Thursday, December 27, 2007

Random thoughts

Reading the well thought out post by Lenny on last nite's win got me thinking as well about something I forgot to include.

Like he already said, I love Sean Avery and what he brings to the Rangers. Their record with him is something like 15 over .500 since the agitator was acquired from LA last season.

However, he was completely out of control near the end of the game and deserved four minutes for his childish antics. If you saw how that was handled along with the bogus major call on Colton Orr, then you already know how awful a job the officials did last night.

I can't seem to comprehend why it's so damn hard for two referees to get together with two linesmen and get important calls like those right.

There was no excuse for it. I have always been consistent with my hatred of the two ref system because the more you watch it, the more inept these guys seem. Maybe they have too many guys who shouldn't be doing these games. I don't know. But it's not going away anytime soon.

I am for protecting the players from potentially serious injuries such as the one Matt Cullen might've sustained (concussion?). But if the refs are letting their judgment rely on the impact/severity rather than whether the play was legal, then they're off course.

The harsh reality is that hockey is a vicious sport where these kind of freaky collisions occur. When you have two players skating at top speed in opposite directions, it's darn near impossible for them to stop and prevent such incidents.

I think the way the rules are sometimes getting interpretted is bogus. Like MSG color analyst Joe Micheletti stated to Sam Rosen, "You can't make up calls."

It either did happen or didn't. The league really needs to take a closer look at how their officials make potentially controversial calls which have to frustrate players, coaches along with diehard fans who know the game.

It's not rocket science. There are too many instances where the NHL keeps trying to spin the wheel as if it's going to all fall into place. Maybe they never heard of this but sometimes, less is more. Simplify. It will make everyone happy.

I also saw that MSG came to their senses and settled up with former Ranger skater Courtney Prince. Maybe the length of that embarrassing $11.5 million lost to former employee Anucha Browne Sanders actually stood in the way of more sheer stupidity by Garden CEO Jim Dolan.

Well, good for her! You have to believe she was telling the truth. I might support how my team is run which thankfully is nothing like the circus the Knicks have become but anytime Dolan loses is a good day.

Just in case your wondering, there are plenty of games on tonight's schedule including the rejuvenated Isles aiming for four straight at Eastern leader Ottawa. A very tall order.

Here's tonight's sched:

Florida at Atlanta 7 ET/4 PT
Toronto at Philadelphia 7 ET/4 PT
Islanders at Ottawa 7:30 ET/4:30 PT
Montreal at Tampa Bay 7:30 ET/4:30 PT
Washington at Pittsburgh 7:30 ET/4:30 PT
Columbus at Nashville 8 ET/5 PT
Detroit at Colorado 9 ET/6PT*
Anaheim at Edmonton 9 ET/6 PT
Minnesota at Phoenix 9 ET/6 PT
Calgary at Vancouver 10 ET/7 PT

*Watch live on yahoo

Mike Ribeiro had a goal and two more assists in the Stars' 8-3 rout of the Wild. That's now 20 goals, 22 assists for a team-leading 42 points along with a +11 rating. The former Hab has five power play goals, three deciding markers and has only taken four minor penalties. Here's the kicker. He's scored his 20 on just 51 shots (39.2 percent).

Last season, he was good in year one after coming over for Janne Niinimaa finishing with 59 points (18-41-59). This season, the guy's off the charts. Scary enough, he'll turn 28 next February. Do you think just maybe the Canadiens wish they had that deal over?!?!?!?!?! I recall saying at the time that it seemed like a little much for basically a fourth or fifth defenseman and was laughed at. Who's laughing now?

I don't think it's the Canadiens. Meanwhile, the 32 year-old Niinimaa isn't even on an NHL roster after tallying just three assists in half a season with Montreal while finishing a minus-13.

If anyone is following the 2008 World Junior Championships (WJC), team USA defeated Kazakhstan 5-1 yesterday in their first preliminary game in Group B. Former Islander 2006 No.1 pick Kyle Okposo had a goal and an assist. The 19 year-old St. Paul Minnesota native was in his second year of college with the Golden Gophers when he decided to leave school and sign with the Islanders. He'll turn pro when the WJC concludes which should be a boost to the Fishsticks.

Flyer prospect James van Riemsdyk also had a goal and an assist in the win.

Canada is already 2-0 in Pool A after 3-0 and 2-0 shutouts of the host Czech Republic and Slovakia respectively.

Kyle Turris scored twice via the man-advantage in support of Steve Mason who stopped all 22 shots in Canada's second blanking in two days. Yikes.

In their first win over the Czechs, teenage phenom John Tavares tallied twice. Keep a close eye on this kid who doesn't turn 18 until next September. Kings' netminder Jonathan Bernier made 44 saves for the shutout.

For more info on the tournament, please refer to the IIHF official site.


Temujin said...

I wonder if it would make any difference to allow the linesmen to call penalties. Perhaps that would make each game a sluggish whistle-fest (and you'd risk an official missing an offside call), but an additional pair of eyes might catch something.

Then again, too many cooks seem to be spoiling the broth already.

Lenny said...

I don't see why it's so hard to have them get together, watch a replay if necessary and just get the call right. The two ref system will work just fine if they use each other. Obviously you cannot view a replay for every little hook or trip, but why not look at it once or twice in determining game misconducts. Anything five minutes or over. Determine if they deserve a match penalty, extra minutes, or maybe it wasn't so bad. Can't hurt.

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