Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Jeff Z. Klein and Stu Hackel of the New York Times,
The number of physical fouls that N.H.L. officials and the league did not punish during the regular season may provide a clue to how closely they will uphold the rules in the Stanley Cup playoffs.
One notable example was the leaping hit from behind by Rangers forward Rick Nash on Florida’s Tomas Kopecky in March that even the N.H.L. acknowledged should have drawn a penalty. The league declined to suspend Nash, saying he did not aim for Kopecky’s head, but its explanation overlooked Nash’s charging into Kopecky.
During last year’s playoffs, the tone was seemingly set on opening night, when Nashville’s Shea Weber punched, then horse-collared Detroit’s Henrik Zetterberg as the game ended, twice ramming his head into the glass. Weber received a two-minute roughing penalty from the referees and a $2,500 fine from the league. He probably deserved a major penalty and a suspension, which would have sent a message that such behavior would not be tolerated.
Instead, other first-round series featured sucker punches, maulings, ambushes and head shots galore. The Philadelphia-Pittsburgh series, in particular, turned into one long brawl.
"How would I fare (in today's game)? I'd make about 12 million a year, score 25 goals, don't wear any equipment. Maybe shin pads. You'd have to block the odd shot. Then I'd hit somebody and I'd be suspended for half a year and I'd be donating six million dollars, which is not bad. I'd still have six million left. You could get suspended at Christmastime and go snowmobiling until the playoffs start and you're ready to go."
-former NHL player Dave "Tiger" Williams. More from Williams on the rules of the game by Greg Harder of the Leader-Post.
from Ed Willes of the Vancouver Province,
Henrik Sedin might not be the most objective source on the subject so, even if he’s 100-per-cent right, you can take his views with a grain of salt.
“Yes, absolutely,” the Canucks captain answered when asked if the officiating standard has changed this season.
“I think it’s too late now, but going into next season you’ve got to go back to the last lockout where they called everything. Guys are going to stop hooking if they know they’re going to get called. Right now there’s way too much of that.”
Kerry Fraser, on the other hand, is a more objective source on this subject and he sees the same things. In 30 years as a referee, Fraser called more than 2,000 regular-season and playoff games and was working right after the 2004-05 lockout when, in a stunning development, the game was called by the rulebook. That era now is referred to as the “good old days,” in hockey circles.
“I would have to agree (with Henrik),” said Fraser, who now works as an analyst for TSN.
from Kerry Fraser of TSN,
I was watching the live feed of the game last night on the NHL Network and felt badly for my friend, referee Tom Kowal when he was unofficially creditedwith a 'helper' on Daniel Carcillo's goal. Beyond that feeling my immediate response was, "Oh no, not again!" (Referee in a traffic lane.)...
Officials occupy necessary space on the ice and must constantly navigate to avoid contact with players and the puck. Most importantly the Referee must position himself in the very best location to see the play with an unobstructed view in order to make a good judgment. That typically means out of high volume traffic areas.
I don't blame Referee Kowal or his colleagues for often standing in this high traffic area behind the goal with a less than perfect sightline and much greater risk for personal injury. They are only doing as they are instructed by their Superiors in the "new way" that is poorly thought out and defies logic and common sense. This change for the sake of change is a bad idea and results in a giant step backward with regard to Referee End Zone Positioning - 101.
read on and watch the goal below...
Brendan Shanahan discusses the hits around the boards in this educational video.
Follow the two referees as they prepare and call the recent game between the New York Rangers and Toronto Maple Leafs.
A good behind the scenes feature.
Brendan Shanahan explains why no supplemental discipline was handed out on these types of hits.
Darren Dreger of TSN conducts a sit down with Brendan Shanahan to discuss player safety.
It's a short video, under 5 minutes but worth a view just to watch why Shanahan once drove 3 1/2 hours to hear two words.
from Jesse Spector of The Sporting News,
“On every icing, the winger goes in (for the draw) and gets thrown out on purpose,” Islanders coach Jack Capuano said. “You see that everywhere you go. He’s getting thrown out so the center can take the draw and it buys five more seconds (after a team is not allowed to make a line change following an icing). That should be a rule that they should look at. That happens all the time. The officials, if they see something, a guy cheating once or twice, they’ve got to throw him out. I’ve got no problem with it.”
The only problem is that of all the elements for officials to follow by the letter of the law, why faceoffs? Maybe the men in stripes would better serve the game by keeping a close eye on hits like the ones by Jannik Hansen on Marian Hossa and Brayden Schenn on Anton Volchenkov earlier this season that resulted in suspensions from the league office, but no disciplinary action on the ice.
more on this and other hockey topics...
from Chris Stevenson at the Toronto Sun,
The NHL's general managers will gather for their spring meeting Wednesday in Toronto and the burning topic right now seems to be officiating.
"I got a call asking me if there was anything I wanted to put on the agenda and I said, 'Officiating,'" said one GM, "and I was told another GM had already tabled 37 items to do with officiating."
Maybe he was joking.
Fact is, there are a lot of general managers upset with the consistency of the officiating this season and the number of missed offside calls, some that have have resulted in goals.
Another hot topic is the number of times players are getting thrown out of the faceoff circle.
continued plus numerous other hockey points...
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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