Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Ken Campbell of The Hockey News,
Good work, NHL. I’ve said it before and I’ll keep saying it as long as this nonsense keeps happening: The NHL needs guys like Brandon Prust and Dan Carcillo to keep its players safe from guys like Brandon Prust and Dan Carcillo. And the NHL and its culture of violence is every bit as culpable for all of this as the perpetrators were.
Was Carcillo guilty of an enormous brain cramp when he whacked Driscoll with his stick? Yes, but it should come as no surprise because the guys like him who are employed to keep the temperature down are the ones who cause the vast majority of this kind of stuff. Did Prust intend to hurt Stepan or did he target Stepan’s head? No, but players like Prust make their living doing things like, among other things, “finishing their checks” which is code for making them pay for carrying the puck or making a pass.
The league maintains that the Prust his was not a headshot in the classic sense – that the hit began at Stepan’s chest and landed on his jaw without intent to target his head. That’s why he wasn’t suspended under Rule 48. We get that. But when four officials are on the ice and either don’t see that or the game is too fast for them to make a decision on it, then it’s time the video replay department in Toronto took control over the decisions the way they do with disputed goals.
from Larry Brooks of the New York Post,
Two games. This is the uh, price, of an eye for eye in the Stanley Cup playoffs. Two games. This is the woeful response of the NHL to an act of frontier justice that injures an opponent.
Two games for the Canadiens’ Brandon Prust for breaking Derek Stepan’s jaw with a late hit from the blindside that caught the Blueshirts center in the face just 2:55 into Thursday’s Game 3 at the Garden … a hit for which the Montreal winger was not penalized by the grossly incompetent officiating crew, featuring referees Kevin Pollock and Marc Joannette.
added 9:13am, from Terry Koshan of the Toronto Sun,
from Rick Carpiniello of USA TODAY,
You have to have some sympathy for the guys doing all the bleeding and battling for a Stanley Cup.
Not because of the blood or the battle.
You have to have sympathy because they have no idea what the rules are, night to night, period to period, shift to shift.
Officiating in the NHL has become an epidemic, a major problem, in a sport where everything happens so fast and with so much brutality, by bigger players with weapons and walls.
But today's big, fast, brutal players? They don't have a clue.
New game, new rule book. Embellishment? First round, yes. After, no. Head shots? Bring 'em on. No penalties, no fines, no suspensions. Spears to the groin? No problem. Slew foot (hockey term for a real cheap shot)? Never called, and often perpetrated by the best players — Sidney Crosby, P.K. Subban among them.
from John Steigerwald of the Indiana Gazette,
Maybe Sidney Crosby should just quit.
It’s not like it hasn’t happened before. He shared a home with the former Best Player in the World, who quit when he was 31 years old.
Yep. That’s what Mario Lemieux did after the 1996-97 season, and when he did it, everybody understood. They knew he was fed up with the stupidity of the NHL. If you were around back then, you remember that Lemieux made it known that he was going to retire after that season, so it wasn’t a shock when the guy who led the league in scoring with 50 goals and 72 assists decided to pack it in.
Think about that for a second. This wasn’t a broken-down player who was struggling to play up to the ridiculous standard that he had set for himself. This was a 50-goal scorer saying he’d had enough with the NHL’s refusal to enforce the rules and was walking away. Not to become a team executive or owner. That would come later. He was headed for the golf course and as far away as he could get from the game he loved.
That just doesn’t happen in sports.
The most talented player ever to pick up a hockey stick just couldn’t deal with the stupidity anymore.
Well, guess what? The stupidity is back. Big-time.
from Mike Brophy of CBC,
I spoke with a former NHL ref, who asked that his name not be included in this story, and he talked about life as a big-league official at this time of the season, when every call and non-call seems so critical to the outcome of a game and, hence, a series.
The ref wanted to assure all hockey fans there is no conspiracy to determine the outcome of games.
"The biggest misconception is that the officials would have some vested interest in the outcome," he said. "One thing we always say is the guys in stripes are the only ones on the ice that don't care who wins.
"There is extra coverage with all the networks covering the games, which is great for hockey. But it does add extra focus on the officiating, for sure."
The fact of the matter is refs and linesmen, like the players, are trying to be as good as they can be so they continue working. Only the best among them advance through three rounds to the Stanley Cup final.
from Kerry Fraser of TSN,
There should be no reason (in the two-ref system) where physical fatigue might negatively impact the decision making process for an official regardless how many overtime periods are played. The mental aspect of a referee's performance is a whole different kettle of fish! While players don't want to become the "goat" by making a bad play or mistake, the referees' internal struggle is all about rendering a decision that might be perceived as a game ending bad call. (You notice I said perceived.) The best remedy in dealing with this pressure is for the official to maintain a rock solid focus of concentration by remaining in the moment and react to call penalties whenever they occur. Once a ref stops refereeing and puts his whistle away he becomes a spectator instead of an enforcer of the playing rules.
Each referee can feel intense pressure to make sure any call he makes is viewed as a "must call" in the late stages and overtime. The referees' best work is done well in advance of the late stages of a game by maintaining the expected standard of enforcement and to keep the players in check throughout the entire game. The best deterrent against infractions being committed is "fear" a ref can instill in players that he will call the penalty whenever it is committed.
Sorry for the late posting today, but the last three days I have had a pinched nerve which goes from my shoulder blade to the tip of my fingers.
I can deal with it but finding a comfortable way to sleep has been hard but found one about four hours ago and took advantage of it to get some sleep.
That was last night after the waived off Tampa goal.
Watch it below if you missed it...
from Kerry Fraser of TSN,
The margin for victory between all the teams is very slim and mistakes made by players and officials are magnified at this time of year. Simply put, mistakes can be the difference between a team and an official from going on in the playoffs or going home!
Last night I joined James Duthie for a brief segment in the playoff preview show shot in Studio 9 at TSN where I will be monitoring games and officials' calls on a nightly basis throughout the first round. James asked me what I will be looking for from the Officials the moment the playoffs begin. My response was for strict adherence to the letter of the law. The rules do not change during the playoffs and neither should the expected standard of enforcement! The referees have often been accused of putting their whistles away during the playoffs. Far too many times we have seen the score and time of a game factored into the refs' judgment as to what constitutes an obvious penalty.
via NHL Officials,
Francis Charron, Paul Devorski, Gord Dwyer, Eric Furlatt, Dave Jackson, Mark Joannette, Steve Kozari, Chris Lee, Wes McCauley, Brad Meier, Dean Morton, Dan O'Halloran, Dan O'Rourke, Chris Rooney, Tim Peel, Kevin Pollock, Francois St.-Laurent, Justin St.Pierre, Kelly Sutherland, Brad Watson
Derek Amel, Steve Barton, David Brisebois, Lonnie Cameron, Scott Cherry, Michel Cormier, Greg Devorski, Scott Driscoll, Darren Gibbs, Shane Heyer, Brad Kovachik, Matt MacPherson, Steve Miller, Brian Murphy, Jonny Murray, Derek Nansen, Brian Pancich, Pierre Racicot, Jay Sharrers, Mark Shewchyk
from Kerry Fraser of TSN,
What is the NHL policy on media and officials? Can they be on Twitter? Can they be interviewed by TSN? Can they publish a book? We rarely, if ever, see an active official make a comment off the ice. Is this because they don't have much to say, or because of restrictions? I could see referee interviews causing uproars among fans.
The policy the NHL has in place for their officials speaking to the media is clear and direct: NO COMMENT!
All media access to the officials (interviews) must be cleared and granted through the office of Gary Meagher, Sr. Vice President Public Relations & Media Services. Gary is assisted by Julie Young, Manager of Public Relations. Once the content and nature of an interview is cleared, Julie is typically responsible for contacting the official and facilitating the interview. Both individuals are extremely professional and very good at their job. It was a treat to work with Julie Young because through her efforts things always went smoothly during the many times that I was requested for interviews.
Social media is off-limits for all the officials! They are not allowed to have a Facebook or Twitter account as information could easily be misconstrued or deemed to be inappropriate. It is just another undesirable location that the officials could become accessible. After NBA referee Tim Donaghy was convicted on criminal charges and served time in federal prison for betting on games he officiated, NHL officials are "strongly discouraged" from entering casinos while travelling on NHL business. You can forget about reading a book written by any NHL officials until after they retire; unless perhaps it is a children's coloring book!
Longtime NHL referee Don Van Massenhoven will officiate his final game Friday when the Buffalo Sabres visit the Detroit Red Wings.
The game will draw to a close a career that includes 1,278 regular-season games; 87 Stanley Cup Playoff games, including six Stanley Cup Finals; the 2006 Torino Olympics; the 2008 NHL Winter Classic in Buffalo; the 2004 World Cup of Hockey; and the 2002 NHL All-Star Game.
Given the choice where to officiate his final game after more than 20 years in the NHL, Van Massenhoven didn't have to think long before selecting Joe Louis Arena.
"Detroit is close to my home, which makes it easier for family and friends," Van Massenhoven said. "A lot of the teams have great buildings, but it's cool to go to the Joe."
Below, watch Van Massenhoven talk with NHL Live from "The Joe Louie"...
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