I'm sure that like many other Canadians, I have always followed the words of Don Cherry as if they were gospel.
His purist, hard-nosed views on hockey indicate that the game is that of respect—not only for your teammates and coaches, but for the game itself.
As a Canadian hockey player myself, instilled in my brain are certain unwritten rules, that players follow to respect the code of hockey.
One of these things, without a doubt, is checking from behind. Not only is this one of the scariest things to see on and off the ice, the potential to end someone's career, or paralyze them is quite possible.
I think that the touch-icing issue is also very dangerous, which Grapes I know agrees.
Another unwritten rule would have to be the third man in. There really is no reason to interfere with a fight that has nothing to do with you. For whatever reason, they have chosen to "duke it out" , and resolve things that way. The only exception to this rule would have to be if one of the other team's "goon-squad" was pummeling one of your elite players.
Having respect for the game, and all of those involved brings me to the third point I want to make. I totally understand that there will always be players in every sport with an overdose of confidence. The little dance that Alex Ovechkin acted out after scoring the fifth or sixth goal, against a Tampa Bay team that has no chance of the postseason, is not showing any class whatsoever. Especially against a rookie goaltender.
Now, we can all agree that Alex Ovechkin is arguably the best player in the NHL today. But players that tread softly into the leaderboards are those well-respected.
For example, how many times did you see Captain Canada Joe Sakic pretending his stick was on fire? Or did you ever see Stevey Y acting like a complete fool after scoring an irrelevant goal?
I'm with Don Cherry on this one folks, we all want to see the skill-level players like Ovechkin bring to the ice, but save the celebration for a game-winner, or a Stanley Cup playoff goal!