Kukla's Korner

Kukla's Korner Hockey

Our Game Is Not Broken

from Michael Traikos,

Now that the blood has dried and we’re done shaking our collective fists at Tom Wilson, George Parros and the old-school culture of settling scores, can we please go back to marvelling at what Connor McDavid and Auston Matthews have done so far this season?

Can we talk about the emergence of Adam Fox as a Norris Trophy contender and the endurance of Sidney Crosby as one of the game’s best players? Can we go back to debating whether Russian veteran Kirill Kaprizov should be considered a rookie and whether Patrick Marleau should have broken Gordie Howe’s games-played record? Can we laugh about how badly run the Sabres are and how no one is safe from John Tortorella?

Can we return to our regular scheduled programming and highlight the amazing years that Joel Quenneville, Aleksander Barkov and Marc-Andre Fleury are having, as well as Buffalo goaltender Michael Houser’s unbelievable journey from being left for dead in the ECHL to winning a couple of games in the NHL?

Can we focus on the hug that Nicklas Backstrom gave T.J. Oshie following a 4-2 win on Wednesday, rather than the cross-check that Pavel Buchnevich gave to Anthony Mantha in a fight-filled game?

Can we try to remember that the NHL isn’t broken? That it’s not a gong show or a sideshow or a poop-emoji show. That it’s been entertaining and fun and exactly the kind of distraction we all needed in a difficult year of virus variants and slow-rolling vaccinations, and where the local lockdowns keep being extended to golf courses and pickleball courts.


Filed in: NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink


Hootinani's avatar

Whatever youve gotta tell yourself so you can sleep at night, Mike.

Posted by Hootinani from the parade following Babs out of town on 05/07/21 at 08:59 AM ET


Yes, as soon as Tom Wilson is suspended and the NHL can make an honest effort at protecting the stars we want to see.

What if Tom Wilson ended McDavid’s season? Would their be a suspension then? And by not punishing Wilson didn’t the NHL declare open season for post whistle scrums? McCarty shared John Scott’s comments on Woodward Sports (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qBWDmqkB8Xw) and I think it sums it up pretty well. Nothing is off limits now.

Tom Wilson shouldn’t be thrown out of the league, but his record and the fact that he was suspended this season already, he shouldn’t be allowed to lace up his skates again until the fall.

Posted by Jdunc from Flint, MI on 05/07/21 at 09:15 AM ET


There are some great things happening in the league. There are also way too many games where low event hockey is the sleep inducing norm. The NHL will never grow the game the way they want to without finding a way to increase scoring chances across the board. Not scoring specifically, but there needs to be more high danger chances.

Posted by Trade Deadline Rental on 05/07/21 at 10:17 AM ET


“Tom Wilson and Alex Ovechkin of the Washington Capitals both reached out to the New York Rangers’  just to make sure he was okay after Monday’s collection of incidents,” Dreger said Thursday”

well, isn’t that special..

Per Paul, earlier today: G. Smith to the taxi squad.

looking for him to occupy a roster spot next season.

Posted by rickytarr on 05/07/21 at 10:56 AM ET

MurrayChadwick's avatar

Posted by Trade Deadline Rental on 05/07/21 at 10:17 AM ET

I don’t know how you police it out, but IMO the proficiency of shot blocking suckled a lot of entertainment value out of the game.

Posted by MurrayChadwick from YzerHolland2.0's pixie dust fueled bandwagon on 05/07/21 at 11:39 AM ET


“Nothing to see here…can’t we just move on?”

No, not if, as is likely, Parross latest f-up has
injected yet more uncertainty re: just how badly and dangerously
a goon can flip out against an unprotected and completely mismatched
opponent. Are the Tie Domi days back?

If Panarin had been driven into the ice at a slightly different angle,
the NHL would be making major world news about….yep, just how completely
broken the league is down to its core. And even with Panarin fortunately escaping that horrific result and Wilson and the league’s undeserved good luck in his doing so, the underlying issues are the NHL’s massive ongoing case of denial re: head injuries, and their prioritization of promoting goons into the position to undermine, not protect, player safety. Don Fehr and the NHLPA narrowly escaped major scrutiny too over how little they seem to care about stopping behavior that shortens careers and lives.

Traikos might as well have written: hey come on, Panarin’s head wasn’t quite the point of impact - we’re all good here, right? It’s hard to believe some of these guys write about the NHL for a living. He comes off as a PR hack.

Posted by lefty.30 on 05/07/21 at 12:41 PM ET

utahgentile's avatar

[/quotethe proficiency of shot blocking suckled a lot of entertainment value out of the game.

Hear! Hear!  I will often watch the scores searching for a tie at the end of regulation.  Even though it’s been dumbed down too, there is nothing like 3 on 3 hockey.

Posted by utahgentile from the land of white and delightsome people on 05/07/21 at 12:49 PM ET

Thag's avatar

“...unprotected and completely mismatched opponent.”

You do realize that Panarin was assessed a roughing penalty for attacking Wilson, don’t you?

You know why Wayne Gretzky was never thrown down in a goal scrum? Because he didn’t attack someone with 6 inches and 50 pounds on him.

Dude, are you drooling when you write these mini-essays about how Tom Wilson is the worst human since Hitler? Are you hyperventilating? Do you sleep at night, or do you just roll around thinking about what a monster Tom Wilson is?

Do you ever enjoy watching hockey?

Take a break. Breathe in, breathe out.


Posted by Thag from DC on 05/07/21 at 01:49 PM ET

Thag's avatar

I don’t know how you police it out, but IMO the proficiency of shot blocking suckled a lot of entertainment value out of the game.

So true. I’m not sure how to police this, but if they made shot blocking and traps illegal, scoring would probably double instantly.

Posted by Thag from DC on 05/07/21 at 01:56 PM ET


Want more scoring, add 6 inches of height to the net.
Make it so goalies have to decide to stay on their feet or be down low.  Give me more Hasek. Goalies today are straight process driven.  Make them have to react more.

Posted by Ventr on 05/07/21 at 02:51 PM ET


I’d say add it to the width as well Ventr. Ken Dryden wrote a great piece in The Atlantic earlier this year about making great goalies show their athleticism rather than playing from their knees. The more places you can score from on the ice makes the D defend differently as well. Just like the 3 point shot, and stretch big men that can take advantage of it,  has opened up basketball, being able to consistently be dangerous from further out could draw some shotblockers away from the net.

Posted by Trade Deadline Rental on 05/07/21 at 04:38 PM ET

Add a Comment

Please limit embedded image or media size to 575 pixels wide.

Add your own avatar by joining Kukla's Korner, or logging in and uploading one in your member control panel.

Captchas bug you? Join KK or log in and you won't have to bother.


Notify me of follow-up comments?


Most Recent Blog Posts

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.

Email Paul anytime at pk@kuklaskorner.com