Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,
Here’s an idea I’ve heard that has some merit: Why not a third ref that watches the game from the press box with access to HD replay, etc.? He could review, on the spot, all the controversial calls and help reverse them in obvious cases like Backes and Desjardins, communicating directly to the refs just like the war room does on goal reviews.
The downside? It further slows down the game, which goal reviews already do as well.
But it’s something worth thinking about, in my opinion.
Another idea that’s already finding new life after being bandied about in years past is the merit of a "Coach’s Challenge," where a coach could challenge a penalty and ask for it to be reviewed. Two NHL head coaches reached out this week to me and suggested it’s time to renew that debate.
I don’t mind it, but prefer the first idea. My fear with the coach’s challenge is that coaches would want to challenge anything near the end of games out of desperation. The first idea involves a neutral person.
more hockey topics
from Elliotte Friedman of CBC,
- The referees are taking a beating after a rough weekend, but it's important to remember none of them worked during the lockout -- the second time in seven years that they refused to take anyone's job during a stoppage. The one thing they must start doing more of, though, is asking each other, "What did you see?" For example, take the Ottawa Senators' erased score in Montreal last Sunday. There was no conference -- and in a situation where the four officials are allowed to discuss it.
- Toronto Maple Leafs fans didn't like this one from Monday. I generally don't like that call, either. But every time I have this debate, someone points out that, after Clint Malarchuk and Richard Zednik, they don't want kicking motions around the unpredictability of the net. It's a legit argument.
- Last year, approximately 22 per cent of the NHL's goals were scored on the power play. This year, it's closer to one third. The Nashville Predators had the league's best power play in 2011-12 at 21.6 per cent success. It's early, but that number would be 13th right now.
more plus some Stepen Weiss talk...
from Ken Warren of the Ottawa Citizen,
While there is no official change to the goaltender interference rule, there is, however, a distinct change in inteference calls among skaters.
Players, particularly defencemen, have been left shaking their heads, trying to adapt to a new standard where they can’t get in the way of attacking forwards when they chip the puck behind them. On top of that, referees are also cracking down on players who are perceived to be “diving” in order to draw a penalty.
Gregson says that officials made a conscious decision in the summer to change the standard on both fronts.
“Officials need to be better at reacting to the play where there is a foul and then the player who is fouled embellishes. They were told at (summer) camp that we have to be stronger in the enforcement of this call.”
Senators players figure it will take some time for both them and the referees to figure out exactly how much interference will be tolerated. Alfredsson acknowledges the new rules make it tougher for defencemen to defend, but as time passes, he says players will discover the fine line between what’s fair and what’s a foul.
from Kerry Fraser of TSN,
As we move through the third week of the NHL season, there have been a number of incidents involving contact with the goalkeeper. Some resulted in penalties being assessed or goals disallowed, while in other cases the contact was deemed incidental and goals were allowed to stand.
I acknowledge, as most of you have, that this call can really be a tough one for any referee to correctly make given the speed and traffic jams that occur as players crash the net. I have harped on the fact that Referees' positioning and the resulting sightline gained is the overriding factor in making the correct judgment. In too many instances the Refs are not reading the play in advance and moving their feet to gain the best possible sightline. This is a "bread and butter" call for NHL Referees that can impact a game similarly to pass interference in the end zone of an NFL game or Super Bowl! There needs to be better instruction/accountability from the Officiating Department in this critical area before the shortened NHL season gets any shorter.
Let me provide you with my ruling on the two goalkeeper interference penalties that were called on Super Bowl Sunday in the Ottawa-Montreal game.
from Dave Lozo of NHL.com,
Ask a player, executive, fan or pundit about the NHL's instigator penalty and you're likely to receive a passionate opinion.
A form of the rule has existed as far back as 1937 -- "A Major penalty shall be imposed on any player who starts fisticuffs," the League's rule book read that year -- but it was before the start of the 1992-93 season that the instigator began changing and shaping the NHL that exists today.
"A player deemed to be the instigator of fisticuffs shall be assessed a Game Misconduct," became the official wording of the rule in 1992. It was most recently adjusted in 1996 to levy a two-minute minor, a five-minute major and a 10-minute misconduct to the guilty party. The rule was designed to curb fighting, which statistics show has steadily decreased during the past 20 years.
The instigator rule draws the ire of some players, the praise of others. It receives simultaneous credit for cleaning up the game and criticism for failing to allow players to police themselves.
But how can a rule that existed before Gordie Howe played his first NHL game get so much credit for both helping and hurting the game during the past 20 years?
Kerry Fraser of TSN discusses why the Mikael Backlund goal from Saturday nigh should not have been allowed.
Backlund was not pushed into Oiler goalkeeper, Devan Dubnyk by Ryan Smyth or any other Oiler teammate.Mikael Backlund followed the puck into the crease and crashed the net (and Dubnyk) though his own initiative. If that isn't enough reason for some to understand why this goal must be disallowed let me provide the technical reasons to support this call.
Rule 69.3 Contact Inside the Goal Crease - If an attacking player initiates contact with a goalkeeper, incidental or otherwise, while the goalkeeper is in his crease and a goal is scored, the goal will be disallowed.
More specifically, Mikael Backlund's actions on this play are best described by the bold type in Rule 69.6 Rebounds and Loose Pucks - In the event that a goalkeeper has been pushed into the net together with the puck after making a stop the goal will be disallowed.
more and watch the goal below, All I know is these calls could go either way and as I wrote yesterday, replay should be allowed to make sure the call on the ice is the correct one.
from Bruce Dowbiggin at the Globe and Mail,
You could see it in the face of Edmonton head coach Ralph Krueger on Thursday when his defenceman Ladislav Smid was called for closing his hand on the puck. There was also a faceoff interference called on the Oil, a goalie interference penalty along with an instigator call on Smid for provoking a fight while wearing a facemask. Check, check and check.
“That’s not the way it was called in the past,” Krueger’s tortured expression seemed to say.
Indeed it’s not something that was called in the second half of the 2011-12 season. There were many things that were not called as the L.A. Kings made their way from eighth seed to NHL champions. It’s a point a number of general managers made at the end of the season during their meetings with NHL Ops, the people responsible for refereeing.
Vancouver president and general manager Mike Gillis spoke for the group. “Guys have learned from the rules, and they’ve adapted,” said Gillis this summer. “I’m a fan of offensive hockey, and I think the league is too. If not, we should change the name of the game to ‘goalie.’ We have to keep scoring in the game. But right now, it’s not happening.
“I think that the entertainment value is born out of having momentum changes and offensive opportunities and penalties being called. That’s great hockey, and I think everyone here would share the opinion that the hockey in the last three or four years has been the best it’s ever been. So a retreat from that doesn’t seem to make any sense to me.”
Is this goaltender interference? No penalty was called, just interference and the goal called off. Sabres also won, 5-2.
via NHL.com (a look at some of the other rules too inlcuding video),
Rule 67 – Handling Puck implements a minor penalty for use of the gloved hand to "conceal" the puck or prevent an opponent from playing it. Rule 76 – Face-Off implements a minor penalty for a player taking a face-off using his hand to direct the puck.
Rule 67 - Handling Puck
67.2 Minor Penalty – Player
A player shall be permitted to catch the puck out of the air but must immediately place it or knock it down to the ice. If he catches it and skates with it, either to avoid a check or to gain a territorial advantage over his opponent, a minor penalty shall be assessed for "closing his hand on the puck."
New, approved wording in italics:
Any time a player places his hand over the puck while it is on the ice in order to conceal it from or prevent an opponent from playing the puck, a minor penalty shall be assessed for "closing his hand on the puck." When this is done in his own team's goal crease area, a penalty shot shall be assessed (67.4) or a goal awarded (67.5).
A minor penalty shall be imposed on a player who, while play is in progress, picks up the puck off the ice with his hand.
Rule 76 - Face-off
from Robert Tychkowski of the Edmonton Sun,
When Mike Leggo goes to work, it means being jeered and taunted and endlessly second-guessed by critics so infuriated by his decisions they sometimes even resort to pelting him with garbage.
And he misses it dearly.
Maybe not those cups of beer hurled in anger from the 20th row, but he certainly longs for the action and adrenalin that has lit up his winters for as long as he can remember.
"I miss the camaraderie and the game itself, being out there, having players mad at me, the frenetic pace of the game," the veteran NHL referee said. "Sweat in my eyes, trying to stay out of the way of the puck, getting good sight lines, I miss that challenge of it."
You're not alive until 16,000 people tell you that you suck.
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