By Michael Hurley, CBS Boston
BOSTON (CBS) — Brad Marchand lit the hockey world on fire on Tuesday night when he took his hockey stick and swung it into the crotch of Jake Dotchin.
In a vacuum, this was a repulsive act. To the non-hockey watcher, this constituted unnecessary assault. Surely, no adult men should ever intentionally use a hockey stick to hit another man between the legs. And no adult man should ever expect to be whacked in the crotch by a hockey stick. Hockey sticks hurt!
Nevertheless, to the avid hockey fan, Marchand’s controversial stickwork on Tuesday was … well, it was sort of par for the course.
It’s not that such activity takes place every game or even every week. It’s just that … I don’t know, there’s something about these hockey players that makes the allure of whacking another man in the junk irresistible.
Again, that’s not to excuse Marchand from the standpoint of being on the baseline level of humanity. That was bad! And, given his long history of supplemental discipline, he may find himself becoming the first player to ever be suspended for such an act.
However, the reason we know that a player hasn’t been suspended for sticking an opponent’s crotch is because we have a SURPRISINGLY LONG LIST OF INCIDENTS OF PLAYERS DOING EXACTLY THAT.
Roll the tape!
Sidney Crosby, the golden boy, the face of the league — he did it just two weeks ago:
Milan Lucic is legitimately as tough as they come. He is a monster on skates. And yet, when presented with the opportunity to do this, he did it … twice!
Marchand is no stranger to the Nether Regional Arts, as he was the victim of a cheap shot from Brandon Prust in the final minutes of a decided game a little over a year ago:
Here’s Prust performing a cup check on goaltender Craig Anderson. (Hey dummy, goalies wear cups. Save your energy!)
Here’s noted rat Steve Ott getting under Zdeno Chara’s skin by literally getting under his skin, basically. Ott may have gotten Chara’s stomach, but his intended target seemed clear:
Ohhh, how the old barn was a-rocking when Zach Bogosian came in out of nowhere to offer a quick “how’s your father?” to Nail Yakupov:
Here’s the immortal Brad Staubitz (9 career points, 246 career penalty minutes) wrongly believing he could get away with one:
Hey, here’s an oldie but a goodie:
Not the best footage here, but if you keep an eye on 65 in white …
Here’s the time a referee thought Zdeno Chara was embellishing a high stick, when in fact it was a low stick to which Chara was reacting:
John Tavares is pretty great, but one time he got hit at center ice and reacted by instantly going blade-to-junk:
This one’s great because Paul Stastny kind of waded into the waters of the crotch shot, a tepid act which only inspired Joe Thornton to cannonball in from the high dive:
(As an aside, what kind of perverse individual is labeling this under the “Gotta See It” tag up at Sportsnet?)
Hey, Vladimir Tarasenko, how are ya?
This next one actually looks accidental, but given the frequency of these events, how can you give anyone the benefit of the doubt?
Finally, get a load of all of these idiots:
Clearly, crotch shots are just a part of the NHL’s culture. Guys just can’t resist. They’re holding sticks, they’re skating around, emotions run hot … and sticks go up. It’s just a part of the game, apparently, which is something that won’t ever make sense to anyone on the outside.
But frankly, maybe it shouldn’t make sense to those on the inside either. Most of us stopped doing this in middle school because it’s very mean!
I know it will be tough, hockey players. But you can do this. Together, with your combined willpower, you can stop attacking each other’s crotches with your hockey sticks. I believe in you.