Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 03/16/12 at 12:20 AM ET
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.
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