Friday, 1 November 2013

That's A Thrashing

There will be another story that will come out of tonight's NHL action after Ray Emery committed a cardinal sin in fighting Braden Holtby, but we'll look at that situation after we talk a little junior hockey. Tonight, there was a second beating handed out - this time in the QMJHL - by the reigning Memorial Cup champions as the Halifax Mooseheads thrashed the Rouyn-Noranda Huskies by an incredible 15-5 score. Yes, that's correct. No, it's not a mistype. The Mooseheads didn't exact re-write any record books, but when the final score appears to be better suited for football, you had a pretty good night.

The strangest part of this game wasn't that Halifax scored fifteen goals. It's that the Mooseheads and Huskies were tied 4-4 after the first period! Zachary Fucale played the first period for the Mooseheads before head coach Dominique Ducharme decided to sit Fucale in favor of Kevin Darveau. After that, it was all Mooseheads as they outscored the Huskies 11-1 over the next forty minutes!

Even worse? Halifax has a horrific night in the face-off circle, winning just 24 of 78 draws on the night! That 30.8 winning percentage at the dot included a 3-for-19 effort from Jonathan Drouin and a 3-for-16 effort from captain Brent Andrews. For a team that put 11 goals past the Huskies' goalies and threw 47 shots at the Huskies, winning just 31% of your face-offs seems trivial in the big picture. But that should be a point of concern for Ducharme going forward.

In looking at this win, though, the Mooseheads and Huskies will see their names appear in the QMJHL record books at some point. The twenty goals scored by both teams falls just outside of the top-ten games for goals-scored in the CHL. The lowest total on that list is 22, and that happened in the QMJHL when St-Jean lost to Laval 17-5 on February 3, 1986. There have been two other CHL games that reached 22 goals, but it's not even close to the highest-scoring games in CHL history. The first game happened on January 29, 1978 when Shawinigan visited Sherbrooke only to see Sherbrooke skate to a 22-4 win. The following season saw Trois-Rivieres visit Laval on March 18, 1979 and slap a 20-6 score on the home team. And finally there was one other 26-goal game when the WHL's New Westminster Bruins arrived in Seattle on March 24, 1981 and were defeated 16-10 by the Thunderbirds. WOW.

Perhaps the weirdest part in this game? The statistics. Not one player on the Mooseheads had more than two goals. Andrew Ryan, Danny Moynihan, Nikolaj Ehlers, Jonathan Drouin, and Brent Andrews all recorded a pair of goals while Brendan Duke, Jesse Lussier, Darcy Ashley, Matt Murphy, and Austyn Hardie all had singles. Four out of six defencemen scored goals for the Moosehead. Five players, including Jonathan Drouin, finished with an even-rating for Halifax. And Francis Perron of the Huskies was the only player from the losing squad to finish with a +1. No other member of the Huskies was even or higher.

Well played, Mooseheads. Well played, indeed.

Ok, I'd be seriously overlooking the Capitals-Flyers garbage tonight if I didn't mention it, so let's get this over and done with, alright?
Ray Emery's actions are absolutely classless and disgusting. The fact that he went the length of the ice to engage Holtby is one thing if Holtby was involved in any sort of fracas. But the fact that Emery skated the length of the ice to scrap an unwilling Holtby only to throw punches at the reluctant goaltender shows how classless he is as a player and as an individual.

There is nothing that I'd like to see more than for Emery to be suspended for ten games. Ten, you say? Yes, TEN. Give him five minutes for charging down the length of the ice to instigate a fight, and give him five more for throwing punches at a player who wanted nothing to do with Emery's antics. All Emery wanted was his fight on SportsCenter. And that kind of grandstanding has no place in the game of hockey, let alone the NHL.

Now some will say that Holtby threw punches back, but I ask you this: if someone was raining blows upon you for the better part of a minute, wouldn't you throw a couple back purely out of self-defence? No, this one is a pretty easy decision. Suspend Emery, and make it a good one based upon the fact that he's clearly interested in being nothing more than a sideshow in a 7-0 drubbing at the hands of the Capitals.

Clown move, bro.

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!

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