As a blog dedicated to coverage of the Ottawa Senators, I feel it is important that our position on the "controversy" of Ridly Greig scoring into an empty net be known:
The goal ruled, and anyone complaining about it is a whiny baby who can go kick rocks.
Now because everything involving the Toronto Maple Leafs gets blown up to an impossible level, we've been treated to an absolute deluge of bad opinions since last night. Ian Mendes had a typically excellent round-up this afternoon entitled "Is there a ‘right way’ to score an empty net goal? Ridly Greig sparks leaguewide debate". I feel that Betteridge's Law of Headlines is applicable here. "Is there a 'right way' to score an empty net goal?" No, there isn't. Did the puck go in the net? Yes? Then it was the 'right way'.
As Mendes aptly points out:
Greig’s critics are adamant that he should have found a way to control those emotions and finish the game in a classy manner.
But if we’re expecting Greig to find that middle ground — in an emotional game — why aren’t we demanding the same of Rielly? Why should Greig be the only one asked to control his emotions, while Rielly is given carte blanche to allow his passion and raw energy to guide his actions?
Setting aside the (obvious) question of whether or not it's okay to attempt to injure another player for scoring a goal in an NHL game, it cannot be over-stated how much of a sore loser display this was from Rielly. The most common line of argumentation from Rielly's defenders last night and this morning can be summed up as: "He was mad about being shown up, and maybe he shouldn't have gone that far but I get he was mad". Yeah? And? Tough shit! Does every player who gets embarrassed have carte blanche to cross-check his opponent in the face? Just because you're red-assed about losing a rivalry game doesn't mean you can try to re-arrange someone's teeth. If Rielly had just come over and bumped Greig, or gotten in his face or something then we wouldn't be having this conversation at all.
I just have so little time for all this fake tough stuff. You didn't like Greig blasting one into an empty net in the final seconds of an intense rivalry game? Don't lose. You want to let him know you didn't appreciate his bit of showmanship? Take a number and clean his clock next match-up, or hell, you could even see if he wants to fight in the moment. But dropping an unsuspecting player with a cross-check to the chops? The epitome of fake tough guy, weak sauce, BS. Clown shoes stuff.
Last point because I want to keep this brief: Greig is awesome, and we must protect our hopelessly volatile son at all costs.