The Snowgate debate in the San Jose/Detroit playoff series is nothing short of bush league. There should be some things that are just beneath the professional standards of an NHL player. Spraying snow and ice chips into the face of the opposing goalie is one of those things. We tell 8 year old kids to stop doing that because its disrespectful and stupid, but some NHL players think its a "tactic". If the best you can do to get a goalie off his game is spray him with snow, then you have no game plan at all.
It is hard enough to get some viewers in American markets to take our game seriously, but trying to explain this kind of buffoonery to them is difficult because there is no way to make it sound smart or professional. Reggie Dunlop and the Johnstown Chiefs would have loved this part of the series. Juvenile and moronic! If the NHL would spend as much time trying to get stupid out of the game as they do trying to get Zdeno Chara to not drink Coke on camera, we would all be better off.
What makes this even more of a joke is the Sharks assertion that these snow showers are accidental. Simply the byproduct of going hard to the net looking for a rebound. Funny part about that is, if they really are accidental why is it these things don't occur in their own practice. Teams routinely do net drive drills at full speed with full contact, yet their own goalies never get snowed in practice? The claim of accidental snow showers insults the intelligence of every hockey fan. The idea that an NHL player can't change the angle of his skate blades in 10 feet is also comical.
The claim that there is no specific penalty to call in these cases is also laughable. Its called unsportsmanlike conduct. Its on page 105 of the rule book if you are looking for it. There was no specific penalty for the absurd stick waiving from Sean Avery in front of Martin Brodeur in the 2008 playoffs, but eventually it was called under this rule. This rule basically covers any behaviour which could be construed as the actions of a jackass. The snow in the face routine definitely falls into that jackass category.
Play the game hard. Play the game like a man. Stop the bush league tactics. It makes you and our game look stupid.
See you at the rink.