Rutuu Bites, Wild Patient, Caps Finish
January 7, 2009 by Big Tony
Tuesday night Jarkko Ruutu of the Ottawa Senators apparently bit Sabres’ defensemen Andrew Peters in the thumb. It is awful that Ruutu did that and hopefully he is severely punished, but it is the hope of hockey fans everywhere that the casual fan will not once again only see hockey in this light (since ESPN eats stuff like this up) and think that’s all that goes on in hockey. If all they did in NFL coverage was show guys getting poked in the eye or really bad facemask penalties and quarterbacks getting knocked out or guys getting paralyzed it would give football a bad name for sure but we all know that stuff does not happen frequently and the NHL should be given the same consideration. So please, if you have casual fans as friends and think this is how it is all the time please just get them to follow a number of games and they will quickly see it is not an every game occurrence.
Now to the better side of hockey and that would be two great match-ups Tuesday night between the Boston Bruins and Minnesota Wild, and the game of the night between Washington and Philadelphia. Boston was defeated 1-0 by Minnesota making it two in a row for Boston cooling off the then hottest team in the league. What is to be learned from that game is Minnesota is simply better at running the dreaded neutral zone trap than the Bruins head-to-head. Boston has been able to open up the ice to score more goals now but if other teams are paying attention Minnesota taught them a great lesson. If you slow the game down and play most of it at center ice Boston will get so frustrated because they are so hungry to score that they end up skating in circles and don’t get anything going. Patience is the best way to beat Boston not trying to outscore them.
As for Washington and Philly, all that needs to be said about that at the moment is that if you’re looking for the anti-Ruutu game, this was the one to watch. That game was everything that makes hockey such a great game to watch.