Originally Posted by pharling
Dustin Byfuglien and Andrew Ladd for attacking Jack Skille for what was a clean hit on Tobias Enstrom. I don't know about you but I am getting tired of players fighting after a clean but big hit. Skille exploded into Enstrom with a big shoulder to chest hit and sent Enstrom flying. It was a spectacular hit, and unfortunately Enstrom had to leave the game. Even though the hit was clean Dustin Byfuglien immediately challenged Skille to a fight. Then in the third period Andrew Ladd challenged, and fought, and beat up Skille.
I disagree. While the scrum and fight that immediately ensue a huge hit is sometimes annoying, there is no question it was going to happen with both Byfuglien AND Ladd out there on the ice. It's their job to protect their skill players and Enstrom is most certainly their most skilled. If you do away with player's ability to defend themselves and their teammates then you might as well re-write the whole rule book because more and more skilled players are going to get run and injured.
No one wants to see players get injured but that's exactly what happened on the Skille hit. Clean or not the Jets cannot allow teams to think their skill players can be run without consequence. They are bad enough as it is and giving in to other teams physically would be like rolling over and dying. As an Oilers fan I know what this looks like and it is even worse than watching a scrum or fight ensue after a big hit.
It's also worth noting that Byfuglien was penalized with two roughing minors for his actions on Skille, resulting in a power play for the Panthers. There is no doubt that the excitement of the NHL hinges on power plays and the momentum that they can generate for either side. So the end result of this was positive for fan enjoyment.
Finally, I'm not sure what you could see wrong with the Ladd fight unless you don't like fighting in hockey at all or want to see it restricted to just the heavyweights. Frankly, I prefer fights that are fights of passion and outrage, rather than staged boxing matches that generally occur outside the scope of the game. This fight did not occur immediately after the hit and thus did not disrupt the flow of the game and yet was clearly an element of the game. Ladd was standing up for his teammate and Skille was standing up for himself. I say kudos to both for their bravery, because we know how dangerous fighting can be.
If you don't like fighting at all that's one thing but if you do like fighting then questioning the Ladd fight doesn't really make sense. Guys fight for plenty of reasons. I think that injuring your team's most skilled guy is definitely a good one.