More Hockey Brawling

Well it seems that the hockey gods are a bit pissed off this month.  Maybe it’s all this cold weather that has everyone cranky!

This time, it was college hockey that brought us a huge brawl.  Saturday, Albany NY, played host to the Mayors Cup, a college hockey tournament.  Check out how it all ended between teams Union and RPI.

Yes, that’s right.  Even the coach wants a piece in this fight.  Check it out.  It’s a great watch.

 

Tortorella Gets 15 Day Suspension

Vancouver Canucks Coach John Tortorella

John Tortorella loses it on Calgary

Well it seems after John Tortorella met with Colin Campbell, it’s been decided that Tortorella would be suspended for 15 days after trying to confront Calgary coach Bob Hartley following the antics of their Saturday night game.

I understand the NHL wanting to crack down on this kind of behavior, but it seems silly that Bob Hartley gets off free, even though he instigated the whole mess to begin with.

But I guess that’s hockey.  Usually the aggressor walks away while whoever retaliates to a situation gets a penalty or suspension.

You never want to get a suspension in the NHL, but I think Tortorella did it for all the right reasons and by the end of it, hopefully the Vancouver Canucks are going to become even more of a “Team” knowing that their coach is %110 behind them.

Canuks and Flames Brawl It Out

John Tororella loses it on Calagary and refs

Give em hell Tortorella

As most of you sports junkies have probably seen already seen, Saturdays western conference game between the Vancouver Canuks and the Calgary Flames was a crazy one.

The game started out with Calgary coach Bob Hartley putting out his fourth line goon squad and Vancouver coach John Tortorella matching with his fourth line.  As soon as the puck dropped,  Calagary instantly went for the jugular and a brawl broke out amongst all the players.   What a wild ride.  Check it out in this video.

Of course things got even more outrageous as you might suspect.  Tortorella was obviously pissed with Hartleys decision (as he should have been).  If Tortorella had instead put his first line out and had the Sedin twins would Calgary have tried starting the game in the same fashion?  If so, Hartley should be punched in the head.  And it’s no wonder why Tortorella had some choice words for him and tried to make his way into the Flames dressing room during the first intermission to give Hartley a piece of his mind (or maybe a black eye).

This of course led to a review by the NHL.  As we speak Tortorella is in New York meeting with  Colin Campell to discuss if there will be any repercussions from the NHL.

Sure there is fighting in Hockey and I am not one of those people to speak against it, but what Bob Hartley did was truly gutless and classless.  The man definitely needs to have his clock cleaned!

But what are your thoughts?

Shootout or Coin Flip? Overtime Rules Need Changing

overtime shootout win

65 minutes wasted in a heartbeat

The shootout has been around the NHL for almost 10 years since it was introduced in the 2005-2006 season and I for one am sick and tired of it.

There is nothing worse then watching a solid 60 minutes of exciting hockey where 2 evenly matched teams end the game tied.  Then they get a measly 5 minutes of overtime to try and finish the game and if that fails, we are awarded with the dreaded shootout.

Some fans find the shootout exhilarating.  A cool mini skills competition that puts skater against goaltender.  But once you get past the initial cool factor of the shootout you realize that many hockey games in the NHL are decided on nothing more than a coin flip.

Because really that’s all the shootout is.  A coin flip.  After two teams pour their blood, sweat and tears onto the ice, it becomes pretty much a 50-50 shot on who is going to win this game.

I for one would love to see the NHL adopt a new way of handling overtime.  Because in the regular season, 2 points can mean the difference between making the playoffs or not.  Every point counts and it’s disappointing that so many of them can come from the shootout.

Granted, a shootout is much more exciting and a better outcome than it used to be in the NHL.  Remember when teams would actually tie and get just 1 point each if a winner wasn’t decided after the 5 minutes of overtime?  That sucked even more!

Of course it wouldn’t work to have a playoff style of overtime where the game isn’t over until someone scores a goal, even if 100 extra periods are needed.  Over the course of a 82 game workload, it would just be overkill to have players play those kinds of minutes.

But something still needs to be done.  Two thoughts I have on the matter would to adopt a longer overtime.  Maybe 10 minutes of 4 on 4 overtime before the shootout would give teams a better chance of settling things on the ice where they belong.  Or even 5 minutes of 4 on 4 overtime followed by 5 minutes of 3 on 3 overtime would work.

Either way 5 minutes alone just isn’t enough time to settle a close game.  Especially when only two goals have been scored over 60 minutes of play, how do we expect to get a victor in a measly 5 minutes of overtime?  Hopefully something gets done with overtime in future hockey seasons.

And while we are on the subject of overtime rules, the single point awarded to a team that makes it to overtime needs to be abolished right away.  Why award a team for being close?  Close enough only counts in horse shoes and hand grenades and not amongst a game played by men!

If you have any thoughts on the subject, please leave a comment and let’s get a discussion started.

 

Joe Thornton Snubbed By Team Canada

Hockey Player Joe Thornton

No Joe? Say it ain’t so!

First of all, let’s face it, Canadian Hockey talent runs so deep in this country that we could legitimately send two Team Canada squads to Sochi and be serious contenders.  There are just so many players for Team Canada GM Steve Yzerman to choose from, it’s outrageous.

While I can’t argue with the selections Yzerman made, I can safely say, “WHERE THE HELL IS JUMBO JOE?”

Obviously there are going to be Team Canada players that end up getting “snubbed”, but Joe Thornton is one of the great playmakers in hockey right now.  He is consistently in the top 10 for points year after year and is an assisting machine.

But Steve Yzerman had to make some tough decisions.  He even didn’t give another great player Martin St. Louis a roster spot and St. Louis plays for his Tampa Bay Lightening.  The team that Yzerman is the General Manager of during the NHL season.  (Can’t wait to see the animosity and backlash that decision creates!)

At age 34, Joe Thornton is at the height of his career and when the winter Olympics come around again in 2018, he’ll be 38 and probably too old to play at a competitive level for Olympic hockey so really this is his final chance and Yzerman blew it.

As long as you put a half decent winger beside him, the goals will come.  Let’s hope this roster omission doesn’t end up coming back to bite Canada in the butt.  We don’t need a repeat of the Turin Olympics!

Tuukka Rask Leading Bruins In Net

Boston Bruins Goaltender Tuukka Rask

Tim Thomas who?

When Boston Bruins goaltender Tim Thomas won the Stanley Cup and then fled the NHL into a self imposed exile, Boston fans were left wondering the future of their goaltending.

Luckily backup Tuukka Rask always shined when he took duties from Thomas, but would he be able to take his game to the next level?  Was he ready to be a premiere, starting goaltender.

Well it’s been 2 years since Thomas left and at the halfway point of this season, the Boston Bruins and Tuukka Rask are in contention of receiving the William M. Jennings award.  The hockey award for an NHL team that has the fewest goals against.

As it stands right now at the halfway mark of the season, Boston is tied with Los Angles for the fewest goals against at 89 goals allowed.  However, Los Angles has played 1 more game, but anything can happen over the next 42 games.  The race will be tight, but Boston could prove they are a force to reckon with in net.

Let’s see how the rest of the season plays out.

Some Thoughts On The NHL Winter Classic

NHL Winter Classic

View from the Big House

As I am still getting over my New Year’s hangover, I thought I would share some thoughts on the New Year’s day spectacle that is the Winter Classic.

For starters, I am a huge fan of the event.  The alumni games are entertaining and fun and the event does so much for spreading the world of Hockey.  Obviously the venue does not bode well for hockey as even if you are in the first row, your seats are not optimal of a hockey game, but I’m sure the point of being at these 100,000+ arenas is the atmosphere and not the viewing of the game itself.

My only real problem with the NHL’s Winter Classic is the fact that it’s a regular season game.  In this case of Toronto and Detroit’s game, both teams at the time were sitting on the edge of making the playoffs making the Winter Classic a very important game for both teams and their playoff hopes and dreams.  If only 2 points make a difference for  either of those teams of making the playoffs, it will be a shame that it came down to a game with less than optimal conditions, bad ice and no home advantage.

Instead maybe the NHL could adopt a new model for their Winter Classic.  Wouldn’t it be better if instead of having a regular season game, turn the Winter Classic into even more of a fan spectacular by having a game of NHL all stars versus the previous years Stanley Cup winning tram? Or even a NHL all stars versus the KHL or European league all stars?

I think that style of game would serve the NHL better for their Winter Classic.  Turn it into an even bigger event for the fans.  Plus the way the All Star game is set up in hockey now is just pathetic and needs a rejigging.

But thats just my 2 cents.