Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Jeff Z. Klein of the New York Times,
Anaheim Ducks defenseman Sami Vatanen felt a stick blade jab him in the face during a game last week against the San Jose Sharks. Vatanen fell and lifted his hand to his mouth, either to draw attention to the foul or simply as a reaction to being stabbed by a stick.
The referee Tim Peel blew his whistle for a high-sticking penalty against the Sharks — but he also penalized Vatanen for embellishment. Anaheim Coach Bruce Boudreau protested, but to no avail.
Peel judged Vatanen to be exaggerating, a violation of N.H.L. Rule 64, which calls for a two-minute penalty against “any player who blatantly dives” or “embellishes a fall or a reaction” to influence a referee. The call against Vatanen was part of a crackdown on what the league sees as rampant fakery among players.
“Embellishment in the game is a real problem today,” Colin Campbell, the N.H.L.’s senior executive vice president for hockey operations, said in June. “We understand players are trying to draw penalties. We feel it’s out of control.”
Or, as the bombastic hockey traditionalist Don Cherry once observed, “We’ve got to watch that we don’t start acting like those goofy soccer guys.”
continued and below, watch the Vatanen embellishment...
If you haven't been following the latest news on Vanek regarding this topic, just click the Thomas Vanek tag below...
added 1:59pm, Russo's Rants has a full story on this now...
You can review the hit in this TSN highlight package from the game last night, scroll to the :40 second mark.
added 1:07pm, .GIF is below...
added 3:31pm, watch the hit below...
A LOOK BACK AT AN EXCITING OCTOBER
A recap of the first month of the 2014-15 season, which featured 151 games (compiled with the assistance of the Elias Sports Bureau):
* 94 games (62.3%) were tied or within one goal entering the third period.
* 73 games (48.3%) featured one-goal margins. Another 13 were decided by two goals following an empty-net score.
* 63 games (41.7%) saw a team overcome a deficit at any point in the contest, including 32 in the third period. Of those 62 games, 13 featured a multi-goal comeback.
* 41 games (27.2%) required overtime, including 20 decided in the five-minute extra period. The 20 overtime decisions in 41 games is 14.4% higher than last year and higher than any of the past four seasons.
* 9 games (6.0%) saw a tiebreaking goal scored in the final five minutes of regulation, including five in the last 60 seconds.
* 12 games (7.9%) saw a tying goal scored in the final five minutes of regulation. Of those 12 games, the team that recorded the tying goal went on to win seven times.
from Michael Arace of the Columbus Dispatch,
What are the Blue Jackets to do? Their personnel losses are no longer on paper, they are holes on the ice. You could feel what an ordeal it was for them to score. They got pucks to the net. They generated some traffic. Leafs goaltender Jonathan Bernier was pretty good. Yet, with $29 million in prime talent unavailable, the lack of finish is palpable.
The Jackets (4-6) have lost four in a row by an aggregate of 18-6.
“No matter who is in or out, if you’re not doing the little things … this league is just too good,” center Ryan Johansen said. “The big thing to me, though, is we’ve got to score goals. I had seven shots on goal tonight, and I’ve got to bury some of those. We’ve got to find a way to get more pucks in the net.”
Columbus fell in love with the Original Jackets because they left all they had on the ice almost every night. That is what coach Todd Richards must demand of his club as it treads water until help arrives. That is what the youngest players on the youngest team in the league must embrace. And if a prized prospect such as Alexander Wennberg is not ready, well, next man up.
Columbus can root for this team. We love underdogs, especially those of the junkyard variety. One might suggest, though, that they cut down on the blue-line turnovers and odd-man rushes against, the sorts of things that vaporized their small margin for error against the Maple Leafs — who, by the way, are no powerhouse.
from Ed Tait of the Winnipeg Free Press,
- How many Jets fans and media actually cheer for Ondrej Pavelec to fail now, as part of some sort of "I told you so" narrative? I keep saying/writing this, but it seems like every goal against has become a referendum on his career.
- FYI: the Jets after 10 games this year 4-5-1. And after 10 games last year: 4-5-1. Since opening 9-2 under Paul Maurice last year the Jets are 13-15-6. There is something there in terms of systems and the buy-in, but the results look the same.
- Nobody asked me, but this Dustin Byfuglien hybrid thing — playing wing regularly and dropping back to the point on the power play and for 4-on-4 — is the best use of his talents and ice time.
- The stat line from the Jets fourth liners — Jim Slater, Chris Thorburn, T.J. Galiardi, Matt Halischuk, Anthony Peluso — after 10 games: 38 GP (combined) with zero goals and zero assists.
from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,
“There’s a bunch of kids here; it feels like Romper Room, but that’s okay,” said Hartley.
Hartley joined the Flames two years ago after winning a championship in the Swiss League with Zurich, reuniting with general manager Jay Feaster, with whom he’d worked previously in the Colorado Avalanche organization. Feaster was subsequently replaced by a new regime in Calgary, featuring Brian Burke as director of hockey operations and Brad Treliving as GM.
Normally, this can create an awkward situation, and Hartley is on the final year of his original contract, with no clear sense of what happens next. In training camp, Hartley was okay with the arrangement and understood that for all the good things that have been accomplished here in the past little while – mostly how the Flames have forged a new hard-working identity after playing for years as a tired, old squad – the bottom line in professional sport is winning, and Calgary didn’t do enough of it last year. So he’s trying to navigate that fine line – balancing the need to develop players with the goal of winning NHL games.
“Leaving Zurich, part of the talk was this team had to go through a rebuild – and you can’t go through a rebuild if you don’t show confidence in your young players,” said Hartley.
“For me, it’s a very easy equation. If you put tons of pressure on those kids, they’re going to crumble. You don’t give them a chance to succeed. So we’re giving them challenges and they’re having fun and they’re working hard. We’re making everything possible.”
2 1/2 minutes will allow you to catch the action you may have missed from the 4 games played last night.
Patrick Burke with the explanation...
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.
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