As of late, NHL linesmen have done their very best to break up every possible fight that they can, for whatever reason. That has happened to Bruins’ Adam McQuaid in two straight games now. In their latest attempt to prohibit a fight from ensuing, officials let rookie Sabres forward William Carrier basically maul McQuaid over and over again.
Before this fight broke out, Carrier laid out a high hit on B’s David Backes. So naturally, Backes’ teammate stepped in to defend him. Backes lay motionless face down on the ice after the hit, so his teammate stood up for him, with Carrier and McQuaid both dropping the gloves.
Honestly, I’m not sure that this could necessarily be described as a fight. It was completely one-sided, as you saw above. One official pinned both of McQuaid’s arms back, making him absolutely defenseless, his face and poor noggin getting punched repeatedly. The fact that the officials prohibited McQuaid to fight back but let Carrier have a field day is disgusting. It’s literally referees’ jobs to protect the players’ well-being, and they did the exact opposite of that in this situation. It’s unacceptable.
It seems as if the linesmen were completely focused on restraining McQuaid’s arms over everything else. Yeah, McQuaid is 6’5”, 200+ pounds and the rookie Carrier is 6’2” and under 200 pounds, but that’s no excuse to let the bigger guy get annihilated, under any circumstances. That isn’t what any sports official is supposed to just let happen. Proceeding the fight, cameras showed McQuaid’s face all bloody and battered, but he will fortunately be okay.
In my opinion, Carrier probably should have handled and recognized the situation a little more and/or better. I get that he’s a rookie, excited to fight a guy like McQuaid on a rival team and he wants to hear the crowd roar for him on his adrenaline rush, but he probably could have let up a little bit.
Another thing that I don’t understand about the situation is how and what the refs did to step into the fight. So, the refs don’t want the two players to fight. They decide that in the midst of the ongoing fight that they want to break it up. To step into a fight at that time is so wrong, it hurts. You either prevent the fight from ensuing in the first place, or you leave them alone and let them go at it and finish it out. It’s hockey. The official stepping in to break up the fight and then endangering one of the players involved is just pathetic. I think that the NHL needs to talk to their officials and tell them to back off a little bit, reminding them that they’re putting these players in such danger.
I have three words concerning this situation: LET THEM FIGHT. It’s the game of hockey; this is how it’s meant to be played and has been played forever. It’s still a part of the game and it should stay a part of the game for as long as it’s played. I really don’t understand why the league is for basically outlawing fighting; it makes zero sense to me. But, if the NHL is trying to actually prohibit such actions, then they should just do it already. Having the linesmen just go in there midway through a fight is distasteful and not okay at all. You can’t do this every single time and endanger not only the players, but the officials themselves. It’s only going to get worse with each scenario and as time goes on. Serious injuries will begin to pile up if this keeps up.
Whether you prefer fighting or side with the league and want to get rid of it, this certain scenario is embarrassing for any fan to witness. Like I said before, these officials get paid to protect the players and make sure things go smoothly, but for whatever reason, this has been happening less and less as the games go by. I don’t want to see refs pin any guy’s arms back, forcing him to be held defenseless and vulnerable to punches like that to the face and head, nonetheless. Something has to change, if the NHL is really for player safety.