Posted on: February 18, 2012 5:33 pm
Edited on: February 18, 2012 8:59 pm
By: Adam Gretz
Derek Dorsett of the Columbus Blue Jackets is no stranger to fights.
According to his player page at hockeyfights.com he had been involved in 14 during the 2011-12 season, one of the league leaders in that category, and had found himself in 50 regular season fights in his entire NHL career entering his game on Saturday afternoon. So he kind of knows what he's doing when he decides to drop the gloves, and it's not much of a surprise that he did so in the third period of a game his team ended up losing 6-1 to the Chicago Blackhawks.
Choosing John Scott as his opponent probably wasn't one of the better decisions he's ever made on the ice because ... well, we'll just let the video speak for itself. Particularly the shot at the 53-second mark that shows what is an obvious disparity in size.
The Blue Jackets list Dorsett as being 6-feet, 198 pounds.
The Blackhawks list Scott as being 6-feet-8, 270 pounds.
Nothing else really needs to be said.
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Posted on: January 4, 2012 11:44 am
Edited on: January 4, 2012 1:47 pm
In the Blue Jackets' New Year's Eve home loss to the Washington Capitals, Dorsett was seen getting angry with Caps captain Alex Ovechkin after a little dustup between the two in the second period. Each player was given a minor (Dorsett for cross-checking, roughing for Ovechkin). Dorsett proceeded to yap at Ovechkin in the boxes and after their penalties. Why?
“I haven’t told many people this but he spit in my face,” Dorsett told Shawn Mitchell of the Columbus Dispatch. “That got me a little more mad.”
He explained that the spitting happened during the aforementioned dustup.
“That’s why I was yelling at the ref so much and yelling at him in the penalty box,” Dorsett said. “I find that pretty disrespectful. That’s probably one of the most disrespectful things someone can do, especially a guy who is the best player in the league. It’s classless. He’s supposed to be a role model for the game. It’s unbelievable.”
That's a pretty serious accusation. I mean, nothing would likely come from it without video evidence other than damage to Ovechkin's already polarizing image, but spitting on somebody else is a no-no, particularly in sports. Just look what it did to Roberto Alomar's career when he spit on an umpire over a called strike.
On Wednesday Ovechkin denied the accusation at the Capitals' practice.
"No, no, no," Ovechkin told the Washington Post. "I don't know. Show me that moment, I want to see it. No."
This didn't come to light without Dorsett saying as much, which leads me to believe that there's no video of this. Somebody with a keen eye would have seen it during the broadcast and would have already been a viral video. So it's going to just come down to Dorsett's words against Ovechkin's.
Here is video of the dustup when Dorsett claims Ovechkin spit on him, courtesy of Deadspin. You sure can't see anything flying from Ovechkin but you do notice how upset Dorsett is as he yells at the officials.
Photo: Getty Images
Posted on: December 11, 2011 4:34 pm
Edited on: December 11, 2011 4:55 pm
There was concern going into this season for the people in St. Louis regarding the team's goaltending situation. Jaroslav Halak had been subpar in his first year with the Blues, exacerbating the need for a quality backup should things not improve.
So with the choices on the board, who did they sign? Brian Elliott, a castoff by both the Senators and Avalanche. His signing was so underwhelming that there was no guarantee he would even open the season with the Blues. There was an honest-to-goodness competition for the second goalie spot between he and young Blues prospect Ben Bishop.
If you've been paying attention to the first third-plus of the season, then you know how that competition turned out. But it's my duty to pretend that my readers are dumb and don't know a thing (sorry people) so I'll just tell you that Elliott won out.
And he's been winning ever since.
Despite being the "backup" to Halak, Elliott is tied for the league lead in shutouts after Saturday's blanking of the San Jose Sharks. He also leads the league with his jaw-dropping save percentage (.947) and goals against average (1.45).
"I'm satisfied, but I'm not too high on myself," Elliott said after the 1-0 victory on Saturday. "Sometimes you feel it, sometimes you don't."
Truth is, he has had to be that good. The Blues aren't exactly scoring like their division foes in Detroit.
While the coaching change from Davis Payne has worked wonders for the Blues and Halak, it would be unfair to credit Elliott's success to that, too. He was outstanding before the change, he's been just as excellent after it.
It's rather amazing when you think where he came from. As we mentioned, his signing was just a little underwhelming and uninspiring. Why? Consider that last season he played for both the Senators and Avalanche after a mid-season trade, a straight goalie swap for Craig Anderson. For the whole season, Elliott was 15-27-9, including 2-8-1 with the Avs. That .947 save percentage this season? Last season it was .893.
That's quite a turnaround. It's not like he's just become suitable this season, he's been outstanding. You could make the argument that he's been the MVP for the Blues this season. Honestly, I have a hard time making an argument for anybody but Elliott considering Hitchcock isn't a player.
"He seems to always be our best player in the third period," said Kevin Shattenkirk, who scored the only goal in the game. "When we're up by a goal, he's always there to make a huge save."
He had to make 11 saves in the third against the Sharks to preserve the win, obviously with no room for error.
I can't say that Elliott is the reason why the Blues are knocking on the Blackhawks' and Red Wings' doors in the Central. It would obviously neglect a lot of other factors at play. But Elliott could very well be at the top of that list.
Among a lot of the concerns surround the Capitals, one was the power play's struggles. They had recently just gone through an 0-for-17 streak -- or skid, if you'd prefer. Then the Caps scored all four goals in a 4-2 win over Toronto on Friday with the man up.
Originally three were credited to Dennis Wideman with an assist on the fourth goal, but it was reviewed at Wideman's request on Saturday and the hat trick was taken away. But for a night at least, Wideman had the first hat trick by a Capitals defenseman in more than a decade (Sergei Gonchar in 2000).
But more immediately, there is hope that the Capitals might have found some hope for the man-up. Of course, the opposite side of the coin is that it came against the Leafs.
There is no doubt that the PK continues to be the Achilles' heel for Toronto. After Friday's awful showing, the Leafs are above only the Blue Jackets in successful PKs at 74.3 percent.
When it was announced that the Dallas Stars would be without Kari Lehtonen for some time due to injury, Stars fans were right to be worried at the process of Andrew Raycroft getting more time. Not a reason for much optimism.
With the win, he likely earned himself a start for the Stars' next game Tuesday at the Rangers.
"He's a competitive guy, and he's pretty clean when it comes to rebounds," said coach Glen Gulutzan, who coached the former Colorado College goalie in the minors last season. "I just told him when he went out there, `It's the same game that you've been playing.' He has that ability, and he's going through the natural progression. He deserves another start, and most likely we'll give him that opportunity and see if he can run with it."
The two points put the Stars back on top of the Pacific Division, which has been surprising this season, and not so much in a good way. The Stars and Coyotes are tied atop the division, but they are each 10 points behind the top team in the West, the Wild. If the division winners weren't awarded the one of the top three seeds, the Stars would be the sixth seed.
On the other bench ...
What's going on with the L.A. Kings? I'll tell you one thing, Terry Murray can't be feeling very comfortable with his job these days.
There was so much hope coming into this season for the Kings. They had been growing every season, they added Mike Richards. It appeared the Kings were on their way to their best season since the days of Gretzky.
They still could be, but they'll have to right the ship in a hurry. Would you believe that there is no team in the NHL worse at scoring goals than Los Angeles? Its 2.21 goals per game ranks at the bottom of the NHL< including below the Ducks in nearby Anaheim. Nothing like low-scoring games to sell hockey in SoCal.
When your cross-town rival makes a move firing its coach and you are being booed off the ice, it's time to wonder if the end is in sight for Murray.
The Wings are good
Just in case you missed that memo.
I was getting ready to start talking about the Winnipeg Jets and how they were extremely quietly inching their way up the Eastern Conference. Then they went to Detroit and were railroaded.
The Red Wings had seven goals from six different scorers -- and none of them was Pavel Datsyuk. It was Detroit's ninth straight win at home where they are 12-2-1 this season. Those are the most wins at home for any team this season.
Some things never change.
What is it about the Battle of Alberta that the Oilers are having so many problems with?
Half of the season's six games have been played between the Oilers and Calgary Flames this season, and the boys from Edmonton have yet to pick up a single point. Against the rest of the NHL, the Oilers are 14-10-3.
The most recent rendition of the provincial rivalry saw Jarome Iginla flash some of his old form with a pair of goals and the Flames took the game 3-0.
Most everybody would agree that the Oilers are likely the better team between the two, but they just can't beat their neighbors. I guess that's why they play the game (well that and winning, right Herm?).
Quote of the weekend
If I were to take a poll of NHL fans who have the Center Ice package which announcer is the biggest homer around? I think it would be a two-horse race between Paul Steigerwald in Pittsburgh and Bruins play-by-play announcer Jack Edwards.
So for this week's QOTW, we're going to take a light-hearted look at a call from Edwards in the Bruins' win over the Blue Jackets.
On the play, Derek Dorsett is driving toward the net to try and beat Tim Thomas, but his shot attempt is stopped and he then goes skidding into the boards. Here is Edwards' call, you might be surprised (like me).
Yes, that is Edwards rather vehemently arguing against a penalty that went on an opposing player. Clearly he was right, in no way, shape or form was that goaltender interference. If anything, it was interference from Tomas in the form of a trip on Dorsett, who was a bit worse for the ware afterward.
Before you jump down my throat, calm down. I have no problems with local announcers catering to the home team, that is their audience. But sometimes it goes overboard and is comical. So when I hear somebody this adamant in another team's defense, it's "ear-catching."
Photo: Getty Images
Tags: Andrew Raycroft, Ben Bishop, Boston Bruins, Brian Elliott, Brian Stubits, Calgary Flames, Columbus Blue Jackets, Dallas Stars, Davis Payne, Dennis Wideman, Derek Dorsett, Detroit Red Wings, Edmonton Oilers, Glen Gulutzan, Jarome Iginla, Jaroslav Halak, Kari Lehtonen, Ken Hitchcock, Kevin Shattenkirk, Los Angeles Kings, Mike Richards, Pavel Datsyuk, Richard Bachman, Sergei Gonchar, St. Louis Blues, Terry Murray, Tim Thomas, Toronto Maple Leafs, Washington Capitals, Weekend Wrap, Winnipeg Jets
Posted on: March 4, 2011 1:00 am
Edited on: March 4, 2011 1:14 pm
Edmonton Oilers rookie forward Taylor Hall may have picked the wrong combatant for his first NHL fight.
The first overall selection last summer's NHL Entry Draft was tossed around like a rag doll by Columbus Blue Jackets tough guy Derek Dorsett in the second period bout. At the end of the one-sided affair, Hall landed awkwardly and apparently injured his left ankle, The Edmonton Journal's Jim Matheson reports.
There was no immediate word on how badly he was hurt but it didn’t look good as he limped to the dressing room. His night was over 33 minutes into the hugely entertaining affair with the Oilers driving Jackets’ starting goalie Steve Mason to the bench with three goals in their first 14 shots.
Hall told reporters afterward that he "tweaked" the ankle and he'd see how it feels Friday.
While Hall didn't return the Oilers -- who are also minus forward Ales Hemsky (shoulder) for a few weeks -- still managed to chase Blue Jackets goalie Steve Mason en route to a 4-2 victory.
Hall told Matheson ealier in the day that he had been in a couple scraps in juniors and added that he wasn't sure if was ready to for any NHL fisticuffs.
He may have been right.
UPDATE: Sportsnet.ca's Mark Spector reports that Hall won't be joining the Oilers for at least the start of the team's five-game trip. He has an MRI scheduled for later Friday.