Tag:2011 WC Playoffs
Posted on: April 19, 2011 1:35 am
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Posted on: April 18, 2011 1:59 pm
Edited on: April 18, 2011 6:26 pm

Canucks' Torres avoids suspension for big hit

A few feet to his right or left was all that separated Vancouver Canucks forward Raffi Torres from another suspension for a blindside hit.
Torres caught an unsuspecting Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Brent Seabrook up high during the second period, a collision that drew an interference minor. But the NHL decided to take no action on Monday and league disciplinarian Colin Campbell explained in a statement why that was: 
"When Rule 48 (Illegal Check to the Head) was unanimously adopted by the General Managers in March 2010, there was no intention to make this type of shoulder hit to the head illegal. In fact, at that time, we distributed a video to all players and teams that showed a similar hit on a defenseman by an attacking forward coming from the opposite direction behind the net and stated that this is a 'legal play'.

"This hit meets none of the criteria that would subject Torres to supplemental discipline, including an application of Rule 48: he did not charge his opponent or leave his feet to deliver this check. He did not deliver an elbow or extended forearm and this hit was not 'late'."

Seabrook, for one, said Monday there should have been another ban in the offing, according to CSN Chicago's Tracey Myers:
Asked if he was surprised Torres didn’t get a suspension on the hit, Seabrook said, “yep.”

“With his history I think that hit deserves a suspension. Not going to complain about that. It’s a fast game. Things happen quickly. You have a split second to make a decision. He wasn’t trying to hit me in the head but at the same time if they’re not going to suspend somebody for that I just don’t understand that.”

“I think he kept his elbow in but he hit the head first,” Seabrook continued. “As far as I’m concerned that’s the only thing I felt. The rest of my body’s feeling the rest of it today. Whether or not he was targeting (my head) he made contact with the head first.”

Here’s a look at the hit. Seabrook was knocked out of the game briefly after another check by Torres later in the period of the Canucks’ 3-2 victory over the ‘Hawks, although Seabrook returned for the third. The Canucks lead the series, 3-0. 

Torres was playing in his first contest since he was suspended four games for a hit on Edmonton Oilers forward Jordan Eberle on April 5.

Blackhawks coach Joel Quennville, according to CSN Chicago, took more issue with the fact his team wasn't given a major penalty for the collision.
“I have no problem with that as far as the league views it. They know the standards, they know the criteria. They do a good job with that. The call on the ice is where we got hurt the most,” coach Joel Quenneville said. “It should’ve been a major penalty because he didn’t touch the puck. Hit like that you could be exposed to severe injuries and that’s the intent of a major call.”

-- A.J. Perez
Posted on: April 17, 2011 10:33 pm
Edited on: April 18, 2011 1:50 am

Raffi Torres has another questionable hit

Vancouver Canucks Raffi Torres played all of 32 minutes before he put himself at risk of another suspension. 

Torres laid out Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Brent Seabrook with what appeared to be another blindside hit to the head. A similar collision with Edmonton Oilers forward Jordan Eberle on April 5 resulted in a four-game suspension, which put him out for Games 1-2 of the first-round series against the ‘Hawks. 

"Brutal. Major (penalty), absolutely,” Blackhawks coach Joel Quennville said of the collision. “They missed it. We could have scored four goals on that play.”

Torres was tagged with an interference minor and Patrick Sharp scored on the ensuing power play, not a major where the 'Hakws could have remained on the man-advantage no matter how many goals they scored. 

Seabrook lay face down on the ice for a few seconds, but he stayed in the game until another clean check by Torres later in the period. Seabrook missed about the final seven minutes of the second, although he returned in the third. 

"He's a big Western Canadian kid," Quennville added. "Somebody else may have been on a stretcher."

Torres didn’t talk to reporters, although The Globe and Mail’s Eric Duhatschek details Vancouver coach Alain Vigneault’s defense of his forward:

Vigneault doesn’t think Torres needs to change much, noting that: “A physical dimension is part of his game. Obviously, there are some adjustments and some education that all players have to go through, but I look at that hit and I compare that hit to (Ryan) Getzlaf on (Dan Hamhuis). I compare that hit to (Alexei) Ponikarovsky on Hamhuis - same type of hit - and Getzlaf didn’t even get a penalty on his.

“I mean, hockey’s a collision sport. There’s a lot of intensity. You’re always walking that fine line.”

Vigneault said he didn’t think Torres hit even warranted a penalty, “but at the end of the day, that’s me.

“Obviously, you don’t ever want to see a player get hurt and I understand where they’re going with this. But hockey is still a physical game, a collision game. Each and every one of us wants it to stay a physical game, without players getting hurt. That being said though, there’s a physicality in the game and there’s always going to be injuries out there.”

-- A.J. Perez
Posted on: April 17, 2011 10:32 pm
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Posted on: April 16, 2011 3:41 pm

Sharks' White eyes a Game 3 return

San Jose Sharks defenseman Ian White told reporters Saturday that he hopes to be back in action by Game 3 of the first-round series. 

White was concussed after he absorbed a check from Los Angeles Kings forward Jarret Stoll on Thursday. Stoll was suspended by the NHL for one-game Friday, although no penalty was called at the time of the collision. 

 “It’s fortunate that it’s not going to knock me out for the rest of the postseason, and hopefully I’ll miss just this one game,” White said (via CSN California’s Brodie Brazil). 

White said he will undergo more tests under the league’s protocol standards. 

“If it goes good I’ll probably take some time out there on the ice,” White added. 

The series between the in-state rivals cotninues tonight. Game 3 is Tuesday at Staple Center. 

-- A.J. Perez
Posted on: April 16, 2011 4:08 am
Edited on: April 19, 2011 11:51 am

Road to the Cup: Canucks rounding into shape

Maybe the trick is meeting the Chicago Blackhawks in the first round. 

The Vancouver Canucks, the reigning Presidents’ Trophy winners, are halfway to overtaking the ‘Hawks with a 4-3 victory over the Blackhawks Friday night. Vancouver joined the Washington Capitals -- the top seed in the Eastern Conference --- as they exited the evening with a 2-0 series lead. 

ESPN Chicago’s Jesse Rogers writes it wasn’t goalie Corey Crawford or the team’s comparatively shallow depth compared to the franchise’s Cup-winning team from a year ago that is most responsible for this debt:
The Hawks’ leaders have been nowhere to be found in the first two games of the series hence a 2-0 deficit for the defending champions. 
“It’s not fun when you’re working as hard as you can and it seems like when you’re getting close to the net pucks are bouncing over your stick or shots are getting blocked,” Jonathan Toewssaid after the game. “Gotta find a way. No frustration, no excuses.” 
Toews epitomizes the lack of production by the Hawks’ top players. In 22:04 of ice time in Game 2 he managed zero shots on net though he nearly scored on a mini-breakaway early in the game. The puck rolled off his stick before an attempt could be delivered. 
“We’re the ones out there in the crucial situations,” defenseman Duncan Keith said. “It’s up to us. We’ll take responsibility.” 

Highlight of the night 

Plenty of goals were scored Friday, although no scoring attempt was interesting as Pittsburgh Penguins forward Pascal Dupuis' header in the third period of the Tampa Bay Lightning’s 5-1 victory. It wouldn’t have counted under Rule 78.5 that bars any puck directed into the net with anything other than a stick. 

Performance of the night

Anaheim Ducks forward Ryan Getzalf had a goal and two assists as the his team evened the first-round series with a 5-3 victory over the Nashville Predators. (Teammate  Bobby Ryan had two goals, but the second was an empty netter. Edge Getzlaf.)

-- A.J. Perez

Posted on: April 15, 2011 5:59 pm
Edited on: April 15, 2011 7:53 pm

Kings' Jarret Stoll receives one-game suspension

Los Angeles Kings center Jarret Stoll received a one-game suspension a day after he checked San Jose Sharks defenseman Ian White into the boards, the NHL announced Friday. 

Exactly how long White will be out isn't so certian, according to the Mercury News:

"At this present time, I would say no," coach Todd McLellan when asked about the likelihood White would be able to play.

"It's our job," the coach added later, "to put players in situations where they can succeed and you can't do that if you're not healthy and alert. He has to prove to us as a coaching staff and a training staff that he can do that. We all know the protocol now for head injuries. When he and the training staff march into my offce and tells us he's ready to go, he's that important and he'll play."

McLellan refused to call White's injury a concussion, although all signs point in that direction. White won't be allowed to retrun until he gets a doctor's clearance, McLellan said.

White’s head bounded off the boards on the collision, which occurred with 25 seconds left in the first period of the Sharks’ 3-2 overtime victory in Game 1 of the first-round series on Thursday. White suffered a bloody nose on the play and appeared dazed as he was helped to the locker room by Sharks medical personnel. Here’s a look at the collision

“Obviously, I’m disappointed and upset with the decision," Stoll told reporters (via Rich Hammond of L.A. Kings Insider.) I don’t want to miss any games, whether it’s regular season or especially the playoffs. I’m really disappointed with the decision but I respect it, and I respect Colin’s decision, to do what he did and give me the game.”

Stoll had a conference call earlier Friday with league disciplinarian Colin Campbell. 

"I just explained what I was thinking and what I did and the play," Stoll said. "I was honest with them. I told them what I thought, and I think that was the best way to go about it.”
-- A.J. Perez
Posted on: April 15, 2011 5:34 pm
Edited on: April 15, 2011 5:40 pm

NHL behind push to eject, fine octopi tossers?

For all of downtown Detroit’s troubles, the NHL apparently wants to address what it sees as a major scourge. 

The tradition of tossing octopi on the ice. 

Matt Saler of the blog On the Wings reports the NHL has asked Detroit to enforce a city ordinance, which apparently caused one fan to be ejected from Wednesday’s Game 1 and put him on the hook for a $500 fine:
"Officer Bullock informed me that the enforcement of Municipal Code 38-5-4 is at the request of the NHL. Evidently, police supervisors were informed Wednesday night, either before or during the game, by League representatives that they don’t want anything thrown on the ice. An officer has to witness the throw and nab the thrower on the spot, but it’s something they can and will enforce. Apparently, distance from players is not an issue: any octopus on the ice is grounds for ejection and a fine."

The interesting part is that the Wings are not the ones asking for it. According to Officer Bullock, they’re fine with the tradition, and even like it. And I gather the police aren’t big fans of enforcing it either. It’s up to the officer’s discretion, so it’s possible fans may still get away with it at times. But with NHL officials pushing for it, it’s less safe to throw than it ever has been. Previously, it may have been a bit of an empty threat. Now it has teeth.

According to Yahoo! hockey blog Puck Daddy , NHL spokesman Frank Brown wouldn’t confirm that the league is asking for police to enforce the city code: 
"I don't believe it's anything new, but I'm waiting to hear back from our security. It's a safety issue. You throw stuff on the ice, people get their skates caught in it, they fall down and hurt themselves. It's wrong. That's a problem," said Brown, in a phone interview this afternoon.

The NHL then sent out this statement: 
"NHL security did not direct that this person be arrested or ejected. We do have a prohibition against throwing things to the ice surface since this may cause a delay in game or injury to players or others working on the ice surface."

This eight-legged controversy began to swirl when Deadspin reported an account from the fan who allegedly was the target of police:
All of a sudden, a guy from there said, "You're going to jail. Come with me." Granted, not a thing happened to the prior folks, or any other game. I went down and was charged. Really, it's AN octopus in Detroit in a hockey game! They kick me out, fined me $500 and I have to go to court. I paid $150 for my ticket [but] now will pay $500 more. That's $217 a period.

Although the tradition of throwing an octopus on the ice dates back to 1952, opponents have complained for years that chunks of the sea creature are often left on the surface. That could create a safety concern, although there have been no reports of that any player was injured because of it. The Red Wings were threatened with a $10,000 fine three years ago if famed Zamboni driver Al Sobotka swung any octopi he picked up off the ice. 

-- A.J. Perez
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com