Fire&Ice- Devils left wing Bobby Farnham was fined $2,000 by the NHL today under supplementary discipline for diving/embellishment.
Farnham received a warning following an incident in the first period of the Devils' Nov. 22 game in Vancouver that was flagged by the league's hockey operations department. Vancouver's Derek Dorsett was called for interference on the play. Farnham was not penalized.
Farnham's second citation for embellishment, which resulted in the $2,000 fine, was for an incident in the second period of the Devils' Dec. 30 game in Ottawa. Farnham jumped to avoid a hit attempt from Ottawa's Erik Karlsson and received an embellishment minor penalty on the play. Karlsson was not penalized.
Farnham said afterward that he did not think the embellishment penalty was warranted.
“I was surprised to be honest with you, very surprised,” Farnham said. “I thought the penalty was on him and looking at the play, maybe you can't tell from the play, but I thought it was pretty obvious to me that I thought it was the other way around.”
This may come as a surprise, but I actually don't fault the league for fining Bobby Farnham for embellishment. The fact of the matter is that, to the untrained eye, it does look like he exaggerates contact. Unfortunately for Bobby's bank account, things are not always as they appear. To think that a man nicknamed 'Wild Thing' would intentionally lose control of his body to draw a penalty would be to assume that he ever had control of his body in the first place. Bobby Farnham doesn't fall to deceive officials, he falls because he doesn't have the coordination not to. We aren't talking about a guy that is in the NHL because of his power skating ability. We are talking about a guy that is in the NHL because he was too crazy to listen to people when they told him he couldn't make it to the NHL. This isn't some cerebral player that's trying to get one over on his opponent. Does he look like a next level thinker to you? Watch Bobby Farnham play for one shift and tell me you think he's worried about what's about to happen next. You know how they say that after a while the game slows down for the truly great players? Well the game never had a chance to slow down for Bobby Farnham, because he just outraced it into the boards. You want a list of the pencentage breakdown of the attributes that have gotten Farnham to this level in his career? Here goes...
2% The ability to hold the stick the correct way
If you created a player in a video game with those numbers he would just slide all the over the screen like a human bobsled and that's what Bobby Farnham is working with. It's nothing more. No low center of gravity. No next level thinking. No particular skills that weren't readily accessible elsewhere. Bobby Farnham is a psychopath on the ice, but he's not a psychopath without integrity. If he went down and was struggling to get up then he was hit and he was temporarily hurt. Was he hit hard enough to make him look like a flying squirrel? Maybe not, but the NHL is basically penalizing a human wrecking ball for what happened after it was set in motion. Bobby Farnham looks like he's diving because that's what people with no balance do when they are moving at a high rate of speed and someone makes contact with them. Fining him for embellishment is like giving the bowlegged kid an 'F' in gym class for finishing last in the mile. He's doing the best he can with his lack of God given ability, and somehow - against all odds - it's been enough to contribute in the NHL.