Posts Tagged ‘NHL fighting’

Top Line: More ugly cheap shots; Martin Jones of Kings still perfect; more links

Decrease fontDecrease font
Enlarge fontEnlarge font

By Allan Muir

An annotated guide to this morning’s must-read hockey stories:

• Adam Oates thought this was a good hit. George McPhee loved it. I suspect their feelings might be somewhat different if the player on the receiving end in the video above had been Alex Ovechkin instead of Brayden Schenn. Gotta believe there’s supplemental discipline coming for this one. Schenn turns slightly just before contact is made, and that might mitigate the actual sentence, but this is a nasty, reckless hit that was all about causing maximum damage rather than separating a player from the puck. My guess is that we won’t see Wilson again until well after Christmas.

• Give the Red Wings credit: you didn’t hear anyone step up to defend this Kyle Quincey hit on Ryan Getzlaf. It was less vicious, but no less dangerous. Have to believe that Brendan Shanahan will want to talk with the Detroit defender after this one.

• Steve Simmons writes that the latest injury suffered by Montreal enforcer George Parros illustrates the continuing human tragedy that results from allowing fighting to continue in hockey. Even as a pro-fighting advocate, I’ll admit that Simmons makes the case against fighting as eloquently as anyone.

• Jarome Iginla says that the gruesome finger injury he suffered on Saturday night kinda freaked him out, but “it looked worse than it was.” From this, I surmise that Iginla has a different standard for gauging the severity of injuries than I do.

• Martin Jones earned his third shutout in six starts as his record in the NHL remained perfect. He’s got his eyes set now on Bob Froese’s record of eight consecutive wins to start a career.

• Winnipeg GM Kevin Cheveldayoff said Tuesday that he won’t make changes simply to silence his critics. That makes sense. What he might want to consider, though, is making changes because his team can’t hold a third-period lead against the Sabres. Patience, faith, trust … these are all necessary qualities for a general manager, but a functioning nose is important, too. If his can’t detect the stench coming off his team this season, he might want to get his schnozz checked out.

Read More…


  • Published On Dec 18, 2013
  • Quick takes from the NHL General Managers meeting in Toronto

    Decrease fontDecrease font
    Enlarge fontEnlarge font
    Ray Emery and Braden Holtby in a goalie fight.

    Ray Emery’s beatdown of Braden Holtby was on the agenda, but the GMs put it on the backburner. (Getty Images)

    By Allan Muir

    The NHL’s general managers gathered today in Toronto for their semi-annual meetings. A number of intriguing topics were on the agenda, not the least of which was what to do, if anything, about deterring a goalie set-to like the one that occurred on November 1 in Philadelphia.

    Here’s a quick round-up what’s being reported from the scene via Twitter:

    Read More…


  • Published On Nov 12, 2013
  • Top Line: Patrice Bergeron strikes again; Subban’s a Chelios; more links

    Decrease fontDecrease font
    Enlarge fontEnlarge font
    Patrice Bergeron

    Patrice Bergeron has played well to start the season after suffering serious injuries in the Stanley Cup Final. (Getty Images)

    By Allan Muir

    An annotated guide to this morning’s must-read hockey stories:

    • Patrice Bergeron cemented his place as the stuff of nightmares for the Maple Leafs and their fans. Bergy had another big night at Toronto’s expense, bringing memories of last year’s devastating Game 7 flooding back.

    • Stu Cowan sees more than a little Chris Chelios in the career path of P.K. Subban. It’s a good reminder of all that the controversial defenseman could be as Chelly heads into the Hall of Fame this week.

    • Steve Simmons and I tend to diverge pretty widely on our hockey opinions, but we are in lockstep on these two topics: the the player who most deserves to be in the Hall and the best American player ever. He touches on these topics, and many more, in this week’s Sunday column.

    Read More…


  • Published On Nov 10, 2013
  • Top Line: Emery fight fallout continues; Oilers-Rangers trade talk; more links

    Decrease fontDecrease font
    Enlarge fontEnlarge font
    Ray Emery fights Braden Holtby

    Four days later and the hockey world is still buzzing about Ray Emery’s attack on Braden Holtby. (Getty Images)

    By Allan Muir

    An annotated guide to this morning’s must-read hockey stories:

    • David Shoalts puts the onus on Gary Bettman to diminish the role of fighting in the game. Or, at the least, put The Code in writing.

    • Steve Buffery offers a contrasting opinion that speaks for us less enlightened types.

    • If you can fight past the inexplicable decision to run FIVE variations on the same question at the top of the column, Kerry Fraser eventually offers up a pretty damning take on the performance of referee Francois St. Laurent during Friday’s Ray Emery/Braden Holtby mismatch.

    • No word if additional security was ordered for Emery’s visit to the White House.

    • Phoenix goalie coach Sean Burke let Emery have it with both barrels, calling him a bully and questioning his toughness.

    • The Flyers say Friday’s brawl united the team and will make it stronger. Can’t wait to see how some anti-fighting writers tap dance around the subject if the Flyers somehow manage to get their lost season back on track.

    • If nothing else, the Flyers have Scott Laughton to look forward to. The kid has some soft mitts.

    Read More…


  • Published On Nov 05, 2013
  • Top Line: Varlamov sharp in return; nasty business in Philly; more links

    Decrease fontDecrease font
    Enlarge fontEnlarge font
    Braeden Holtby fight

    The fight between Braeden Holtby and Ray Emery will be a hot talking point this weekend. (Getty Images)

    By Allan Muir

    An annotated guide to this morning’s must-read hockey stories:

    • An exceptional third period performance by Semyon Varlamov in a controversial starting role helped the Avs beat the Stars 3-2 in OT. Here were my quick and dirty thoughts from late last night on his performance. That link is worth clicking if only to see the Save of the Year candidate posted by Kari Lehtonen. Amazing.

    The Denver Post secured a neutral translation of Evgenia Vavrinyuk’s Thursday press conference in which Varlamov’s accuser told her side of the story. There are a few interesting differences from the original translation provided by her lawyer that seem to suggest more than simple nuance was in play here.

    • The great Mike Heika saw the Budweiser Clydesdales outside the AAC last night and used their legendary teamwork to call attention to the plight of Lehtonen, Dallas’ standalone star.

    Read More…


  • Published On Nov 02, 2013
  • Top Line: Semyon Varlamov should step aside; Subban’s hopes fade; more links

    Decrease fontDecrease font
    Enlarge fontEnlarge font
    Semyon Varlamov of the Colorado Avalanche has been accused of domestic violence

    The Avs say they support embattled goalie Semyon Varlamov, but he’s bound to be a distraction. (Icon SMI)

    By Allan Muir

    An annotated guide to this morning’s must-read hockey stories:

    • The game may be the only sanctuary that is free from the harsh realities of his life now, but the right thing for Semyon Varlamov to do now is step away from the Avalanche, writes Mark Kiszla.

    • Or maybe the Avs should take the decision out of his hands. In fact, sitting Varlamov is a pragmatic, not emotional, response to this situation, writes Terry Frei.

    • Varlamov’s Colorado teammates are staying tight-lipped about his situation for the moment, but not his accuser.

    • “The whole team supports him, including head coach Patrick Roy,” Varlamov’s father told the Russian media.

    • “You cannot discount the involvement of other forces that may be interested in aggravating the situation,” said yet another Russian official, perpetuating the Olympic sabotage theory that’s gaining steam in Russia. He also offers a solution to help clear everything up.

    Read More…


  • Published On Nov 01, 2013
  • VIDEO: This is the greatest hockey fight call ever. Ever.

    Decrease fontDecrease font
    Enlarge fontEnlarge font

    By Allan Muir

    The Dallas Stars decided to work a little synergy magic during last night’s game against the Calgary Flames by honoring their broadcast partners over at KTCK for their recent Marconi Awards win as Sports Radio Station of the Year. They flashed the on-air talent on the “vidja board,” gave ‘em new Victory Green jerseys and played some audio highlights. Good times.

    Now, even though The Ticket is the home of the Stars on Dallas radio, it’s not exactly a haven for hockey-savvy hosts. In fact, it’s fair to say the afternoon drive team of Mike Rhyner and Corby Davidson spends more time talking celebrity deaths and sharing tales of the good puppy dog than it does discussing the Great Game. They’d recognize Mike Modano if he bumped into them, but Jamie Benn or Kari Lehtonen? Not a chance.

    This is worth mentioning only because Rhyner and Davidson happened to be in the booth to talk a bit about their award-winning season with team broadcasters Ralph Strangis and Daryl Reaugh when the game quickly turned in Dallas’ favor. And, as often happens when one team feels the need for a wake-up call, fisticuffs ensued.

    What happened next as Lane MacDermid and Chris Breen exchanged blows is pure broadcast gold. No reason to excerpt the highlights. Just press play and enjoy the most wheels-off hockey commentary you’ll ever hear.


  • Published On Oct 25, 2013
  • Top Line: Teemu Selanne calls for tougher punishments; more links

    Decrease fontDecrease font
    Enlarge fontEnlarge font
    (Debora Robinson/NHLI via Getty Images)

    Teemu Selanne wants to see stronger punishments to help clean up the game. (Debora Robinson/NHLI via Getty Images)

    By Allan Muir

    An annotated guide to this morning’s must-read hockey stories:

    • Teemu Selanne, perhaps the most respected player in the league, says recent NHL disciplinary actions haven’t been strong enough and that it’s time for the league to finally hand out a big suspension so players can no longer afford to play so recklessly. He’d also like to see coaches, general managers and owners held accountable. That would change things in a hurry, wouldn’t it? And it’s also the sort of punishment that wouldn’t be dictated by the CBA. What do you think… is Teemu on to something here?

    • Suddenly, the team regarded as the league’s most notorious divers isn’t flopping around so much anymore. It might have something to do with the new coach…which doesn’t say much for the old one.

    • This column won’t go over well in Nashville, but Adam Proteau is absolutely right: the Predators could be better served by making the bold decision to trade Shea Weber. Properly executed, that’s the sort of deal that could give the franchise the traction it needs to move out of neutral and into the league’s upper echelon.

    • The Bruins needed the best of Tuukka Rask and a bit of luck to beat the swarming, snarling Sharks.

    • Things are about to get really ugly for Carolina. Already playing without backup goalie Anton Khudobin, the ‘Canes lost starter Cam Ward for up to a month with a lower-body injury. Anyone out that way feel good about Justin Peters carrying the mail for an extended period?

    Read More…


  • Published On Oct 25, 2013
  • NHL training camp and preseason notes

    Decrease fontDecrease font
    Enlarge fontEnlarge font
    Alex Ovechkin of the Washington Capitals tucks in his jersey.

    A classic trademark look is now being frowned upon by the NHL to the consternation of players. (Alex Brandon/AP)

    By Allan Muir

    As someone who has to identify players from press boxes located halfway up to the heliosphere, I can selfishly get behind the push to enforce a rule that’s been on the books for nearly 50 years. It’s a whole lot easier to pick up a number when it’s not obscured by being crammed into the back of someone’s breezers.

    Still, given the contentious debate about the league’s sudden decision to get tough on jersey tuckers, this seems like a lousy fight for the league to pick with its players. Sure, there are arguments to be made that uniforms are supposed to be, by definition, uniform and that there’s marketing value in making it easier to identify the stars of the game. And there might even be some safety/insurance element involved, though honestly when you’re passing out weekly wrist slaps to players who nearly separate someone’s head from his shoulders, this isn’t exactly a high road position.

    Whatever the reason, the optics are lousy for the league. It feels pointless and petty. On the bright side, remember that crackdown on interference? They were serious about that for a while, too.

    Joffrey Lupul brings up an interesting point:

    Read More…


  • Published On Sep 20, 2013


  •