at the end of the day when guys play the kind of role that PK plays, they want you to hate them. they want you to hate who they are on the ice because it really fucks with the way you play against them. If you’re letting PK’s cellies and dives and arrogance get to you and piss you off it’ll throw off your game. You’re not worried about beating him because he did something dirty. You’re annoyed and you’re anger is focused on him not winning. That’s what he and other pests do.
But with a guy like Brad Marchand who is more quiet with his personal and “good” side, he’s generally given the benefit of the doubt. Guys always say “i never knew what to expect from him,” and they still talk about being surprised. or hating him on the ice but there’s always this softer tone to it. This idea that they understand that it’s the role he plays. Brad Marchand is a pest, he’s annoying, he’s like a little sibling running around and getting in your way.
They say similar things about PK but it’s never in this light, teasing tone, that seems to understand that what PK is, is in context of the game itself. It’s this weird “well this is who he is in real life and therefore he’s a TERRIBLE person. you can feel a lot of the aggression in the words used against him. He’s not given the benefit of the doubt but players who don’t like him.
There’s an argument to be made that this canadian “Class” attitude makes people turn against PK but I think this idea of class is prejudiced in and of itself because no only does it unfairly target PK over guys like Marchand (who is just as ostentatious and over the top with his personality on and off the ice) but also is the same attitude that tells lgbt fans to not overreact about slurs because it’s “just how it is” or the same attitude that puts down women for daring to be treated equally. So while PK is a very proud man it’s important to highlight the fact that Brad Marchand is just as proud and may even more so because he can get away with it.
And I bring up Marchand specifically because I love him, I think he’s a great guy and I don’t want to turn this into a “Player A vs Player B” thing or use it to put down another player who still hasn’t done anything wrong. Like I think Gallagher is a better example but seeing as I hate him I didn’t want that to be the focus of this. But even guys like him are told that’s just their game and that they need to play that way and when they’re playing that way they’re playing their best. but when PK is just himself, anywhere, it’s a personal affront to Hockey itself. White players get the benefit of the doubt.
And honestly I can’t believe a guy like John Scott known for head hunting is speaking on anyone’s conduct on ice. Like what the fuck.