Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Ed Moran of the Philadelphia Daily News,
,,,Granted, the Flyers-Blues game was over the top, but in the 12 games played Saturday night, there were a total of 139 penalties called.
Does anyone but me think that this is out of hand or believe that referees today are trying to be a bigger part of the game than they should be? I’ve been on this rant before, especially after the lockout when the obstruction rules went into play. It was crazy in the first few months and then seemed to settle down.
Now it seems crazy again, and some of these calls - sorry, make that most - are really nitpicking, borderline BS….
This game is supposed to be decided by five-on-five play. Special teams are a huge part of it, but they should not be the determining factor in every single one. The league has to start looking at this again and find a way to rein it back in.
from Mark Moore at the Toronto Star,
The reason why the NHL and its players are resisting a simple ban on all hits to the head is this: Bodychecking is part of hockey, and it isn’t just for show or intimidation. Defending in hockey depends on playing the body. Playing the puck is too risky, because skilled players can move it around and leave you chasing air. You defend by stopping the puck-carrier with body contact as far from your net as possible….
However, I believe there are ways to eliminate the problem of hits to the head. Here is my proposal, fully explained:
1. Create a rule banning “high hits” the way we ban high sticks. A high hit could be defined as:
a) Any time a player leaves his feet to make a check;
b) Any part of the checker’s arm being extended above his own shoulder prior to or at the moment of impact;
New officials’ uniforms from Reebok to be unveiled at the All Star Game in Montreal this weekend. From Market Watch:
Features on the officials’ uniforms include stretch mesh in the underarm and back of the jerseys, a zipper-less neckline, numbers on the back and sleeve and an enhanced Referee arm bar design to allow for greater on-ice visibility. The uniform also features a microphone channel that allows the officials to maneuver seamlessly across the ice with their microphones securely fastened to them.
from Kevin Paul Dupont of the Boston Globe,
The players, said union boss Paul Kelly, remain eager to work with league officials on adding penalties for those who target opponents’ heads with checks. “The trick is to do that without reducing the amount of contact that is part of what makes this such a great sport,” he said.
The five players on the Competition Committee: Jason Spezza, Mathieu Schneider, Brian Campbell, Jeff Halpern, and Ryan Miller. To sum up their dislikes: 1. whistles (needless stops in play) and 2. defensive, trapping hockey. Sounds like a group that gets it.
more hockey notes…
Paul Kelly talked with Ron MacLean last night on numerous topics. Watch the ten minute interview below…
from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,
The Blackhawks’ 2008-09 slogan is, “One Goal.”
Perhaps that should be amended to include, “Plus Two Referees.”
Look, the Rangers New York Rangers have brought a lot of adversity on themselves this season, but the mindless, bush-league exhibition here last night by officials Mike Hasenfratz and Dean Morton was impossible to assimilate. The referees somehow saw their way to awarding Chicago five distinct five-on-three power play advantages amounting to 5:15 of time.
“I haven’t seen anything like this in my 15 years in the league,” Markus Naslund said after the Rangers somehow surmounted it all to register a 3-2 victory…
added 10:15am, Tom Renney wasn’t too happy either, watch below…
I normally refrain from posting vulgar language, but this one is funny. It happens about the 40 second mark but watch from the beginning to understand what happened.
from Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal via Faceoff.com,
I miss NHL referee Mick McGeough. There, I have said it.
I miss the arm waving, the theatrics. You always knew when Mick was in the building, not like some of the anonymous zebras working now, with no names on their jerseys.
Can you tell Dean Morton from Dean Warren from Dean Martin or Dan O’Halloran from Dan O’Rourke? Nobody could turn a slashing penalty into something akin to a beheading with the colourful gesturing that McGeough offered up through close to 1,100 league games and 63 more in the playoffs through 20 seasons. He retired to become an NHL officiating mentor this year.
McGeough has showed up at Rexall Place several times this season, sitting up in the press box, far from where he wanted to be.
continued & I would normally link to the original source story, but the Edmonton Journal is really slow-loading today for me.
from Jeff Z. Klein and Stu Hackel of Slap Shot at the NYT,
“Whatever you could do on a breakaway, if you had the skill to do it, you should be allowed to do that on a penalty shot,” Walkom said. “You can’t cross the goal line” — the basis for the rule prohibiting players from circling the net on a penalty shot — “and the puck can’t come to a stop.”
If a player did those things on a breakaway, he said, the other team would catch up and the breakaway would be gone.
What does concern Walkom during the spin-o-rama play is whether the shooter interferes with the goaltender as he is turning, preventing him from making the save. In Blake’s case, it was close, Walkom said, “but I don’t believe he interfered with him in making the save.”
As for the puck going backward, Walkom said officials did not adhere to a rigid definition of the puck moving from the goal. If they did, many penalty shots or shootout goals would be against the rules because “every time you stick handle, the puck goes backward,” Walkom said.
from Lightning Strikes,
Stephen Walkom, the NHL’s director of officiating, said the ruling that Lightning goaltender Mike Smith deliberately threw his stick to disrupt Milan Hejduk’s shootout attempt on Thursday was the correct call.
“It was a very tough call. It was a gutsy call. It was a call that was made in an instant, and I support the call,” Walkom said.
Walkom said the referees did it right by conferring amongst themselves to try to get the call correct. As for perhaps in the future expanding video replay to include such situations, Walkom said no because, “Where does it stop. It’s a judgment call. You can watch this play 1,000 times, and the only thing you can say is the decision that was made you need to support.
In case you didn’t not see the disputed call, you can see it here.
from Mike Harrington of the Buffalo News,
Buffalo Sabres coach Lindy Ruff said today he was surprised when Ryan Miller told him that referee Tim Peel swore at the Buffalo goaltender during Monday night’s game in Pittsburgh.
“That would be unusual,” Ruff said following today’s morning skate. “The referees 99 percent of the time show a lot of class and they’re under a lot of duress. They take a lot of abuse, even to a point where they give players a lot of room.
“If this is just that rare occasion, it’s a rare occasion that happened. For the most part, they keep a great handle on it because they take the majority of abuse in the games.”
Calls for comment to Stephen Walkom, the NHL’s officiating supervisor, have not been returned.
“There is no Ryan Miller situation,” Frank Brown, the NHL’s vice president of communications, said in an e-mail to The Buffalo News today.
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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