Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Evgeni Malkin Gets Elbowed in the Face by Braydon Coburn

If this was the regular season, this hit might get a look by the NHL's Department of Player Safety. During the playoffs, the DPOS tends to overlook unnecessary, dirty hits like this. Unless, the player on the receiving end is injured.

All series long, the Tampa Bay Lightning have been all over the Penguins, especially Evgeni Malkin. This time, the Lightning defenseman Braydon Coburn connected with Malkin's face.  The Pens forward looked like was a bit shaken up on the play. Malkin would return to the ice.

Jonathan Drouin No Goal

I must give credit where credit it due. The on-ice officials got this one right. Tampa Bay Lightning forward Jonatha Drouin thought that he'd scored his fifth goal of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. However, after further review, it was not a goal. If you look at the video, you will see that Drouin was offsides at the Penguins blue line.

An Example of Comedy Gold

First, I am not a proponent of UND trying to join the Big Ten Conference in Hockey. I see it thrown around from time-to-time as mere speculation. I am of the mindset that it's a pipe dream of some and just not interesting to me. Not one bit.

Outside of UND playing Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Michigan two-to-four times a year, the thought of being a member of the B1G bores me. I wouldn't want to see UND playing MSU or OSU on a regular basis. The games this past year against MSU were at best boring. Sure UND won, but I would rather see UND play someone else.

What I find even more entertaining is watching Gopher fans lecture UND fans on why adding UND to the B1G is really no benefit to the league. Because, they league only cares about football and basketball. Yeah, because UMN is really good in football and basketball, right? Well, maybe basketball. Here's an entertaining example of this mind set.
Sure, North Dakota hockey would improve the BTHC....but that's where the benefit for the conference AS A WHOLE ends. Keep in mind, hockey is (and always will be...) an afterthought for the Big 10. The primary revenue drivers are football and basketball. Hockey is viewed as something mildly interesting that fills the hours of Big 10 network programming that can't otherwise be filled with football, men's basketball, women's basketball, talking about football and basketball, playing reruns of classic football and basketball games, and, recently lacrosse.

North Dakota has NO tradition of success in football or basketball that it can point to as beneficial for the Big 10. Additionally, it doesn't bring a measurable TV market; and, let's be honest here, isn't the "ND" people think of when they are thinking about schools that have a truly national following.

Wild Clean House

With the hiring of 61-year-old All-Star head coach Bruce Boudreau, the Minnesota Wild have decided to do some house cleaning in the coaching department. In essence, the Wild have told assistant coaches Rick Wilson and Darryl Sydor that their services will no longer be needed. They will keep former Bob Mason on a goalie coach. Former interim coach John Torchetti will also be employed somewhere else when the 2016-17 season begins.

In my opinion, that's a great move, it was time to cut ties with Torchetti. Honestly, I don't think the results were much of a difference between him and Mike Yeo.
Michael Russo, Startribune --- Longtime Wild assistants Rick Wilson and Darryl Sydor have been informed they won’t be returning to the bench, multiple sources have said. Both coaches have contracts that expire June 30. It’s unclear as of now if they could potentially stay with the organization in other roles.

In addition, assistant coach Darby Hendrickson, the Wild’s eye in the sky during games, and goalie coach Bob Mason will sign new contracts and return to the club in their same roles.
It will be interesting to see what kind of moves the Wild make this summer. In my humble opinion, they do need to cut ties with some dead weight. There are a few players, young and old that need to go. And no, I am not talking about Thomas Vanek. Also, I am interested in seeing if the Wild make any big-time trades. Based on their cap status, there's not a lot they can do. They also have four picks during the 2016 NHL draft.

Finally, in the 2016 Stanley Cup Playoffs, with some key players hurt, some of the younger Wild players proved that they were ready to play a larger role.

Slate: Internet Trolls Really Are Horrible People

I know this isn't hockey or really sports related, but I thought this article was worth a look. Next time you're on your favorite hockey message board or website, think about this. Are the anonymous, nameless posters that attack other posters, horrible people? I am sure that you have someone in mind. No, I don't normally read Slate.
Chris Mooney, Slate -- In the past few years, the science of Internet trollology has made some strides. Last year, for instance, we learned that by hurling insults and inciting discord in online comment sections, so-called Internet trolls (who are frequently anonymous) have a polarizing effect on audiences, leading to politicization, rather than deeper understanding of scientific topics.

That’s bad, but it’s nothing compared with what a new psychology paper has to say about the personalities of trolls themselves. The research, conducted by Erin Buckels of the University of Manitoba and two colleagues, sought to directly investigate whether people who engage in trolling are characterized by personality traits that fall in the so-called Dark Tetrad: Machiavellianism (willingness to manipulate and deceive others), narcissism (egotism and self-obsession), psychopathy (the lack of remorse and empathy), and sadism (pleasure in the suffering of others).

It is hard to overplay the results: The study found correlations, sometimes quite significant, between these traits and trolling behavior. What’s more, it also found a relationship between all Dark Tetrad traits (except for narcissism) and the overall time that an individual spent, per day, commenting on the Internet.
Thoughts? What do you think?

Thursday, May 19, 2016

After Further Review: Phil Kessel is Funny

Yes, it's true, former Golden Gophers and current Pittsburgh Penguins forward Phil Kessel is a funny guy. Seriously, this is by far the funniest thing that I have seen this post season. So, if you having a bad day, this should give you a good chuckle.

Shock Poll: Washington Post poll shows Native Americans unbothered by Redskins name

Hmmm. Well, well, well. What do we have here? There will be some folks that will challenge the results of this poll. Thoughts?
John Keim, ESPN -- A new Washington Post poll found that 90 percent of Native Americans aren't offended by the Washington Redskins' nickname and an overwhelming majority consider it an unimportant issue.

The Post polled 504 people who identify primarily as Native American from across the country, including those who lived on reservations and those who were not part of a tribe.

The general population appears to care more about the name than Native Americans. A 2014 ESPN poll found that 23 percent of the population favored a name change.

Thursday's findings by the Post match an Annenberg Center survey taken in 2004. The Post poll also found that 78 percent deemed the Redskins' name an issue that is either "not too" or "not at all" important.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Twins Fans Sound off About UND Hockey Being Honored at Sunday's Game

Yesterday, the UND hockey team announced that the Minnesota Twins will honor the 2015-16 UND Hockey team with a pre-game ceremony that will begin at approximately 12:45 p.m. CT on Sunday, May 22, 2016.

The event in question will feature a video celebrating the Fighting Hawks’ national championship run. Each player will be introduced on the stadium video board and UND head coach Brad Berry will throw the ceremonial first pitch.

Apparently, some Twins fans are butt hurt about UND Hockey team being honored at a Twins games. God forbid that happen right. Twins president and UND Alum Dave St. Peter took to Twitter to retort their tweets. Let's say, St. Peter is good at Twitter.

Some Gopher fans just don't get it. A fair number of UND's hockey team comes from Minnesota. Last time I checked, Minnesota was just across the Red River. Also, the Twins aren't just Minnesota's team.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Wayne Nelson: Is the Big Sky the right conference for UND?

My answer is one word, "yes."

I think the rivalry with Montana Schools is one of the bigger draws of the Big Sky Conference. UND and the Montana schools should be playing each other every season. Obviously, that won't happen with there being 11 teams in the BSC. Let's not forget, UND has made great strides in football under coach Bubba Schweigert.

Also, I don't see UND getting invited to the Summit League or the Missouri Valley Football Conference. So, the Big Sky Football is the best fit for UND's sports teams. Actually, I am not sure where UND would go if they weren't in the BSC?  Contrary to some on Sioux Sports, UND isn't going to FBS Football. UND isn't getting invited to a power 5 conference. Finally, I don't see UND dropping back down to DII sports. Do you? Nope!
Wayne Nelson, Grand Forks Herald --- Since joining the league, UND has been competitive in Big Sky football, men's basketball, volleyball and women's basketball. The same can't be said for the rest of the school's sports.

There is no question the UND athletic department is doing everything it can to position each of its programs for the best chance of succeeding.

It just hasn't happened yet.

And, in these uncertain economic times, UND's struggles in the Big Sky—perceived or real—leads to another question:

Is the Big Sky the right conference for UND?
What do you think?  Mr. Nelson does ask some pressing questions that need to be answered. UND is going to have to find some additional funding streams to insure that UND is successful in the future.

Monday, May 16, 2016

Ryan Nugent-Hopkins to the Wild?

Fluto Shinzawa of the Boston Globe had this little news nugget in Saturday's Boston Globe. While it sounds interesting, what would the Wild have to give up in return?
Ryan Nugent-Hopkins might be a player of interest for Bruce Boudreau and the Wild.

The Wild were already in the market for a center. Their search will amplify following the arrival of Bruce Boudreau. The ex-Anaheim coach got results with the Ducks, partly because of his team’s 1-2 center punch of Ryan Getzlaf and Ryan Kesler. Boudreau would like a similar setup in Minnesota, where Mikko Koivu is becoming more suited for matchup play than offensive production. The Wild have depth on defense. The Oilers do not. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins might be a player of interest for Boudreau and Wild GM Chuck Fletcher. In turn, with Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl in place, Edmonton is in a position of strength at center. This may be the time for the Oilers to deploy Nugent-Hopkins as trade collateral to improve their defense.

Sunday, May 15, 2016

WDAZ says Goodbye to Phil Neumann

Over the years, you contact with and meet great, professional people. Some of these people leave a lasting impression on you. Over time, some of these people end up being your acquaintances and or friends. Behind the scenes, these are hard working, solid people. I would put Phil Neumann as one of those solid, professional people.

While Neumann came to Grand Forks as a young television reporter, you could tell that he was very gifted and energetic. Some television people have a knack, and it appeared to me Neumann had all the tools to be very successful. I figured his stay at WDAZ would be pretty short. He quickly made his way to sports anchor after Pat Sweeny took a job at UND. It will be interesting to see who steps up and fills that role. Sports reporter Maddie Saddler is new, but also very good.

This past year, I really liked the coverage Phil did for WDAZ at the Frozen Four and the Cincinnati Regional. The reports from the two events were very well done. Also, a really nice touch was the post game video Brad Schlossman and Neumann did after UND won the Frozen Four. I going to miss that.

This past weekend, Neuman announced that he'd taken a job in New York, his home state. I like many others are saddened today that Phil will no longer be part of the hometown team.

Again, we were very lucky to have Neumann here in Grand Forks.  I wish him good luck in the next step.

St. Louis Blues No Goal

You can see by the video that the refs got the call right. The Blues even burned a coaches callenge on this one and lost.

The St. Louis Blues thought Patrick Berglund had scored the first goal of the series between the Blues and the Sharks. However, after further review, the goal was waved off because of goalie interference. Again, this was the right call.

Friday, May 13, 2016

Ryan Callahan Boards Kris Letang: Is There a Suspension Coming?

When I watch this video, I have no idea how Tampa Bay Lightning forward Ryan Callahan wasn't given a five-minute major penalty and a game misconduct. If you watch the video, Callahan was very lucky he wasn't thrown out of the game for this dangerous hit on Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Kris Letang. I agree with Elliotte Friedman, this should have been an automatic ejection. I do think that the NHL's Department of Player Safety will take a look at this dirty, dangerous hit.

Palat Boards Dumoulin

In the waning moments of the third period, Tampa Bay Lightning forward Ondrej Palat was assessed, a two-minute minor penalty for boarding Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Brian Dumoulin. This hit was unnecessary. It’s what we call a push check and they’re very dangerous hits. So, will this get a look by the NHL’s Department of Players Safety? Personally, I don’t think this is a suspendable hit. It's dangerous and reckless, but it's not worthy of a suspension.

Television Schedule for SCP Conference Finals

Here’s the schedule for the third round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. First game is tonight on NBC Sports Net. Who do you have advancing? After the Washington Capitals bowed out, there are no longer any former UND hockey Players in the 2016 Stanley Cup Playoffs.


Time (ET) Pittsburgh vs. Tampa Bay Networks

Friday, May 13 8 p.m. Tampa Bay at Pittsburgh NBCSN, CBC, TVAS

Monday, May 16 8 p.m. Tampa Bay at Pittsburgh NBCSN, CBC, TVAS

Wednesday, May 18 8 p.m. Pittsburgh at Tampa Bay NBCSN, CBC, TVAS

Friday, May 20 8 p.m. Pittsburgh at Tampa Bay NBCSN, CBC, TVAS

*Sunday, May 22 8 p.m. Tampa Bay at Pittsburgh NBCSN, CBC, TVAS

*Tuesday, May 24 8 p.m. Pittsburgh at Tampa Bay NBCSN, CBC, TVAS

*Thursday, May 26 8 p.m. Tampa Bay at Pittsburgh NBCSN, CBC, TVAS


Time (ET) St. Louis vs. San Jose Networks

Sunday, May 15 8 p.m. San Jose at St. Louis NBCSN, CBC, TVAS

Tuesday, May 17 8 p.m. San Jose at St. Louis NBCSN, CBC, TVAS

Thursday, May 19 9 p.m. St. Louis at San Jose NBCSN, CBC, TVAS

Saturday, May 21 7:15 p.m. St. Louis at San Jose NBC, CBC, TVAS

*Monday, May 23 8 p.m. San Jose at St. Louis NBCSN, CBC, TVAS

*Wednesday, May 25 9 p.m. St. Louis at San Jose NBCSN, CBC, TVAS

*Friday, May 27 8 p.m. San Jose at St. Louis NBCSN, CBC, TVAS

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Dan Kelly's Dirty Hit on Andreas Johnson

There's no excuse for these kinds of hits. No one can give me a reason why this hit should still be happening in the NHL or at any level of hockey. This is unacceptable, it's a barbaric act of thuggery. Boomer Gordon on XM-Radio's NHL Network said, "This hit was bad during the 1980's." And I agree.

Albany Devils defenseman Dan Kelly's Dirty should be suspended longer for this dirty hit on Andreas Johnson Without even looking at the NHL rule book, I can tell you that this is a violation of the NHL's Rule 48.

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Vladimir Tarasenko No Goal: Play was Offside

The call on the ice was a good goal scored by St. Louis Blues forward Vladimir Tarasenko. Dallas Stars head coach Lindy Ruff challenged the play, saying the play was offsides at the blue line.

After further review, the play was offsides. This is a perfect example why I like the coaches challenge. Hockey is a fast game and the refs are human and miss penalties and the offsides. In this instance, the on-ice officials got the call right.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Is Jimmy Vesey Headed To the Boston Bruins

Hobey Baker Memorial Award winner and former Harvard All-American forward Jimmy Vesey says that the Boston Bruins are on his list of teams that he would like to sign with. (Boston Herald)
“I think the Bruins will definitely be on my list of teams,” said the 22-year-old Vesey, who will become an unrestricted free agent August 15 – with probably 30 NHL teams salivating at the prospect at getting the Hobey Baker Award winner’s signature on a contract.

Granato's Fat Contract

Recently, former Wisconsin Badgers forward Tony Granato was introduced as head coach of the Wisconsin Badgers. Yesterday, we found out what the Wisconsin Badgers are going to pay him. Let's say that he's going to be compensated very well.
Granato received a five-year contract that will provide for base salary of $400,000 for each year, with each receiving considerable additional compensation from the UW Foundation.

Granato will receive an additional $100,000 the first year, with that amount increasing by $25,000 each year up to $200,000 for the fifth year. That would bring his total compensation to $500,000 this season up to $600,000 by the fifth year.

Granato’s predecessor, Mike Eaves, was paid a base salary of $259,605 in his 14th and final season as UW coach. (Dennis Punzel, Wisconsin State Journal)
Granato's assistant coaches Don Granato and Mark Osiecki are also going to be compensated very well. They're set to make about $200,000.00 a year.

Monday, May 09, 2016

The Polls and a Look Back

A Blue Jay landed on my window and showed me this. Basically, I've said this for years. The weekly polls are fun to look at and discuss, but in the end, the play on the ice is the only thing that matters. Right?