Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Kerry Fraser of TSN,
Intermission is a time to relax, rehydrate, collect your thoughts individually or as a team and review any situations that might have occurred in the previous period. This all takes place in the relative quiet of The Officials’ Man Cave!
Initial discussions will centre on specific game situations such as player tendencies (including diving!), player hostilities and provides an opportunity to formulate a game plan as how the team might handle future hot spots. Conversation of this nature occurs a few minutes at most. Intermission provides a time for a mental and emotional break.
Every NHL Official’s dressing room is equipped with basic comfort food (fresh fruit, bagels, sandwiches but no donuts!). The ACC in Toronto has the very best catered food in the league that borders on fine dining. Vancouver also does a fantastic job in the food department. Beverages consist of your normal sports drinks designed to replace electrolytes, juice and in most locations a beer or two for after the game. Guys don’t eat much during intermissions other than fruit.
A digital clock/timing device linked to the official score clock provides the officials with accurate time remaining prior to their return to the ice in advance of the teams. The same device can be found in the team dressing rooms as well so there is no excuse for being late. If a team is not visible in the tunnel approaching the ice when the score clock hits 00:00 a bench minor penalty for delay of game is assessed.
A telephone is provided in every official’s dressing room. The phone is utilized on occasion when Hockey Ops calls to discuss an issue with the referees or even make suggestions how they would like something handled in the next period.
from Brad Ziemer of the Vancouver Sun,
Move over, Stephane Auger, you’ve got company in the Vancouver Canucks’ refereeing doghouse.
Alain Vigneault met with reporters before Thursday night’s game in Dallas to provide an update on injured forward Daniel Sedin. And without actually naming referee Dan O’Halloran, the Canuck coach clearly indicated he wasn’t happy with the official’s work.
“We got a big two-minute power play off that hit from the same referee — remember last year when Daniel got punched six times in the face in the Boston series?” Vigneault said. “I seem to remember it was the same guy.”
That guy was O’Halloran, who made no call when Boston forward Brad Marchand used Daniel’s head as a punching bag in Game 6 of the Stanley Cup final. On Wednesday night, O’Halloran gave Chicago defenceman Duncan Keith an elbowing minor for his hit to the head on Daniel in the first period of Vancouver’s 2-1 overtime loss to the Blackhawks at the United Center.
Players from the Capitals and Blackhawks congratulate Schachte after the game tonight.
A little bio on Schachte, via NHL Officials,
Looks like the bottom of Andrew MacDonald’s blade caught Auger in the mouth area or right above it.
from Tony Gallagher of the Vancouver Province,
Now that every NHL official carries a laptop wherever he goes during the season, he is subject to directives on what to do and what calls to emphasize, depending upon whatever whim happens to hit them at head office — whether it comes from the director of officiating, or from Colin Campbell or whomever wishes to send a missive. That often means as soon as the slightest mini-trend arises, the powers-that-be can reverse the perceived ill by sending out a memo to crack down on a particular trend they find alarming.
This may sound like a good thing but when it comes to planning a team, it makes life pretty difficult. When the league went to calling all the hooking, holding and interference anywhere on the ice, the Vancouver Canucks and some other teams committed to a speed team with a high skill level, with grit being one of the lesser considerations. This was going to be a new skill era. That was fine for about a year and a half — and that team got all the way to the Stanley Cup final — at which point the rules changed to suit the Boston Bruins, who just happened to be owned by . . . let’s not go there. We saw what happened.
The Canucks lost for lots of other reasons as well, so this isn’t to hometown whine, but certainly the interpretation of the rules in the final did not help the speed team, but rather the more physical Bruins.
Andy McElman suffered facial injuries according NHL Tonight and will have a CT scan plus a visit from a facial surgeon.
Let’s hope for a full and speedy recovery.
from Sean Gordon of the Globe and Mail,
It’s also becoming more common - seven seasons after the post-lockout crackdown on clutching and grabbing, defencemen can usually get away with rubbing out a forward when a puck is dumped in or chipped past them.
As someone who stands to benefit from this leniency, Pittsburgh’s Brooks Orpik makes an unlikely whistleblower.
But blow the whistle he has.
“(The NHL) didn’t tell us they were going to go easy on us (defencemen),” he told the Tribune-Review a few days ago. “But it’s pretty obvious that it has changed.”...
The tinfoil-hat types may see this as part of the grubby jostling that will characterize the CBA negotiations. It almost certainly isn’t, but just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean no one’s out to get you.
It’s beyond dispute that one traditional form of generating offence - the power-play - is on the wane.
The NHL has gotten worse with the man-advantage, the 30 teams collectively score just over 17 per cent of the time.
And the fact is, there are fewer and fewer power-plays being awarded in the NHL these days.
from Sean Gordon of the Globe and Mail,
The NHL is a reputation league, and refs also sometimes make flash judgments influenced by a player’s rep.
Best example: Dan O’Rourke calling Erik Karlsson a diver in a conversation with Ottawa coach Paul MacLean - nice work Rourkie.
At least MacLean has big brass ones and smashed the usual omerta by going public and ratting him out.
So in addition to having competence issues with certain refs - ie. Tim Peel, Stephane Auger and, most egregiously, Chris Lee - the NHL is dealing with complicated psychology.
There are no easy fixes to this, but there are a couple of things the NHL could do.
from Josh Yohe of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review,
Welcome to the new NHL, which is beginning to resemble the old NHL.
Scoring is down, and obstruction again is becoming a common element of play. Referees, many Penguins said, are allowing the clutching and grabbing that became ingrained in the game a decade ago to resurface.
The Penguins are particularly unsettled by this because special teams have marked a significant part of their success this season. Lately, special teams play has been rare.
“I don’t necessarily think the play has gotten cleaner,” Penguins coach Dan Bylsma said. “(But) there are few power-play opportunities out there for every team.”
The Penguins averaged more than four power-play opportunities per game through the end of December. Since Jan. 1, they are averaging 2.76 power-play chances.
Referee Kelly Sutherland took a deflected shot to the face tonight.
No blood but very woozy as he left the ice, no update on his status at this time.
Sutherland was involved in another accident about 11 months ago, watch below…
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 email@example.com