Kukla's Korner Hockey
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?
from Scott Morrison at Sun Media,
The problem remains, though, that the easy answer isn’t the answer that is easy to sell at the pro level, meaning not everyone is convinced that an automatic penalty for a hit to the head, regardless of the intent, as they do in Ontario junior hockey, is the way to go.
Fact is, a year ago, the NHL’s general managers decided it wasn’t the way to go. When they debated the situation last winter, when there were several more injuries, all agreed they didn’t like to see players getting hurt, but that hockey is also a physical game.
The question was asked, because the league has taken away low hits. If it eliminated hits to the upper body, what would be left?
So, it was decided that as long as the hits to the head are accidental and not a head hunt, then it’s part of the game and players best keep their’s up.
added 8:50am, from Vicki Hall of the Calgary Herald,
In simpler times, Darryl (Sutter), 50, figures Weight would have held up for fear of the inevitable retribution coming his way.
Maybe not on the same shift. Maybe not in the same period. But, at some point, retribution would arrive.
“The game has changed a little bit,” he said. “That’s a legal hit. The player had his head down and he got hit. But would it have happened when we were all playing? Probably not.
“Because that player knew if he was going to do that, it was going to be a long night for him. That’s the difference.”
from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,
Jim Rutherford was right; so, for that matter, were Guy Carbonneau and Brent Sutter and everyone else who, in the past 48 hours, raised alarm bells about blows to the head — and the fact that the NHL really, truly has a problem on its hands.
What makes their voices more likely to be heard is that all are old-school hockey men — and thus immune from the criticism that changing the rule book (and the mindset) about how to police shots to the head will leech contact out of the game.
Colin Campbell, Mike Murphy and Kris King discuss on-ice issues and potential rule changes within the game.
from On Frozen Blog,
A morning shower train of thought: were I an NHL referee, how would players, coaches, and fans commonly characterize my officiating style?
For starters, I would well withstand charges of blindness; thanks to Lasik, I’m a fella who can read the tiny scroll on the corner hanging television viewed from the tavern’s most secluded corner.
But more importantly, every time I sat in an arena’s officials’ dressing room lacing up my skates near 7:00, I would reflect on the thousands of hard-working men and women directing their limited disposable income at our evening’s entertainment then pouring through the turnstiles one level above me.
from Steve MacFarlane of the Calgary Sun,
Head coach Mike Keenan’s stick was up high in the post-game presser, though. He was calm, but obviously upset about the lopsided calls.
“The question is, ‘Are they warranted,’ and then the next question is, ‘Are they penalty free for 40 minutes, the opposition, because that’s how the assessment was made,” said Keenan.
“I look down here,” he added, looking down at the game sheet, “and we’ve got four hooking penalties and they have none. I would say you would be hard-pressed to say they never took a hooking penalty tonight.”
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.
Email Paul anytime at firstname.lastname@example.org