OH MY GOD! There he goes again! Can you believe that Roy keeps coming out of his net to play the puck like that?! Why the hell does he do that? He's going to give me a heart attack.
Dammit Forsberg, what the hell are you doing behind the play?! Why even grab the guy around the neck? Just skate away.
Some great players do pretty stupid things. But, sometimes those counter-productive habits are the competitive fuel that athlete needs. Should Adam Deadmarsh throw hay-makers with Jovonowski after getting smoked a few months earlier? Probably not. But I would contend he could never be the player he needed to be unless he took that fight.
A more modern day example is Brandon Yip. He's not a sniper that is going to pour in 35 goals a year even though he looked like that breed in his rookie call up last year. His game at BU was predicated on hard checking, agitating and grinding out battles in front of the net and on the boards. During the preseason of his rookie year in '09-'10 Yip got in his first NHL scrap with Talbot and quickly broke his hand. He eventually got a call up in the later half of the season to the Avs and did a great job. This year his he got in a small scrap on Nov 6th with Sutherby of Dallas (5-0 win for Avs) that was kind of ruined by the linesmen. Yip was +2 with a goal and assist in that game. He then went in to a long funk until Feb 3rd when he fought Cam Barker of Minny during the current losing streak. Since then he's been a man possessed. He's finishing checks and creating space. He's got two points during the Avs scoring drought which is like two more than 99% of the team. He's got 16 shots on goal in that same span.
This team desperately needs the Chris Stewart of old back. Forsberg just creates even more opportunity for Stewart as the Duchene line draws more and more defensive attention. Chris himself has said many times since he broke his hand that he needs to avoid that because it hurts the team when he's out. I got news for you Chris, you're hurting the team now when you are in the lineup. You've been talking trash since training camp and you've always backed it up. Does throwing bombs at your opponents helmet help you toe drag on the rush and hit the top shelf? Well no, not directly. But, I happen to think that some players need to do certain things to be mentally where they belong so they can perform. Darcy Tucker came to the Avs, not as an agitator that can throw down, talk a lot of shit on the ice and stir things up. Instead he came to this team as a 'former 20 goal scorer' who might fit on Sakic's wing. What a disaster that was.
Mr. Stewart, be who you are. To me, you are a Bull in a china shop full of defensemen. You don't let anyone look at your teammates sideways and you never back down. It seems to me that from afar, those are the things that drive you as a hockey player and give that positive mental energy to get your job done well. Roy may have gave me a heart attack by skating out of his net to play the puck but if it helped him focus and makes saves then I'm fine with that. If Chris has to give me a heart attack by throwing some punches in a scrum but it helps him focus on doing his real job? I think just about everyone would be fine with that risk considering the current alternative.
Oct 7th to Nov 27th (broken hand): 23 games. 25 points. 36 PIM.
Jan 14 to Feb 11th: 11 games. 4 points. 2 PIM.
Those recent PIMs just aren't you Stewy, they just aren't.