Here is the take that Mike Russo had on the incident. Ott has been a torn in the side of the Wild all season long and took out former Wild Petr Sykora with a cheap hit that ended up putting Sykora on the shelf with a concussion.
But watching Steve Ott stick up for Brad Richards on Tuesday, you got to see another side of the argument. Cal Clutterbuck is a good, clean player who made a good, clean hit, and that should be rewarded. But Steve Ott was right there when the hit occured, and he did exactly what the Stars needed him to do.
He fought Clutterbuck immediately, and it was very clear that it brought the arena together and the Stars together. Bottom line, you can not get away with hitting Brad Richards like that. It just cannot be acceptable anyplace, and certainly not at American Airlines Center. As trite as it is to fall back on the ``not in our house'' cliche, there is a huge aspect of that statement that is true in sports.
Anyway, here is how Steve "the hack" Ott saw it: ``I was actually watching some stuff from the 60s and 70s today and they used to have bench-clearing brawls, so I don't think it's something that we should take out of our game. It was a situation where I'm right there and you just can't hit Brad Richards like that. That can't happen without some kind of response, so I responded.''
Ott had seen a bunch of the discussion spurred on by the Mark Stuart fight and subsequent injury, and it's pretty obvious which side of the debate he falls on. And after Tuesday, I kind of agree with him. The Stars have been missing this element for much of the season. They need to be tight, and they need to protect each other. [Stars blog]
The problems with guys like Ott they wont fight the heavy weights like Boogaard because he would rather fight the guys that aren't feared fighters or in some cases that are smaller than him. I was reading the comments from the Dallas Stars beat writers blog and look at what this guy had to say, talk about not having a clue when it comes to hockey.
The Wild also can't figure out a way to neutralize Steve Ott. Two meetings ago, he concusses Petr Sykora with a hit that most people (minus Colie Campbell) felt was dirty. Last game, he runs around, sits on top of Harding, hits Derek Boogaard hard and then laughs at the Wild bench. Tonight, with Boogaard injured and John Scott scratched (Richards considered dressing him but chose to play James Sheppard instead), Ott ran around, talked smack, took a run at Brent Burns' head and fought Cal Clutterbuck twice in one-sided decisions.
Clutterbuck said afterward dressing Scott wouldn't have mattered. Ott's run around every single game he's ever played the Wild with Boogaard and Scott playing, including two weeks ago, and it's never stopped him. Last month, Boogaard challenged Ott. He won't fight those guys. Tonight, for some reason Ott didn't get an instigator (2-5-and-10) for going after Clutterbuck after he lay a clean check on Brad Richards. I don't know why. The league has publicly said that if you start a fight after a clean hit,. it should be a 2, 5 and 10. The refs tonight gave him 2 for roughing. [Russo's Rants]
Posted by jaybird @ 7:53 AM Wed, Feb 03, 2010 I think there is definitely a place for fighting in Hockey. Especially when a hard hit is made on one of the skill players. Guys like Richards and Modano rarely hit other players and if that courtesy is not extended to them, then I think one of his team mates should remind the other team that we require them to show some respect.This guy has no clue every player on the ice except the goalie is fair game and can be hit and good teams will encourage hitting skilled players so you can take them off their game. There is no courtesy extended to star players.