By dropping their gloves at the opening face-off, the Devils and Rangers had an ugly start to an otherwise clean game. (Jim McIsaac/ZUMAPRESS.com)
By Stu Hackel
At what point does the NHL and NHLPA decide that moronic spectacles like the “appointment fights” at the opening face-off of the Devils-Rangers game on Monday night are really not good for the game and actually do something about them?
The three simultaneous bouts that commenced at the drop of the puck serve absolutely no purpose other than to brand a major league sport as something less than it is. Yes, it’s Slap Shot. And keep in mind that Slap Shot was about mid-level minor league hockey, the fictitious Federal League based on the old, real-life Eastern League where the quality of play and the players weren’t good enough to sustain interest unless there were some cheap thrills thrown in.
Well, cheap thrills are not what the NHL is supposed to be about. But that’s what was served up in the world’s most famous arena on Monday night.