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The Malik Report

Can the Canucks overcome losses of Ehrhoff, Rome?

The Vancouver Canucks nearly rallied to tie the San Jose Sharks on Friday night after Jamie McGinn knocked the second of two Canucks off the ice and possibly out of the series, incurring a five-minute penalty for boarding after demolishing Aaron Rome, which NHL.com’s Dave Lozo reports that neither coach was particularly pleased with (in a rare occurrence where both coaches looked at a segment of video and agreed upon its interpretation)...

“I had a chance to watch it on the video,” Sharks coach Todd McLellan said. “Referees probably made the right call on the ice, there’s no doubt about it. I don’t think there was any intent on Jamie’s behalf. We hope that Rome is healthy. We don’t want to see that happen to anybody. That could very easily be one of our players in that situation.”

“If I was Aaron Rome, I’d be upset right now,” Canucks coach Alain Vigneault said. “But I know that they got the right call on the ice.”

But the hit was nothing less than vicious:

McGinn, who was playing for the first time since Game 6 against the Detroit Red Wings last round, received a five-minute major for boarding and a game misconduct with 8:38 left in the third period after hitting Rome from behind. Rome took a pass behind the net from goaltender Roberto Luongo and moved the puck behind the net before absorbing the hit. Rome crumbled to the ice and had to be helped to his skates as blood leaked out of his face. McGinn could face a suspension for the hit, something that he seemed to consider an inevitability after the game.

“I finish my checks. I’m not trying to hurt anybody,” McGinn said. “It’s unfortunate he got hurt. I tried to cut him off. I thought him on the shoulder. It’s tough. I got into the lineup tonight and thought I was doing a good job. Having to go right back upstairs kind of sucks. I’m glad the boys got the win.”

But just as the CBC’s all-too-patriotic announcers—I’m like Henrik Zetterberg about this series, offering a solid whatever the hell the Swedish translation of “Meh” is as I’ve got a coworker who’s a Canucks fan and I’m not too happy with the Sharks, either—I think these teams deserve each other for seven hard games—but the fact that the CBC’s usually somewhat partisan tilt when a Canadian team’s involved has gone off the deep end into Canucks Broadcast Corporation territory—missed Ryane Clowe’s clip of his teammate, Logan Couture (who will be OK, per McLellan), they missed McGinn’s subtle check on Ehrhoff, who’s doubtlessly the Canucks’ offensive leader on the blueline.

I’d go so far as to suggest that Ehrhoff is the Canucks’ equivalent of a poor man’s Nicklas Lidstrom, a player who’s simply indispensable, so this news, per NHL.com’s Dan Rosen...

Christian Ehrhoff left Game 3 on Friday with an upper-body injury suffered with 5:40 to play in the first period after McGinn caught him with a shoulder-to-shoulder hit. With 8:38 remaining in the third period, McGinn boarded Aaron Rome, who stayed on the ice for a while and needed help from two trainers to get to the dressing room.

McGinn was issued a five-minute major and a game misconduct, but he could still play in Game 4 pending potential supplemental discipline or a coach’s decision. Rome and Ehrhoff are doubtful, according to Canucks coach Alain Vigneault.

“Yes, both,” was all a terse Vigneault would say about the possibility of not having either in Game 4.

Should, as the Globe and Mail’s Eric Duhatschek suggests, scare the shirts back onto Canucks fans:

Ultimately, the hit on Ehrhoff could do the most long-term damage if he’s out for any length of time. On average, Ehrhoff played the second most minutes on the Canucks, averaging 24 minutes in the regular season and is just a shade over 23 in the playoffs.

Without Ehrhoff, the Canucks were down to five rearguards and when Rome went out, they were down to four. It meant a game-high 25:39 for Dan Hamhuis; 25:23 for Kevin Bieksa; 24:30 for Sami Salo; and 23:21 for Alex Edler. Keith Ballard is available if one or the other cannot go in Sunday’s fourth game.

McGinn explained the Ehrhoff hit this way: “He just pulled up. It was another one, where he just came across. As I said, I’m a player that’s going to finish my check. I took advantage of that. I think I might have hurt him. On all my hits, I’m not trying to hurt anyone. It’s unfortunate he got hurt, but it’s probably good for us.”

Really “good,” like series-changing. He’s that important, and that’s scary, even from a “meh” point of view.

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Comments

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If you think CBC is all too patriotic, I don’t know how you can bear to watch a versus feed.  the amount of oral fellatio they give to whatever US based team is currently playing the canucks is nauseating.

Posted by sabrix from australia on 05/21/11 at 08:30 AM ET

MoreShoot's avatar

the amount of oral fellatio they give to whatever US based team is currently playing the canucks is nauseating.

seems to be reserved mostly for the Sharks.  I remember feeling a bit overwhelmed by it in the Wings series.

Posted by MoreShoot on 05/21/11 at 09:20 AM ET

MsRedWinger's avatar

I hate the Sharks!  And I hate Versucks!

Posted by MsRedWinger from Flori-duh on 05/21/11 at 09:25 AM ET

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Versus broadcasts as if the Sharks are not even playing. The Wings series was all about the Wings. It was as if they forgot there were two teams playing. Same thing is happening in the Canucks series except that the showed the replays of the blood running down the faces of the Sharks from high sticks right in front of an official. How is that “all sharks” that’s just decent broadcasting. Watch a slow motion replay of the McGinn hit. Whether you like it or not the hit was shoulder to shoulder. Sorry he got injured but that was not. 5 minute major. just as the Versus announcers stated. Why did McLellensay the refs got it right. because he never blames refs and always takes full ownership. Watch the two coaches post games. One is so classy. the other is a blame game and classless. The vicious two handed cross check by Kessler on Vlasic after the buzzer. disgusting. Intent to injure. Classless move

Posted by jpsf on 05/21/11 at 12:54 PM ET

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Shoulder to Shoulder? The initial point of contact may have been, but it was clear that McGinn was driving him into the boards by spinning around and the number 6 on his jersey was in solid contact with Rome’s number 2.

Back to Ehrhoff, I don’t think the Lidstrom comparison is fair because I don’t recall missing so many of checks like Ehrhoff did all playoffs.  Yes Ehrhoff scored many points but he was also at fault in many goals against.

Posted by Kel on 05/21/11 at 01:58 PM ET

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“The initial contact may have been shoulder to shoulder…” ?  Say no more - if the player makes shoulder to shoulder contact it FLAT OUT should not have been a major.  In game 2 Danny Heatley gets hit with an elbowing call when Kesler literally runs into Heatley’s elbow? In the 3rd period of a tied game? In the conference finals? You think this is a legitimate call? It wouldn’t be legit in a friggin beer league!  I can give you a dozen examples of biased calls just in the 3 games played so far.  Sharks get called for too many men on the ice, when Logan is skating alongside the bench? And why wasn’t he hustling? Because routinely the refs give the players about 5 feet! He never expected that call to be made, and if it had been the canuckleheads, it wouldn’t have been made.
It’s a Canadian team, with Canadian refs, and of course the league wants a Canadian team in the finals for the TV ratings. The Sharks have NO chance - but at least the league should be honest about it. They need to put the on-ice officals in Canuck jerseys.

Posted by Bubba from East Bay on 05/21/11 at 03:16 PM ET

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Right, the Sharks have no chance, that’s why the Canucks got 10 penalties, including a double minor and giving the Sharks lenghtly 5-on-3, while the Sharks got penalized only 5 times, despite the major and overlapping 5-on-3.  Remember the Sharks got their first goal on the PP on a wrong call.  LaPierre made a bodycheck and was given a roughing penalty.  That’s when the game was tied.

Posted by Kel on 05/21/11 at 04:00 PM ET

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To follow up, research after research has shown that the home teams with a large crowd gets better treatment from the referees, and so far it looks to be the case in this series.  Vancouver got the breaks when at home and San Jose did too in their rink.  There’s no conspiracy.  No Canadian-based team has won the Cup since 1993, by the way.  Also, if you feel Versus is not giving the Sharks enough praises, that’s only because you are too used to the cheerleading and overwhelming bias that Comcast Bay Area broadcasters fed you about 95 times this season.  I live in the Bay Area and I watch a lot of Vancouver games from American feed, and to me, the San Jose TV crew is among the most biased towards their team.  Keith Jones is a known Canucks hater from his comments throughout the playoffs.  There is no pro-Canucks member on Versus, actually.

Anyway, enough about the calls.  You are hijacking the thread.

Posted by Kel on 05/21/11 at 04:22 PM ET

George Malik's avatar

Sure there is. Jeremy, “I’m a loyal Sharks fan” Roenick. That was the line he gave David Pollak about his blather about Marleau. Except that Roenick’s more concerned about stroking his ego and “being right” than he is about the results of any game.

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 05/21/11 at 04:26 PM ET

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The major was called as a result of the fact that Rome didn’t get up not as a result of what McGinn did and that’s what bothers me most about the call.  How often have we heard Collie say that supplemental discipline shouldn’t be based on the results (ie whether a player was injured)?  Shouldn’t the standard be the same for penalties?  The hit was to the shoulder, though it was close so I understand calling a minor penalty even if I don’t agree with it, but there was no real reason for Rome to have his back to the play there except to keep his momentum going up ice and not get hit.  Sedin did the same thing when Eager hit him (even though Eager hit him between the numbers and deserved a penalty) and I think players have an obligation to face the play whenever possible.  The only times it’s really necessary to turn your back to the play is during a scrum along the borads or when going for an icing touchup.  Otherwise, this is the WCF.  Players should be expecting a hit every time they touch the puck and Rome probably should have been more aware.

Just playing devil’s advocate for a moment: if it was Abdelkader or Helm that made that hit would you all be saying “dirty, dirty hit” or “how can you punish a guy for being a strong skater and playing a physical game?”

Posted by RoneFace on 05/21/11 at 05:18 PM ET

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The major was called as a result of the fact that Rome didn’t get up not as a result of what McGinn did and that’s what bothers me most about the call.  How often have we heard Collie say that supplemental discipline shouldn’t be based on the results (ie whether a player was injured)?  Shouldn’t the standard be the same for penalties?  The hit was to the shoulder, though it was close so I understand calling a minor penalty even if I don’t agree with it, but there was no real reason for Rome to have his back to the play there except to keep his momentum going up ice and not get hit.  Sedin did the same thing when Eager hit him (even though Eager hit him between the numbers and deserved a penalty) and I think players have an obligation to face the play whenever possible.  The only times it’s really necessary to turn your back to the play is during a scrum along the borads or when going for an icing touchup.  Otherwise, this is the WCF.  Players should be expecting a hit every time they touch the puck and Rome probably should have been more aware.

Just playing devil’s advocate for a moment: if it was Abdelkader or Helm that made that hit would you all be saying “dirty, dirty hit” or “how can you punish a guy for being a strong skater and playing a physical game?”

Posted by RoneFace on 05/21/11 at 05:20 PM ET

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The Sharks got a lengthy 5 on 3?? The Canucks had almost 2 minutes of 5 on 3 time! And I love how you put forth a whole long detailed argument, then decide that nothing else needs to be said about the topic~!  That’s pretty pompous…!
As far as the calls go, you’re certainly entitled to your own opinion,but you’re not entitled to your own facts.  I’m not talking about borderline calls, I’m talking about flat out “missed” calls, ie. calls that a disinterested party would have made; such as the 2 high sticks (one drew blood!) in game 2.  The slash that broke Murray’s stick in game 3. The hold of Mitchell in the waning minutes of game 3.  The elbow to Pavelski’s face.  Kesler’s dive when Thornton tapped him on the wrist - priceless!! (I can go on and on.)  You need to get a grip on your emotions and really watch the games.

Posted by Bubba from East Bay on 05/21/11 at 05:37 PM ET

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The fact that the Canucks got a lengthy 5-on-3 does not erase the fact that the Sharks got a length 5-on-3 too.  When Burrows got his penalty in the 3rd period, there was 1:36 left in the Kesler penalty.  That is a lengthy 5-on-3 for San Jose, no doubt about it.
Anyway, the topic of this post is about Ehrhoff and the effect of him not in the lineup, not about the refs or conspiracy theory about how the league prefers a Canadian team victory.

Posted by Kel on 05/22/11 at 01:26 AM ET

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Kel, ok, ok! The thread got hijacked a little.  Once you get more experience you’ll realize it happens all the time and -usually- for the better.
Anyway, so what do you have to say about the leagues determination on McGinn’s hit now?
As for me, just sign me…
VINDICATED

Posted by Bubba from East Bay on 05/22/11 at 02:09 PM ET

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No suspension means no conspiracy of the league to give Vancouver an unfair advantage.  My personal opinion is that it was a boarding penalty but it was not so vicious to deserve a suspension.

Posted by Kel on 05/22/11 at 03:15 PM ET

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That doesn’t mean there’s no conspiracy~!  The league is not stupid, that call was way too borderline, a suspension would have drawn too much attention. No, the secret is to make small, seemingly inconsequential bad calls or in the case of yesterday, a series of small bad calls.  The easy ones to catch yesterday were the “too many men on the ice” and the “delay of game” calls that resulted in extended 5 on 3’s.  Very weak calls in a regular season game, but game 4 of the conference title game? With a team already killing a penalty?  Seriously?  You’ve seen this routinely called before? Routinely?
Vancouver is a bunch of divers who would make the World Cup proud, so the refs have ample opportunity to make calls.  Don’t believe me? Watch the replay of Mitchell’s trip on Sedin that started the whole 5 on 3 debacle - his stick was ALONGSIDE Sedins leg, how did Sedin’s foot get dragged back?  And either Kesler is a huge diver or he has the weakest glass jaw of any player in the world.  If I was a Canucks fan, this behavoiur would be embarrassing…

Posted by Bubba from East Bay on 05/23/11 at 04:26 PM ET

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TOLD YA!! Vancouver won the weakest division - they were the only team out of 5 that made it to the playoffs, the Sharks won the Pacific and if not for a meltdown in the last game of the season by Dallas, all five teams would have made the playoffs.  And this fact showed in the playoffs.
Obviously the Sharks were the more talented team in the finals but like I said - the league needs Vancouver in the Cup more than the Sharks.  So maybe they “miss” (whoopsie!) the touch of the puck by Sedin that negated the icing with seconds left….

Posted by Bubba from East Bay on 05/25/11 at 03:39 AM ET

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The Malik Report is a destination for all things Red Wings-related. I offer biased, perhaps unprofessional-at-times and verbose coverage of my favorite team, their prospects and developmental affiliates. I've joined the Kukla's Korner family with five years of blogging under my belt, and I hope you'll find almost everything you need to follow your Red Wings at a place where all opinions are created equal and we're all friends, talking about hockey and the team we love to follow.