Kukla's Korner Hockey
A longtime NHL player, who has requested anonymity, contacted the Examiner and asked for the following post to run in response to the controversial play that occurred late in the third period of Wednesday night’s decisive Game 7 of the Chicago-Detroit series.
One of two things should have happened. One, Walkom - the trailing official, should have let the exchange go without making a call. It was a nothing play, it did not interfere with a scoring chance and the game is clearly at a point where it’s time for the players to decide the outcome.
Two, call it for what it is - it's roughing on Detroit and flag the offending Wing for a minor. In either case, the goal stands and the team that should have won would have won, right then and there as Hjalmarsson scores. (Fortunately, for NHL hockey ops and for Walkom, Chicago did win in spite of the botched call)....
Here's the bigger question though ... is this an isolated missed call or a symptom of a larger systematic concern? You guessed right; it's the latter.
I have played in too many games where NHL officials are doing everything in their power to "even things out." No matter who's playing whom and no matter how they're playing, it was all too common for officials to attempt to mete out an equal number of minor penalties to each team. Meaning, going in to any given game, the men in black adopt the approach that the penalties taken by the visitors will, for the most part, equal the number of penalties taken by the home team. All is fair if everybody gets their fair share, right?
more at the Examiner...
from Allan Maki of the Globe and Mail,
Had Detroit won in overtime, the NHL would have been turning 50 shades of blue. The work of its on-ice officials would have come under scrutiny. The media would have pounced; the players would have piled on. Forget about working another game; Walkom would have been lucky to get out of Chicago unscathed.
He was, after all, culpable on more than one front: he blew the whistle on matching minors scrubbing a play that ended with Chicago scoring. The penalties were on the opposite side of the rink and had no bearing on the action. And while Detroit’s Kyle Quincey deserved his roughing infraction for body slamming Chicago’s Brandon Saad to the ice, all Saad did was land in a heap. (“Worst call of the playoffs,” tweeted Paul Stastny of the Colorado Avalanche.)
At that moment, NHL commissioner Gary Bettman must have broken out in a rash thinking, “There goes our beautiful Conference finals involving the last four Stanley Cup winners. Who can I suspend for this?”
more and other NHL topics too...
Did you miss or want to review the controversial matching penalty call, watch it below...
Our latest film, from award-winning director Steven Cantor, on Clint Malarchuk's long recovery from the gruesome NHL injury that almost took his life.
continue for more on the film.
from Kristi Dosh of ESPN,
Next season, Chicago will try out Soldier Field as a venue, and Los Angeles and New York, who Horan says have been interested in hosting for a while, will each get the opportunity to host an outdoor game.
What will it mean for the Winter Classic? Dr. R. Todd Jewel, the chair of the economics department at the University of North Texas, says there might be some negative impact, but it will be offset by the positive impact of the additional games.
"Obviously, the more outdoor games, the less valuable each single game is. So yes, the Winter Classic will be devalued, but this is a question of degree. The league is betting that the Winter Classic will be devalued by less than the value added by the additional outdoor games. My guess is that there is some excess demand for outdoor games and that the league will see greater attendance and marketing from adding the games."...
Dr. Jewell says these games aren't all about the teams, however. They're also potentially part of a larger strategy by the league for a bigger television contract next time around.
"These games are events that will capture eyeballs, possibly on national television, which is extremely valuable for the NHL. The league does a fairly good job of generating revenues via game-day attendance with the exception of a few franchises in small, non-hockey markets but the real payoff for the league would be a bigger national television contract. Without insider information, there's no way to know if the outdoor games are part of a strategy to get a larger television contract, but it clearly could be."
from Chris Johnston of Sportsnet,
It has long been thought that when visors were eventually mandated in the NHL the rule would only apply to new players entering the league.
But might everyone be forced to wear one starting next season?
The NHL Players’ Association is currently polling its membership on that very question and will take the results to next week’s competition committee meeting, according to a source.
A survey being circulated by the union has asked players to indicate whether they favour the status quo (freedom of choice), the introduction of a rule grandfathering visors for rookies or mandatory use by all.
from Mark Spector of Sportsnet,
The men who officiate National Hockey League games make hundreds of accurate decisions every night. But come playoff time, it’s never about the ones they get right.
When that puck slides over Antti Niemi’s pad and into the San Jose Sharks net back in Game 4 of the Los Angeles-San Jose series — a blown call in a game that would end in a 2-1 score for San Jose — Twitter goes apoplectic.
And the colleagues of Brad Meier, the referee with the quick whistle on that night?
“We’ve all been through that,” said veteran National Hockey League referee Paul Devorski, whose season came to an end after the first round. “You’re on the ice and you’re dying a thousand deaths down there. You hear the whistle go, and you see the puck keep squirting, and it goes in the net. But once that whistle goes, the play’s dead. You can’t bring it back.”
Few sports are as introspective with its rulebook as the NHL. There are changes every summer, and now, growing talk about a coach’s challenge flag for situations like that one.
from Alexei Bayer of The Moscow Times,
Even though the NHL is still the most prestigious hockey competition, hockey in North America is in crisis. The NHL has been convulsed by regular strikes and player lockouts. But there are deeper problems. In North America, hockey is played on narrow rinks, where big, fast defensemen make it very difficult to skate. Goal cages are too small for huge goalies wearing wide light-weight equipment. With the exception of the four-on-four overtime, NHL games have turned into boring, grinding, low-scoring contests between huge men on skates elbowing each other along the boards. No wonder it is the least popular of the four major team sports in the U.S.
"European" hockey is played on wider surfaces. It is a beautiful, swift game where skating and passing are at a premium. It certainly has a better chance to win worldwide following — if only it can get the right leadership.
Russia is uniquely positioned to provide such leadership. Hockey stars are, along with hydrocarbons and weapons, its only world-class export. In 2008, Russia used its bulk and resources to form a Eurasian league, the KHL, which next year will have teams from 7 neighboring countries, including some hockey powerhouses. A team from Vladivostok will also enter the competition. This may become a gateway to the Far East, and professional clubs may be soon organized in Japan, South Korea, China and even Alaska. American kids, for example, started playing hockey long after NHL clubs appeared in U.S. cities.
What Russia needs is to view the KHL as a purely commercial undertaking and not a national one. It should pattern its business model on the NHL. As matters now stand, the KHL is excessively Russia-centered. Even its main trophy, the Gagarin Cup, has nothing to do with hockey and everything with Russia's chip-on-the-shoulder nationalism and outdated patriotism.
NEW YORK (May 24, 2013) – The National Hockey League and National Hockey League Players’ Association, in collaboration with national television partners NBC Sports Group, CBC’s Hockey Night In Canada and NHL Network, and NHL.com, will celebrate and honor the accomplishments of the top players, coaches and executives of the 2012-13 NHL® season during two television specials at the 2013 Stanley Cup® Final.
At 7 p.m. ET as a lead-in to Game 2 of the 2013 Stanley Cup Final, NBC and CBC will co-produce and co-host a program announcing the winners of the Calder Memorial Trophy, Hart Memorial Trophy, James Norris Memorial Trophy, Ted Lindsay Award and Vezina Trophy.
Originating from the location of Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Final, the hour-long program will be televised on NBC Sports Network in the U.S. and in Canada by CBC’s Hockey Night In Canada and will feature the hosts and hockey analysts from both networks. The program also will be streamed live online at cbcsports.ca.
F-bombs being tossed, rink mic picks-up the linseman.
A summary of the Hotstove talk from last night... P.J. Stock takes a look at Craig Anderson, Elliotte Friedman talked coaching jobs including Patrick Roy in Colorado, Glenn Healy talked about the NHL participating in the Olympics with things looingk very positive and the last topic was the $100,000 fine Doug Wilson was hit with but why wasn't George McPhee?
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