Thursday, June 2, 2011

Around the Rinks: Canucks & Bruins – Biting and Diving

What a start to the Stanley Cup Final on Wednesday night in Vancouver!

The Canucks opening game win over the visiting Boston Bruins had a little bit of everything – enormous saves at both ends, some big hits, a few nice offensive displays and a lot of nastiness between two clubs that seemed to develop a hate for each other in a hurry. It wasn’t all good though – there was also a bit of controversy that is sure to spill over into today.

The big discussion in hockey circles at the moment revolves around an incident that happened at the end of the first period of game one involving Canucks forward Alex Burrows. He was mixing it up with Boston’s Patrice Bergeron along the boards, with a linesman trying to pry them apart, when Burrows appears to chomp down on the gloved finger of his opponent.

It’s at this point that Bergeron gets heated and even skates over to try and show the referee the bite mark. After the game, Burrows was asked about the incident and said “I think he had his finger in my mouth, but I don’t think I bit him.”

He’s not sure, but he doesn’t think he bit him. Well, I think a lot of us do think that’s what happened! You be the judge:

If the league feels like there is enough evidence there to determine that Burrows bit Bergeron, should there be some measure of supplementary discipline?

The last time it happened in the NHL we saw a two-game suspension for Jarkko Ruutu. I think Alex Burrows deserves a one-game ban in this case. There is absolutely no place for this type of stuff in the game of hockey, especially not at this level!

What do you think: Should Alex Burrows be suspended?

That’s not all folks – on Wednesday night we also saw the return of another pathetic trend that seems to be showing up far too often in the NHL these days, especially in this year’s playoffs.

Yes, I’m talking about the dive.

Now, I’m not trying to pick on the Canucks here, but Henrik Sedin was once again guilty of some serious embellishment in the second period of this game. In fact, his team has become known for it in the past few months.

In this incident, Andrew Ference gives Sedin a shot (after his brother Daniel hacks him in the back of the legs) and the Canucks captain goes down in a heap!

Sadly, that’s not the only example from these playoffs.

There was a brutal one from Patrick Kane in the first round, some serious embellishment on the part of PK Subban that had the Bruins riled up, Jerred Smithson was accused of pretending to be hit with a high stick, and who can forget Joe Thornton’s performance:

Why is this happening so often (and so blatantly) in the NHL these days? The league promised to take action against diving in early May, but that doesn’t seem to have stopped anyone from having a go!

To be fair, I have seen refs call a guy for diving. The problem is, more often than not they also call a penalty the other way to even it up! I’m sick of seeing refs call tripping and diving on the same play. It’s either one or the other!

What do you think: Is diving getting out of hand in the NHL?

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