Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Dave Feschuk of the Toronto Star,
Ray Ferraro, the TSN hockey analyst, was prepping for a broadcast recently when the starkness of the change struck him.
“I’m looking at the game notes, copying down the number of power play goals teams have. And I’m like, ‘There aren’t many power play goals anymore,’ ” Ferraro said. “I’m thinking, ‘Didn’t teams used to have, like, a power play goal a game?’ ”
They did, indeed. As recently as 2005-06, the average NHL contest saw clubs combine for about two power play goals. But 10 seasons on from the post-lockout crackdown on obstruction, teams are combining for about half as many — 1.1 a game. The downturn in man-advantage offence can be attributed to a few things, the improvement of the league-average save percentage from .901 to .914 among them. But it’s largely the product of a gradual decline in the number of power-play opportunities being handed out by referees. This year, the teams are averaging just 3.1 power-play chances a game, the lowest number in at least 50 years according to hockey-reference.com.
Some see it as a sweet spot. In the bulk of a decade since the “new” NHL produced a freer-flowing version of the game — and with it an historic high of nearly 12 power-play opportunities per game in 2005-06 — the referees have used their whistles more sparingly. Some are happily applauding.
“I think every coach in this league appreciates how the games are being called right now,” Ken Hitchcock, head coach of the St. Louis Blues, was saying recently. “The referees are allowing us to play.”
from Tim Leone of PennLive,
He said he made the decision to retire following the 2013-14 season.
"I'm ready to go," Devorski said. "It's so fast out there now. Once I said I'm done, I realize that I am done. And I see the guys that are coming up and how fast and strong they are."
The final tour has been nostalgic and sentimental, filled with farewells to buildings and members of the NHL community.
"Going up to guys and coaches," Devorski said, "saying, 'Hey, I'm not going to see you again.'"
He said he had to stop Chicago Blackhawks head coach Joel Quenneville two weeks ago.
"He said, 'Hey, you know ...,'" Devorski said. "I said, 'Hey, I've still got you two more games. I'm not saying my good-byes yet.'"
Monday night's Edmonton at Detroit game marked his final contest involving Red Wings head coach Mike Babcock.
"There's a lot of good guys out there you want to say good-bye to," Devorski said. "There's a lot of good players. That part of it, yeah, it's kind of tough. But I'm kind of looking forward to the end."
from Nicholas J. Cotsonika of Yahoo,
Romasko was so excited about his NHL debut, he couldn’t take a pregame nap. Devorski asked if he was going to sleep.
“No,” he said. “I read rule book.”
Joe Louis Arena was the perfect venue. The Red Wings were among the leaders in bringing over players from Russia. They had the Russian Five. They had the first Russian winner of the Hart Trophy as the NHL’s most valuable player, Sergei Fedorov. Romasko’s first hockey coach used to tell the team he once had a young player named Vladimir Konstantinov.
Romasko dropped the first puck, with Russian star Pavel Datsyuk lined up for the draw. He called that first penalty – high-sticking on the Wings’ Marek Zidlicky. Then he called the second penalty – roughing on the Oilers’ Ryan Hamilton. Devorski reassured him, telling him those were the kinds of calls he had to make.
As the game went on, Devorski was impressed. Man, the guy could skate. He could sprint forward and glide backward effortlessly, keeping up with the play, finding angles to view the action.
“I’m watching him tonight like, ‘Oh, geez. No wonder I’m leaving’,” Devorski said.
from Martin Merk of IIHF.com,
Yevgeni Romasko called his last KHL game between Salavat Yulayev Ufa and SKA St. Petersburg (3-1) on 26th January, soon after his 33rd birthday.
Few knew then that it would be his farewell game in Russia, but a few days later Romasko was back to work in North America. In a few hours’ time, he is set to take to the ice in Detroit for a game between the Red Wings and Edmonton Oilers, an assignment that will make him the first Russian referee in history to call an NHL game.
It’s a historical milestone that’s been years in the making, but for Romasko, his journey to the NHL began when he landed in North America in late 2014, officiating a couple of AHL games in November and December before returning to Russia.
from Kerry Fraser of TSN,
After referee Brad Watson placed Crosby in the penalty box, a conference was initiated by the other Officials to share their different perspective on the play. As a result of the additional and accurate information provided by his colleagues, Watson correctly withdrew the penalty call. In the end, they arrived at the right decision....
Precedent has been set to reverse a penalty call when accurate information is provided through a conference of officials regardless of the perceived status of a player. In the end, the desire and objective of the officials is get the call right.
from Tony Gallagher of the Vancouver Province,
The Vancouver Canucks weren’t very good at Rogers Arena Thursday night — but then neither was referee Chris Rooney.
You see, his ‘game management’ wasn’t very good, judging by what NHL referee Tim Peel has been saying when he chats with bloggers on the record.
According to Puck Daddy, Peel says that the NHL evidently tells it’s referees when certain penalties are appropriate and when they’re not. And while we are not privy to these ‘game management’ guidelines or whatever they might be called, we would assume that when the home team is down 2-0 late in the second period having had only two scoring chances in 38 minutes, calling an unsportsmanlike penalty on one of the most sportsmanlike captains in the history of the NHL from afar to put them down two men for a full two minutes wouldn’t be recommended.
What could Henrik Sedin possibly have said to bring about such a severe, game-impacting call? We’ll let your imagination run with it while you consider the ramifications of what Peel really said to Greg Wyshynski in a story that went largely unnoticed around the league. Instead, everyone got all excited about a picture of Peel with Wyshynski hoisting a drink which went viral, something the officials and media have done for years, albeit without the pictures and quotes.
While the NHL referee wasn’t quoted directly in the story other than the ‘game management’ reference, the pretty clear implication from the piece was that there are times in certain games when a penalty should be called, but not in others. You know, flexible rules depending upon who is winning and what the game situation is. No word on whether that ‘management’ stretches as far as which teams are playing but there are certainly no end of fans who might think it does....
“I was surprised he called it,” said Henrik, who indicated he didn’t think he had ever received an unsportsmanlike penalty in a similar situation in the past. “I used the “F” word but I’ve said a lot worse things to a referee than that. As I said, I was surprised.”
Watch the game highlights below...
from Sean Gentille of The Sporting News,
The Tim Peel "summit" apparently had a casualty: Tim Peel.
The NHL indefinitely suspended Peel, an official since 1999 and more recently an object of scorn over a series of high-profile blown calls, for meeting with Puck Daddy's Greg Wyshynski at a New York bar,according to a report by Montreal's 98.5 Sports. Wyshynski, Peel's loudest critic, wrote a nice piece that ran on the website, focusing on Peel's side of the story and what it's like to speak, face-to-face, with someone you rip as part of your job.
My only comment is when I saw the interview Wyshynski did with Peel, my first thought was the NHL is not going to like this.
added 9:27am, via Elliotte Friedman tweets,
1) Regarding reports NHL referee Tim Peel is indefinitely suspended because of @wyshynski interview, I'm told he is on "active status"...
2) and is therefore eligible to referee a game at any time. Peel did not work PIT/NJ as scheduled last Friday, but did work CAR/NYR Saturday
added 10:56am, Chris Johnston of Sportsnet with more on this...
Got a question on rule clarification, comments on rule enforcements or some memorable NHL stories? Kerry wants to answer your emails at email@example.com.
Keep up the great work Kerry, always enjoy reading your posts at TSN.
Maybe you can use these questions, not game related but more on the officials.
Is there any talk among the officials between periods of play on the ice, meaning players to watch out for, the flow of the game, etc.?
Also, what happens after a game? Are the officials contacted by the NHL regarding certain calls, review of the game, certain plays?
In general, the life of an on-ice official once they arrive at the rink until they board their next flight to a new city.
Paul Kukla - Kukla's Korner
Thank you for the shout-out and your general question that allows me to provide a dressing room full of insights presented in this lengthy column, which I hope you find both informative and interesting. I likewise enjoy reading the extensive material you assemble and update frequently on Kukla's Korner.
Let's begin by thinking back in time to an NHL that allowed the Officials to demonstrate their unique and individual personality even to the point of having their names on the back of their jerseys. The personalities that you saw on the ice were in most cases a glimpse of what you might expect from inside the officials' locker room.
Kerry Fraser of TSN answers a few questions regarding a Thomas Vanek goal on Saturday...
Every apparent goal is reviewed by a staff member in the Situation Room in Toronto, in addition to the Video Goal Judge on site and must be confirmed as a 'good goal' prior to the next puck drop. A final decision is rendered and then communicated by the Situation Room personnel to the penalty timekeeper at ice level to issue a 'thumbs up' to the referee at centre ice. This is the signal to the ref that a 'good goal' has been determined and he is allowed to drop the puck and resume play. A 'thumbs up' is not issued until there is concrete evidence that the puck entered the net.
The quick decision to confirm the tying goal credited to Thomas Vanek as opposed to placing the play under formal review however is somewhat confusing to us based on the broadcast replays that were offered. A formal review provides additional time within the process to look at every available angle and confirm beyond even the slightest doubt that a valid goal was scored. Replays shown by various camera angles on the Hockey Night Broadcast, in addition to postgame recap on NHL Game Center Live footage create reasonable suspicion (and even a pretty clear impression) that the puck went post to crossbar and straight down onto and ahead of the goal line without ever entering the net as you suggest...
more and watch the goal below...
You will see Beleskey's stick touch the left leg/toe of the goalie, not sure if there was enough call a two minute penalty for goalie interference or even waive off the goal.
added 9:36pm, My mistake, the call was actually on Beleskey for interference on the dman.
About Kukla's Korner Hockey
Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.
From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.
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