Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Dan Daly of the Washington Times,
Caps owner Ted Leonsis, still binding his wounds after the loss to Philadelphia, isn’t entirely supportive of the NHL’s new penal code. “I think in OT of [the] playoffs there should only be penalties that impede a goal being scored. No ticky-tack calls,” old school Ted said in an e-mail yesterday.
He’s hardly the only one who holds that opinion. Indeed, the officials themselves seem torn between The Way Hockey Used To Be and The Way The Board Of Governors Wants It To Be. In the Dallas-San Jose finale, for instance, they went more than an entire game — 70 minutes, 52 seconds, to be exact — without sending anybody to the box. Then they called hooking against the Stars’ Nicklas Grossman in the third OT and tripping against Campbell in the fourth. San Jose couldn’t cash in on its power play, but Dallas (or rather, Brenden Morrow) did.
from Adam Proteau of the Hockey News writing about today’s Rangers/Penguins game…
I think the Hockey Gods are trying to call you out, Stephen Walkom. There can be no possible rationalization for your officials continuously putting their hands in their pockets in third periods of games.
I’m normally one of your biggest defenders, but what’s going on is casting everything – the officials, the players, and the game itself – in a not-so-positive light.
more on the game…
via the 2008 Stanley Cup Blog at CBC,
“We have made 200 to 250 calls on kicking plays,” (Mike) Murphy said. “What we have come to determine is that the difference between a kick and a deflection is the force of the puck. If the force of the puck was going to put it into the net at the same speed or a decreased speed, then there wasn’t a kick.
“But if the motion of the leg increases the force or speed of the puck, then we believe that is a kick. We believe (Morrow’s) kick propelled the puck forward and made it go into the net.”
from The Good, The Bad And The Duthie,
Video review works. With the HD cameras it has in every building now, the NHL has virtually eliminated those “Was it a goal or not?” controversies. They usually get it right. So why not take it to the final frontier? Allow reviews of early whistles.
Please refrain from eye-rolling. And don’t give me that old line about once the whistle blows, nothing else matters. We’re not talking about things that occur two or three or five seconds after the whistle. All these goals happen within a fraction of a second. It’s simple: if the puck is on its way in when the whistle blows, and the folks in the video review room in Toronto decide the whistle should not have blown, the goal should count.
from Al Strachan at Fox Sports,
A couple of old favorites are getting a lot of attention in the playoffs.
No, not the Detroit Red Wings and Dallas Stars — although they appear to be in the process of setting up a titanic struggle for the Western crown.
The two old favorites are interference and crease crashing.
Actually, the latter is a variation of the former, but either way, it’s fairly clear that the recently reconstructed competition committee is going to have to deal with these issues over the summer.
from Darren Dreger of TSN,
He (Dan Craig) reads the reports afterwards that blame the ice for blown chances, but Craig would like hockey traditionalists to consider something else….the pucks.
The focal point of the sport.
How many times have you heard a coach or player follow a loss with, “we just didn’t get the bounces.”
Equipment in hockey has changed over the years, sticks have evolved from wood to composite, so the NHL’s ice guru wants a full investigation into how to make a better puck.
from James Duthie at the Ottawa Citizen,
I would like everyone to give referees ... a break.
Why do I suddenly feel like the guy on the All-Bran Cereal Bars commercial, where everyone spits out their water or laughs hysterically when he says they taste good?
It’s true. After spending the past two weeks scrutinizing call after questionable call on our TSN panel (TV factoid: debating referee rulings is a can’t-miss way to kill five minutes), I’m starting to suffer from some warped form of Stockholm Syndrome. I’m feeling sorry for the men in stripes.
Has there been the odd horrendous, brain-cramp, WTF?!? call in these playoffs? Of course. But there have also been countless occasions where we’ve looked at a replay a dozen times in Super-Duper HD Slo-Mo, and still haven’t been able to tell if the right call was made.
With the first round of the Stanley Cup playoffs over, the National Hockey League has trimmed the number of referees that will work the second round.
The list of those staying on is headlined by Paul Devorski, Don Koharski and Bill McCreary, all of whom have worked more than 1,500 regular season and playoff games.
Notably absent from the second round is referee Kerry Fraser, who has also worked more than 1,500 regular season and playoff games.
from Adam Proteau of the Hockey News,
And the performance of the duo of veteran referees Don Koharski and Paul Devorski in Philadelphia’s 3-2 overtime win over Washington Tuesday has to be noted, because it was simply abhorrent.
If there were a way to get a police sketch artist to encapsulate Koharski and Devorski’s wildly varying in-game assessments – featured by a stretch in which no penalties were called from the 13:27 mark of the second period to Tom Poti’s chintzy tripping minor 4:15 into OT that led to Joffrey Lupul’s game-winner at 6:06 – I’d transfer that image to thousands of Wanted: Dead Or Alive posters and start fundraising immediately to raise as much money as possible for a reward.
Making matters worse, if it weren’t for another blown call in the second period, the Caps might’ve won their Eastern Conference first-round series in regulation time.
Update 3:35pm ET: Jamie Fitzpatrick writes a response to Proteau’s comments at About.com
From Paul Kukla at Hockey.com,
My life may be a bit different than yours since I do hockey for a living. 24/7, that’s me and although you may not have the schedule I do, you probably have been following the conference quarter-finals and have been impressed by the pace and action of the games.
We have hard hard hits, battles along the boards, grit and determination is the norm and most games have kept us tuned-in until the final horn. The officiating on a whole has been great, letting the boys play is much better than calling every little infraction. As long as the pattern continues, we cannot ask for anything more from the on-ice officials.
more… from the boss
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.
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