Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Razor With An Edge,
...I think the game could do without an icing rule all together and here’s why:
1. The modern NHL goaltender can handle the puck every bit as deftly as a defenseman so pucks sent down the ice to relieve pressure should merely be played and transitioned by the goalies. Take a look at how strong puckhandling goalies like Marty Turco trap teams who “ice” the puck during penalty killing situations, which is allowed. Same thing could be employed throughout the game if teams mindlessly fired the puck the length of the ice in an attempt to change players.
from Darren Dreger of TSN,
It’s the touch penalties - hooking when a player’s stick taps an opposing player’s glove or hip, or holding when a player’s free hand touches his competitor - that drive coaches, managers and players crazy.
NHL traditionalists believe a hook or hold means a player has been restrained. Yet, the standard established three seasons ago is clearly less than that, and it has GMs talking.
As one general manager summarized, “There has been more complaining about officiating among GMs this year than in recent years.”
from Darren Dreger of TSN,
Removing the trapezoid, the area behind the goal line where NHL goaltenders are allowed to play the puck, is another idea that will get discussed by the competition committee.
Some believe, the combination of forwards barreling in on the forecheck, protected from obstruction, and goaltenders not being allowed to freely move the puck have contributed to injury.
Paul Kelly wonders if Toronto Maple Leafs defenceman Mike Van Ryn would have been in the same vulnerable position if Vesa Toskala had been allowed to get to the puck before Montreal’s Tom Kostopoulos raced in to complete his check…
The NHL’s Senior Vice President and Director of Hockey Operations, Colin Campbell, had the following memo, obtained by TSN, posted in every NHL dressing room on Friday….
“We cannot and will not tolerate blows to the head that are deliberate, avoidable and illegal. Furthermore, both the history and status of the offender (first time versus repeat) and the nature of the injury caused (if any) will be taken into consideration as they have been in the past. The length of suspensions for illegal blows to the head will be increased if these incidents persist across the League. Taking steps to maintain the safest on-ice environment possible for the Players remains our most important priority.”
“Well, it’s like I said, it’s the “New NHL,” they want scoring, they’re supervising these referees…And, I mean, just compare it to basketball; how many times do you see a team get in foul trouble, you know, once they get up a bit? It’s almost like it’s controlled to a certain extent by the referees, the officiating, and the supervisors, so…I mean, it’s not like they’re keeping it a secret—they’re telling the referees to call penalties…”
-Chris Chelios. More at SnapShots…
from Sean McCormick of Sportsnet,
Effective Wednesday, the NHL has increased the penalty for elbowing from two minutes in the penalty box to two games in the press box.
That is the reality of the situation following the two-game suspension that the league handed Jarkko Ruutu for his “elbow” on Maxim Lapierre last night in Montreal. For the record, Lapierre was not injured and Ruutu was penalized two minutes on the play…
By entertaining the whimpering Habs, the league has set a dangerous precedent. Bryan Murray said as much today, inferring that a precedent has now been set.
from Jim Kelley of Sportsnet,
Now I don’t expect a goalie will slip some netting between his pads or anything like Tony Esposito was alleged to have done way back when, but is it outside the realm of consideration to think a netminder might have an equipment guy go back and get that “favourite” glove or blocker, the one that wasn’t quite up to stuff at the start of the season when measurements were made?
Who’s to determine whether the incoming goalie’s stick is extra long or has a paddle that is just a shade wider than the league allows (after all, poke checking is less of an art and more of an advantage if the stick is longer than the rules allow)?
from John McGourty of NHL.com,
To hear Ray Scapinello tell it, his path to this week’s induction in the Hockey Hall of Fame was a case of being in the right place at the right time.
To hear his fellow NHL officials, coaches and players tell it, “Scampy’ was always in the right place at the right time.
Scapinello, 62, is being honored because he set all the records for NHL linesmen: 33 seasons, 2,500 consecutive games and 426 Stanley Cup Playoff games. He was chosen for the playoffs in only his second season, 1972, and continued every year until he retired in 2004. He never missed an assignment in his career.
One of my first interviews on KK was with Ray, a little over two years ago. What a great guy and I am so glad to see him go into the HHOF.
from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,
With all the recent focus on hits to the head following last Saturday’s violent collision at the Coliseum in which Doug Weight concussed Brandon Sutter with what is classified as a legal hit in the NHL, it is beyond mind-boggling that notorious repeat offender Chris Pronger was allowed to escape a suspension, let alone a penalty, for the shoulder blow he delivered to Pavel Datsyuk’s head on Wednesday night.
The puck was some 40 feet away on the boards when Datsyuk came across the line and appeared to first encounter defenseman Francois Beauchemin. Pronger came second against the off-balance Detroit center and got the shoulder high into the head.
from P. J. Stock of Blogs and Columns at CBC,
You know what’s funny? I’ve looked and looked and still can’t find anything in this year’s booklet that says anything has changed. Despite all the complaints, there is still no rule, penalty or HEAD SHOT category.
Why is it now the fault of the hitter and not the fault of the who ... the hitee? (You understand).
What is the first thing you teach a peewee kid when he’s starting to play contact hockey? Keep your head up! Protect yourself!
Why when one of these players gets tattooed in today’s NHL it’s not their fault for not keeping their head up? Why isn’t it their fault for not protecting themselves? Why?
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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