This Week in NHL Stupid: A crash, a slash and a repeat offender

Welcome to another edition of “This Week in NHL Stupid”. As always, we track the silly, the ugly and the stupid in the world of hockey. This week, we have a team that wants a second helping at the table of stupid, and we’ll gladly give it to the Florida Panthers. They recently fired their head coach Gerard Gallant after a .500 start with a decimated roster. It was all under the guise of a philosophical change that couldn’t wait any longer. But eight games later, the Panthers brought Dale Tallon, who hired Gallant, back into the role of primary decision maker.

Eight games! 

Philosophies take years to put into effect throughout a team and an organization. The philosophy of change itself took more than six centuries to write. And yet the Florida Panthers gave up after eight games where their shooting percentage was low and their goaltending was lousy. “Yeah, this isn’t going to work. Get me the next Jeff Beukeboom on the roster, stat.” That’s not how this works! It’s like when the 14-year-old steals the car because he wants to drive it to the mountains to go find himself, and daddy has to drive him home after he crashes it into a parking meter.

Also qualifying for a stupidity award this week is Ottawa’s Mike Hoffman, for this bit of selfishness against Logan Couture:

To me, the only thing that kept this from being Dave Brown vs. Tomas Sandstrom was terrible aim by Hoffman.

For reference:

Brown got 15 games for that hit. It’s hard to imagine Hoffman getting nearly that much, but the intent seemed similar.

Now, I don’t know if this should get a lengthy suspension, but Dallas’ Cody Eakin earned his stupid last night:

Eakin had at least four seconds to realize that it was a goaltender with the puck and get around him, and instead he plowed into him, which you’re not supposed to do. Eakin was booted from the game for that (while Lundqvist left the game briefly only to return to keep the Stars off the board the rest of the game.) And a special stupidity award goes to Stars head coach Lindy Ruff, who had this to say after the game:

”I understand the call. As a penalty killer, he’s trying to gain speed so he can get back. I know it doesn’t look that way, but there was no intent on his part.”

And yet when Scott Gomez clicked ankles with Ryan Miller in 2008 which put Miller out for a while, Ruff wanted Gomez hung:

“I don’t think there’s any secret it was deliberate. He knew what he was doing.”

Okay, Lindy. Whatever gets you to sleep at night.

And finally, we have to talk about Patrik Laine’s gaffe which turned out to be the game winning goal for Edmonton.

I know the conspiracy theorists will say that his shot was too good to be a botched clearing attempt, and that Laine had offense on his mind. That would be extremely stupid. But I would say the video makes it pretty clear that it was nothing more than a botched clear. I’m sure Patrik would tell you that the play itself was pretty stupid. But for Laine, he’ll put enough goals in the correct net to make this a mere footnote in blooper reel history.

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