Saturday, December 4, 2010

Kerrzy’s Notebook: Around the Rinks

The Vancouver Crynucks

The Vancouver Canucks won a heated rematch with the defending Stanley Cup champion Chicago Blackhawks on Friday night in the Windy City, but that isn’t going to stop me from calling them a bunch of crybabies!

Before the 3-0 win, Canucks coach Alain Vigneault once again accused the Blackhawks of trying to “run up the score” back on November 20th in Vancouver, a 7-1 win for the visitors. In his post-game comments that night, Vigneault told reporters:

“We basically embarrassed ourselves tonight in front of our fans, and they did everything they could tonight to rub it in our face – 6-0 and they throw their No. 1 power play unit when it’s 5-on-3. They have every right to do that. They did it. They were pushing it, and they did.”

Ahead of Friday’s game, he was spouting the same nonsense when told that Chicago coach Joel Quenneville said he was just rolling his lines and that Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane just happened to be the next two guys hopping the boards:

“C’mon, be serious here, let’s go. Toews and Kane, it’s 6-0 going into the third. What do you think? Let’s be serious.”

When Vigneault says the Hawks did “everything they could tonight to rub it in our face,” he’s forgetting a few very key things:

First of all, the 5-on-3 in question lasted a grand total of 34 seconds and the Hawks didn’t score – all three of their third period goals came at even strength.

Secondly, for the first 1:26 of the initial power play, the Hawks went with Fernando Pisani, Bryan Bickell and Dave Bolland, followed by Jack Skille, Jake Dowell and Troy Brouwer.

Who should Quenneville have put out next, the trainers and the backup goalie?

Oh, and god forbid the Crynucks are punished for taking two lazy and blatant penalties too close together in a blowout.

What a joke!

Almost Consistent

If there’s one thing I can’t stand about the NHL, it’s the level of inconsistency when it comes to supplementary punishment handed out to players.

The shining example of inconsistency comes in the league’s handling of Matt Cooke’s disregard for his fellow player last season: He was suspended for two games for a hit on Artem Anisimov, but the league decided that his hit on Marc Savard was clean…despite the fact that it’s basically a carbon copy of the first hit.

When it comes to headshots, the problem is that no one seems to understand what is legal and what isn’t, and that includes the league.

This is a little more clear-cut though: the NHL frowns upon cross checking another player in the head. In fact, it’s so frowned upon that in the first two months of the season, two players have been slapped with three-game suspensions for similar incidents.

Just when you think you’re seeing some consistency though, it seems to disappear.

Calgary’s Curtis Glencross was given five and a game for a cross check to the face of Vancouver’s Keith Ballard in the second period of an eventual 7-2 Flames loss on Wednesday. Rather than continue the trend, the league has decided to issue Glencross a fine and tell him not to do it again.

Have a look at the two cross check suspensions handed out so far: one to Danny Briere, the other to Glencross’ teammate Olli Jokinen, and then watch the video below:

If you can spot some huge difference between what Glencross did and what Briere and Jokinen did, you’re a better man than I.

The funniest part is that it was Jokinen, of all people, serving the major for Glen-X!

Early Standouts

Back in mid-November I, along with the rest of the hockey world, was ranting and raving about that Steve Stamkos kid and the ridiculous scoring pace he was on to start the season – well, he’s cooled off a little bit since then.

Stammer has a respectable six points in seven games heading into the weekend, but that’s a far cry from the 14 points he had in the seven games before that. You know who hasn’t slowed down?

Sidney Crosby.

Good lord can that guy play hockey! Sid the Man has overtaken Stamkos for the league lead in points (44 to 40), thanks in large part to a 14-game point streak that dates back to the start of November!

In that span, Crosby has 15 goals and 29 points including two hat tricks since last Saturday.

Arguably the most impressive stat of the season so far though is Dustin Byfuglien’s 27 points in 26 games, which includes a league-best five game winning goals. This guy is a beast so far this season and I love it!

Between the pipes, the hottest start goes to Detroit’s Jimmy Howard: He’s 15-2-2 on the year and, dating back to last season, went over 20 games without a regulation loss!

On the other end of that coin, Dwayne Roloson is off to the worst start of any goalie with a 2-10-1 record in 13 starts. Amazingly, his GAA is only a few points off that of Howard!


Anonymous said...

Between the pipes - Roloson is off to a great start as far as his individual play is concerned with a 2.46GAA & .914sv%. In 7 of his 13 starts he has allowed only 1-2 goals against. He has played so well for the Isles and has only received 19 goals in support over those 13 starts. What a waste - surely a playoff bound team could use his services?

Kerrzy said...

Yup individually he's doing alright...but that's a pretty bad record he's got! It's strange, the Islanders have two pretty good goalies...a decent enough forward core...but they just stink!