by Patrick Hoffman on 04/06/11 at 01:00 PM ET
From great friend of the blog Rob Simpson at MSGNetwork.com:
11) Marc Staal is a warrior. More on him right here in a couple days. It was believed he broke his nose during the first period of the game in Philadelphia Sunday—he wiggled it around for us postgame. Although not officially broken, it sure seemed “displaced.” He also had a bloodstained sock and an enormous welt on his ankle from where he had blocked a shot. “It’s all good—two points,” he said with a smile.
12) Bill McCreary refereed his final NHL game Saturday in Washington. He set the standard and the records for success as a referee: more than 1,700 career games and the most Stanley Cup Finals (14) ever for a ref. He also called two Olympic Gold Medal games. Keep in mind that year-to-year, round-to-round, referees and linesmen earn playoff assignments based on merit, which says tons about his playoff resume. I have two hockey friends who insist the greatest game they ever saw officiated was Game 7 of the conference final in 1994 between New York and New Jersey, also known as the “Matteau, Matteau, Matteau” game. This was before the two-referee system when refs like McCreary could get a feel for the game, the teams could get a feel for him, and for the most part “he let them play.” Each team in that game earned one power play in regulation and one power play in overtime, before the Rangers won in the second overtime. McCreary also kept his cool after New York goalie Mike Richter bumped him in protest after the Devils had scored the tying goal with seven seconds left in regulation. Richter easily could have been tossed by a more-frazzled ref, and without Richter, the Rangers never make it through the first overtime. (No offense, Heals!)
13) Make no mistake: For all intents and purposes, Monday night’s Bruins/Rangers tilt was a “playoff” game, and watching a couple of young defenders struggle—namely Ryan McDonagh of New York and Adam McQuaid of Boston—you get why coaches like to have veterans along the blueline in big games and in the playoffs. You can’t teach experience.
Click here for more great hockey thoughts from my pal Simmer.
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Patrick has a tremendous passion for hockey. Besides covering the Rangers and the NHL for Kukla's Korner, you can also find Patrick's work over at Sportsnet.ca, The Red Light District Hockey Blog, NHL Home Ice, and Liam Maguire's Ultimate Hockey web site.
Prior to writing for the above mentioned outlets, you could find Patrick's musings at hockey web sites/outlets such as TheHockeyNews.com, TheFourthPeriod.com, Spector's Hockey, Hokeja Vestnesis, Blueshirt Bulletin, SNYRangersBlog.com and many more.
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