General Question

Sparkie510's avatar

I've heard that NHL is 'all about the fights'. Forgive my naivity, but how does this work?

Asked by Sparkie510 (397points) February 27th, 2009 from iPhone
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12 Answers

jrpowell's avatar

It is like watching NASCAR for the wrecks.

Sparkie510's avatar

How far do they go before the ref steps in?

Jamspoon's avatar

The refs let fights go for a while depending on the situation: who’s fighting, what the crowd is doing – the crowd is usually into it, if it’s just two guys or if it’s a full line against another – they try to stop things like that from happening because that can get messy, once the two lines start going at it then usually the players on the bench jump out, then the coaching staff, then the giraffes, and once the monkeys get out there it’s a write off.

The fights can be entertaining, often though they’re a waste of time.

poofandmook's avatar

from what I’ve been reading, there are going to be about 50% less fights in NHL soon; 15 teams are soon going to be “no longer economically viable”...

Mtl_zack's avatar

Fights are becoming less and less common due to the fact that good hockey players are hard to come by, and by injuring yourself, there’s one less star to help bring home the cup. Especially, now that it’s trade deadline soon. Sure, it’s fun for the fans, but goal scoring, checking, amazing saves and shootouts do the trick too.

There’s also the matter of children learning how to fight in the local leagues. Some coaches encourage to beat the hell out of the other kid, and others say to remain passive. I guess it remains on the situation.

The rules of fighting are unwritten, and about a month ago, there was a fight where one player wouldn’t take his helmet off. It wasn’t illegal, but it was still dishonorable.

Generally, if the gloves are already off, the refs don’t interfere, but if they’re grabbing, and you can do something, it’s broken up.

elijah's avatar

If someone goes after a top player or a goalie, it’s usually taken care of by the team’s fighters. These guys are the muscle of the team, the enforcers. Most hockey players in the NHL respect the unspoken rule about not going after the points leaders. Usually if the opposing team goes after a star player during one play, you can pretty much guaranteethe next line that goes out is the men who lead in penalty time.

marinelife's avatar

@elijahsuicide guaranteethe is a brilliant pun here!

Hockey is not all about the fights. Go Broad Street Bullies.

elijah's avatar

@Marina haha I didn’t even notice I forgot the space!

srtlhill's avatar

The fights would be better if they could use their sticks to bash each other in the face. Yea more blood that’s what this sport needs.

simone54's avatar

I never understood how the fuck they allow people to fight in a sport.

elijah's avatar

@simone54 boxing is a sport that’s only goal is to knock someone out. An occasional hockey fight is secondary to the game. I personally would be sad if fighting was taken out of my favorite sport.

laureth's avatar

One of the facets of the human experience is the urge to compete, to defeat and take the spoils. However, with so many people needing to live together in a civilized way, we can’t just go loot the next city over, steal their cattle, and plunder their 401(k) accounts. So we developed two alternatives: “organized” war, and sports.

No matter how sanitized sports are, it’s important to remember that it’s still only a substitute for that animal urge to utterly crush the “other.” By defeating the “other,” people feel better about themselves, and by watching your hockey team defeat their hockey team, you can channel that aggression in a socially-acceptable way.

When the thin veneer between “organized sport” and “bloody violence” is crossed, though, it’s like that veneer never existed. The fight is the thing that thrills the spectators, although they are willing to watch a game of sport. :) When the fight happens, it’s beating the enemy literally as opposed to symbolically. It’s everything people want from a Viking raid or a scalping, but can’t really have anymore.

There’s a fine line between sport and violence. And just like other emotionally charged situations, it sometimes boils over.

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