I'm not going to beat around the bush: Glenn Healy is stupid and I think the fact that the CBC continues to employ him in an on-air capacity reflects poorly on them as a network.
Now, I've long held the opinion that most sports broadcasters not named Chris Cuthbert or Ray Ferraro are complete and utter hacks, but Glenn Healy has always held a special place in my heart. I can deal with Pierre McGuire and his propensity for hyperbole or Jim Hughson occasionally allowing his Canuck bias to shine through in his play-by-play, because they both strike me as genuinely nice guys off the air.
Whether it's calling Lars Eller a pastry, getting into public disputes with the Vancouver Green Men or calling Patrick Thoreson a wimp when he couldn't get up after splitting his testicle blocking a shot, Glenn Healy simply has no redeeming qualities in my mind.
Last night, however, his idiocy reached new heights.
The play I'm referring to occurred at 10:02 of the second period. Vancouver had possession in the Bruins zone and Tim Thomas came out of the crease to cut down the angle on the Vancouver shooters (otherwise known as, you know, goaltending). Fresh off biting the finger of Patrice Bergeron, Canucks pest Alex Burrows cruised in front of the net, stuck out his leg and tripped Tim Thomas.
Thomas did his best to sell the play and took a bit of a dive, but there was undoubtedly contact made and the referee, correctly in my mind, gave Burrows a two-minute penalty for tripping.
Glenn Healy, on the other hand, believed there should have been no call made and not for the reason a sane person would think.
Healy's issue with the call wasn't that Thomas embellished the trip. If that had been where he disagreed, I can understand that line of thinking. No, the problem Glenn Healy had was that Tim Thomas had dared to venture outside of his crease.
If that strikes you as moronic, you are not alone. In the brain of Glenn Healy—that I'm seriously beginning to doubt actually exists—as soon as a goaltender leaves the blue paint it should be open season on him.
Forget the fact that there's a rulebook that governs how hockey is played in the NHL. It doesn't matter that Rule 57 of this book states that "a player shall not place the stick, knee, foot, arm, hand or elbow in such a manner that causes his opponent to trip or fall." NHL players should apparently have diplomatic immunity to do whatever their heart desires so long as the goaltender is not inside the crease.
The implications of this logic are staggering. It would appear that everything we think we know about the rules of the NHL are wrong.
This acquits Todd Bertuzzi of any wrongdoing when he broke the neck of Steve Moore. After all, Steve Moore is listed as a center. He should know better than to be skating on the left wing side of the ice. As soon as he ventured outside of the exact center of the rink, anything that happened was entirely his fault. If anything, Steve Moore should have been the one suspended.
So the next time a defenseman leaves the defensive zone and gets cross-checked, tripped, hooked, slashed or hit from behind, the ref should simply turn a blind eye. After all, they're defensemen. Their job is to defend and they have no business being in the offensive or neutral zones.
It's almost enough to make a guy watch the NBC feed for Game 2.