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Thursday, April 15, 2010

OT: NHL Playoff Thread

I estimate that only 10-12 Primates care about the NHL Playoffs, but with our own thread, we won’t detract from what this site is really about: the NBA playoffs and Pavement’s discography.

Cabbage Posted: April 15, 2010 at 03:44 PM | 1758 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1501. Flynn Posted: April 18, 2012 at 10:08 AM (#4109508)
I would love a general interest hockey site with as much informed discussion as BTF.

Right now, it's HFBoards.com, which does have some good posters, but a whole lotta crap surrounding it.
   1502. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: April 18, 2012 at 10:14 AM (#4109514)
It's less about *when* Torres hit Hossa and more about *how* he hit him- leaving his feet, and aiming his shoulder directly at Hossa's head.

Torres interfered with Hossa (*), which is to say Rule 56, governing interference, calls for a minor penalty for impeding a player who doesn't have the puck. I have no idea how that rule came to be so thoroughly ignored. (I know, I know, "finishing your check." No such thing is allowed by the rules of the sport.)

Nor is the interference even a close call -- Hossa was nowhere near the puck when he was hit, and wasn't battling to get the puck.

(*) He did a lot worse than that, obviously.



   1503. CWS Keith plans to boo your show at the Apollo Posted: April 18, 2012 at 10:27 AM (#4109528)
Seems to me it also could have been charging, although the language there is bit more ambiguous than that of interference. I'm not sure I even know what is and isn't interference anymore. I see guys dump the puck in and try and chase it, only for the defender to divert him in the direction of the boards, yet no whistle. Maybe they need to crack down just as they did post-lockout with hooking -- any contact at all with a guy who doesn't have the puck is a penalty. I don't think I'd like the resulting powerplay fest, but maybe after a year or two you'd see tangible improvement as guys got used to the "new rules".
   1504. starving to death with a full STEAGLES Posted: April 18, 2012 at 11:34 AM (#4109594)
The thought that someone should make a serious run at hurting Crosby did cross my mind, but I don't want that. Instead,I'd just hope that Crosby smartens up and realizes that he doesn't need to do any extracurricular b.s. and make himself any more of a target than he already is.
i just want to clarify my earlier statement.

if wayne simmonds comes out on the first shift of the game and puts an elbow into crosby's ear, that is not something that i will defend. likewise, if the game is played clean for 55 minutes, and simmonds takes that same run, again, that is not something i will defend.

but pittsburgh has been taking run after run after run at flyers players (briere, grossmann, jagr schenn, couturier, hartnell, giroux), and if that continues into tonight's game, then there's gonna be some serious bloodlust in my head.
   1505. Shredder Posted: April 18, 2012 at 11:53 AM (#4109620)
Right now, it's HFBoards.com, which does have some good posters, but a whole lotta crap surrounding it.
HFBoards is good if I just want a quick neutral take on something. I spend a fair amount of time at LetsGoKings.com, and for something like the Dustin Brown hit on Henrik Sedin (which even Sedin and Vingeault said was clean), while there are plenty of Kings and Canucks fans commenting there, there's enough fans of neither team that you can get a sense of what they're thinking around the league. I only need a couple pages of that, though. I don't need like 50 pages of it.
I see guys dump the puck in and try and chase it, only for the defender to divert him in the direction of the boards, yet no whistle.
It's a judgment call, but the ref is going to give the defenseman a second or so to divert the guy. It's partly for the safety of the other d-man. But I've seen it called a few times this year (especially on Drew Doughty) when the d-man waits a second or two too long before making contact. A lot of times you can see the indecision on the part of the d-man, and if I can see it, I'm sure the ref can see it, and that's when it gets called. Checking a guy who just played the puck is legal, just as it's legal to check a guy who hasn't touched the puck if the ref feels he could have played it.

As for the Torres hit, it's charging based on the fact that he left his feet. I think in that sense it was a dirty hit, but it was pretty close to the time that Hossa had played the puck. As for the contact to the head, despite Torres' history, my instinct is to think that the head wasn't targeted. Guys are moving very fast out there, and I'm sure it's actually hard to hit what you're aiming for, so I'll give him the benefit of the doubt on intent. But hitting that high is reckless, and making contact to the head is result that should be reasonably expected to occur. That makes a hit like that per se dirty, because even if an injury isn't intended, it's likely to result. I'd have no problem seeing a long suspension for Torres.
   1506. starving to death with a full STEAGLES Posted: April 18, 2012 at 12:06 PM (#4109632)
Seems to me it also could have been charging, although the language there is bit more ambiguous than that of interference. I'm not sure I even know what is and isn't interference anymore. I see guys dump the puck in and try and chase it, only for the defender to divert him in the direction of the boards, yet no whistle. Maybe they need to crack down just as they did post-lockout with hooking -- any contact at all with a guy who doesn't have the puck is a penalty. I don't think I'd like the resulting powerplay fest, but maybe after a year or two you'd see tangible improvement as guys got used to the "new rules".
i think that's a terrible idea. the reason that kind of interference is allowed is because it makes the players safer by not having 200lb missiles flying 150 ft across the rink to throw an unabated check at a defensemen whose back is turned.


anyway, one of the things i'm really starting to hate the figleaf that is the head-contact excuse. i just am dumbfounded at how people can say that because there was no head contact, it was a clean hit, or that because the head contact was unintended, there shouldn't be a suspension. as i've said before in this thread, whiplash is just as dangerous (and i might actually argue that it is more dangerous than the initial contact), and whether a hit is to the head or chest, if the head and neck snap back when a player falls to the ice, that "clean" hit still has career-ending potential.
   1507. zack Posted: April 18, 2012 at 12:24 PM (#4109651)
As for the Torres hit, it's charging based on the fact that he left his feet. I think in that sense it was a dirty hit, but it was pretty close to the time that Hossa had played the puck. As for the contact to the head, despite Torres' history, my instinct is to think that the head wasn't targeted.


I'm already so burnt out on this hit that I probably won't watch any hockey for a few days, but that hit was as dirty as they come. .83 seconds is an enternity in hockey, and if you watch the play again you'll see Torres skate around Mayers, who has the puck, to hit Hossa, who no longer does. He was still turning when contact was made. It was deliberate and interference (as well as charging and rule 49).

Man I wish this thread weren't 16 pages of talking about dirty plays and suspensions.
   1508. Shredder Posted: April 18, 2012 at 12:24 PM (#4109653)
as i've said before in this thread, whiplash is just as dangerous (and i might actually argue that it is more dangerous than the initial contact), and whether a hit is to the head or chest, if the head and neck snap back when a player falls to the ice, that "clean" hit still has career-ending potential.
And as others have pointed out, if you're going to get rid of hits with the potential to cause a whiplash effect, you're basically going to get rid of all hitting. Virtually every hit has this potential. I like a system that holds the hitter accountable for dangerous hits that are avoidable, but that doesn't get rid of all hitting. Virtually every hit is designed to take an opponent from moving to not moving. The hits most likely to cause whiplash (hits from behind) are already illegal. If you can't hit a guy in the shoulder for fear of causing whiplash, pretty much all that's left are hipchecks. And while the responsibility for avoiding head shots is almost entirely on the hitter, let's not forget that on most hits, the player being hit still bears some responsibility for being aware of his surroundings and not putting himself in a bad position.
.83 seconds is an enternity in hockey, and if you watch the play again you'll see Torres skate around Mayers, who has the puck, to hit Hossa, who no longer does.
Fine. That's not the way it looks to me, but I don't really have a dog in this fight. To me it looks like Torres is lining him up, the puck get tipped off of Hossa's stick by Coyote, Hossa goes after it, and Torres hits him. I'd venture to guess that if Torres stays on the ice, hits him lower, and Hossa pops back up, even if the refs had been looking right at it, no way would interference have been called. You can argue that's a bad interpretation of the rule, but that's almost certainly the way it would have been called. Part of the problem is that Torres is looking directly at Hossa and not at the puck. If he sees him going to pass the puck to Mayers, maybe Torres backs off. But because he lost the puck and took a stride to recover it as it went to Mayers, he looked more like a player trying to play the puck than a guy who had just given it up.

   1509. starving to death with a full STEAGLES Posted: April 18, 2012 at 12:41 PM (#4109676)
And as others have pointed out, if you're going to get rid of hits with the potential to cause a whiplash effect, you're basically going to get rid of all hitting. Virtually every hit has this potential. I like a system that holds the hitter accountable for dangerous hits that are avoidable, but that doesn't get rid of all hitting. Virtually every hit is designed to take an opponent from moving to not moving. The hits most likely to cause whiplash (hits from behind) are already illegal. If you can't hit a guy in the shoulder for fear of causing whiplash, pretty much all that's left are hipchecks. And while the responsibility for avoiding head shots is almost entirely on the hitter, let's not forget that on most hits, the player being hit still bears some responsibility for being aware of his surroundings and not putting himself in a bad position.

i think, when evaluating the degree of danger from an individual hit, the potential for whiplash needs to be a much more prominent criteria.

if i was in charge of discipline, my criteria would be something like this:
is it illegal?
is it avoidable?
is it dangerous?
is it malicious?
is it premeditated?
is it outside the flow of play?


i agree that if you take the potential for whiplash into account when evaluating the danger of an individual hit, it will make almost every hit a dangerous one, but i think these other criteria would go a long way towards clarifying the difference between a not awful hit and an awful one.
   1510. Shredder Posted: April 18, 2012 at 12:51 PM (#4109693)
Every single check thrown in the history of NHL has by definition been avoidable and premeditated, and every single one has involved some element of danger. I fail to see the point of the criteria. If it's malicious and/or outside the flow of play, in all likelihood it's already illegal.
   1511. Gaelan Posted: April 18, 2012 at 12:53 PM (#4109698)
Shanahan is a ####### disgrace. There aren't words how awful the decision to not punish Neal was. I'd say that the best thing to happen now is for a star to get seriously hurt. Except a star did just get seriously hurt last night and the apologists are out in full force this morning.

Torres hit was brutal. 0.83 seconds is a very long time. That said, it wasn't much worse than Neal's hit on Couturier so it's going to be pretty capricious when Shanahan gives him a serious punishment.

This should be the best playoffs in years but I'm this close to not watching anymore. What outrages me isn't so much the violence (though the injuries are a very bad thing), it is the manifest injustice and unfairness of it all.

You can't have a sport in which the game is rigged and the NHL is becoming rigged by vicious attempts to injure that the NHL is unwilling to do anything about. At the end of the day the champion won't be the best team, it will be whatever team managed to survive with the fewest injuries. That's not sport.
   1512. CWS Keith plans to boo your show at the Apollo Posted: April 18, 2012 at 01:00 PM (#4109706)
i think that's a terrible idea. the reason that kind of interference is allowed is because it makes the players safer by not having 200lb missiles flying 150 ft across the rink to throw an unabated check at a defensemen whose back is turned.


Huh? I don't see how that follows. In any case, they already have penalties to deal with that -- boarding and/or charging.

...which isn't to say that it's enforced that way (as in, by the book), and that's what really matters. As I said above, I'm largely confused by what is and isn't a penalty -- especially in the playoffs -- except for high-sticking. Even slashing confuses me -- I see Dave Bolland always taking whacks at opponents' hands/wrists in an attempt to pry the puck loose. Is the standard there simply whether the stick breaks?

EDIT: And, although I don't necessarily disagree with the thought process behind the questions posed in 1509, I think it leaves far too much room for interpretation. I'd guess a system like that would result in punishments no less arbitrary that the current system.
   1513. CWS Keith plans to boo your show at the Apollo Posted: April 18, 2012 at 01:10 PM (#4109712)
Not to get into a pissing contest here, but I think Weber's head slam on Zetterberg has been the biggest transgression so far. He takes Zetterberg's head in his hand, slams it against the boards WWE-turnbuckle-style, and all he gets is a $2,500 fine? What a joke.
   1514. Shredder Posted: April 18, 2012 at 01:23 PM (#4109726)
and all he gets is a $2,500 fine?
The amount of the fine is irrelevant. $2,500 is the max under the CBA. He probably should have been suspended, but I wouldn't use the amount of the fine as a criticism against Shanahan. He CAN'T fine him any more than that. But by all means, criticize the fact that he wasn't suspended. You won't get an argument from me.
   1515. DA Baracus Posted: April 18, 2012 at 01:23 PM (#4109727)
I would love a general interest hockey site with as much informed discussion as BTF.

Right now, it's HFBoards.com, which does have some good posters, but a whole lotta crap surrounding it.


HFBoards was good years ago, but now it's overrun by children and they've pushed a lot of good posters out. Those who grew fed up with their antics started HFBroads which used to be just a huge HFBoards ######### but hasn't been for a few years. We've got different style of humor that may turn some off, but the whole site is loose, there's a ton of freedom to say and do what you want. The main board isn't that busy but the teams we have good representation of (the Canadian teams, the Flyers and the Avalanche) they're always busy. I see a bunch of Hawks fans here so I figured maybe you'd like a board you can run free on.

I'll stop shilling now.

Shanahan's explanations for the suspensions were absurd, he dug the league into a bigger hole.
   1516. starving to death with a full STEAGLES Posted: April 18, 2012 at 01:37 PM (#4109746)
raffi torres was suspended indefinitely pending a hearing for last night's hit. i'm thinking that's gotta mean that he'll be suspended for at least 2 whole games.

   1517. squatoh Posted: April 18, 2012 at 01:47 PM (#4109756)
raffi torres was suspended indefinitely pending a hearing for last night's hit. i'm thinking that's gotta mean that he'll be suspended for at least 2 whole games.


The Chicago Tribune reports "The league said the hearing originally was scheduled for Thursday but was deferred [until Friday] at the request of Torres and the NHLPA. The in-person hearing for Torres means the suspension could be longer than six games."
   1518. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: April 18, 2012 at 02:13 PM (#4109776)
Torres is behind the play and peels away from the puck to cheapshot Hossa. Plain as day. The puck was irrelevant to him and the play was irrelevant to him, which means ... he wasn't playing hockey.

I can't begin to see the logic in: intentional cheapshots to the head unrelated to play against defenseless player -- well, it happens, hitting's part of the game; two guys fighting face to face -- crime against humanity.
   1519. baudib Posted: April 18, 2012 at 02:50 PM (#4109810)
I read a note on Rotoworld that Zetterberg linked the non-suspension of Weber and subsequent dirty plays that have gone on in other series.

Seems obvious that Shanahan uses a star system and if you're an important player like Neal or Weber, you will get away with a lot more than if you're Asham.
   1520. The Kentucky Gentleman, Mark Edward Posted: April 18, 2012 at 02:53 PM (#4109815)
Torres is behind the play and peels away from the puck to cheapshot Hossa. Plain as day. The puck was irrelevant to him and the play was irrelevant to him, which means ... he wasn't playing hockey.


Right. CSN Chicago had a great camera angle from behind the play. Torres begins his route from (what I believe was) Phoenix's attacking zone, skates through the neutral zone to line up Hossa, and plows into him.

Again, I'm more concerned about how Torres hit Hossa rather than when he hit him. If Torres just legally checks Hossa a few milliseconds after he loses the puck Raffi gets an interference penalty and Marian doesn't leave the ice on a stretcher.
   1521. baudib Posted: April 18, 2012 at 02:54 PM (#4109817)
I read a note on Rotoworld that Zetterberg linked the non-suspension of Weber and subsequent dirty plays that have gone on in other series.

Seems obvious that Shanahan uses a star system and if you're an important player like Neal or Weber, you will get away with a lot more than if you're Asham.
   1522. ASmitty Posted: April 18, 2012 at 03:06 PM (#4109836)
The suspension system in the NHL is just batshit crazy.

Last year, the NFL ejected Nndamukong Suh from a game and suspended him for an an eighth of the season without pay for stomping on someone's arm.

In the NHL, you can INTENTIONALLY SMASH SOMEONE'S FACE INTO THE BOARDS and it's not even an ejection.

The NHL needs to realize that they're the authority figures here and establish some control over the game. I cannot even begin to understand the idiotic, macho thought process that leads people to believe that sanctioned bare-knuckle boxing and dueling cheaphots to the skull are an effective means of policing the game.

People's lives and health are on the line here, and the competitive balance of the game is totally compromised. It's not a sport if a legitimate strategy is maiming the other team's best player.
   1523. starving to death with a full STEAGLES Posted: April 18, 2012 at 09:38 PM (#4110219)
that was more of the kind of game that i was expecting before the series started. the flyers had 5 PKs in a 12 minute span at the start of the 2nd period and the penguins PP turned a 4-3 game into a 7-3 game.


credit to the penguins, though. they didn't come in and goon it up from the opening whistle, they came out and beat the flyers with their skill.



as for rinaldo...well, he got a game misconduct for being rinaldo. i can't imagine that any kind of suspension will come out of that.
   1524. Famous Original Joe C Posted: April 18, 2012 at 09:58 PM (#4110236)
When was the last time a playoff series had three straight games with one team scoring at least eight? Has that *ever* happened?
   1525. baudib Posted: April 19, 2012 at 01:35 AM (#4110303)
I would bet it happened, probably involving a team with Gretzky.
   1526. baudib Posted: April 19, 2012 at 02:31 AM (#4110314)
I'm seriously nervous about the Pens coming back and winning the thing.

1985, Oilers vs. Blackhawks scores:

EDM 11-2
EDM 7-3
CHI 5-2
CHI 8-6
EDM 10-5
EDM 8-2
   1527. MHS Posted: April 19, 2012 at 07:25 AM (#4110333)
The NHL needs to realize that they're the authority figures here and establish some control over the game. I cannot even begin to understand the idiotic, macho thought process that leads people to believe that sanctioned bare-knuckle boxing and dueling cheaphots to the skull are an effective means of policing the game.


I hate sentiment like this. The physicality, and the self policing of the NHL is what makes it the best sports league in the world. It's a sport for men. Where players and fans get justice and retribution real time, in a public in a  uniquely masculine way.  We live in a culture where the population looks more and more  to  authority figures to solve  their problems, to the great detriment of civilization, the NHL does not need significantly more of that. 

With that said, I hope the executives of the league find a way to tweak the rules, equipment, and supplemental discipline process to mitigate some of the risks possed by concusions. That they can do this without gutting the game of physicality, and toughness. 

   1528. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: April 19, 2012 at 07:50 AM (#4110337)

as for rinaldo...well, he got a game misconduct for being rinaldo. i can't imagine that any kind of suspension will come out of that.


Doesn't the game misconduct come with an automatic one game suspension?
   1529. ASmitty Posted: April 19, 2012 at 07:52 AM (#4110338)
I hate sentiment like this. The physicality, and the self policing of the NHL is what makes it the best sports league in the world. It's a sport for men. Where players and fans get justice and retribution real time, in a public in a uniquely masculine way.


This is just...ridiculous to me. "You concussed my guy so I'm going to concuss your guy so you're going to concuss my guy so I'm going to concuss your guy so you're going to concuss my guy..."

It's the freaking Hatfields and McCoys out there. If you think that's uniquely masculine, than I think you have a pretty low view of mankind.

Hockey IS physical, it IS tough, and it can stay that way without sanctioned fighting and people smashing other people's heads into the glass. You think football isn't tough and physical? Rugby? Hell, even ANY OTHER LEVEL OF HOCKEY? And yet in none of those sports do you see refs patiently circling two guys while they punch each other in the face at close range like children having a temper tantrum.

If you think hockey would be worse without Hossa being carted off the ice, or Steve Bertuzzi breaking a guy's neck from behind, then I guess we'll have to agree to disagree.
   1530. MHS Posted: April 19, 2012 at 08:17 AM (#4110343)
If you think hockey would be worse without Hossa being carted off the ice, or Steve Bertuzzi breaking a guy's neck from behind, then I guess we'll have to agree to disagree.


Where did I say that? One can believe that those plays are wrong, though Torres play isn't in the same league as the others and still respect, enjoy and believe the self policing is benificial.
   1531. ASmitty Posted: April 19, 2012 at 08:30 AM (#4110347)
Where did I say that?


Honestly, that part was unecessary snark on my part, and not very productive.

self policing is benificial


I still don't see it. Self policing is almost always an escalating cycle where each side has to keep getting revenge for the other side's revenge. If the NHL polices the game, guys have to sit out. If the players police the game, people get brain injuries.

Maybe self-policing worked in a moere restrained era, but it's becoming patently clear that guys are out looking to hurt people. Hockey is great because of the combination of finesse and toughness, but the macho antics of the game are driving out the skillful feats. A manly way to win a game is by outplaying the other side, not by trying to injure the opponent's best players or by penalizing your own team through your desire to extract vengeance.
   1532. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: April 19, 2012 at 08:31 AM (#4110348)
This is just...ridiculous to me. "You concussed my guy so I'm going to concuss your guy so you're going to concuss my guy so I'm going to concuss your guy so you're going to concuss my guy..."

That's not really the claim; the claim is that concussions will go way down if the cheapshot artists know they'll get the crap kicked out of them if they cheapshot someone. The problem now is that the players aren't allowed to police themselves. The best way to stop a Matt Cooke or Raffi Torres is for a modern-day Clark Gillies or Larry Robinson to beat the #### out of him, without suffering the ridiculous "instigator" penalty.(*)

The "let the authorities take care of discipline" model has been a dreadful failure. The referees didn't even call a penalty on Torres. How is that possible? (I guess it's possible in part because the cheapshot was so far from the actual play that the refs weren't focused on it, which is rather inherent to cheapshots justified as "finishing your check.")

(*) I'd agree that immediately ejecting them and suspending them for something like half a season would be better, but that's Fantasyland. It's never going to happen.

   1533. ASmitty Posted: April 19, 2012 at 08:42 AM (#4110353)
The best way to stop a Matt Cooke or Raffi Torres is for a modern-day Clark Gillies or Larry Robinson to beat the #### out of him, without suffering the ridiculous "instigator" penalty.(*)


Except that you often see enforcers go after guys for dealing out perfectly legal, albeit brutal, hits. Which is just petty bullying and not really self-policing.

The test case here is already the NFL, as they've been trying to reduce headshots for the last few years now with some success and some consternation. I actually think the nature and equipment involved in hockey makes legislating headshots out of existence far easier than in the NFL, so if the NFL can have some success, the NHL should be able to have quite a bit more.
   1534. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: April 19, 2012 at 08:52 AM (#4110358)
Except that you often see enforcers go after guys for dealing out perfectly legal, albeit brutal, hits.

I don't have a problem with that.(*) The extent to which hitting is "part of the culture of the game" is vastly overstated. Hits with concussion potential have traditionally been a tiny fraction of what they are today. Open ice hits like Cooke on Savard or Torres on Hossa were essentially non-existent until recently. The game doesn't need them and I don't see how anyone can prefer them to two guys dropping their gloves and squaring off.

(*) Edmonton put Dave Semenko on Gretzky's line and Semenko basically said, "You touch him, you get me." Which is fine. I want to see Gretzky skate and make plays, not have his career kneecapped by a punk like Raffi Torres.
   1535. ASmitty Posted: April 19, 2012 at 09:05 AM (#4110366)
(*) Edmonton put Dave Semenko on Gretzky's line and Semenko basically said, "You touch him, you get me." Which is fine. I want to see Gretzky skate and make plays, not have his career kneecapped by a punk like Raffi Torres.


But what if the play on Gretzky was perfectly clean? The idea "if you make a legal play that impedes a player on my team, then I will batter you with my fists" seems to me to be the antithesis of sporting behavior.

Enforcers are necessary in hockey, but by and large they are necessary only because the NHL is so impotent. I mean, I suppose I'd rather have vigalantes than no law at all, but I'd rather have a high-functioning police force and no vigalantes anyday.
   1536. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: April 19, 2012 at 09:16 AM (#4110370)
But what if the play on Gretzky was perfectly clean?

Clean, how? Very few hits are truly "clean," properly defined, which is: the force necessary to accomplish a hockey task. Contrary to all that we hear, hockey really isn't a game of hitting. It's a game of contact, but controlled contact, which is why there are prohibitions against charging and boarding.

And let's face it -- if punks like Torres and Cooke didn't have the advantage of someone like Gretzky not seeing them they wouldn't be able to hit him. If Gretzky's skating with his head up, he'd go around a cheap pylon like Torres without breaking a sweat. The only way the Savards and Hossas and Gretzkys get hit is because they don't know the hit is coming.
   1537. ASmitty Posted: April 19, 2012 at 09:35 AM (#4110384)
The only way the Savards and Hossas and Gretzkys get hit is because they don't know the hit is coming.


If you're going to operate under the assumption that it is physically impossible to cleanly check a star player, and that therefore any hit on a star is an offense for which bare-knuckled ass-kicking is justified, then I'm not quite sure how to discuss the issue with you any further than I have. Self-policing can turn into petty, unsportsmanlike bullying really, really easily.

Headshots via charging, elbowing, boarding, etc. should be dealt with the same way the NFL deals with headshots to defenseless players. Fine them once, then break out the ever-increasuing suspensions.
   1538. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: April 19, 2012 at 09:48 AM (#4110396)
Headshots via charging, elbowing, boarding, etc. should be dealt with the same way the NFL deals with headshots to defenseless players. Fine them once, then break out the ever-increasuing suspensions.

Nah, I could care less about Raffi Torres's bank account and I want to see Crosby and Hossa play, not sit around for a year waiting for the cobwebs to clear out of their heads. Nor is a meager fine any sort of justice for inflicting a cheapshot concussion and the idea that it is is laughable.

The concussions we see today are almost all the result of non-hockey plays where the concussed player wasn't even looking. Scott Stevens started it and it's grown into an entirely unnecessary epidemic. Youtube the Stevens cheapshot on Kariya in the '03 Finals where Kariya wasn't looking at him; John Davidson's spontaneous reaction was, "Guys, that's interference." Which it is.

If you're going to operate under the assumption that it is physically impossible to cleanly check a star player

It is indeed nearly impossible for a guy like Raffi Torres to deliver a hard hit to a guy like Wayne Gretzky if Gretzky sees him coming, and no purpose is served by allowing someone like Raffi Torres to hit Wayne Gretzky unnecessarily hard. That isn't hockey, never was hockey, and shouldn't be hockey.
   1539. Shredder Posted: April 19, 2012 at 10:03 AM (#4110410)
The idea "if you make a legal play that impedes a player on my team, then I will batter you with my fists" seems to me to be the antithesis of sporting behavior.
Is it legal for a batter to look behind him before a pitch to see where the catcher is setting up? Is there a rule against a player on second base relaying location (or even pitch type) information to a batter? These things are clearly within the rules of baseball. These things will also lead to baseballs being thrown very hard at people's bodies, and often their heads. There are plenty of things that are "legal" that will lead to retaliation.
   1540. zack Posted: April 19, 2012 at 10:16 AM (#4110420)
This all well and good, but Bollig (Chicago's goon) did immediately go after Torres and lay in to him, and got 2+2 for it. And they went after him last year when he tried to decapitate Seabrook. 15 seconds of punches in the face is not a deterrant to a compulsive shitstain like Torres and the refs aren't going to let some goon crack his skull. I guarantee you Shane Doan went up to Torres later in that game and lauded his actions, and #### like this is exactly why Phoenix hired him.

Players policing themselves doesn't work. You have to hit 'em where it hurts, in the wallet.
   1541. zack Posted: April 19, 2012 at 10:27 AM (#4110435)
I would go so far as to say that the only reason Bollig was dressing in the first two games was to try and deter Torres (from Toews especially). If they were playing Detroit or San Jose or LA he'd be in the press box.
   1542. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: April 19, 2012 at 10:32 AM (#4110438)
This all well and good, but Bollig (Chicago's goon) did immediately go after Torres and lay in to him, and got 2+2 for it.

Yeah, but the 2+2 is batshit stupid. Torres should have been fair game to get pummeled every time he stepped foot on the ice, no instigator. And not just Torres, but one of Phoenix's good players.

Hitting his wallet or even suspending him isn't going to stop this ####. Phoenix is perfectly happy losing Torres if he can take somebody like Hossa with him. Odds are very high that's the whole point.
   1543. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: April 19, 2012 at 10:33 AM (#4110440)
I would go so far as to say that the only reason Bollig was dressing in the first two games was to try and deter Torres (from Toews especially). If they were playing Detroit or San Jose or LA he'd be in the press box.

But it's not really a deterrent if the Chicago guy's going to get an instigator penalty.
   1544. zack Posted: April 19, 2012 at 10:38 AM (#4110447)
You are describing Fight Club. I want to watch a hockey game at some point. That, and like I just said, no amount of threats or fighting deters that behaviour, so it accomplishes nothing. The first game of the series, every time they were on the ice together Bollig was telling Raffi what would happen if he did something like this. Sure was effective.

The only way you'll change behavior is by changing the incentives, for the dirty players and the teams. You're crazy if you don't think Torres does it for the money, and would quickly stop if threatned with losing his wages. I'm not talking a $2,500 fine, I mean like half or a full season's wages. And Phoenix sure as hell doesn't have money to be backing up big fines.
   1545. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: April 19, 2012 at 10:46 AM (#4110454)
I'm not talking a $2,500 fine, I mean like half or a full season's wages.

I agree, but that's Fantasyland. There's less than zero institutional support for 40 and 80 game suspensions for those kind of hits. Anything more than 5-6 games and you'll hear the "hitting is part of the culture" faction ##### long and loud about the suspension. (And, honestly, there's no real precedent for it; Torres didn't do anything materially worse than the typical late cheapshot hit.)

You are describing Fight Club. I want to watch a hockey game at some point.

You will, because under my ground rules the hits won't happen in the first place. NHL hockey was played for decades without them.
   1546. zack Posted: April 19, 2012 at 10:56 AM (#4110467)
You will, because under my ground rules the hits won't happen in the first place. NHL hockey was played for decades without them.


That was because of a culture change (as well as an equipment change), not because of the instigator. You have the cause and effect mixed up. I agree that the instigator rule is stupid on its face, but that's because it makes no sense, not because it materially effects the way people play.

I agree, but that's Fantasyland. There's less than zero institutional support for 40 and 80 game suspensions for those kind of hits. Anything more than 5-6 games and you'll hear the "hitting is part of the culture" faction ##### long and loud about the suspension. (And, honestly, there's no real precedent for it; Torres didn't do anything materially worse than the typical late cheapshot hit.)


Quick, name the one noted headshot artist to reform in recent years. Why did he reform? Because he was essentially threatened with being thrown out of the league. It wasn't because Evander Kane kicked the crap out of him. And like Cooke, Torres is now a serial offender (Hossa, Seabrook, Eberle, Nate Prosser, Milan Michalek, Andrew Ference, Couturier and Jan Hejda).

Again, you're crazy if you don't think it's all about the money. Last year there were how many articles about goons, and how almost none of them actually enjoyed fighting, they just do it because that's the only way they can play. Bollig, for example, has about 15 guys ahead of him on the depth chart if he wasn't willing to be repeatedly punched in the face. He grins the entire time. Probably because he knows that it is making him $545k, instead of the $67k he deserves in the AHL.

Getting punched in the face is not a deterrent for these guys, it's a job requirement. If you wanted the players to actually police themselves, you'd need to allow stickwork and pile-ons, the ability to maim.

   1547. Papa Squid Posted: April 19, 2012 at 10:59 AM (#4110469)
I thought this was a really thoughtful blogpost on the Torres hit, and I pretty much see it the same way.

http://www.mc79hockey.com/?p=4601

In other words, Torres isn’t really the problem. The problem, to the extent that there is one, is a system of rules that renders guys fair game for a long time after they get rid of the puck. The problem is a mishmash rule about when you can hit a guy in the head. As long as hits like the Torres hit can be within a step of being legal, guys are going to miss their assessment of the line and cross it. When you draw these lines, you have to allow for some user error – it’s a fast game. Drawing the lines where the NHL has drawn them, you’re just begging for incidents like Torres on Hossa. The easy thing to do afterwards is to pretend that Torres is a really dirty player and that he always has been.


   1548. Moses Taylor, Moses Taylor Posted: April 19, 2012 at 11:22 AM (#4110485)
The easy thing to do afterwards is to pretend that Torres is a really dirty player and that he always has been.

Only reading the excerpt, I disagree with this part. As zack pointed out in the post before yours, Torres has an extended history of being dirty. The Canucks fans that are calling Duncan Keith a dirty player for his hit on Daniel Sedin are falling into this trap though.
   1549. Cabbage Posted: April 19, 2012 at 11:25 AM (#4110490)
I, for one, blame Don Cherry.
   1550. zack Posted: April 19, 2012 at 11:28 AM (#4110493)
Surprisingly, Cherry was actually reaming Torres for that hit just like everyone else. At least I think he was, Cherry's getting a little...hard to understand. I pity the Scott Stevens...fool who has to...blargh aghhabab Stevens...transcribe his gibberish.
   1551. Papa Squid Posted: April 19, 2012 at 12:00 PM (#4110514)
About that line -- and I'm really not interested in defending Torres, because I'm not -- is that a lot of guys who are rushing to villify Torres were praising him for those earlier hits. It's a little bit revisionist for some to retroactively call some of these hits dirty when at the time, they were considered clean, if borderline. He specifically calls out Mark Spector on this, but makes the point that this type of commentary isn't really limited to Spector.
   1552. The Kentucky Gentleman, Mark Edward Posted: April 19, 2012 at 12:12 PM (#4110527)

On another note... Brandon Saad might be playing tonight. I'm not sure if he'll make much of a difference, considering Hossa's out & Toews doesn't look 100%, but I'm excited to see him play in the NHL.
   1553. SouthSideRyan Posted: April 19, 2012 at 12:32 PM (#4110548)
I think it's definite that Saad is in.
   1554. zack Posted: April 19, 2012 at 03:01 PM (#4110717)
Apparently OD-Hjalmarsson is going to be the third pairing, and Brunette-Mayers-Bollig the 4th line. 3 straight OT games, the team visibly exhausted in the last one, and get ready for 8 minutes from that pair and 6 from that line. That'll end well.
   1555. baudib Posted: April 19, 2012 at 03:07 PM (#4110726)
Flyers may be getting Van Riemsdyk back. However, Nick Grossmann is probably out. It's been reported that he suffered a concussion after leaving the game after being elbowed in the head by Malkin.
   1556. baudib Posted: April 19, 2012 at 03:12 PM (#4110733)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EPToHy3tSEs

Here's the hit. Seems borderline enough that there's zero chance that someone of Malkin's stature will be punished at all.
   1557. Copronymus Posted: April 19, 2012 at 04:55 PM (#4110868)
Apparently OD-Hjalmarsson is going to be the third pairing, and Brunette-Mayers-Bollig the 4th line. 3 straight OT games, the team visibly exhausted in the last one, and get ready for 8 minutes from that pair and 6 from that line. That'll end well.


I've never thought Quenneville was that great of a coach, and it's crap like this that's why. I get that injuries have hurt the team's depth, but Bollig, Olsen, and Mayers in Game 3 combined for barely more than the total ice time of the Brunette, who had the lowest ice time of anyone taking a regular shift. Dressing people for 8 shifts is killing this team more than giving 11 minutes of ice time to Saad or Morin or whoever possibly could.
   1558. Cabbage Posted: April 20, 2012 at 11:38 AM (#4111273)
I've never thought Quenneville was that great of a coach, and it's crap like this that's why. I get that injuries have hurt the team's depth, but Bollig, Olsen, and Mayers in Game 3 combined for barely more than the total ice time of the Brunette, who had the lowest ice time of anyone taking a regular shift. Dressing people for 8 shifts is killing this team more than giving 11 minutes of ice time to Saad or Morin or whoever possibly could.

I agree. You could see the team losing steam throughout the game. They got a real boost after their first goal, but that couldn't last forever and they just looked gassed by the time OT started. They're so skilled, they could have won anyway, but the possibility of losing only existed because they were so overworked.
   1559. zack Posted: April 20, 2012 at 01:01 PM (#4111364)
So there's a good chance Nashville, St. Louis, Phoenix and LA will be the WC teams in the next round. Playoffs like it's 1999! Long live the trap!
   1560. Gaelan Posted: April 20, 2012 at 01:02 PM (#4111366)
Fighting is not a deterrent. No one ever gets hurt in a hockey fight. Blaming the instigator rule is silly.
   1561. starving to death with a full STEAGLES Posted: April 20, 2012 at 07:04 PM (#4111834)
Fighting is not a deterrent. No one ever gets hurt in a hockey fight. Blaming the instigator rule is silly.
tell that to todd fedoruk


i'm not really confident about tonight's game. bryz looks really slow in net, and there's whispers about problems with his right foot and with his hip. grossman was hit in the head twice in game 4 on deliberate runs by cooke and malkin, and he's out of the lineup. grossman was playing really, really well, and the flyers were already playing without pronger and meszaros, so they're looking pretty shaky all across the back end.


it'd be really awesome if bryz could steal this game and end the series. they could really use him stepping up here.
   1562. Cabbage Posted: April 21, 2012 at 02:46 PM (#4112251)
25 games
   1563. A Random 8-Year-Old Eskimo Posted: April 21, 2012 at 04:32 PM (#4112354)
Hitting his wallet or even suspending him isn't going to stop this ####.

Tell that to Matt Cooke.
   1564. The Kentucky Gentleman, Mark Edward Posted: April 21, 2012 at 11:50 PM (#4112788)

- Pat Foley has been really annoying this series. His constant criticism of Stalberg is aggravating. Yes, Viktor's not having a good game (or series)- but none of the forwards are having a good game (or series)! Meanwhile his complete adulation for Bickell because he HITS GUYZ is obnoxious.
- What a boring game so far. Not a big fan of Phoenix's style of play.
   1565. Random Transaction Generator Posted: April 22, 2012 at 01:36 AM (#4112819)
Fighting is not a deterrent. No one ever gets hurt in a hockey fight. Blaming the instigator rule is silly.


tell that to todd fedoruk

And Nick Kypryos
   1566. baudib Posted: April 22, 2012 at 01:57 AM (#4112826)
Oh BTW, another guy out with a concussion, Brian Boyle.

   1567. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: April 22, 2012 at 07:52 AM (#4112877)
Oh BTW, another guy out with a concussion, Brian Boyle.

Another late, blindside intent-to-injure cheapshot by a longtime cheapshot artist against a player playing really well. If Hagelin got three games for nothing, this deserves at least 10.
   1568. starving to death with a full STEAGLES Posted: April 22, 2012 at 03:12 PM (#4113090)
it'd be really awesome if bryz could steal this game and end the series. they could really use him stepping up here.
it didn't happen until game 6, and i wouldn't say he stole it, but he did step up and he did end the series in philly.

now, here's hoping that meszaros and grossman get healthy over the next week and are able to get on the ice to start the next round. oh, and also that washington and ottawa finish off boston and new york.
   1569. baudib Posted: April 22, 2012 at 03:14 PM (#4113095)
Claude Giroux basically willed the Flyers to victory. He took control of the game from the opening faceoff and was the best player on the ice. Set a Flyers record for most points in a series with 14, which almost matched the combined totals of Crosby and Malkin.

Encouragingly, Bryzgalov played well. Flyers played great team defense.
   1570. baudib Posted: April 22, 2012 at 04:51 PM (#4113205)
   1571. baudib Posted: April 22, 2012 at 05:46 PM (#4113247)
Stanley Cup playoff game broke out at Lakers-Thunder.
   1572. baudib Posted: April 22, 2012 at 08:13 PM (#4113331)
Another late, blindside intent-to-injure cheapshot by a longtime cheapshot artist against a player playing really well. If Hagelin got three games for nothing, this deserves at least 10.


Not even a hearing.
   1573. Ebessan Posted: April 22, 2012 at 09:45 PM (#4113373)
It's too late in the series for the NHL to suspend anyone for anything. The Competitive Balance is more important than any injury. All hail the Competitive Balance.
   1574. Random Transaction Generator Posted: April 22, 2012 at 11:13 PM (#4113420)
Before the playoffs started, during their hour-long preview and prediction show, the largest sports network in Canada (TSN) released their "consensus" picks for the Stanley Cup finals (based on information from their eleven experts):

Pittsburgh
over
Vancouver

Oops.
   1575. Random Transaction Generator Posted: April 22, 2012 at 11:15 PM (#4113421)
It's too late in the series for the NHL to suspend anyone for anything. The Competitive Balance is more important than any injury. All hail the Competitive Balance

I don't even know what that means.
   1576. Ebessan Posted: April 22, 2012 at 11:24 PM (#4113427)
The NHL is only willing to throw the book when they don't think that it will dramatically change the series, and by Game 6, WHO KNOWS who could step up? It's a completely ridiculous policy, but it's the one that is seemingly in practice.
   1577. baudib Posted: April 23, 2012 at 01:47 AM (#4113466)
According to philly.com, the Flyers had 40 (!) blocked shots, the most of any team in the playoffs the past two seasons.
   1578. starving to death with a full STEAGLES Posted: April 23, 2012 at 03:14 AM (#4113481)
here's an interesting post comparing the torres hit on hossa and the neal hit on couturier.

Starting with Neal, he peeled back into the zone from neutral ice and found Couturier in his path. In the video above, Shanahan states that he accepts Neal's explanation that the forward was bracing himself for an unintended collision with Couturier.

But with Torres, Shanahan goes moment by moment to show how Hossa had released the puck, like Couturier, was no longer part of the play, like Couturier, and was defenseless, like Couturier. Unlike with Neal, Shanahan does not consider that Torres could have been similarly "bracing himself," despite specifically mentioning how Torres had previously attempted to make a play on the puck.

If Neal's explanation for his hit on Couturier is acceptable than there is only a willful decision not to see Torres' hit on Hossa hit from the same perspective. Frankly, one could make the argument that Torres was moving toward Hossa when Hossa had the puck, that Torres then reached backwards to play the puck while still skating in the direction of Hossa, and then braced for contact by jumping. In both instances, the speed of the game and the apparent inclination to jump in an attempt to brace oneself could be used to defend the actions of both Neal and Torres.

Those explanations can either be accepted or not accepted on the whole, but it is unreasonable to ascribe to Neal's version of events while picking apart the Torres in specifics. Both events should be viewed in the same manner as the acts were perpetrated in the same manner. Granted, Torres has a longer history of reckless play, but, again, Neal was already fined and warned twice such behavior just this year. Just as it was irresponsible for Neal and Torres to leave their feet, it is irresponsible for the league to classify one of these events and self-defense while condemning the other in such detail as three separate penalties.




   1579. zack Posted: April 23, 2012 at 11:22 AM (#4113622)
In non-supplemental discipline news...

I thought this article about the Panthers's fans rat-throwing was interesting. The team is in danger of getting delay-of-game penalties when fans throw them on the ice during play, which is reasonable, but apparently Devils' fans are also throwing them, purposefully trying to draw said penalties, which is problematic. I can't believe the team sells the things at games, but it is awesome when they win.

My series predictions are looking horrible so far. Philly-Pitt was going to be a toss-up, so I don't feel too bad about that. But the Bruins and Red Wings are making me look like an #######. I think the Blackhawks can still pull it out (but probably won't), but even if they do, they'll have to face a very well rested Nashville team who are basically a better version of the Coyotes that they are a poor match for. If they do make it to the next round, I can't see them going more than 5. On the other hand, while I predicted the Canucks, Rangers, Bruins, Penguins and Red Wings would win, I've greatly enjoyed them all losing. The Blues look like strong favorites for the Campbell now.

Lot of goals scored yesterday on what looked like clear penalties. Bergeron setting a moving pick on a Boston goal, then the Caps returning the favor. And while I loved it, I don't see how Hamhuis getting dragged down before Stoll's finisher was not a penalty. Even if they aren't worth a powerplay, I don't see how you can let a goal be scored on plays like that.
   1580. Shredder Posted: April 23, 2012 at 11:39 AM (#4113628)
I don't see how Hamhuis getting dragged down before Stoll's finisher was not a penalty.
Then you need to watch the play again. When a player (Hamhuis) grabs the stick of another player (Lewis) and pulls himself to the ice, it's not a penalty, though there's certainly a case to be made that there could have been an unsportsmanlike penalty called on Hamhuis for the dive. I'm willing to live with the result of the no-call, though. Lewis made a phenomenal play there. He's arguably their best penalty killer, and the type of intensity that kills penalties in the regular season is the type of play that you need all over the ice in the playoffs.

That was about as close as a 4-1 series win can be. Three of the Kings' wins came on either late third period goals or in OT. Every game was in doubt going into the final period. All three goaltenders were terrific, and after the teams stopped chirping and started playing, it was a really exciting series. I though the teams were pretty even overall, with both teams winning games in which they were badly outshot. Game five was a pretty good microcosm of the series, with really one big momentum shift instead of a lot of back and forth play. I thought the Canucks owned the first period, but you could sense a change about midway through the second, and the Kings were the better team from that point on. While Quick was clearly the breakout star, hopefully Anze Kopitar opened a lot of eyes, as he was dominant defensively. He plays every inch of the ice, and even strength, other than Daniel's breakaway, the Sedins were a non-factor last night.

If the St. Louis series plays out anything like their last matchup, it could be the most exciting series I'll ever see which only produces about 10 goals. Their last game was wide open, but the goalies dominated. I'd like to see a little revenge for the bull-#### way the Kings lost to St. Louis in 1998.
   1581. Justin T steals bases with his bat Posted: April 23, 2012 at 12:59 PM (#4113689)
I also felt that Lewis poked the puck away first and then they fell together, or Hamhuis grabbed Lewis's stick, or whatever. But it's like when a guy is on a partial breakaway and a guy dives with his stick, if he gets puck first it's not a penalty even if the offensive player gets taken out after that.

Good no call. It would have been bailing out Hamhuis for a bad decision.
   1582. Shredder Posted: April 23, 2012 at 01:08 PM (#4113697)
Good no call. It would have been bailing out Hamhuis for a bad decision.
It was a good no call, but mostly because what took place was in no way a penalty on Lewis under any interpretation of the rules. Even if he hadn't gotten the puck first, there shouldn't have been a penalty. After getting the puck, Lewis got him with the hip. He never gets into his feet until Hamhuis slides his skate into Lewis.
   1583. zack Posted: April 23, 2012 at 01:12 PM (#4113702)
Yeah, from the front angle it is clear there was no penalty by Lewis. From the normal mid-ice-high camera, it looked like he hooked Hamhuis to the ice. Thanks for the replay.
   1584. zack Posted: April 23, 2012 at 01:26 PM (#4113718)
Speaking of dives, this was sweet justice.
   1585. Random Transaction Generator Posted: April 23, 2012 at 01:40 PM (#4113728)
Speaking of dives, this was sweet justice.

Is that a video of Marchand's video application for the Canadian Olympic diving team, which led to a Washington goal?

If so, I laughed hysterically. Even better was him pawing at his mouth at the bench to try to draw blood, even though the video shows it was shoulder-to-shoulder contact (although "brushing" is a better word than "contact" here).
   1586. zack Posted: April 24, 2012 at 09:50 AM (#4114577)
So what's the over-under on total goals scored in all Western Conference Semifinal games? 14?
   1587. JustDan Posted: April 24, 2012 at 10:48 AM (#4114612)
The Blues and Kings should just play first goal wins.

So far for each series the team with the least GF in the regular season has won the playoff:

Predators (237) over Red Wings (248)
Coyotes (216) over Blackhawks (248)
Blues (210) over Sharks (228)
Kings (194) over Canucks (249)
Flyers (264) over Penguins (282)

need Capitals, Rangers, and Panthers for this to continue.
   1588. Shredder Posted: April 24, 2012 at 10:54 AM (#4114621)
So what's the over-under on total goals scored in all Western Conference Semifinal games? 14?
I posted on a Kings board a few weeks ago that if the Kings played the Blues, we'd see about 10 goals in a seven game series, and it would be the most exciting 10 goal series you've ever seen. Really, their last game ended in a 1-0 shootout, but it was legitimately end to end, fast, heavy hitting, with lots of good scoring chances. The goalies just dominated and limited second chance opportunities. It was the most exciting 0-0 regulation game I've ever seen. If you're waiting to watch the highlight shows, you might be disappointed, but I think the games themselves will be pretty intense.
So far for each series the team with the least GF in the regular season has won the playoff:
Seeing as how the Kings were 29th in goals for, I really like this trend. Good thing Minnesota didn't get in.
   1589. Gaelan Posted: April 24, 2012 at 12:22 PM (#4114710)
A 1-0 game is a random event. The fewer number of goals the less likely it is that skill is the determining factor in who wins the game. What has happened so far in the playoffs is very bad for the idea that the best team wins. It might work as a spectacle but it doesn't work as a competition.
   1590. The Kentucky Gentleman, Mark Edward Posted: April 24, 2012 at 12:57 PM (#4114730)

- Hawks could really use a second line center next year. I don't have that much confidence in either Kruger or Bolland taking on that role.
- A 3-4 d-man would be nice too. Oduya had a horrible playoff series, but in general I thought he was decent. I wouldn't mind seeing him return, but he's definitely not worth overpaying for.
- I think there's a good chance both Sharp & Hjalmarsson won't be with the Hawks next year.
- I'm not excited for the goalie tandem of Crawford & Emery Part 2 next season but I guess that's what the Hawks are stuck with.
- Mike Kitchen ran the powerplay right? Mike Kitchen should not return.
   1591. Shredder Posted: April 24, 2012 at 01:01 PM (#4114733)
The fewer number of goals the less likely it is that skill is the determining factor in who wins the game.
Defense and goaltending aren't skills? Who knew?
- I'm not excited for the goalie tandem of Crawford & Emery Part 2 next season but I guess that's what the Hawks are stuck with.
There's a lot of goaltending on the market next year. St. Louis, Vancouver, Boston, and LA all have two #1 caliber goaltenders. At least two of those teams will try to move someone, though I'm not sure Luongo is moveable with his contract, and Quick is going to be really expensive in a year or so. If I were Dean Lombardi, I'd be taking offers on both Quick and Bernier. I think Bernier is ready and will be a lot cheaper. It's really a wasted asset to have a #1 quality goaltender sitting on your bench in this era where starters play 65-70 games.
   1592. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: April 24, 2012 at 01:05 PM (#4114737)
A 1-0 game is a random event. The fewer number of goals the less likely it is that skill is the determining factor in who wins the game. What has happened so far in the playoffs is very bad for the idea that the best team wins. It might work as a spectacle but it doesn't work as a competition.

And with so much of offensive zone play taking place behind and around the net now, there are many more flukish goals -- own goals, deflections off a defender's skate, etc -- than ever before. The proportion of fluke to overall goals is way, way higher than 15 years ago.

They really need to take serious steps to increase offense and reward skill. For safety reasons, they're never going to significantly cut back on goalie equipment size so what I'd do is increase the size of the nets so that the typical 2012 goalie in full equipment takes up precisely the same proportion of it that his (say) 1985 counterpart did.

   1593. Random Transaction Generator Posted: April 24, 2012 at 01:16 PM (#4114746)
A 1-0 game is a random event. The fewer number of goals the less likely it is that skill is the determining factor in who wins the game. What has happened so far in the playoffs is very bad for the idea that the best team wins. It might work as a spectacle but it doesn't work as a competition.

Of the 44 games played so far in the playoffs, there have been only three 1-0 games.

I wouldn't call this a serious problem.

Note: There were 44 1-0 games in the regular season (3.5%), so 3 in 44 is higher (small sample size).

However, don't talk the Flyers/Penguins about low-scoring games...
   1594. Gaelan Posted: April 24, 2012 at 01:30 PM (#4114775)
Defense and goaltending aren't skills? Who knew?


No, they aren't. Or rather, the lower the scoring environment the less these things appear as skills. This is axiomatic. The lower the sample size of determining events (in this case goals) the greater the chance that these determining events will be a result of random variables. Or conversely the lower the number of goals per game the larger the sample size of games you need for skill to be demonstrated.

When Patrick Roy emerges to win the Canadians the Stanley Cup that was skill not luck. However, when every team has Patrick Roy in nets then who wins becomes a function of random chance.

They really need to take serious steps to increase offense and reward skill. For safety reasons, they're never going to significantly cut back on goalie equipment size so what I'd do is increase the size of the nets so that the typical 2012 goalie in full equipment takes up precisely the same proportion of it that his (say) 1985 counterpart did.


Increasing the size of the nets is solving the problem with a sledgehammer. Fortunately, it's a falsehood that the size of the goaltending equipment is necessary for safety reasons. The safety reason excuse is a lie perpetuated by vested interests. All it takes to solve this problem is the will to make it so. Unfortunately, the will (and intelligence) to solve problems is one thing the NHL head office clearly lacks (see the distorting effect of three point games).
   1595. The Kentucky Gentleman, Mark Edward Posted: April 24, 2012 at 01:30 PM (#4114777)
There's a lot of goaltending on the market next year. St. Louis, Vancouver, Boston, and LA all have two #1 caliber goaltenders. At least two of those teams will try to move someone, though I'm not sure Luongo is moveable with his contract, and Quick is going to be really expensive in a year or so. If I were Dean Lombardi, I'd be taking offers on both Quick and Bernier. I think Bernier is ready and will be a lot cheaper. It's really a wasted asset to have a #1 quality goaltender sitting on your bench in this era where starters play 65-70 games.


Crawford is signed through 2014. He's not incredibly expensive ($2.6 million) but I doubt any team is looking to take him on. Recently the Hawks re-signed Ray Emery for 2012-13. For what reason, I don't know; he's a mediocre/below-average backup, and there's always dozens of goalies like him floating around.

So while they do have the prospects & cap room to acquire a number one goalie, they seem committed to Crawford & Emery.
   1596. Moses Taylor, Moses Taylor Posted: April 24, 2012 at 01:33 PM (#4114780)
- Hawks could really use a second line center next year. I don't have that much confidence in either Kruger or Bolland taking on that role.

I think Kruger gets there eventually, but maybe not in time for next year's playoffs.

- I think there's a good chance both Sharp & Hjalmarsson won't be with the Hawks next year.

Why do you think that on Sharp? Because of the bad series? Wasn't his extension signed just last year? Agree on Hjalmarsson (and wouldn't mind them moving Bolland either).

- Mike Kitchen ran the powerplay right? Mike Kitchen should not return.

Agreed.
   1597. Shredder Posted: April 24, 2012 at 02:10 PM (#4114823)
When Patrick Roy emerges to win the Canadians the Stanley Cup that was skill not luck. However, when every team has Patrick Roy in nets then who wins becomes a function of random chance.
But not everyone has Patrick Roy, as the Hawks, Flyers, Penguins, and Sharks could tell you. And isn't the inverse of your argument also true? In high offense environment, predicated on lower quality defense and goaltending, it takes less skill to score goals. In that case, how are we necessarily any closer to ensuring that goals aren't equally fluky. In fact, I'd argue that in a high defense environment, it actually takes more skill to score. Every game is going to feature bad bounces, but the vast majority of goals occur as the result of one or more skill plays. Even shots that are accidentally deflected in require a team to string a couple skill plays together to get the puck to someone who can get it on net.

This is indeed a low offense era, but I'd argue that's primarily because of the skill of the goaltending. People can blame it on larger pads all they want, and that's not to say there's nothing to that, but geez, pull out some old videotapes, or watch some older Youtube videos. The style played by a lot of those guys would put them out of the league in a week these days. Mike Liut posted the league's best GAA in 1989-1990, but given him a bigger set of pads, and he'd still be getting lit up in today's game. Goalies are the best athletes on the ice.
   1598. zack Posted: April 24, 2012 at 02:13 PM (#4114827)
Agree 100% with Gaelan. Goaltending should be a real skill. When it is so easy that a terrible (not just bad) goaltender is successful 90% of the time, there's no room for that skill to shine. That, and having goaltending so domininant allows low-skilled teams to ride the low-event train to success. You should not be able to be peppered with high-quality scoring chances and survive. That's fine if you want unexpected results, but it makes it impossible to say the tournament champion is the best team.

Do you know what the league average save percentage was this season? Not the starter's average, not even strength only, straight up goals allowed / shots allowed for the league. It was .914. If that doesn't paint a picture for you, a .928 save percentage doesn't even get you grey ink!

A related step would be to call the obstruction penalty once every hundred years.
   1599. squatoh Posted: April 24, 2012 at 02:15 PM (#4114829)
The lower the sample size of determining events (in this case goals) the greater the chance that these determining events will be a result of random variables. Or conversely the lower the number of goals per game the larger the sample size of games you need for skill to be demonstrated.

Why goals and not shots or scoring chances?
   1600. zack Posted: April 24, 2012 at 02:16 PM (#4114831)
But not everyone has Patrick Roy, as the Hawks, Flyers, Penguins, and Sharks could tell you. And isn't the inverse of your argument also true? In high offense environment, predicated on lower quality defense and goaltending, it takes less skill to score goals. In that case, how are we necessarily any closer to ensuring that goals aren't equally fluky. In fact, I'd argue that in a high defense environment, it actually takes more skill to score. Every game is going to feature bad bounces, but the vast majority of goals occur as the result of one or more skill plays. Even shots that are accidentally deflected in require a team to string a couple skill plays together to get the puck to someone who can get it on net.


It is pretty well established, across sports, that lower scoring benefits the weaker team. That's why soccer teams park the bus, why football teams waste clock, and why hockey teams trap.

And to actually answer your question, it's just basic statistics. The more events, the more skill will shine through. Individual goals might be easier to score, but the greater total is less likely to be a fluke result. Total variance is the sum of variance due to skill (players aren't clones) and variance due to luck. The more events, the more the result is the product of the former and not the latter (since luck evens out).
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