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The Games Are About To Begin

Top 5 storylines from Scott Burnside of ESPN,

1. Will Shanahan Bring the Iron Fist?

How will the games be called and what kind of hammer will Lord of Discipline Brendan Shanahan wield should supplementary discipline be required in the playoffs? There were rumblings at the GMs’ meetings in Florida in March that GMs were unhappy that officials had let too much go in terms of obstruction fouls and the expectation was there would be more calls down the stretch….

2. The Weak Shall Inherit the Berth

The inequity of the playoff system that sees weaker sisters atop the Pacific and Southeast divisions enjoying home-ice advantage in the first round means that the most compelling series will feature Central Division foes Detroit and Nashville and Atlantic Division rivals Pittsburgh and Philadelphia. Both series should make for must-see hockey and indeed the emotion surrounding the Pittsburgh-Philadelphia series is at a fever pitch. But it’s a shame two of those four teams will be done before the end of April while lesser teams will continue their quest, all in the name of creating artificial drama down the stretch with the current six-division format.

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Comments

OlderThanChelios's avatar

There were rumblings at the GMs’ meetings in Florida in March that GMs were unhappy that officials had let too much go in terms of obstruction fouls and the expectation was there would be more calls down the stretch….

Didn’t happen – at least not in the Wings’ games I watched. Opponents were pinning guys to the boards on dump-ins long after the puck was out of anyone’s reach. And I can’t remember when I’ve seen so many players just “hanging” over the backs of Wings’ players. It’s one thing to play a guy “close.” It’s something completely different (as in it’s a penalty) to prevent a player from carrying the puck because he’s also “carrying” an opponent.

I thought one of the main changes the league wanted to see after the lock-out was greater freedom for skilled players to maneuver on the ice. That lasted for all of a season or two. Now, it’s as bad, if not worse, than it was before the lock-out. And the way the games are called in the playoffs is even worse than the regular season.

Posted by OlderThanChelios from Grand Rapids, MI on 04/11/12 at 02:08 PM ET

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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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