than that, it was a clean hit.

The bottom line is that players get chippy and extra aggressive in the NHL Stanley Cup finals. A shot at the championship is what they play their whole careers for. The pressure is huge and so are the stakes. That doesn’t excuse any attempts to injure (which I think Ryder’s hit on Jones was, while Rome was probably looking to lay a solid hit but misjudged). The point is that both the Boston Bruins and Vancouver Canucks are bending the rules, and both teams are looking for whatever edge will bring home the Cup. So chill out fans, there’s no high ground from which to point fingers here. It's going to get nasty. Let's just hope it stays safe, and nobody else gets taken out on a stretcher.

Follow Us:

Who’s your favorite “old guy” in pro sports? Find out if he made our list of Top 10 “Old” Athletes.

Looking to get started in hydroponics gardening? Read Hydro 101 with Deonna Marie.

Interested in ways you can help fight against global warming? Read this article.

Follow Rosebud Magazine on Twitter – click here.

© Copyright RosebudMag.com, 2011

To create link towards this article on your website,
copy and paste the text below in your page.

Preview :

Powered by Rosebudmag © 2022
Follow Rosebud Magazine on Twitter Check out the Rosebud Magazine Facebook
Share this article with your friends, family and co-workers
Compare Rome's hit to Ryder's and it's clear that neither the Canucks nor Bruins are perfect saints.
Last modified on Wednesday, 22 August 2012 15:03

Happy is a regular contributor to RosebudMag.com and has written for various other publications, including Black Belt, Inside Hockey, and FoxSports.com. He transitioned to life as a writer following a decade-long career as a touring musician. He lives with his son in Vancouver, British Columbia

Website: www.rosebudmag.com/hkreter

Want To Grow Bigger?



Follow growers on Twitter


FacebookButtonJoin grower discussions on Facebook


email-icon-1Ask our expert growers questions at: experts@rosebudmag.com

Growers Underground
© Rosebud Magazine, 2010 - 2018 | All rights reserved.

Login or Register