By Ray Frager
There is a phenomenon known as "the Rashomon effect," which refers to how the exact same event can produce vastly different accounts depending on your perspective.
Here's a definition, via Webster's. And a summary of the movie from which it's taken. And a clip of the Barenaked Ladies' "One Week," which references the famous director of "Rashomon," Akira Kurosawa.
But, you're wondering, what does this have to do with hockey? In this instance, the Rashomon effect has to do with Nicklas Backstrom's match penalty in Game 3 of the Capitals-Bruins series.
Our Capitals insider, Chuck Gormley, says Backstrom does not deserve to be suspended for Game 4. His report on Caps coach Dale Hunter's assertion that the Bruins are targeting Backstrom's head is straightforward.
CSNNNE's Bruins insider Joe Haggerty takes a somewhat different tack. His article on Hunter's remarks includes a reference to Hunter having spent his playing career "living under a rock." Here's a sampling from Haggerty:
"Backstrom's blow was struck with enough violence to knock Rich Peverleys helmet back and thrust his chin strap askew.
"But since Hunter is the master of the modern day cross-check, far be it for this hockey writer to quibble with his keen analysis of thug hockey."
On Hunter's saying the Bruins have crossed the line: "It takes a line-crosser to know one, doesnt it?"
"Nobody needs Craig Janney or Pierre Turgeon to step forward as character witnesses in the case of Hunter vs. the Boston Bruins. Its pretty clear the Caps coach is trying to steer attention away from a Washington hockey club thats acting like a group of out-muscled skaters. It appears the Capitals feel their only way to defend themselves is by cross-checking anything Black and Gold that wanders across their path.
"Perhaps any Bruins fans in attendance at Verizon Center should wear protective head gear in case Backstrom feels threatened as they reach for popcorn. All it would take is one misplaced kernel for the trigger-happy Swede to pop an unwitting victim in the pearly whites with his trusty stick."
"Perhaps someday in the distant future slimy, grimy, (and recently reformed) Penguins forward Matt Cooke will take over a head coaching post in the NHL, decrying perceived head-hunters and hatchet men at every turn and showering his own misbehaving players with blind praise.
"We would all say that hes just following in Dale Hunters footsteps. Hes finally turning himself into something after living under a rock through his NHL career."
To read the whole Haggerty article, click here.