Canucks players speak about NHL 'conspiracy'


DSedin1.jpgLike I said yesterday, this conspiracy talk in the NHL isn’t going
away anytime soon, and if the Canucks lose this first round series it
will just keep heating up. I will say this, and it’s something that one
of my good friends brought up yesterday, that if the NHL is conspiring
against the Canucks then they have a mess of conspiracies to try and
keep sorted out all at the same time:

The NHL’s conspiracy against
Alex Ovechkin and the Capitals.

The NHL’s conspiracy against the
Detroit Red Wings (this one makes no sense to me at all).

NHL’s conspiracy against Canadian teams, especially since Gary Bettman
took over in 1994.

Now we have the NHL’s conspiracy against the
Canucks, so that the Los Angeles Kings will advance and the NHL can get
better TV ratings in the playoffs.

I don’t buy any of it. Is the
NHL guilty of inconsistent officiating and inconsistent judgment on
suspensions and supplementary punishment? Yes. Is the NHL guilty of
trying to change to much of the game of hockey to appeal to broader

Of course, the shootout and the trapezoid were horrible ideas.
But conspiring so that certain teams advance in the playoffs for better
numbers in the finals? How do you explain Carolina and Edmonton then?
Ottawa and Anaheim?

What do the players say?

The conspiracy theorists will always be loud
and when there are bad decisions that are made, those voices will ring
out louder. What I want to know is what the players think, and thanks
to Terry Jones of the Ottawa Sun
, we have some thoughts. Jones does
a great job of going through the various theories that run rampant
regarding the Canucks, before getting to these words from some Canucks
players on whether the NHL has it out for the team:

“No. Not at all,” said Burrows after the morning skate Wednesday. “I
hope not. I don’t think so. They’ve got a tough job to do and those were
not easy calls.

“Nobody is against us. Hopefully the calls will start to go our way,”
he added.

“You earn your own breaks and we’re not earning our breaks right
now,” said Daniel Sedin.

“I don’t think it’s like that at all,” said Roberto Luongo. “Whatever
calls are made are out of our control. And I’m a big believe that you
make your own breaks.”

These guys have it right. The NHL may make some bad decisions every
now and then, but what the do not control is how these teams play. If
you watch the games in this series, it’s become obvious how overmatched
the Cancucks are at times. The Kings have more jump, better execution
and are just killing the Canucks on the power play. Roberto Luongo is
playing horribly, that must be the NHL’s doing.

As far as the ‘kicked’ goal by Sedin. This wasn’t Mike Murphy and the
War Room making anything up. There is precedent for a goal that’s not
exactly kicked in to be disallowed, and
both involve Brenden Morrow.

Oilers get Kronwall’d – in more ways than one

Niklas Kronwall
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When someone gets clobbered by Niklas Kronwall, they get Kronwall’d.

(His detractors may insist that the definition require the words “dirty” or “illegal,” but that’s a debate for another day.)

It’s easy to get lost in those thunderous hits and forget that the  Swedish defenseman also brings some skill to the table.

He made a big impact – literally and figuratively – in Detroit’s 4-3 overtime win against the Edmonton Oilers on Friday.

First, the Kronwalling:

Next, Kronwall’s overtime-winner:

It hasn’t always been pretty, but the Red Wings are leaning on guys like Kronwall and Dylan Larkin to stick with it.

Tonight’s win extends their point streak to six games (4-0-2), with five of those contests going to overtime.

Dubinsky – Crosby’s nemesis – gets the last laugh on Friday

Sidney Crosby, Brandon Dubinsky

Brandon Dubinsky isn’t a household name like Sidney Crosby is, yet for all the hype that Crosby vs. Alex Ovechkin gets, Dubinsky is the sort of guy who truly rankles No. 87.

It’s been getting that spotlight since the Columbus Blue Jackets faced off against the Pittsburgh Penguins in a brisk playoff series, though it wouldn’t be surprising if the bad blood stemmed to Dubinsky’s days with New York.

To some, Dubinsky’s cross-check on Crosby will resonate far more than the end result of this game:

The bottom line is that he’ll get the last laugh, at least for now. (In-game, that moment merely drew a minor penalty.)

That’s because Dubinsky set up the overtime game-winner, and the cherry on the top of that spite sundae came with Crosby being on the ice when it happened:

They’re not just rubbing the Penguins the wrong way.

Even Dubinsky kind of sort of admits that he may have been in the wrong.


More and more, the Blue Jackets are looking like a nuisance … possibly one that will grind their way to an unlikely playoff berth. They improved to 8-4-0 in November after a disastrous 2-10-0 October.

In other words, there’s at least a chance that we may see these increasingly bitter rivals butt heads in another playoff series.

Eichel’s sweet snipe helps Sabres snap six-game skid

Jack Eichel
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The Buffalo Sabres probably deserved better during at least some chunks of their six-game skid, yet Jack Eichel swooped in on Friday to remind fans that there’s a light shining at the end of the tunnel.

You can watch his goal from tonight’s eventual 4-1 win against the Carolina Hurricanes in the video above.

That’s not necessarily the absolute height of his on-ice magic, yet it clearly gave his team a lift:

Call this a healthy reminder that Eichel has the ability to change games, something Buffalo fans hope to get used to.

Report: Likely no suspension for Matt Beleskey’s hit on Derek Stepan

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Alain Vigneault went there in comparing Matt Beleskey‘s hit on Derek Stepan to the notorious check Aaron Rome delivered on Nathan Horton many moons ago, but the league seems to disagree.

While Rome sat through that memorable Stanley Cup Final between Boston and Vancouver, it sounds like Beleskey won’t face any further discipline, according to ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun.

In the unlikely event that anything changes, PHT will make note.

The next game between the Rangers and Bruins takes place at Madison Square Garden on Jan. 11. Will these bad feelings linger?