Showing posts with label National Hockey League. Show all posts
Showing posts with label National Hockey League. Show all posts

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

This is the season, change change change

by Redwing77

Ok, first I see my Red Wings bow out early.  That's ok, I didn't expect them to make the playoffs (none of the pundits did either).  Now... lots of change.

First, Hakstol bolts for the Flyers.  Ugh.  I don't like the Flyers.  Better there than Buffalo or Toronto, perhaps, but still....  it stinks.  I never saw it coming.  That being said, I talked to Hakstol in Kearney, Nebraska while the Tri City Storm (with UND recruit Chris Wilkie) faced off in what would turn out to be the season ending game for the Omaha Lancers (with UND recruit Shane Gersich).  He was a great guy and a splendid ambassador for North Dakota.

I still love to think about the Haters.  I mean, Hakstol couldn't win it all in his 11 seasons with North Dakota even with stacked rosters and a bucket load of tradition (which, by the way, never makes saves nor scores goals but whatever).  So, obviously, Hakstol shouldn't be considered worthy of anything, right?  Or perhaps just worthy of a head coaching gig in the NHL.  Not even the NoDak godcoach Dean Blais garnered that post... or perhaps he turned them all down to get an associate head coaching gig with the Blue Jackets?  Whatever.

Nevertheless, I don't know how it will work out for Hakstol in the NHL.  I hope he's successful.  It's a different world in the pros.  A TON of entitlement and "me first" attitudes prevail in that league.  Maybe he'll be able to convince Ron Hextall (of all people to say what's next) that GOALTENDING might actually be a CONCERN for Philly?  Hmm???  Seriously!  2 career backups and 1 30 something year old rookie isn't going to win you much.

Anyways....

And now Red Wings Coach Mike Babcock will head to Toronto to be the head conductor aboard the second biggest train derailment in the NHL (behind Buffalo).  Ok, there were rumors abounding regarding this pre-season but still!  This is a good deal for Toronto.  I mean, stealing assistants from Detroit didn't necessarily work out (see San Jose) so why not steal the head coach himself?

In any regards, the front runner for the Detroit gig is former WMU head coach Blashill.  Blashill knows the system Detroit runs and has lead the Wings in developing many of the younger stars currently on the Wings roster.  I don't know if this will thrust the Wings back to the Finals but it's not exactly a dumpster hire either.

If he's hired, it may also be good for college hockey.  In the past, I got the feeling that Detroit really didn't have much faith in the NCAA (despite Nyquist, Abdelkader, Howard, and a few others).  They typically invested a lot more in the Scandenavian hockey markets and major juniors as well.  Perhaps there is a shift in hockey town towards a find the best no matter where mentality that will include the NCAA now?  Who knows.

In any case, I haven't the foggiest idea what will happen in Detroit and Philly next season or two.

Final Random Musing:

However, in Toronto, the scuttlebutt is that Babcock's hiring is BAD NEWS for one named Kessel.  Babcock likes solid play at both ends and a complete buy in to the system.  He might be able to do that (much like Trotz did with Ovechkin), but many amateur pundits (including myself) suggest that Kessel should pack his bags in time for Draft Day because he'll be moving out of Toronto.

For Those That were Wondering

I had a few people ask me this week what was going on with Zane McIntyre. Some wondered if the change at the head coaching position would make any difference. It will not make a difference.

One more to go.

Obviously, we're still waiting for Jordan Schmaltz as well.  According to Andy Strickland, it sounds like there's a chance that Schmaltz could be back this fall. We will see how that develops and plays out. For those that wondered, and I saw a few of the comments from fans, Strickland is a credible hockey source and is up on what's going on with the St. Louis Blues.



The Hamburglar gets a Raise

Last season, former Bowling Green State University goalie Andrew Hammond made a big splash with the Ottawa Senators. In his first season with the senators, Hammond was (20-1-2, 1.73 GAA & .943 SV%) in 23 starts.

For his efforts, the Senators are showing Hammond the money. Last season, Hammond made 750,000 with the Senators and is getting a pretty nice raise to 1.35 million.



Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Clayton Stoner Cross-Checks Andrew Shaw in the Face



Anaheim Ducks defenseman Clayton Stoner was very lucky that he's still in the game. Stoner cross-checks Marcus Kruger from behind, causing him to slide face first into the end boards. Kruger suffered a minor cut for his efforts.

But Stoner wasn't done. The Ducks defender goes on to perform oral surgery on Andrew Shaw.

To quote Brendan Shanahan, "this was a blatant attempt to injure an opponent." In other words, this was an egregious act that deserved a penalty. Also, I think that Shaw has an expectation to not be cross-checked in the face. The play is basically over.

If I was the commissioner of the NHL, these are the types of plays that would be highly punished. My question is, would this hit be worthy of a call from the Department of Player Safety. Is this suspension worthy?

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

UND Hockey Waiting on Two

The UND hockey team received some good news in the last couple of days. Troy Stecher is coming back for his junior season.

The good news didn't stop there. Leading scorer Drake Caggiula is going to return for his senior season. With these developments, UND should again be one of the top teams in the NCHC based on who's staying and who's coming in.

Now, UND is waiting on two players to make their decision. Jordan Schmaltz and Paul LaDue have yet to make their intentions known. It was thought that Schmaltz was signing with the Blues, but he's not tipped his hand as of yet.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

USA Phenom Auston Matthews to Spurn North American Hockey?

by Redwing77

I read Eric Burton's Sin Bin Article about how US NTDP phenom and future NHLer Auston Matthews may sign with a team in the Swiss Leagues.

This is baffling news to be sure.

Eric states in his article that he doesn't think that "anyone should be shocked by these revelations."

I beg to differ.  I think there should be two entities and one eyebrow raised at a third that should be shocked.

First, USA Hockey.  USA Hockey prides itself on developing solid American players for North American hockey, be it NCAA or Major Juniors with the aim at marketing that player towards a career in the NHL.  Auston Matthews going to Europe in anything less than the typical (rookie contract expires and does not get re-signed or ages out of NCAA/CHL without a pro contract opportunity) is a slap in the face to USA Hockey.  No way around that.

Second, and most stingingly, to the CHL.  It's rarely news when a top flight prospect, be it Canadian or American, goes to the Major Junior leagues from the position Matthews sits in now.  They parade around the interweb crowing that it is the dream of "every North American and most European" teenager to play for the CHL before they make their pro debut.  But it IS news when they are spurned, not for the NCAA, but for EUROPE and by a NORTH AMERICAN player nonetheless.  I think it stings them more than the NCAA because, in that regard, Eric is right.  No way was Matthews going the NCAA route.  No way.

The eyebrow being raised is by the NHL.  Now, I doubt that this move would really hurt Auston's draft stock, but it isn't going to endear him to the NHL either.  Here's why:

1.  When the NHL drafts a European player (and sometimes even before that player is drafted), that player is pressed to come to the US or Canada to get into North American's style of hockey.  It is very different over in Europe.  It has been stated in the past that those skaters from Europe who refuse such pressure are deemed more of a risk than otherwise.  How will this impact Matthews?  I'm not sure it will because he comes from North American style hockey to begin with.

2.  The Swiss Leagues is hardly a juggernaut in European hockey.  I mean no disrespect to the Swiss Leagues.  Many former UND players have gone there to play.  Switzerland also is a beautiful country with extremely nice and polite people in it.  However, it's not the "go to" avenue in Europe to get to the NHL.  It's considered that the best path in that regard runs through the Elite leagues of Scandinavia: mainly Finland and Sweden.   The Swiss Leagues are mentioned enough in North American to warrant the same notoriety with the DEL (German) and the Czech Leagues.  To be fair, I'd put even the KHL as a better path than the Swiss Leagues if it weren't for the financial peril the KHL finds itself in.

So I want to know:  Why Swiss Leagues?  Is it financial?  If it is displeasure over the WHL team who owns his rights, why not do the typical and use the NCAA as leverage?  Heck, why not just stay in the USHL until his draft year and ask the team who drafts him their advice?  There's every bit of likelihood that whomever drafts him will want him to get seasoned a bit back into the North American leagues and that would mean Major Juniors once he signed... assuming that he doesn't jump immediately into the NHL.

As for that, though, in my armchair scout opinion, I think this move DOES hurt Matthews.Getting used to the pro game AND reacclimated to North American hockey is a lot for a 17 or 18 year old to do.

It's not going to make him drop in the draft any, but I do think it will impact how long it takes him to get to the NHL... by a few months.

Sunday, May 03, 2015

Minnesota Wild: Vanek Victim of Poor Officiating


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Minnesota Wild forward Thomas Vanek was assessed a two-minute minor for goalie interference. You can watch this play all day long and it's still not a penalty. The on-ice officials in this game should be ashamed of themselves. This is brutal, and some of the worst officiating that I have seen in some time.

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You can see that Vanek didn't agree with the call either.

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Video: Zach Parise Has Filthy Mitts #Buccigross



Today, the Minnesota Wild defeated the St. Louis Blues 4-1. With the win, the Wild win the series 4-2. What's more impressive, there were five goals scored in this game: Four-of-five goals were scored by former college/WCHA hockey players.

Hey, I am not done yet, three-of-four goals were scored by former Fighting Sioux forwards.

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Daniel Carcillo: Why the NHL Community Needs to Look out for Its Own



If you haven't seen this video, it's worth a look. After watching this video, I have a whole new appreciation for Daniel Carcillo. I think about this, Carcillo is a guy that has over 1200 minutes in penalties during 10 season in the NHL. He's an NHL tough guy letting his guard down to hundreds of thousands of people.

Carcillo's message is clear, you have to deal with the issues before they consume you. Also, the NHL alumni need a support group to help them make the transition back to life after the NHL.


The NHL Needs a Peer Support Program

First, I recommend reading Mike Peluso's article that's in the Globe and Mail.
Mike Peluso, The Globe and Mail -- The rewards did not last long. The altercations were brutal on our bodies, and I suffered at least 10 concussions from fighting. Probably many more. After some fights, I went to the wrong penalty box, only to be treated by doctors or trainers who asked me to name the President of the United States, provided a few aspirin, and sent me right back into the game.

Derek Boogaard, Rick Rypien and Wade Belak were also enforcers – and all died tragically under circumstances believed to be related to repetitive head trauma they endured during their careers. Their stories are heartbreaking, but unfortunately the difficulties they faced before their deaths have become all too common among retired NHL players.

In December, 1994, I suffered a major concussion thanks to a bare-knuckled fist to the head. I was knocked unconscious as my head slammed against the ice, and carried off the rink. In the locker room I took multiple showers, because I kept forgetting that I had already showered. However, the team quickly cleared me to play despite signs of a serious concussion. A few weeks later, I experienced a grand mal seizure during a workout.
This is another great article that I came across this week. It's written by Canadian Olympian Haley WickenHeiser.
Hayley WickenHeiser, Guest Contributor -- Depression and anxiety are the worst kept secrets in professional sports. In every locker room across the NHL, there are guys who are struggling with the fear of everything — the fear of a bad shift, the fear of pissing off their coach, the fear of getting traded or cut and letting down their family. What also happens in every locker room is that there are teammates, trainers and staff who stay silent too long when a guy struggles.

In the week after Monty’s death, I had two current and two former players call me. They called for two reasons: they too are struggling, and they want to help other players in the game. For the guys who are retired, they are struggling with finding meaning after playing. For the guys currently playing, they are struggling finding meaning for what they are doing and scared it could be them next.

I am not really qualified to advise these guys on what to do, so the best I could do was listen, so they know they are not alone. We need to do more. The entire hockey community, including league officials, teammates, coaches, trainers, the NHLPA, and the hundreds of former players out there, need to come together and solidify a comprehensive support system for those struggling with depression, anxiety and the aimlessness that comes with finding a second life after hockey.
After reading some of these articles over the last couple of years, I have to wonder if some of these guys aren't suffering from some form of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Anxiety disorders and depression are very serious matters and they can take over a person's life over if they fail to deal with them effectively.

I am convinced that the National Hockey League need to have a peer support program to help current and former players deal with complex mental health issues like this. One life is too many.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

(Video) Anders Lee vs. Tom Wilson



In game four, Washington Capitals forward Tom Wilson ran over New York Islanders d-man Lubomir Visnovsky. Wilson was given a two-minute minor penalty for charging. Visnovsky left the game and didn't return.

Fast forward to tonight, that hit didn't sit well with the Islanders. So, you could say that this fight is a direct result of that hit. If I was the Islanders coach, I would rather have my goon, Matt Martin fighting the Capitals goon Wilson.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Yep, Steve Ott is a Rodeo Clown



Yes it's true, Steve Ott is a rodeo clown. Personally, I would recommend circus clown instead. Rodeo clowns actually have a purpose in life.

I am so glad that someone from that national media has finally said this. I think the Wild should be applauded for their restraint and not taking the bait from the St. Louis Blues. It has been fun to watch the Wild players just look Ott and smile and skate away.
Jim Souhan, Star Tribune – Wild fans will want to treat Steve Ott as a villain. He’s not. Villains are frightening. Ott is more like junk mail — annoying but meaningless, and soon to be stuffed in the proper recycling bin.

If the St. Louis Blues were intelligent, they would be feeding off the talent of Vladimir Tarasenko. Instead, they are feeding off the idiocy of Ott, a supposed enforcer who plays like a child, holding sticks and patting heads instead of just once hitting someone square.

When Ott actually had a chance to help his team with a third-period breakaway, he lost the puck, then fanned on a pass in the crease. He’s not a hockey player; he’s a rodeo clown.

Sometimes Ott mimics a tough guy late in games, when the hockey portion of the evening has ended. Monday, with his team down by three goals in the waning moments, he jumped on the smallest player in the game, Jared Spurgeon.
I think that Ott's attacking Jared Spurgeon needs to be addressed at the right time and place. For the most part, that’s not the Wild game. The Wild are ranked 20th in the NHL in fighting majors and don’t have any players with more than five fights. Wild forward Chris Stewart has been in eight fights this season, but has only been in three as a member of the Wild.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Alex Burrows Gets Lucky



First, Alex Burrows hit on Johnny Gaudreau was dirty bush-league hit, but what do you expect from a clown like Burrows? Second, Burrows is lucky he wasn't given an instigator penalty. If I was the on-ice official, Burrows would be sitting tomorrow night.

Third, Calgary's Kris Russell had the opportunity of a lifetime. Burrows challenged him to a fight. Russell should have lit Burrows up like a pinball machine.

I keep hearing how some fans are offended about what transpired last night. This is why I like the playoffs, there's so much drama and energy in the games. You have villains and you have the scrums and dustups.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Erik Karlsson rocks Nathan Beaulieu



Nice hit by Senators defenseman Erik Karlsson as he rocks Montreal Canadiens forward Nathan Beaulieu. There will be some that say this is a head shot, but the head isn't targeted. This isn't a violation of NHL rule 48.

Rule 48 – Illegal Check to the Head
48.1 Illegal Check to the Head – A hit resulting in contact with an opponent’s head where the head was the main point of contact and such contact to the head was avoidable is not permitted. In determining whether contact with an opponent's head was avoidable, the circumstances of the hit including the following shall be considered:

(i) Whether the player attempted to hit squarely through the opponent’s body and the head was not "picked" as a result of poor timing, poor angle of approach, or unnecessary extension of the body upward or outward.
(ii) Whether the opponent put himself in a vulnerable position by assuming a posture that made head contact on an otherwise full body check unavoidable.

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Game-Ending Brawl Costs Flames Coach Bob Hartley 50,000



I guess you could say that Calgary Flames head coach Bob Hartley got his money's worth. At the end of last night's game between the Calgary Flames and the Vancouver Canucks, there was a massive line brawl between the two teams.

Line brawl aside, the Canucks won the game 4-1.

Needless to say, the NHL was less than impressed with the incident and Hartley has been fined $50,000 by the league for his team's antics. Somewhere, former Vancouver Canucks head coach John Tortorella is smiling from ear-to-ear.
NEW YORK – Calgary Flames Head Coach Bob Hartley has been fined $50,000 for his responsibility for the incident that took place with 1:17 remaining in regulation of the first-round playoff game in Vancouver on Friday, April 17, the National Hockey League announced today. The fine was issued in accordance with By-Law 17.3 (a) for conduct prejudicial to or against the welfare of the League.

In addition, the National Hockey League announced that the game misconduct penalty assessed to Calgary Flames defenseman Deryk Engelland for instigating a fight in the last five minutes of regulation has been rescinded.

Hartley was fined $25,000 for a similar incident during the 2013-14 regular season.

The fine money goes to the NHL Foundation.
Check out this impressive box score of the incident in question. That's a lot of penalty minutes.


Wednesday, April 15, 2015

P.K. Subban Major Peanlty for Slashing

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At the 8:23 mark of the second period, Montreal Canadiens defenseman P.K. Subban was assessed a five-minute major and a game misconduct penalty for slashing Mark Stone. Was this the right call? I think it was.

Reading some of the comments online, there are some Canadiens fans that think that Subban was assessed an excessive penalty.


Here's another look at this incident. It's definitely a violent slash.

Brock Nelson Scores the First Goal of the 2015 Stanley Cup Playoffs

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Former Fighting Sioux forward Brock Nelson scored the first goal of the 2015 NHL's Stanley Cup Playoffs. That's the first Stanley Cup Playoffs goals of Nelson's career.


Sunday, April 12, 2015

Redwing77's Bracket

by Redwing77

Redwing77's Stanley Cup Bracket

Goon posted his Bracket Challenge and I'm going to post mine.  I admit to being a bit homer with my Wings and I did post a major upset in the first round.  Sorry Habs fans.  Carey Price seems to actually be a good goaltender and he has chilled from his early career chumpiness.  However, the Habs have had abysmal luck against Ottawa this year.  And, quite honestly, I'd like to throw out a small bone to former Bowling Green State University goaltender, Andrew Hammond.

All in all, however, I think the entire bracket is irrelevant because I truly believe the Rangers are simply going to steamroll anyone they meet and take it all.  I put Chicago in the Finals because Crawford seems to actually play like an elite goaltender when he gets into the playoffs....sometimes anyways.  I believe Dubnyk's insane run ends vs. Oshie and the Blues.  Halak's stumbling continues in the playoffs.  Fleury sieves hardcore before the buzzsaw known as the Rangers.  Honestly, whoever wins the Detroit vs. Tampa series will face the Rangers in the EC Finals.

If my bracket holds together (which any betting man would bet against it), the series to watch will be the Blues vs. Wild, Chicago vs. Nashville (goaltending vs. offense really), and ALL of the Rangers games.  I think the entire Anaheim subbracket is the most boring bracket.

Original Six wins again.

Wednesday, April 08, 2015

Speaking of Bad Nickname Ideas; Las Vegas Flamingos?

The University of North Dakota is going through the process of picking a new nickname, and many of us are worried that the university is going to pick a really bad nickname.

Looking at this suggestion by Craig Custance, Flamingos would take the cake for a horrible nickname. I can't imagine that anyone would allow this to happen.

That being said, I do like the Outlaws nickname that Tim Kavanaugh included in the linked article.

Wild Are in the Stanley Cup Playoffs


The Minnesota Wild are going through a rough stretch. The Wild have lost 11-of-13 games (2-7-4) and if the Stanley Cup Playoffs started today, the Wild would be golfing.

Currently, the Wild (18-18-5) are in 12th place in the Western Conference and are seven points out of the final Wild Card spot.

Even though the Wild are struggling, head coach Mike Yeo still has confidence in his team. To many Wild fans, these are empty, meaningless words. They want wins, not platitudes.
“I still have confidence in this group,” Yeo said after Sunday’s game. “Still know what we’re capable of, but there’s no doubt the clock is ticking here.” (Michael Russo)

While there are some fans that will disagree with me. I think it’s a good thing the Wild didn’t fire Mike Yeo. The Wild (45-27-8) are going back to the Stanley Cup Playoffs and since January 13, 2015 have gone 27-9-3 (.730). 


The Wild acquired goalie Devan Dubnyk (27-8-2, 1.73 GAA, .938 SV%). Also, Dubnyk five shutouts and has added two assists. I guess you could say that the rest is pretty much history.