Everyone is entitled to their opinion right? This is the land of free speech as well isn’t it? When you pay for a ticket to go to a game you ought to be able to say what you want as a fan correct? Until you don’t know what you’re talking about!
Let me be the first to admit that I am one of the most critical fans of the Florida Panthers that there is. My level of patience for watching the brand of hockey that’s been on display here has been well documented on this site, and I have not been afraid to speak my mind about the team or players. However, I’m also smart enough to know that the troubles that this team experiences at times are not the result of one player.
Sunday evening we attended the game against the San Jose Sharks and sat in the lower level, just not in our normal seats. I was having a nice conversation with an older couple who was in town on vacation for their wedding anniversary when it started. You know, the loudmouth know-nothing fan began running his mouth.
Four seats away from me I had the displeasure of listening to this drek for almost the entire game. It started with his displeasure of goaltender Tomas Vokoun and why was Vokoun starting in goal. When the Florida Panthers took the ice he began yelling about Vokoun performing some inappropriate acts. You know what I mean. The older couple next to me began to roll their eyes. I told them that I had hoped this wouldn’t last all game.
With each save that Vokoun made ‘knowsnothing” continued to make his crass and abusive comments. When Vokoun gave up a goal, back came the reference to the inappropritae act. Then Vokoun made a save, and he let out the Bronx Cheer. Midway through the second period I had had enough. Forgetting what the comment was that he made, I sternly said, “listen Vokoun is not the problem”. Naturally not to be outdone, he challenged me with a retort of his own. Can’t remember what it was, but something to the effect of Vokoun giving up too many goals during a particular game.
I shot back, if you’ve been paying attention the past few seasons, you will see we are having trouble scoring goals, not necessarily stopping them. He responded “this is all Vokoun’s fault”. Dave and I began to text back and forth about this, and I informed “knowsnothing” that it’s not Vokoun’s fault when we can’t put together three crisp passes, or it’s not Vokoun’s fault that we can’t clear the puck out of our zone, or score on a breakaway. I repeated, we need players that can score. He remarked, defence wins, not offence. I said offence wins in the regular season, but defence wins championships because the playoffs are a different style of game. But I guess you wouldn’t know that”.
Since I’m here defending Tomas, let’s look at some stats:
* 9th in save percentage.
* 7th in shuotouts.
* 13th in games started.
* 15th in goals against average.
Of all the goaltenders in front of him in these categories, they all play for teams that are playoff bound right now.
What’s my point with all this and why did I feel I needed to say something here? Loudmouth fans who don’t know their arse from a hole in the wall are annoying. Everyone around them can’t stand it. You disrupt the enjoyment of the game, and it’s hard to not want to say something back. If you want to say something, say something constructive and critical that makes sense. People in my section have heard me be critical, but I don’t do it all game, and I think when I say something I speak the honest truth. Things like:
* “Drop your handbag and shoot the puck”.
* “You can’t put the puck through the goaltenders chest”.
* “Nice check, next time put down the pillows”.
* Or one of my all time classics after a shot is nowhere near the goaltender, “He couldn’t hit water if he fell out of a boat”.
I don’t spend the entire game making these comments, and sometimes I don’t say anything like this at all. But if you’re gonna yap, yap with some intelligence and know what you’re talking about.
Thanks for reading. We welcome your comments or rants.
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