Monday, April 13, 2009

csi: gio

here's a rant that's been a long while in the making.

exhibit A:

i'm sorry, i've watched this clip a lot of times just to be sure ---CERTAIN, infact-- that i'm not wrong when i say that what i see is giordano "taking a hit to make a play." i'm guessing he saw clutterbuck coming and knew that a hit was imminent; he certainly looked up in time to see #22 in xmas colours bearing down on him... he stumbled a half-foot (a mis-step which might have ended his season)... but i also see that the last thing he does before receiving this hit is tap the puck up-ice along the boards. make no mistake: gio got injured by trying to clear the zone. [he also stays with his man, probably in significant pain, in attempt to keep the puck out of the flames' net... but i digress...]

exhibit B:
"Gio, unfortunately, put himself into a position that was even more vulnerable than the one he was in a second before he got hit," explained Keenan. "He moved himself from a non-vulnerable position to a very vulnerable position -- he got popped pretty good." .... Said Keenan of Giordano's situation: "A) the player should know who's on the ice, and B) you should protect yourself. That's part of your responsibility as a professional athlete."
----from the calgary herald: feb 25/09

my theory: gio went from a non-playmaking (aka: "non-vulnerable) position to a playmaking (aka: "vulnerable") position. yes, this so-called "competitive hockey playing" made him vulnerable to a solid hitter like clutterbuck. and, yes, he got popped pretty good. but in order to have protected himself, he would have had to give up on clearing the zone. is this something that keenan wants to teach ? should every guy, doing his "duty" as a professional athlete, give up on the puck in order to stay healthy ???? if yes, then sarich should sure have caught an earful when breaking his foot blocking a puck....

exhibit C:
okay, i can't find a video of regehr's most recent knee injury but i think we've all seen the replay. what it looks like to me is a guy who's clearly angry (and maybe a little wobbly) due to the missed boarding call on his previous shift that made him bleed from the head. with no apparent regard for the puck or the play, our reggie goes hard into the boards on a missed hit. it's unclear if tweaks his knee on the collision with the boards or on his way to the ice but what's certain is that he did not return after that shift.

exhibit D:
keenan says regehr is "day-to-day" in his post-game presser... and nothing further.

so i'm not suggesting that gio is the same calibre defenseman as regehr or that he's paid his dues in the nhl. i'm also not suggesting that mike keenan, with his obvious penchant for veterans (worthy or not) doesn't have some kind of theory as to how to make the young guys learn what not to do on the ice. but berading a guy for doing his job and getting hurt in the process seems sortof.... well... insulting.

ulitmately what i'm saying is that what I'M seeing is an angry regehr headhunting in the 'tunnel of doom' vs. a conscientious gio trying to clear the puck. if keenan were to point the finger at any of his blueliners for being responsible for their own injury then, out of the above two examples, i'd be far more inclined to blame the veteran.

the good news is: gio's skating, apparently.
this makes me a very, very happy WI.



Kent W. said...

Good rant. Well said.

walkinvisible said...

like i said, a long time coming. i've been pretty much irate about it since regehr went down on, what seemed to me a pointless hit attempt (with no comment whatsoever by keenan).

it irks me.

Kent W. said...

I think we can understand - even minus the supposed back room scream sessions and mind games - why some guys hate playing for Keenan. He has very obviously different standards for different players, depending on whether they land on his favorites list or not.

Last year down the stretch when Juice was struggling, he couldn't bench and denigrate him fast enough. Bert, however, manages 1 assist in his last 10 games and it's business as usual...

R O said...

That was EXACTLY the thought that popped up in my mind when I saw how Regehr got injured. A fine rant, ma'am (miss?).

I can't deny the results Keenan brought this year (we're in 5th but we're still better off than the last two seasons) but his flaw of picking favorites was irritating last year and downright dangerous this year and possibly next. I can't wait to see the back of him.

walkinvisible said...

That was EXACTLY the thought that popped up in my mind when I saw how Regehr got injured. A fine rant, ma'am (miss?).thank you ever so much, kind sir (*curtsey*)

when keenan came in, i was actually happy (unlike many others, including my blogmate duncan, who wasn't pleased). i KNEW that WITHOUT A DOUBT it would be a better situation than a playfair-run squad, and i still believe that. at the same time, i think he's been hard on some players that were truly talented (juice, tanguay, apparently gio) and was far, far too soft on some players that were below mediocre (bertuzzi & jokinen come to mind, here).

i think a coach with equal PLAYER standards would be hugely appreciated by the masses, the pundits, the bloggers, the players, and ESPECIALLY me. ie: if he sucks, he sits. if he excels, he plays. regardless of the contract or the birthdate.

R O said...

i think a coach with equal PLAYER standards would be hugely appreciated by the masses, the pundits, the bloggers, the players, and ESPECIALLY me. ie: if he sucks, he sits. if he excels, he plays. regardless of the contract or the birthdate.I sort of agree and disagree. In my mind, a coach with less blatant favoritism (but still just a bit of it) is ideal for me. I despise Keenan's constant overuse of Bertuzzi, who I'd consider a "role player" at best, and I'd have no qualms if he press-boxed him or demoted him to the fourth line. On the other hand, however, when Iggy's in his Jarmoe stage, I don't think it'd be healthy for him to be fourth-lined or scratched (a la Penner in Edmonton - but in that situation Penner was playing well so his treatment is even more bizarre). Maybe Iggy could have used some reduction in minutes when he's not playing well, but I think in his case (or any of our "core" like Regehr, Kipper, and yes, Phaneuf) there's a baseline of minutes/games you kind of are obligated to give him.

Of course, you have to allow for the possibility of these guys playing their way out of the core, and Phaneuf could do that in the next season or two if he keeps his mediocre play up.

walkinvisible said...

by "sits" i didn't necessarily mean "scratched."

i know you know what i'm talking about. it's that bertuzzi can give the puck away in the defensive zone on an ill-timed backhand on four seperate occasions in one game and still play 18 minutes. pardy does it once in one game and gets scratched for 5.

if i had to pick one of those guys to build a team it would be pardy each and every time without hesitation.

i think what we're talking about as an ideal, here, is not a favoritism but an acknowledgment of hierarchy. on the basis of the flames' "bigger picture," bertuzzi is expendable (as was juice, tangs, and arguably cammalleri) but iggy, dion, and regehr are not. i can get behind a certain amount of "core group favoritism" so long as the players aren't stinkin' up the joint.

blindly and incessantly going back to struggling players just doesn't ever seem like a good idea to me, though; captain or not.