Tuesday, November 15, 2011
Rant answers: Time to go, Jarome, Sabres tickets for sale and a worthy coach
By Pierre LeBrun
Well, well, fans in Boston and Buffalo are riled up this week after Milan Lucic collided with (or was it drilled?) Ryan Miller. Let’s a take a look:
lumpy1981: I'm sick of everyone calling Lucic's hit dirty. Especially those people talking about him deliberately going after Miller’s head. Lucic didn't avoid any contact, that was a 2-minute penalty. He took a penalty to make sure Miller or any goalie would think twice about leaving his net next time. The rule is stupid. If a goalie leaves his crease like that, he should be fair game. If you want to prevent hits on goalies, make it illegal for goalies to leave their crease or some designated area.
Kaleta3600: When will the NHL finally crack down on the dirty, gutless Milan Lucic?! Shanahan dishes out suspensions at every single hit and then somehow he gives Lucic a hall pass. Lucic had every intent of hitting Miller on that play, whether he meant to concuss him or not will never be known, but by watching the play unfold it was obvious he was aiming straight for Miller. And isn't hitting a goalie illegal? Oh believe me, Lucic knew very well. With a case like this and with a guy like Lucic, who isn't exactly revered around the league for his sportsmanship, I will never understand how and why Brendan Shanahan let that slide.
My take: From the NHL rulebook, Rule 42.1: “A goalkeeper is not ‘fair game’ just because he is outside the goal crease area. The appropriate penalty should be assessed in every case where an opposing player makes unnecessary contact with a goalkeeper. However, incidental contact, at the discretion of the Referee, will be permitted when the goalkeeper is in the act of playing the puck outside his goal crease provided the attacking player has made a reasonable effort to avoid such contact.’’
So first of all, Lucic did get a two-minute penalty on the play; you can’t forget that. Second of all, the debate then is whether you feel this was incidental contact. The part I didn’t like was Lucic’s arms being pushed/stretched out on the play. But otherwise, it’s a race to the puck, which is incidental. In my book, it would have been worth a fine. But nothing more.
SumNoob: What is wrong with Iginla? has the teams worst plus/minus. seems to look lost half the time and isn’t accomplishing much right now. I know he is a slow starter but i don't remember him looking this bad. Also do you think he is going to finish his career in Calgary?
My take: The whispers out of Calgary are that the captain and the head coach may not be on the same page. Keep an eye on this one. Jarome Iginla has a no-trade clause and has never wanted to leave Calgary. But I wonder if this isn’t finally the year he says, “Enough is enough.’’ We’ll see.
webelieve11: The Hockey Hall of Fame inducted four great, passionate and dedicated players. They were just missing a great, passionate and dedicated coach to join them. I still can't believe that Pat Burns has yet to be inducted. And it's an absolute disgrace that they didn't get him in before he passed. When will they correct this terrible mistake, Pierre?
My take: Well said, my friend. It’s a terrible mistake that Burns hasn’t yet been included in the Hall. It should have been done two years ago, when he was still alive and could have enjoyed that moment. The reason he’s Hall-worthy is because he’s won three Jack Adams Awards with three different teams, plus a Stanley Cup. Hopefully, the 18-member selection committee gets it right next June. I’m not surprised they didn’t put him in this year because it would have looked like they were reacting to the public outrage from the year before. But surely it’s time to get it right. As Doug Gilmour said Monday night at the end of his speech, “We believe he’ll be here one day.’’
nizkizzle: When will the league realign the conferences? Too many West Coast teams are being punished, and frankly are being physically prevented from healing due to long travel miles. San Jose, Edmonton, Vancouver and Phoenix each have over 50k travel miles and Anaheim and Calgary have just under 50k. Meanwhile Islanders, Rangers, Devils, Penguins, and Flyers all have under 30k travel miles. I understand that East Coast teams are located close to one another, but I can't help but feel East Coast teams get the better deal when it comes to Coast to Coast travel. They say the healthy team in the playoffs wins, well looking at the Cup winners previous 10 years, only 2 teams, Avalanche, Ducks, are East of the Mississippi River. You can't tell me that 20k less travel per year, or even 10k would help keep players healthier, and more fresh in the course of the year. Now I also get that these guys aren't flying coach, or staying in Motel 6's, but swelling and headaches don't get better while at 30k feet in the air…
My take: Niz, the NHL’s Board of Governors will vote on realignment Dec. 5-6 in Pebble Beach, Calif. And yes, the Western teams are the ones more aggressively pushing for radical change while the Eastern teams are more content with something close to the status quo, other than realizing Winnipeg has to move. The four-conference proposal seems to be gaining traction, however. The debating and lobbying will continue for another few weeks before Pebble. The GMs had their say in Toronto on Tuesday, the league looking for their feedback, but it’s a governor issue in the end.
m_works: Guys, can you do something about the bipolar weekly rankings? I can't be the only person frustrated watching teams soar or plummet 10 or 12 spots based on how they played over the past 2 or 3 games. Maybe an average between both your rankings?
My take: What can I say? Burnside and I don’t agree on anything!
jaykk1: How is Tyler Seguin not on the All-Star ballot? He could be leading the league in goals and points very shortly (currently 2nd and 3rd respectively). I guess when you include Doug Hamilton and Jared Knight, the Bruins made out quite well in that trade.
My take: Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz ... Oh sorry, All-Star Game? Fell asleep there for a moment. As many of you know, my care level on the All-Star Game is below zero. I can’t get riled up about it. Sorry, folks. But yes, obviously Seguin should have been on the ballot.
beerleaguer726: I am REALLY sick of the ban the 1-3-1 talk. It would be a disgrace to do so. The league would be laughably in the wrong if they were to dictate what systems/style a team can play. My opinion: Laviolette got outcoached! Plain and simple. You’re an NHL coach, and you can't come up with a scheme to beat it. Quit whining and earn your paycheck! Get creative (something lacking in Philly outside of Giroux and Jagr). You as 10th year NHL coach are basically conceding to the fact that a second year coach outfoxed you. Boucher put the time in and implemented a system that could straight up frustrate the Flyers. For Laviolette not to put the same effort into the game is embarrassing. Embarrassing that he wasted the fan's time "bringing light" to a dead-puck era system instead of doing his job. I'll take a page from Shanahan on this one; This onus is on the coach to design a winning game plan, NOT the league.
My take: The GMs talked about the trap here in Toronto on Tuesday, but in the end you cannot legislate against it. This is an age-old issue. The league even formed a blue-ribbon committee under Brian Burke in the 1990s to tackle the trap. But nothing really came of it. Flyers GM Paul Holmgren himself told us Monday night at the Hockey Hall of Fame that he believed last Thursday night’s controversy was an “isolated incident.’’
anfarnzk: am i the only sabres season ticketholder who thinks the sabres won’t make the playoffs? they play like garbage and i think they are a joke. their soft and play horrible defense every single game. the only reason we have won at all is enroth getting lucky in like 4 games and playing horrible teams. with such an easy starting schedule, the sabres have legit sucked and I’m happy miller is hurt hopefully he still has some value in a trade because he has to go asap, and yes, the defense has given up many of these goals, but at least make one save on any of them he just quits! he goes after first shot halfheartedly and then lays on the ice. its pathetic look for my seats on ebay!
My take: I promise to eat 50 chicken wings in one sitting if the Sabres miss the playoffs. I’m that confident. Patience, young man !