Kukla's Korner Hockey
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.
from Mike Harrington of the Buffalo News,
At the end of a 5-1/2-minute session with reporters today in the Amherst Pepsi Center, Miller was asked about an end-of-practice chat with coach Lindy Ruff. The Buffalo goaltender revealed he was telling his coach that one of the officials swore at him during a stoppage in play a couple of minutes before the Sabres received a bench minor for arguing an interference call on Thomas Vanek.
“It was just about the referee last night, a brief conversation I had with the ref that was a little surprising to me,” Miller said. “He told me to “go [bleep] myself’ because I was just asking a question. I was just kind of joking around [to Ruff], saying, “Maybe that kind of started what got the bench minor going.’
“To be honest, I was respectful. I asked him a question and he told me maybe I should “go [bleep] myself.”
from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,
Two seasons ago, in the aftermath of the fight in which Orr broke Todd Fedoruk’s face with a devastating punch, NHL VP Colin Campbell suggested the time had come for the league to at least investigate the possibility of eliminating fighting from the game.
Campbell was ahead of his time. For the time has come today for the NHL not only to investigate the possibility, the time has come for the NHL to abolish fighting. It’s simply too dangerous.
Watching heavyweight fights such as the one in Tampa on Wednesday between the Rangers’ Orr and Lightning’s David Koci has become the equivalent to viewing the aftermath of automobile accidents on the Interstate. They’re impossible to look at without becoming queasy.
from Edward Fraser of the Hockey News,
Even with two referees, penalties are often witnessed by only one or go unnoticed altogether. Equally as often, a penalty is called by one referee, but not by the other, even if he had a better view of the play.
Why then, if the ultimate goal is to get the call right, does the NHL not allow a post-penalty discussion, with the two referees coming together to talk about marginal or questionable calls?
They should. And if after the consultation it’s decided the wrong call was made, refs should be allowed to “pick up the flag,” so to speak.
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…
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