Rant answers: The Crosby-Foligno debate, Pacioretty's ban and frustrated Ducks fans
Habs fans were up in arms over Max Pacioretty's suspension, while the anti-Sidney Crosby faction is out in full force over his elbow to Nick Foligno. And Ducks fans? Ouch, that's a sore subject. A look at this week's rants!
pymp01: I'm in Montréal and I've been a Habs fan for a very frustrating 29 years on this planet. I'm not one of those who thinks there is a conspiracy against the Habs but now ... with the Pacioretty suspension, I'm starting to believe all the conspiracy theorists out there! THIS is the guy that almost got decapitated by Chara. Chara got 0 games. MaxPac 3. What gives??? No, I mean, c'est quoi le rapport?
My take: First of all, there is no conspiracy. Second of all, it is apples and oranges when you compare any hit from this season to any hit from last season. The league changed Rule 48 to expand its capability. Of course Habs fans would be frustrated that Boston's Zdeno Chara received no discipline last season and Pacioretty received three games Monday; but it's a different disciplinary sheriff this season in Brendan Shanahan and it's a different set of parameters in governing illegal head shots. One hit has nothing to do with the other.
Pacioretty made contact with Kris Letang's head. End of discussion. However, where there's a legitimate beef -- I think there should have been a whistle in overtime when Carey Price had the puck in his pads just before Pittsburgh scored. That was a blown call in my opinion. And for that, Habs fans are correct in their right to complain.
prashanthiyer: Suspend Sidney Crosby. His actions against Foligno were inexcusable and I'm actually a bit perturbed that there was zero coverage of this on ESPN. Crosby threw a dangerous and intentional elbow directly to the head of Foligno and yet there was no suspension and just a minor penalty. Where is the discipline that Shanahan preached? Crosby is not a repeat offender, but this was a dangerous play, making direct contact with the head, the opponent did not change his head position in any way, so this should definitely be a 2-3 game suspension under Shanahan's rules so far. Instead nothing, because Crosby is our poster boy. Ridiculous. Absolutely ridiculous. If Ovechkin makes this same play or any other play for the matter, he is suspended.
My take: I don't think it was worth a suspension, but it was certainly worth an elbowing penalty.
The bigger-picture story here is that Crosby has to be mindful of his actions when it comes to hitting an opponent near the head given his well-publicized comments regarding banning all head shots. I think his shoving match with Foligno illustrates why it's hard to do just that (an all-out ban).
After Ottawa's 6-3 loss last week against Pittsburgh, Foligno was not pleased with the play.
"It's not a big deal, but it is something that he preached all summer about that we should limit that and then he goes and does it, so I was just a little disappointed," Foligno said of Crosby. "But, you know, that's a small part of the game and it's over now."
Crosby's response: "I don't what he's talking about. I was preaching about the hits like the one we saw here tonight, not a scrum. I don't know what he expects after he runs a goalie three times. He's probably lucky it was me that was handling it and not someone else. I think if he's going to do that, he should be ready to expect a response. Like I said, that's a hockey scrum and he should expect that if he wants to play that way. If given the opportunity again, I would get my hands up the same way. I've got to stick up for my goaltender as well."
You had two guys engaging in an old-fashioned shoving match in front of the net; arms can slip up the shoulder, things can happen. It's why, in the end, the league will always have to take each incident case by case and determine the severity, the intent, etc., when it considers any supplemental discipline under Rule 48.
In this case, my sense is this was just two players going at it in front of the net. It happens every night in the NHL.
DTMinBflat: The Ducks should not be playing this bad, is it carlyle's fault? Is it Hiller's? who gives a crap! just freaking win already and be the team you're suppose to be and beat the crap out of the west ... so sick and tired of watching close games just to lose in OT or a shootout. Or they get completely stomped in the second period. this is ridiculous! im gonna go barf now. peace.
asutter33: So the Ducks came into the season with one of the most hyped offenses in the league and they look horrible. Pierre, you have always come to the defense of Randy Carlyle, but why? After winning the Cup, they always barely limp into the playoffs. Boudreau was great for the Capitals up until the past month, why wouldn't the Ducks can Carlyle? Isn't it time for a coach who knows more about the offensive side of the game?
My take: I do believe coach Randy Carlyle is possibly on thin ice in Anaheim. You can't be one point out of the basement in the entire NHL with that kind of roster and not be. My sense from talking to people around the league Monday is that the Ducks were going to make a big trade or fire Carlyle, and that a decision on either was looming. Stay tuned.
jaguar0413: After watching the Caps get throttled by a heavily AHL laden Buffalo squad on Saturday, I'm not surprised that Boudreau was fired. The complete lack of effort of the core players like Ovechkin and Semin was downright embarrassing. They should be ashamed. Bruce's firing was as much an indictment of their lack of commitment to the team as his own deficiencies as a coach. How does Dale Hunter turn this ship around? At this point are Ovechkin and Semin even coachable?
My take: Well, for the short term, you'll see the usual bounce back that a coaching change traditionally brings. As for Ovechkin, one of the concerns I had when he signed that long-term deal a few years back was whether he had the internal motivation to push himself the rest of his career despite not having to ever play for the next contract for a long, long time. In other words, is he a self-starter? Perhaps he is and just needed a new coach pushing his buttons. We'll find out. But if he's lacking motivation, that's a concern no coach can fix.
ancientmariner909: Why are the Kings still on last season's streaky pattern? They're either unstoppable or just plain bad. Some of their losses are close games, but you'd think that this team with so much potential could do much more. I have a lot of faith in this team to get things together and develop some consistency, but I don't know when that will happen.
My take: I know one concern the Kings have is their home record; they want to get better at Staples Center. A 2-0 win over San Jose on Monday night improved their home record to 7-6-1, and that's not good enough. Fellow contenders such as Chicago (7-1-2) and Detroit (9-2-1) show how you're supposed to take care of business on home ice. For the Kings to be true contenders, they have to make Staples Center a tough place to win for the visiting team.
ManUtdRule63: The Sabres need to fire Lindy Ruff and Darcy Regier, especially Regier as he's the worst GM in hockey and constantly flops at the trade deadline with his terrible trades, even since Pegula bought the Sabres and brought money with him, he managed to waste it on Ville Leino and Christian Ehrhoff. Darcy needs to go if the Sabres want to win the cup.
My take: Deep breaths, sir, deep breaths. If you had to fire all the GMs that had interest in Leino and Ehrhoff this past summer, there would be a long list of GMs out of work today. Leino has struggled the most, and it's important to know it's the first time he's ever made big money in the NHL and I think that can weigh on a player. But his record shows he can play clutch minutes (see the 2010 Stanley Cup playoffs and finals with the Flyers). I don't think firing the longest-tenured coach or his GM would solve anything. And I don't see it happening, either.
Samuel Lamoriello Jackson: I'm very upset about Parise's called back game tying goal against the Isles. The guy was battling for it right up against the goalie, lost his footing, and the puck slid right it. The refs called it back after reviewing a few minutes, but (call me biased) I think the kick was clearly accidental as Parise could hardly see the puck in all that scrum. I think there is a serious need to clarify rule 49 regarding a "clear kicking motion." What does that actually mean? I think Parise's goal was at most an accidental kicking motion, and not a "clear" motion by any means. The rule should be clarified, or possibly instate some kind of coach challenge, although the challenge might not fly in hockey.
My take: Here's how the NHL's situation room explained its decision upon video review Saturday:
"At 19:59 of the third period in the Devils/Islanders game, video review used the overhead angle and the side camera to determine that Devils forward Zach Parise used his right skate to propel the puck into the net. According to Rule 49.2, 'a goal cannot be scored by an attacking player who uses a distinct kicking motion to propel the puck into the net.' No goal New Jersey."
This isn't as clear as most, but I still think the league made the right call here. I think as upset as the Devils are that it wasn't allowed, Islanders fans would have had a bigger beef if the goal would have stood.
twobyfour162: Joe Sacco and Greg Sherman need to go in Colorado. Sacco hasn't kept the lines together for more than a few games and is it really smart to sign Varlamov and not have a full time goalie coach to help the kid out? Get rid of them both, they won't get the Avs to the playoffs.
My take: It wouldn't surprise me if Joe Sacco eventually took the fall, but the problems are more deep-rooted than the coach. Where's the leadership/vision from president Pierre Lacroix? This franchise needs fresh blood at the top, in my opinion. That's where the problem begins.
JazzyJ40: My rant is about other rants. Why do people continuously 'rant' about how their team gets no 'love' when it's streaking?
My take: It does get repetitive, doesn't it?