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Craig MacTavish and High Sticking

This weekend marks the first time I've failed to post for more than an entire day. I was out of town for most of the weekend, so I don't feel bad about it.

There just isn't much going on with the Oilers these days, so I thought we could all use some Craig MacTavish quotes. He's a pretty funny guy. Anyways, I found this one and it got me going on a completely different track.

Jan. 23, 2004: "I don't know if high-sticking is up. I don't think so. Some of those old guys were pretty cut up. And you know, (current high-stick incidents) are all accidental. So I don't know how there could be more now compared to back then, where there were a lot more intentional ones, for sure. There were some wicked stickmen when I started. It was part of it. That's how guys like Bobby Schmautz played, and even Wayne Cashman, who was a helluva stickman. And guys were proud of it. It was, 'Hey, if you screw around with me, I'm gonna carve your eyes out.' There's an expression you never hear any more."

Listening to (too) many commentators out there, you get the impression that nasty stickwork was invented in Europe and brought over to North America by Ulf Samuelsson, when it had been a part of the North American game all along, and not just from those visor-wearing Frenchmen.

The part that really sticks out to me is when he says guys were proud of it. It's hard to picture that now, and it's a demonstrable area where the game has made strides over the years.

On a related note, something I'll post on in more detail later, Steve Staios led Oilers blueliners with 43 minor penalties, and Jarret Stoll led the forwards with 36.