Conflicted

Last night Arron Asham knocked out the Caps’ Jay Beagle in defense of Sexhair Letang, or in French, Sexhair Letang. What?

Anyway, it was a good ole’ fashioned hockey fight sure to get the bloodlust going for fans on both sides of the Pens/Craps war, until Asham skated away and suddenly turned into Hulk Hogan making wrestling-like gestures basically indicating that yes, I done did PUNCH THAT JERK’S LIGHTS OUT LOL.

YouTube Preview Image

Except maybe not LOL because my opinion is that while the fight was fine within the current rules of hockey fighting, the celebrating the knockout just isn’t done in hockey. It’s poor sportsmanship.

But really, who are we to complain about poor sportsmanship in a sport where fighting is actually considered USEFUL in sending a message?

But isn’t there a better way to send a message to another team to keep their dirty paws off of our best players? I don’t know? Evil looks? Tweet bombs? Horse heads?

Probably not. There’s no better way to say, “I see what you did there to my teammate and it’s time for your cranium to meet my fist so as to remind your team not to let it happen again.”

But the “I put that mofo to SLEEP” gesture was a bit much.

But how do you shut off adrenaline like that after you’ve punched a Crap’s lights out in two punches? If I were fortunate enough to punch Ovechkin’s lights out, I’d dance on his back and break plates and scream OPA! for about an hour.

But I’m not paid a lot of money to play a game and keep my emotions in check.

But what about Max’s “shhhhhhh” gesture. That was pretty awesome.

But he didn’t knock a guy out like Asham did.

BUT IT WAS A CAPITAL, SO POO ON THAT GUY!

But I’m glad Asham apologized.

BUT POO ON THAT GUY.

See. Hockey is just violent.

Amen.





37 Comments

  1. Josh
    October 14, 2011 1:13 pm

    I thought it was a bit questionable until he apologized and said it was classless. I also was happy to see him tapping on the glass as he was taken off the ice. I think Asham’s a good guy, just got worked up in the heat of the moment. Go Pens.



  2. spoon
    October 14, 2011 1:44 pm

    I see absolutely nothing wrong about the fight or Asham’s actions. Beagle wanted to fight and got knocked the fuck out.

    This is an intense rivalry and these teams hate each other. This is hockey, not some “feel good everyone gets a trophy dont say the word poop or someone will get offended” league. Asham sent the message that you mess with our guys and we will fight back. This has been happening for decades in pro hockey.

    Beagle was conscious, got up and is fine besides a busted jaw. Had he been knocked out then we have a whole different story but in that case I’m willing to bet that Asham would have been calling the trainers over.



  3. Cassie
    October 14, 2011 1:46 pm

    He apologized which makes it better in my book. Asham doesn’t seem like a douche, so I’m glad he redeemed himself.



  4. G-Man
    October 14, 2011 1:49 pm

    To put it all in perspective, Asham is a former Philthydelphia Flyer. They teach every player there “Classless 101.” Asham slipped back briefly last night to those days. But he apologized and also tapped his stick as Beagle left the ice.
    Being an ex-Flyer is a lot like being an ex-smoker. It leaves an indelible mark on your soul.



  5. Paul
    October 14, 2011 2:01 pm

    Nothing wrong with the fight. I don’t like the gesture, but he apologized immediately after, and said he was caught up in the moment of punching the guys’ face off.



  6. MizzPenz
    October 14, 2011 2:03 pm

    I’m sorry, but I laughed my ASS off when he did the “lights out, nighty night” !!! Beagle didn’t have to fight him, did he? What pisses me off is that Ovechkin called Asham out for fighting an “inexperienced” player. Again, Beagle could have skated away, right?

    How can this be any different than the Talbot “Shhhhh” ?? Hell, people have T-shirts with his stupid douchey face on them. My next jersey is going to be Ashams!

    Fighting in hockey may be dumb to some, but there is honor and there is a code of which all players must and should follow. You mess with one of my guys, I mess with yours. Man up or get off the ice.



  7. spoon
    October 14, 2011 2:19 pm

    @MizzPenz that was beautiful



  8. Jenny
    October 14, 2011 2:29 pm

    @MissPenz – here, here!!



  9. Christina
    October 14, 2011 2:31 pm

    I watched it at home being very tired after a hell of week with meetings & drinking. Let’s say … I felt like punching somebody, too, even before the puck was dropped.

    When this Beagle dude then touched my Tanger I was jumping in my 58 jersey through my apartment yelling “KILL HIM WITH FIIIIIIIIIIIIREEEEEEEE!” and I am honest enough to say I was very pleased that this was more or less exactly what happened. This is hockey. If you cannot stand it, get yourself another favorite sport.

    And please watch the video: Beagle is no peaceful angel. He goes after Asham and holds and hits him until Asham has really enough of it and *BOOM* lights out. He performed the “Brent Johnson”.

    That gesture was funny (yes – BAD but funny), but it is not the class a Penguin should have. I knew immediately this would cause more trouble and discussion than the game itself. I am fine now – he apologized and ticked the glass. We are back on track. That’s all I need.

    On related news: JAMES NEAL!!!!!!!! <3



  10. Christina
    October 14, 2011 2:33 pm

    I forgot:

    “If I were fortunate enough to punch Ovechkin’s lights out, I’d dance on his back and break plates and scream OPA! for about an hour.”

    That made my day. I think I need to integrate the dance and OPA! part into my usual set of phrases (with copyright of course ;) )



  11. DG
    October 14, 2011 2:44 pm

    The difference is, Max lost that fight. Asham won. Beagle dropped the gloves, threw the first punch, and you get what you get when that happens. I have no problem with the code, or fighting in hockey, but I am glad he apologized.



  12. bucdaddy
    October 14, 2011 2:45 pm

    Why I don’t watch hockey anymore.

    Best way to show them up and shut them up is this:

    Pens 9
    Caps 0

    Everything else is idiocy. Why don’t they just hold stage steel cage matches between players before the games to get that all out of the way, and so all the people who lust for that kind of thing can get up and leave.

    Why don’t they just hold demolition derbies before auto races, so all the people who come to see someone get killed in a crash can get up and leave when the driving starts? Same thing.



  13. Butcher's Dog
    October 14, 2011 3:11 pm

    @Beagle: if you can’t run with the big dogs, stay on the porch.

    Asham held him up so he didn’t totally face plant the ice, then didn’t stand over him taunting or continuing to punch like the Islanders douche did to Tangradi last year. And using “classless” in a description of anything done to a team employing Ovechkin is cosmic absurdity.

    @bucadddy: I have a lot of respect for your opinions and always look forward to reading what you have to say. You broached this objection to fighting in hockey before and I’ve been trying to come up with a parallel in other sports. Soooo…what do you think about the brushback/knockdown pitch in baseball? To me that’s as close an equivalent to the hockey fight that I can think of. Is there/should there be a code of protection for teammates? We hear from announcers and others if a couple of Bucs get plunked and no one on the other team even gets dirty. While no one condones total goonery, I think it has a place and the place was established last night. Just my two cents; I’d be glad to hear your thoughts on the brushback stuff, too.



  14. Scott
    October 14, 2011 3:13 pm

    MizzPens, well said.

    Seemed ok to me. In addition to apologizing, he applauded the guy when he got up and skated off the ice (that’s what that stick tapping means, newbies)



  15. Rege
    October 14, 2011 3:47 pm

    I think his gestures were aimed more at the crowd than rubbing it in to Beagle. He turned his back immediately and had no idea how bad he was hurt. I have no problem with what he did. If puck daddy can stick up for the Flyers fans booing the cancer PSA, I can stick up for Asham.



  16. spoon
    October 14, 2011 4:34 pm

    @bucdaddy Fighting has been a part of the sport for over 75 years. If you don’t like it then go watch the NBA.. er wait…

    Well I’m sure there is curling somewhere :)



  17. Craig
    October 14, 2011 4:47 pm

    This should change, and it should change in football as well. This whole scenario from Beagle’s first move on LeTang to the beating him unconscious, was uncalled for. There are no winners here and probably a several fewer hockey viewers. Maybe it’s time we let the robots skate, people shouldn’t do this.



  18. Sam's Dog
    October 14, 2011 4:52 pm

    Boom Boom, out go the lights! In defense of Asham, his gestures occurred immediately after turning his back on Beagle, probably not realizing the results of defending himself. He didn’t throw the first few punches, and was trying to dissuade Beagle from the fight in the first place, according to sports radio today. Having said that, I wouldn’t miss fighting in hockey, but I don’t make the rules. Bucdaddy, if you don’t like hockey because of the fighting, that’s ok, but you are missing alot of great athletic performances by the most thoughtful, well spoken, clean cut group of professional athletes bar none. (I give you Mario Lemieux as an example.)



  19. bluzdude
    October 14, 2011 5:26 pm

    I had no problem with the fight. The funny thing is I don’t even remember the ‘light’s out’ gesture. Still don’t have a problem with it. I think it’s more important that he stopped the attack and skated away once Beagle went down.

    I just wish someone would have done something like that after Steckel hit Sid in the Winter Classic. Maybe this was a little payback to that offense.

    Yeah, and the thing with Max’s “shhh” is that he’d just gotten his ass kicked. It was an audacious (and dopey) move that was totally in-character.



  20. Lauren
    October 14, 2011 6:32 pm

    Meh. What’s the difference between the Asham fight and a quarterback being sacked? At least Beagle was asking for a fight, a quarterback certainly isn’t asking to get hit. Part of the reason so many people enjoy sports is the violence aspect with it–how many times have you wanted to punch someone/something but don’t because it isn’t “right?” Sports players get to do what we can’t, and get paid handsomely for the risk that goes along with it. And I’m cool with it, because it’s supposed to be entertaining and no one is forcing these guys to play. Honestly, it’s more exciting than any baseball game could ever be (in my opinion.)



  21. Lisa
    October 14, 2011 8:11 pm

    @christina! Yes, thank you, agree agree
    And oh my GOSH
    James Neal, total eye swoon must see all cleaned up



  22. unsatisfied
    October 15, 2011 1:43 pm

    beagle high-stick cross-checked letang in the face, knocking his helmet off.

    beagle then landed the first 4-5 punches on asham.

    asham then threw 2 punches to beagle’s face.

    the thing that impressed me when asham knocked him down was that the punch that did him in was through his visor.

    I have absolutely no problem with anything that asham did.

    besides, wasn’t it aristotle who once said, “don’t start no shit, it won’t be no shit.”?



  23. Butcher's Dog
    October 15, 2011 3:51 pm

    @unsatisfied: I think that was either Aristotle or Whiz Khalifa.



  24. Sam's Dog
    October 15, 2011 7:41 pm

    @ Butcher’s dog and unsatisfied, I’m goin’ with Whiz.



  25. bucdaddy
    October 16, 2011 10:49 am

    BDog,

    I think the brushback/knockdown pitch is stupid too, though in the case of the Pirates, of course, it’s impossible to tell the difference between them throwing a knockdown and their general inability to find the plate with either hand. (Although knockdowns often lead to one of my favorite moments in baseball, when all the relievers take a full 30 seconds to make it from the bullpen to the jostling in the infield, as if they’re all ready to throw punches. They could, y’know, fight out in the bullpen if they really wanted to.)

    spoon,

    I think I made it clear that I already did (find another sport to watch). And I was channel-surfing in a hotel room in Toronto a few years ago and came across a curling tournament, and it WAS kind of fascinating, and I’d watch more of it if it showed in the States, especially the way Ginny plays it. ;-)

    75 years ago, baseball didn’t let black guys play in the majors, and all the games were in the afternoon. Should baseball have stayed the way it was for 75 years?

    Sam’s Dog,

    I know, and that kind of makes me sad. I was a huge hockey fan growing up and through my college years, I watched a lot of the Pronovost/Larouche (and Burrows) teams, I was there to see them both score their 50th goal and notch their 100th point one year. I hated the Flyers, as all good Pittsburghers should. But somewhere along the way, the goonery and thuggery just lost me.



  26. spoon
    October 16, 2011 8:40 pm

    @bucdaddy since you were in high school at the time what was that like :)

    It’s STILL a part of the sport is my point. Baseball didn’t change how it was played, they changed who played it. Fighting will never go away and its needed. It allows 2 players to get the frustration out and be done with it instead of letting it boil up and turn into something worse like a shot to the head.



  27. bucdaddy
    October 16, 2011 10:50 pm

    *sigh*

    Well, we can agree beer is good and makes us happy.



  28. Butcher's Dog
    October 17, 2011 9:58 am

    @bucdaddy # 27: I’m in for that, especially when the beer washes down some nice cabernet and a couple of burgers.



  29. MattDC
    October 17, 2011 12:58 pm

    @bucdaddy 27 — “Beer is proof that God exists and that he loves us” – Ben Franklin, or maybe Aristotle.

    The biggest difference I see in hockey fighting is that the refs stand back and let them go at it for awhile. That makes it seem staged and phony, no matter how hard the punch. I can’t imagine officials in other sports being so blatantly complicit in technically “illegal” retaliation.



  30. bucdaddy
    October 17, 2011 2:23 pm

    MattDC,

    One of the beer newspapers I read kinda debunked the notion that Franklin said or wrote that. It gets attributed to him because it sounds so much like something he (or Poor Richard) would write.

    Aristotle? Could be, could be … But then, wouldn’t it have been “proof that Zeus loves us”?



  31. Butcher's Dog
    October 17, 2011 2:24 pm

    @MattDC: well, when teaching and coming upon a fight in the halls and/or cafeteria, conventional wisdom was to let them go awhile, at least until they got tired out. Do you want to wade into the middle of flying, pissed-off fists while they’re fresh? Nah…me neither. Of course, if any real danger appeared to either combatant, we jumped in immediately.



  32. Butcher's Dog
    October 17, 2011 2:25 pm

    @bucdaddy: Beer newspapers?! There are beer newspapers?! How do I get one; it has to be an improvement on the Trib.



  33. bucdaddy
    October 17, 2011 2:35 pm

    Here’s one:

    http://www.brewingnews.com/mid-atlantic/

    I find print versions in my local.

    This is the region in which West By-God falls; western Pa. is in Great Lakes Brewing News:

    http://www.brewingnews.com/greatlakes/

    And there are, of course, the beer magazines, such as Beer Advocate.



  34. MattDC
    October 17, 2011 3:17 pm

    @bucdaddy 30 — Well, then apparently it was Whiz Khalifa.

    @butcher’s dog 31 — I realize I express the minority opinion here. Flying angry fists don’t seem to deter baseball, football, or basketball officials from intervening to prevent retaliatory pugilism. Hockey is simply going to have to find a better way to mask the referees’ obvious complicity in the show. Since it’s already like a WWE event, perhaps they can perform like wrestling “referees” during the fight, seemingly distracted by random members of the audience, some with large breasts, before getting hit on the head by a folding chair or a fish.



  35. spoon
    October 17, 2011 3:44 pm

    @Butcher’s Dog @bucdaddy yo, we have our own LOCAL beer magazine Craft Pittsburgh http://craftpittsburgh.com/

    For paper-ish type there is Ale Street News http://alestreetnews.com

    Beer mags there are:
    Draft: http://draftmag.com/
    All About Beer: http://allaboutbeer.com
    Brew Your Own: http://byo.com/
    Zymurgy: http://www.homebrewersassociation.org/pages/zymurgy/current-issue
    Beer Connoisseur : http://www.beerconnoisseur.com/



  36. Sam's Dog
    October 17, 2011 4:30 pm

    @ bucdaddy # 25. Yeah, I understand where you’re coming from, I wish there were an easy answer, but the fine folks running hockey seem to like things the way they are. On a related note about the players, and since you mentioned him, I have a client who lives next door to Pierre Larouche, and I’m sure you would have a hard time finding a nicer former pro athlete. Beer newspapers? Is this a great country or what?



  37. bucdaddy
    October 17, 2011 6:13 pm

    It certainly is.

    BTW, just for the fun of it, I’ll tell this hockey story:

    One of my proudest moments at a Penguins game came in approx. 1979, when one of those teams was getting swept by the Bruins in the first round. I and a couple of my buddies from Point Park had tickets for Game 4. Don Cherry was coaching the Bruins at the time and he was kind of being an asshole during the series. He announced beforehand that his dog Blue had predicted Bruins in six. Then the Bruins clobbered us in Games 1 and 2 in Boston, and they clobbered us in Game 3, in Pittsburgh. Cherry said that while he was leaving the ice after that game, someone poured a beer on him, so from now on he’s going to wear corduroy suits in Pittsburgh, and oh yeah: Blue now says Bruins in four.

    So for Game 4, we got a big sheet of paper and we wrote B L U E on it, and we borrowed a stuffed dog from some girl in the dorms and a length of clothesline and we got there early so we could get a front GA seat in the balcony, and we stuck the sign to the front of the balcony and tied the clothesline to the railing. I think you can see where this is going.

    When the Bruins came on the ice, we dropped “Blue” over the railing and started swinging him. Cherry, at the far end of the ice, looked up at us and (depending on whose memory you trust) either waved in a mock hello or gave us the finger, which of course only encouraged us.

    The Bruins proceeded to kick Penguins ass out of the playoffs, in one of those ugly games where there are three or four pointless fights oward the end, and really, by then it was just boring. Get it over with, get the hell off the ice and get your golf clubs.

    Blue was right.