Why Ottawa caught fire, MMA comes to the NHL, and more notes
Got a lot on my mind grapes this morning. Grab a spoon and dig in. . .
You want to credit Ottawa's current eight-game winning streak on the decision to fire goaltending coach
Maybe it took an extended viewing of the game from up in the press box, but he finally seems to grasp the value of using his fizzy wrist shot on occasion. Spezza has a goal in each of his three games since returning from IR and has taken 14 shots -- not bad for a guy who didn't take many more than that in the entire month of October. There's also more jump in his legs and he's displayed a willingness to assert himself physically around the net. He'll still turn the puck over now and then, but he looks like a more dynamic player.
If the season-ending suspension handed last week to Rouyn-Noranda forward
Asked by the
Of course, Branch doesn't want it to come that, but by cracking open the window to accepting, if not openly welcoming, the possibility of criminal prosecution, he's enhancing the message that the CHL is about done trying to make its point about head shots. If players won't be deterred by these devastating suspensions, then perhaps the threat of dealing with the justice system will do the trick.
It's worth mentioning -- but not much else -- that the Huskies exercised their option to appeal Cormier's suspension. Expect the original decision of QMHL president
No sport's followers expend more energy trying to re-write the rulebook than hockey's die-hards. Shoot, there's probably a graduate-level paper waiting to written on the psychology of our nearly universal drive to "fix" something we love so much. Ask any fan to name the one thing he'd change and chances are he'd have a hard time narrowing it down from a dozen. I got into one of those conversations on a radio program the other day when the conversation veered into the legislation of fisticuffs.
Now, as a card-carrying member of the Flat Earth Society (as my esteemed colleague
If you haven't seen one of these violations of the spirit of honorable combat,
The two obviously agreed to drop gloves and helmets before the puck fell, but they exchanged just a single blow before clinching. At that point, they could have worked to free a hand or stayed tied up and allowed the linesmen to move in. Either option would have been fine. Instead, Kesler bent down, grabbed Ladd behind the knee and flipped him onto his back. That move may earn a fighter points in some MMA competition, but in hockey it creates an unnecessary risk of severe head trauma.
Look, there's no way you can stop players from falling to the ice, especially in close combat, but you can nip this situation in the bud by creating a major to penalize slewfooting or the use of hands below an opponent's waist with the clear intent of knocking him off his feet.
One change I wish I'd thought of was offered up by a long-time press box denizen in the wake of Dallas' 4-3 shootout win over the Flames on Wednesday night. In the final minute of overtime, Calgary netminder
The Hicks Sports Group finally divested itself of baseball's Texas Rangers earlier this week. Does that mean
Speaking of the Stars, the revelation that a torn ACL would sideline
It was rarely about the dazzling play with Wandell, but almost always about the right one, which was why his ice time had surpassed that of veteran
Every time you hear
Sochi will feature NHL players. Count on it.
I keep waiting to be proven wrong about
Colborne will have the occasional shift where he tantalizes with a burst of speed and a creative finish, but like another jumbo-sized Joe who once wore black and gold, he leaves you with a sense that he's happy to settle. Of course, that other Joe turned out alright eventually, and that has Boston's fans worried that Colborne will be included if the B's make a strong pitch for Atlanta's
Expect to hear the name of St. Louis assistant
Wish I could offer more than a hopeful thought to all the emailers looking for an update on the DirecTV/Versus dispute, but with both sides having blown by so many pressure points, I'm not holding my breath that an accord will be reached in time for the playoffs. With that in mind, here's a promise from me: if there's no agreement in place by April 1, this long-time DirecTV customer is switching to a provider that can give me the programming I want. With Versus owning a stranglehold on the best postseason match-ups, I don't imagine I'll be alone.