Getting Angry With Greg Mitchell – 4th November

It’s time to get rid of Lepine. He’s got to go. He may be the only truly defensive defenceman we’ve got which means he doesn’t really fit our coach’s mindset but he’s got to be shown the door. The reason? He’s too tall and he knows how to play the game of ice hockey or at least play it as it should be.
At 6’4” Lepine is too tall to play ice hockey in this country. Jason Silverthorn is a mere 5’11”. That’s a five inch difference which means that even if Silverthorn doesn’t have his head down Lepine’s shoulder (with padding) is going to be up around Silverthorn’s chin when he checks him. What’s he supposed to do? Stoop to Silverthorn’s level. If I was a coach and they were still available I’d sign John Lawless and Vezio Sacratini in a heartbeat. They’d end up playing on their own. Every player who went anywhere near them would get thrown out. Globke is a bit bigger but he’d got his head down (as had Silverthorn). The players out there from professionals right down to rec players will, I’m sure, confirm that one of the first things they’re told as players is keep your head up. If you don’t bad things are going to happen. Is a player supposed avoid another who is staring at the ice? Pandering to bad practices like this will make a mockery of the game.
Don’t get me wrong, I’ve no interest in seeing a player injured due to dangerous play of any kind but these have been good solid and, here’s the problem, fast checks from a tall player. The referees over here can’t cope with a proper checking game. Time after time a perfectly good check is penalised simply because it made a big noise or the home crowd didn’t like it. Ice hockey is (was?) a full contact sport and that means people using their bodies to stop other players. If they do it illegally penalise them but penalise offences not aftermaths. Take last Sunday, Penner picked up a five minute fighting penalty for thumping Newcastle’s Langdon. Why? Because Langdon had just speared him. Referees aren’t perfect but they’ve got to improve if this league is going to flourish like some owners (not all in my opinion) want it to. This doesn’t mean I want to see a UK version of the LNAH like some forum muppets do, I want to watch ice hockey as it should be played, fast and physical. If I didn’t want that I’d go and watch basketball where coughing near someone is a penalty.
The problem is that the refereeing and decision making in this league hasn’t improved fast enough help Lepine in this country. As I write this I’ve just read that he’s got another four game ban. I think that could be the final nail in his British ice hockey coffin sadly. If he wants to stay here he’s going to have to change his style and if he does that he won’t be the player he was. We saw last season what having a defenceman that was disinterested in checking gets you. I’m not comparing Lepine to D’Amour because Lepine if nothing else was at least interested in playing for us. Sorry Guilliame but I fear your days are numbered. I could say what I really think of this but Jono wants it by the end of today and I don’t think I’ll have calmed down by next Wednesday never mind tonight!
Having said all that why should he want to stay? Would you want to do a job where you got fined every time you did it right? Where you were victimised because other people can’t do the first thing they’re told to do. I’m sorry but if I was Lepine I’d be on the phone to my agent about getting a job where people did appreciate what I could do.

I had to laugh at the ticketing allocation in Braehead. We’re taking more than they can handle so they’ve made some more tickets available to Panthers fans, but you have to go to the box office in Braehead to collect them? Am I the only one who thinks this is ludicrous? Of course I could have got it completely wrapped around my neck but the Panthers’ official site is so bad it’s not beyond the realms of possibility that they’d report we won when we lost (I wouldn’t put it past them to do it deliberately to be honest).

Further abroad, Bob’s Thai bride says Sheffield have been “given” a six figure sum and there’s more if they want it, no strings attached. I don’t know who’s more deluded, the idiot giving Sheffield money and wanting nothing in return or Mrs Phillips for expecting people to believe they’ve now got more money. Maybe they’ve scraped enough money together to buy Sheffield Monopoly and they’re paying the players with the money from that now. The big question has to be would you give money to a business and not want anything back? Mind you, when it comes to the Steelers I think giving them money and wanting something and not wanting something more or less amount to the same thing.
Talking of them up the road why can nobody in Sheffield say anyone’s name properly? Steve Munn is Munner, their netminder is Moose. They can’t even get Ashley Tait’s four letter name right preferring to call him Taiter when everyone knows it should be [CENSORED]. Is it some sort of inbred mass speech defect that only afflicts people in Yorkshire? It doesn’t happen in Nottingham. We don’t bang on about the goal-scoring sharpness of Beau, the hard hitting style of Piner or the bad dress sense of Jader do we? The other option is its part of this whole bullshit family ethos that we have thrust down our throat continually. If they use nicknames all the time people will think they’re in with the players and it’ll make them look good? Like I said, bullshit, I mean I don’t call my brother Kevin ‘Kever’ do I and I AM related to him!

Finally, my number of facebook friends is “pathetic” according to my daughter and I’m supposed update what I’m doing more. I’ve tried to explain that I don’t do much but it doesn’t wash apparently. So, in an attempt to be slightly less embarrassing I’ll try and update a bit more often and add a vague taster for future columns in there. It’s not going to be massively exciting but if you want to add me as a friend you can. I must say though, there is no way that I will be going anywhere near twitter, my life is far too boring for that.


6 Responses to “Getting Angry With Greg Mitchell – 4th November”

  1. 1 john miles November 4, 2010 at 10:00 am

    Hi Greg, absolutely on the button fella, your comments are exactly what the rest of us think too!! I will be totally gutted if Lepine does decide to leave, but you can’t blame him, when he is not allowed to do his job. (and he has done it very well)

    Loving your work dude, keep it up………

  2. 2 Baz November 4, 2010 at 1:10 pm

    Greg, I think you’ll find it’s The Jader, not just Jader. Get it right dude.

  3. 4 Graham November 4, 2010 at 3:55 pm

    Hopefully the latest development – Lepine’s checking the head penalty downgraded to one match as excessive roughness – will improve our chances of seeing Guy play on for Panthers.

  4. 6 yotes November 5, 2010 at 5:44 pm

    “What’s he supposed to do? Stoop to Silverthorn’s level.”

    Well yeah, he is. I’ve never understood the “not his fault he’s tall” argument. There’s nothing wrong with expecting him to have to adjust to make hits (if the player he’s hitting is head up).

    In this case of course, he did adjust. He contacted Silverthorn’s shoulder as we’ve all seen now, and he (Silverthorn) had the puck so there should have been no penalty full stop.

    At least the league reeled in their wrongness a bit for once, although he’s still been unfairly treated.

    Also, I’ve heard a lot of people calling DAB “Beau”, bit too Dukes of Hazzard for me but there you go.

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