Wednesday, February 03, 2010

More on Ott and Clutterbuck

[props]Here is what the Dallas Stars beat writer had to say about Steve "the hack" Ott's fight with Clutterbuck after Cal hit Brad Richards with a hard and clean hit. It's more of the; you hit my skilled player with a clean check and now I am going to fight you. As opposed to an opposition player doing something egregious on the ice that requires a response. It’s silly, whatever happen to taking a number and hitting them later?
But watching Steve Ott stick up for Brad Richards on Tuesday, you got to see another side of the argument. Cal Clutterbuck is a good, clean player who made a good, clean hit, and that should be rewarded. But Steve Ott was right there when the hit occured, and he did exactly what the Stars needed him to do.

He fought Clutterbuck immediately, and it was very clear that it brought the arena together and the Stars together. Bottom line, you can not get away with hitting Brad Richards like that. It just cannot be acceptable anyplace, and certainly not at American Airlines Center. As trite as it is to fall back on the ``not in our house'' cliche, there is a huge aspect of that statement that is true in sports.

Anyway, here is how Steve "the hack" Ott saw it:

``I was actually watching some stuff from the 60s and 70s today and they used to have bench-clearing brawls, so I don't think it's something that we should take out of our game. It was a situation where I'm right there and you just can't hit Brad Richards like that. That can't happen without some kind of response, so I responded.''

Ott had seen a bunch of the discussion spurred on by the Mark Stuart fight and subsequent injury, and it's pretty obvious which side of the debate he falls on. And after Tuesday, I kind of agree with him. The Stars have been missing this element for much of the season. They need to be tight, and they need to protect each other. [Stars blog]
Here is the take that Mike Russo had on the incident. Ott has been a torn in the side of the Wild all season long and took out former Wild Petr Sykora with a cheap hit that ended up putting Sykora on the shelf with a concussion.
The Wild also can't figure out a way to neutralize Steve Ott. Two meetings ago, he concusses Petr Sykora with a hit that most people (minus Colie Campbell) felt was dirty. Last game, he runs around, sits on top of Harding, hits Derek Boogaard hard and then laughs at the Wild bench. Tonight, with Boogaard injured and John Scott scratched (Richards considered dressing him but chose to play James Sheppard instead), Ott ran around, talked smack, took a run at Brent Burns' head and fought Cal Clutterbuck twice in one-sided decisions.

Clutterbuck said afterward dressing Scott wouldn't have mattered. Ott's run around every single game he's ever played the Wild with Boogaard and Scott playing, including two weeks ago, and it's never stopped him. Last month, Boogaard challenged Ott. He won't fight those guys.

Tonight, for some reason Ott didn't get an instigator (2-5-and-10) for going after Clutterbuck after he lay a clean check on Brad Richards. I don't know why. The league has publicly said that if you start a fight after a clean hit,. it should be a 2, 5 and 10. The refs tonight gave him 2 for roughing. [Russo's Rants]
The problems with guys like Ott they wont fight the heavy weights like Boogaard because he would rather fight the guys that aren't feared fighters or in some cases that are smaller than him.

I was reading the comments from the Dallas Stars beat writers blog and look at what this guy had to say, talk about not having a clue when it comes to hockey.
Posted by jaybird @ 7:53 AM Wed, Feb 03, 2010
I think there is definitely a place for fighting in Hockey. Especially when a hard hit is made on one of the skill players. Guys like Richards and Modano rarely hit other players and if that courtesy is not extended to them, then I think one of his team mates should remind the other team that we require them to show some respect.
This guy has no clue every player on the ice except the goalie is fair game and can be hit and good teams will encourage hitting skilled players so you can take them off their game. There is no courtesy extended to star players.

BallHype: hype it up!


  1. Putting aside that it was Sheppard that started instead of Scott, and our mututal feelings about him, how the f*** does Richards go without an enforcer in the lineup? That's a load of crap. Stupidest decision he could have made, considering what happened in the last game. God knows we weren't going to win the game anyway. Put somebody out there to deal with Ott.

    Also a fight between Ott and Scott just sounds funny.

    Clutterbuck needs to learn to fight. I don't think the same way as Don Cherry (that he is a coward for hitting but not fighting) but good lord, son, people are going to want to fight you and you are going to look better if you can land a few punches.

  2. RWD I was thinking the same thing as I watched the game on my DVR why isn't a tough guy in the line up. I know that Scott doesn't have the foot speed to play in the Wild's top six defensively on a regular basis but I wish Boogaard had been in the line up. Maybe he could grab Ott and pound the SNOT out of him. :)

  3. I feel kindof two faced on this.

    First, I like the fact that Richards went with offense instead of a fighter. I believe that every team needs an enforcer, but not a TRUE enforcer ala Boogaard and Scott. What I mean by True Enforcer? A guy whose basically sole value is that of fighting.

    Second, though I can't vouch for his choice of methods, I can respect Ott for being exactly the kind of player I like in the enforcer role. The same with Milan Lucic of the Bruins (despite the fact that his last name drives me nuts). He fights, he hits, and he can contribute in other areas of the game.

    Third, I'm disappointed that Clutterbuck isn't moving in that direction more. I see Clutterbuck as exactly the same (potentially) as Ott. He's decent offensively, solid on the forecheck, is a GREAT hitter, and I thought he was decent dropping the gloves. Not to wish the worst on a player but... I suggest Clutterbuck trains with Boogaard (like Scott did) and hone his fighting skills. Then the Wild can dump Boogaard.

    I think the best teams in the NHL these days have enforcers who would crack the lineup even if the NHL turned around and banned fighting altogether. If that happened (which it wouldn't but still), Boogaard would be cut before the end of the announcement.


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