Tag: Rats

New Jersey Devils v Florida Panthers - Game Two

Panthers nervous about a “too many rats on the ice” penalty

We know Panthers fans are excited. Their team is a win away from advancing to the second round of the playoffs and they’ve got “rat fever” all over again in South Florida. While the rats are hitting the ice and the team owner doesn’t want to see them coming down until after the game is over, the Panthers have another concern about it.

They’re worried about getting nailed for a penalty. Harvey Fialkov of the Sun-Sentinel hears it from coach Kevin Dineen that he loves the excitement but needs fans to be controlled about it.

“I’m a little concerned about the rats in the middle of the game,” said Dineen. “I know there’s a lot of Devil fans throwing them out there trying to get us a delay of game penalty there. I hope that’s something we can hold until the end of the game.”

Opposing fans with shenanigans? Why, I’d never! Then again, if you can spot the Devils fan who would happily throw on a Panthers jersey I’d like to see them. If there’s ever a good way to end a tradition of any kind, it’s to get the home team nailed for a penalty because of it.

Columnist gives detailed analysis of NHL rats

Sami Salo, Brad Marchand

Toronto Star columnist Joseph Hall has compiled an interesting list of hockey rodents.

Yes, rodents. They’re all the rage right now thanks to two incidents — one, Toronto GM Brian Burke’s “the rats will take this game over” rant from last week and two, noted Boston Bruins rat Brad Marchand getting suspended five games for low-bridging Vancouver’s Sami Salo.

Bottom line: It’s a rat’s world out there. Everybody else is just living in it, trying to get by, scraping cheese off the tops of discarded pizza boxes.

In his piece, Hall identified eight top rats — or “agitators,” a label they’d probably prefer — as well as a host of honorable (dishonorable?) mentions. See what you think.

Vancouver: Alex Burrows, Maxim Lapierre

Quotable: “Burrows, an effective scorer, has been accused of performing penalty drawing dives — a signature rat stunt — while Lapierre has a trash-talking reputation and has dished out his share of questionable hits.”

Pittsburgh: Matt Cooke

Quotable: “Cooke has cleaned up his act considerably this year after Penguins management told him the routine would end his career.”

Dallas: Steve Ott

Quotable: “Unlike many in this category, Ott will throw down this gloves. But he’ll take it to the gutter.”

Tampa Bay: Steve Downie

Quotable: “His coup de grace came in 2007 as a Flyer when he launched himself off the ice to take the Senators’ Dean McAmmond into the boards.”

Chicago: Dan Carcillo, Dave Bolland

Quotable: “With his maniacal, gap-toothed grin, Dan Carcillo resembles a young Bobby Clarke, the prototype in this category. Teammate Bolland is know for both his lively stick and mouth.”

Buffalo: Patrick Kaleta

Quotable: “[He] was suspended three games in November for head butting Jakub Voracek — the third time in two years he’s been caught using that technique.”

Hall also tagged Columbus’ Derek Dorsett, Nashville’s Jordin Tootoo, New Jersey’s David Clarkson, Ottawa’s Nick Foligno, Phoenix’s Raffi Torres and Toronto’s Colby Armstrong as “Agitators All”. Even if you disagree with the classification, you have to admit there’s a large number of ratlike agitators in the league right now and, compellingly, a number of quality teams employing them.

Of the current top 10 teams in the league, Vancouver, Boston, Chicago, Ottawa and Nashville have players on this list (also: the first-place Rangers only recently parted ways with Sean Avery; fourth-place St. Louis has Scott Nichol.)

It’s interesting to see more and more teams go this route, and it begs the question: Like they once did with enforcers, will every team soon employ a full-time rat?