The role of the enforcer works
February 19. 2013 6:31PM
Morrow held his own while Clackson tried to throw everything he could, and a potentially disastrous situation was avoided... luckily. Fighting has a place in hockey, but not when a veteran tough guy takes on a 19-year-old rookie known for his offensive upside. By the way, the Penguins lost the game 4-1.
Fast forward to Wednesday night - the Penguins are back in Hershey. Steve MacIntyre is in the lineup, pummels Clackson in the second period, allowing the rest of the Penguins to play the game without worrying about getting jumped.
The end result: a 4-0 Penguins win.
Enforcers protect their teammates and police things on the ice. That didn't happen on Saturday when MacIntyre sat and Clackson played.
But on Wednesday, MacIntyre kept order and the Penguins won.
Yes, the role of the enforcer is still vital to the game.
- On a similar note, allegations swirled on Wednesday about that the Penguins placed a bounty on Bears defenseman Steve Oleksy. The allegation came out via a freelance writer in Connecticut during the Internet radio show on the AHL. Head coach John Hynes denied the allegation, and I believe him.
I've seen Hynes get pretty passionate after a tough loss, and you can tell when his temper is hot (that's when he gives short, abrupt answers during interviews). But above that, Hynes is a professional. If he's upset with his players, he'll tell them about it and work them in practice until they get every detail right. If he's upset with a rival team, Hynes will try to out-coach his counterpart behind the other bench.
I talked to several players on Monday about Saturday's game in Hershey. Some weren't too happy with Clackson going after Morrow and they all spoke about the importance of playing physical against Hershey. But none even remotely hinted that more may be going on behind the scenes.
A bounty isn't needed to motivate the Penguins when it comes to a game against the Bears. If they feel an opponent did them wrong, the Penguins have plenty of players who will take care of the matter without the incentive of a bounty.