Kukla's Korner Hockey
Entries with the tag: j.t. miller
While duly noting that the NHL's standards for suspendable offenses and standards of officiating are two very different things...
So nine of the 26 suspensions handed by the NHL’s Department of Player Safety were for violations that were not contemporaneously called as penalties. I suppose you could argue this means the review system works, but when (just over) one-third of suspensions are on infractions missed by the referees (and by the linesmen), then there’s something amiss with NHL officiating.
Dustin Byfuglien’s cross-check to J.T. Miller’s neck was impossible to miss, yet Dan O’Rourke, no more than 10 feet away from the play at which he sure seemed to be looking directly, somehow missed it. Either that, which is pretty bad, or he didn’t think the Winnipeg defenseman merited a penalty, which is a whole lot worse.
And yet, there was O’Rourke working two nights later in St. Louis as scheduled. Maybe the egregious error will cost the referee a playoff assignment, maybe there will be consequences for this one, but, again, when one-third of suspendable acts are missed on the ice while the delinquent parties simply move on, the issue needs to be addressed by the NHL in a public setting.
The New York Post's Larry Brooks comes upon a truth those of us who watch hockey and love it are very frustrated with and about:
You have to start with the supposition NHL officials are the best in the world at what they do. But something is lost in the translation of how games have been called this season. Tolerance for interference and the clutch-and-grab has reverted to the pre-Shanahan Summit days that preceded the 2004-05 canceled season.
Clearly, this is by design. It is not as if all of the league’s referees have at once independently adopted new guidelines for identifying infractions. Mandates are coming from somewhere, though there’s no logical explanation for any of this. Less space, fewer power plays, less scoring and less entertainment.
Brooks continues, and the truth of the matter is that we've become paying customers of an NHL that's undergoing the Dead Puck Era 2.0, a period of clutching, grabbing, groping, tackling, wrestling, leg-humping, stick-grabbing-and-sitting-on and all sorts of strange, football-or-rugby-on-ice stuff that used to be penalized when appropriate. Not anymore.
via Evan Peaslee of Sportsnet,
Late in the second period Byfuglien cross-checked Rangers forward J.T. Miller in the back of the head. The 30-year-old Byfuglien disguised it as a consequence of falling, but there’s no denying he drilled a completely defenseless player on the ice for no reason.
Rangers head coach Alain Vigneault certainly didn’t hide his disdain for the play when talking with the media after the game.
"(It was) violent, deliberate, could have broken his neck," said Vigneault. "I don't know what's going to happen, but it was one of the most vicious cross-checks I've seen this year."
According to Sportsnet's John Shannon the play will be given extra attention by the NHL Department of Player Safety.
JT Miller "must show more committment on and off ice to earn right to be in NHL"
"hopefully Miller will figure it out...if not he will be a good minor league player."
-Alain Vigneault, head coach of the New York Rangers on J.T. Miller, via Larry Brooks tweets.