I thought I had seen it all when it came to people making biased comments regarding the actions of Philadelphia Flyer, Steve Downie, but Mr. Gage, it seems, has raised the bar when it comes to prejudice against the notorious rookie. In his recent Blog http://www.hockeybuzz.com/blog.php?blogger_id=102
, Gage concludes that Downie actually went so far as to fake a high speed, head-first collision into the boards after being pushed from behind by Georges Laraque's during the most recent Pens-Flyers game. Here's an excerpt from his Blog:
"What Downie did the other night was taking it to a whole new level. He knew Laraque was behind him and, I believe, set himself up in a specific position with his back to the oncoming Penguin waiting for what he knew was coming. He then leapt into the boards, springing forward on contact and making it look like he was slammed head-first into the boards. He then lay on the ice capping off his performance with mini convulsion-like tics … almost as if he knew that he wouldn’t be able to play the rest of the game if he took it too far and gave us a more dramatic version."
Now, I ask you readers, view this video clip of the incident.
Look at 1:22 seconds into the video...they replay it twice in slow mo. Unless I'm seeing things, Laraque clearly pushes Downie from behind, RIGHT ON THE NAMEPLATE
when he was playing the puck a mere few feet from the boards. This is something that players are told from early on, specifically NOT to do. Textbook, illegal hit from behind.
Furthermore I don't see ANY evidence that Downie tried to launch himself. There's no spring in his legs toward the boards and no leaping as Gage alleges. The only thing I see as being responsible for Downie's going head first into the boards is Laraque's push into his upper back. It doesn't take much for man as big and strong as Georges to propell a smaller player like Downie into the boards. Didn't Mark Gage see the shove? What does he think the result of the shove really should have been? To me looking at that video, I don't see how Downie could have avoided colliding into the boards after being pushed like that by one of the strongest players in the NHL.
I think it is quite ridiculous and pretty offensive that someone who considers himself a credible blogger on this site would be so obviously biased in his appraisal of this incident, going so far as to accuse the recipient of a blatant and dangerous hit from behind of causing the episode (and putting his own health in peril) by deliberately launching himself, head first, into the boards. It's one thing if you want to try and say Downie put himself in a vulnerable position, as some said Bergeron did when Randy Jones' hit from behind a few months back (Jones was suspended for two games), but to ignore Laraque's strong shove and instead accuse Downie of being the cause of his own head being smashed against the boards sinks to a journalistic low, even for the blogosphere.
To add insult to injury (literally), Gage goes on to accuse Downie of faking injury after the hit because he didn't get up right away. I'd love to see how quickly Mr. Gage would spring back to his skates after getting pushed into the boards in such a way by Georges Laraque. I think he'd still
being lying on the ice.
You can clearly
see in the clips, the significant impact of Downie's head into the wall. He's very lucky to have only been shaken up for a moment or two on that play. But of course, when viewed through the biased eye of Mr. Gage, Downie being layed out on the ice after taking the hit was nothing more than an acting job. Gage even goes on to allege that there was a conspiracy between Downie and the Flyers training staff so Downie could draw the maximum penalty he could without having to leave the game due to the injury. Ridiculous.
Another thing I wanted to point out, just to show a blatant example of the inaccurate, biased comments in Mr Gage's blog, he says:
"After the McAmmond incident he (Downie) showed no remorse and simply stated he was finishing his check,
Perhaps in his myopic view, Mr Gage failed to notice (or chose to ignore) a few facts and quotes from Downie and McAmmond after the hit:
Quote from Downie:
"I didn't mean to hurt him and I hope he's OK
," Downie said following the game. "My game's to hit and to finish the check. I'm just trying to earn a spot on the roster. It's part of my game and I apologize for him getting hurt. I thought I got him clean. Once we hit the boards after, I asked if he was okay
Excerpt from TSN:
Downie will have a hearing on Friday. He called McAmmond Wednesday to offer an apology, which was accepted. "Yeah, I'm going to choose to believe that he was sincere about it
"- McAmmond said TSN
I think one of the few things Gage said in his blog that was accurate, was this:
"I know I’m definitely in the minority with this one
Well, there's a reason for that Mr. Gage....it's because you're flat out wrong, in more ways than one. In my eyes, after reading this joke of a blog, your credibility and integrity as a writer on here, or anywhere else, is questionable at best.
You mention Bill Meltzer as a mentor of sorts...well you obvisouly didn't get to spend enough time learning from him, because if this is the type of drivel you're going to be spewing out, you aren't worthy to hold Meltzer's jock.
might want to seek help.