NHLPA proposes 'band aid solution' to head-shot rule

You had to know that the NHL players on the competition committee
would not just outright accept the league’s proposal for a rule change
to take effect this season, that would deem blind-side head shots
illegal.

Today, word came down that the players on the competition
committee — Jason Spezza, Ryan Miller, Mathieu Schneider, Jeff Halpern
and Brian Campbell — have proposed a temporary, ‘band-aid’ solution
for the rest of this season before revisiting a more permanent rule
change this summer.  From
the Canadian Press, via Sportsnet.ca
:

The NHLPA first expressed a desire to see a head-checking penalty in
March 2009. Spezza indicated that the players are in favour of tweaking
the current proposal.

“It’s very similar,” he said. “We’re looking for a Band-Aid fix for the
rest of the year in case something happens, but in the long term, we
have to sit down together and find a better solution than just tweaking a
little rule. It has to be something that’s talked about. It can’t just
be sprung on

“It’s too bad because we’ve been talking for two years to try to get
something in place, but it’s hard to find the proper language and the
right rule.”

I can respect the players’ view on this. The proposed rule change is
part of something that the NHLPA has been trying to institute for couple
of years now, and all of a sudden the NHL proposes something that is
really just a minor tweak to the existing rules.

Making blind-side head shots illegal certainly addresses a very
specific problem, but it is far from taking on the bigger issue of head
shots in general.

David Shoalts of the Globe and Mail feels
a bit differently.

Call me a cynic, but I can’t help
but
think that the NHLPA’s unofficial response today to fast-tracking the
new headshot rule is nothing but an up-yours to the league.

With the headshot rule being a huge
issue with the public, the NHL wanted to get it into effect right away
but now the players are essentially saying, “Hold on just a minute.” By
saying they are willing to approve a temporary rule for the rest of this
season, they are trying to avoid a public backlash.

But the players know the league is highly unlikely to go along with
that. They will say, all right, let’s follow the process and bring it in
next season, and then turn to the public and say, “Hey, we tried.”

I think the players have the right to approve or disprove any rule
changes of this nature, especially when they are off-the-cuff, knee jerk
rule changes by the NHL as the league tries to save face in light of a
PR nightmare.

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    Marchand scores fastest goal in Bruins’ history; Datsyuk’s 900th point

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    It makes sense that a swift bit of history happened in a game in which three goals were scored scored on three shots in about three minutes.

    Brad Marchand found the net eight seconds in after an icing call, setting a new record for the Boston Bruins.

    (You can see that goal in the video above.)

    Watch that three-goal burst in this video:

    The two teams weren’t done then. Loui Eriksson made it 3-1 while Pavel Datsyuk scored his 900th point to make it 3-2.

    Maybe the best moment wasn’t a goal: Torey Krug was seemingly hurt by a Pavel Datsyuk hit, yet he returned without missing much time.

    Kinkaid blanks Kings, Devils move into playoff position

    New Jersey Devils goalie Keith Kinkaid (1) watches a shot on goal during the second period of an NHL hockey game against the Los Angeles Kings, Sunday, Feb. 14, 2016, in Newark N.J. (AP Photo/Mel Evans)
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    When the New Jersey Devils shut down a team 1-0, it’s usually with Cory Schneider in net.

    Their workhorse got the afternoon off against the Los Angeles Kings on Sunday, yet Keith Kinkaid did his Schneider impression, grabbing his first NHL shutout in the process.

    It was a low-event game with just 46 combined shots on goal, but Kinkaid had to work, stopping all 28 shots. To give you an idea of how tight this game was, the only tally was credited to David Schlemko on the power play.

    This gives the Devils three straight wins. They managed to climb into third place in the Metropolitan Division, although New Jersey’s edge is a little misleading; the Islanders trail them by one standings point while holding three games in hand.

    That leaves the Islanders in the bottom wild card spot, while the Penguins aren’t so far behind either.

    Third in Metro: Devils – 65 points with 57 games played
    Second wildcard: Islanders – 64 points, 54 GP
    First spot outside the East playoffs: Penguins – 63 points, 54 GP

    So, the Devils’ hold of a playoff spot is a bit tenuous, yet the bottom line is that they’re staying in the mix.

    The Kings, meanwhile, remain comfortably in first in the Pacific.

    WATCH LIVE: Boston Bruins at Detroit Red Wings on NBC

    Boston Bruins left wing Brad Marchand (63) and Detroit Red Wings defenseman Mike Green (25) battle for the puck in the first period of an NHL hockey game Wednesday, Nov. 25, 2015, in Detroit. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)
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    The Boston Bruins (without Patrice Bergeron) take on the Detroit Red Wings (missing Jonathan Ericsson) on Sunday afternoon.

    It’s a matchup between the second-ranked and third-ranked teams in the Atlantic Division, with little separating the two in the standings.

    You can watch the game on NBC and also stream it online via the link below.

    CLICK HERE TO WATCH LIVE

    Fighting it: No Patrice Bergeron for Bruins once again

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    As cool as it was at the time for many, Patrice Bergeron‘s fight against Blake Wheeler is … honestly, a good reminder why players like Bergeron rarely drop the gloves.

    Multiple outlets including CSNNE.com’s Joe Haggerty report that Bergeron will miss Sunday afternoon’s game against the Detroit Red Wings (which you can watch on NBC).

    We don’t know a ton about the injury aside from the fact that the multiple Selke-winner is considered day-to-day.

    People don’t seem overly concerned about this issue, but you have to wonder if Bergeron made a bad choice, especially considering his history of concussion issues.

    You can watch the bout that may or may not have left him injured in the video above.