It's not very often these days that I agree with Don Cherry. Actually, I find it difficult enough just to follow his seemingly directionless rambling most Saturdays. But last night was different. For a few moments on Coach's Corner, Cherry and Ron McLean spoke about the impact TV timeouts (introduced in 1992) may be having on the game. Without going into great detail, the gist of the argument is that TV timeouts allow coaches several 90 second breaks each period where they can rest their top two or three lines. The result is that the fourth liners, normally consisting of grinders/forecheckers or a fighter, play sparingly. When they do get into the game, they can't control themselves. They are unable to properly get into the flow of the game, and basically become a dog without a leash. Slap Shot, the hockey blog of the New York Times, had a very interesting piece yesterday on Colton Orr's actions in the Wednesday night loss to the Rangers, including this bit of info:
Toronto tough guy Colton Orr was so out of control in the Maple Leafs’ 7-0 loss to the Rangers on Wednesday that John Tortorella, the Rangers’ coach, sat his top defensemen, Marc Staal and Dan Girardi, for much of the third period......Tortorella concluded by shaking his head and saying that although he respected Orr, he did not understand — this is a paraphrase — some of the nonsense that goes on in the game.
Orr would later deliver a vicious two handed slash to defenseman Steve Eminger, earning the tough guy a 5 and a 10. The question I want answered is why the heck is Colton Orr playing nearly 10 minutes of a game in which the Leafs needed to score several goals? I don't have an issue with fighting in hockey or the Leafs employing a tough guy. But why are you sending out a player who's sole purpose is to "goon it up"?
What do the rest of you think? Is this a league wide issue, or simply Colton Orr being Colton Orr? Is this even an issue at all?
Links after the jump...
Shoalts has your recap from the G&M
Short recap from LeafsHQ
Keys to the camper? Puck Daddy has the story
VLM has several thoughts on both the game and league news
THN has the story on James Reimer's shutout.
Tons of excellent new shots are up at Vintage Leafs