Friday, November 14, 2008

Ruutu was Never Dirty!

You may remember my post from yesterday about former Penguin Jarkko Ruutu getting suspended for 2 games without pay for giving Lapierre an elbow to the head. Then two quite convincing comments / arguments (thanks, Hept-Rossi for those!) were posted stating that he believes it was, indeed, a dirty hit and explained why. I was (and am) still not convinced because of the simple fact that he was never dirty when he played in Pittsburgh. Here is the Pensblog take on it (which compromises and touches upon what we both had to comment on):

That's just vicious [referring to the video / elbow]. When did Jarkko Ruutu become a dirty player? Honestly, he was never head-hunting in a Pens uniform. He was just a pain in the ass. He got suspended for two games.
I guess this was one reason for not wanting to think he did it intentionally. He never played like that for the Penguins, but I'm still going to give him the benefit of the doubt for now (and, yes, I'm bias because I was / am such a big Ruutu fan - but that doesn't mean I can't change my mind - I am a woman after all!!). However, I believe this has and will continue to be played, slow-mo'ed, analyzed and beaten to death. Here is a link to a very good post written by SENShobo in Ruutu's defense (thanks to faithful TSCSF reader / commentor, Rage!)!!
In reference to this post, he points out the fact that the hit would've actually been worse than it was, but Ruutu changed his "plan" in mid-hit trying to avoid hurting Lapierre more. I know it's hard to believe for some of you, but I think Ruuts is a smart (and concerned) enough player for me to buy into this mode of thought -- he's just NOT "dirty" and I will maintain that belief until - FOREVER!!
And, to answer Hept-Rossi's [rhetorical question] that if Ruutu did this to Crosby that I'd "call for his head." Probably (OK - I'd more than likely go after him myself [laughs]), but he's already gone after Crosby and I maintained my composure -- it just wasn't nearly as bad as an elbow to the head (remember him sitting on Crosby and shoving his face into the ice?)!! Please give me a little more credit -- I am and will remain a Ruutu fan - he does what he has to do but knows how and when (which is one of the reasons why he's a favorite of mine)!!

Ruutu - resist the temptation to join forces with the "dark side," buddy (if that's , in fact, what you were doing)!!


Hept-Rossi said...

I'm being exposed here because I just love a good debate and I will continue well past the time anyone cares. I read SENShobo's post and I think he is giving Ruutu WAY too much credit. Things that happen in a split second cannot be analyzed as thoroughly as he suggests. I once tackled a kid during football on the sidelines that resulted in my landing on his knee causing an injury. I didn't have time to think "Well, he's near the sidelines so maybe I should just push him out of bounds because if I throw myself at him I might cause him or myself injury." It's more like "Ball carrier. Hit him."

Here's the thing that I don't think anyone has talked about, the play he chose to make was the wrong play. The puck was up for grabs headed to the Senators blue line. The play Ruutu should have made was to keep his stick on the ice, throw a shoulder into Lapierre, gain body position along the boards, win possession of the puck, and move it back to the defense. Instead, he went after Lapierre, thus taking himself entirely out of the play. I just can't get over the fact his stick starts out on the ice then he brings it up to his chest to deliver the blow.

As for using SENShobo as the voice to defend Ruutu, he's a Senators fan. Of course he is going to find a way to defend him. Mario Lemieux could push over my 89-year-old Granny then piss in my gas tank and I would find some sort of justification that I deserved it.

And finally, what Ruutu did to Crosby at the beginning of the year was just a dick move, it couldn't have caused major injury like his elbow could have. Brooks paid Ruutu back in spades and you didn't see Ruutu go after Sid the rest of the game. You can see the picture at my site:

Stephanie said...

Since you like a good debate, here's a few more things to think about.

You discredit SENShobo because you feel that you cannot analyze things that occur within a split second, but isn't that what you did when you gave an illustration in one of your comments about the position of Ruutu's arms / hands and how that makes it anything but an unintentional elbow?

And as far as giving a story from your football playing days to use for comparison (which indirectly leads me to believe you never played hockey) you pretty much just proved the point that it wasn't dirty because, just like you thinking "ball carrier, hit him," all Ruutu was thinking was "he has the puck, get it." Or, perhaps you were just confessing to all of us that you were a dirty football player (to use my husband's comparison -- Ruutu is no more dirty than Hines Ward is!).

In a previous comment you also mentioned taking into consideration that the Senators were down 3-0 which would provoke Ruutu to throw an elbow; well, I'm pretty sure the Pens had to have been down that much in at least one of the games Ruutu played for them, but I don't ever recall him being so inclined to be dirty enough to throw an intentional elbow. So to me, that argument doesn't hold much water.

And I think I did explain that I realized what Ruutu did to Crosby doesn't compare to an "intentional" elbow, but he did go after him and I'm a knowledgeable enough hockey fan to know that's the game!

My whole point is that Ruutu has and will never get the credit he deserves for being a good hockey player (not a goon or dirty player). And regardless of how long this continues, I don't think I'll change my mind about that.

[PS - so much for not "pimping" your blog - [laughs]] which is fine with me BTW -- I do appreciate your reading my blog and posting comments (as well as enjoy a good debate)!! Thank you.

Hept-Rossi said...

This is 10 times better than actually doing work today.

SENShobo was saying that Ruutu had enough time to analyze the whole situation and determine what kind of blow he was going to deliver and that somehow the elbow was nicer than the shoulder. I'm saying he didn't analyze anything and went after him with the elbow. He knew how he was going to hit him and where, thus making it intentional.

Oh, I've played hockey, just never organized because there wasn't a pee wee league around when I was in school and I never played in high school. But I have played numerous deck hockey and roller hockey games. And yes, I was extremely dirty. I played defense and was notorious for whacking the hell out of player standing in front of the net. I was also an extremely dirty basketball player and I hold the record for most elbow throws in a season. See? I know about throwing elbows.

Anyway, back to it, Lapierre didn't have the puck when Ruutu hit him, which was my point that he didn't make the right play. Taking out Lapierre, even if he didn't elbow him, took him out of the play as well, thus potentially allowing another Montreal player to take the puck into their zone.

It wasn't just that Ottawa was losing 3-0, they were getting pounded physically. I saw some of the game on the NHL Network and there were bodies flying everywhere. I'm saying a combination of the score and how psychical the game was led to him doing something he probably normally wouldn't do. And who knows? Maybe Lapierre said something to him on the bench which made him mad. We'll never know.

I'm all about pimping my blog. I would do it full time if I didn't have to come to work for 8 hours a day. This work thing really gets in the way of my blogging.