Canucks players speak about NHL 'conspiracy'

3 Comments

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).

The
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
audience?

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.

Flames keep showing life, Stars stumble once again

1 Comment

If you think the Dallas Stars are struggling because of defense more than anything else, then you’ll make sure to keep the video above “on file.”

There Kari Lehtonen was, helpless on a 2-on-0 rush for the Calgary Flames, which Johnny Gaudreau finished with calm and ease. For some, that goal is the symbol of the Stars’ season.

Either way, it was a painful goal in the Flames’ 2-1 win against the Stars. Calgary won despite Dallas firing 30 shots on goal versus the Flames’ 20.

One team climbing, the other stumbling

With that, the Flames are now on a four-game winning streak. Since falling to 5-10-1 on Nov. 12, the Flames have gone 9-3-1 in their last 13 games, pushing them to 14-13-2 overall. Gaudreau coming back is the icing on the cake after Chad Johnson really took charge of the Flames’ top job.

During a similar span, the Stars can’t seem to get it together. Dallas stood at 6-6-3 after beating the Oilers 3-2 on Nov. 11. They’re now 10-11-6, essentially standing in place as a .500 team.

Dallas can’t seem to get momentum going, a thought that might have left them envious of the team on the other end of the ice on Tuesday.

Canadiens are facing some turbulence (and mostly passing the test)

ST. LOUIS, MO - DECEMBER 6: Patrik Berglund #21 of the St. Louis Blues checks Tomas Plekanec #14 of the Montreal Canadiens at the Scottrade Center on December 6, 2016 in St. Louis, Missouri.  (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/ Getty Images)
Getty
Leave a comment

The Montreal Canadiens aren’t in crisis mode, but as far as this so-far outstanding 2016-17 season goes, they are finally facing some adversity.

Alex Galchenyuk, one of their most promising young players, is out indefinitely. There are murmurs that captain Max Pacioretty isn’t getting along with head coach Michel Therrien.* Tuesday presented a body blow or two to boot.

For one thing, the Canadiens gave up a 2-0 lead to lose 3-2 to the St. Louis Blues in overtime. Jaden Schwartz grabbed an assist and scored the game’s last two goals, including the OT-winner:

Losing to a contender like the Blues, especially while still grabbing a “charity point,” isn’t that big of a deal. A possible David Desharnais injury makes things a little dicey, however:

Really, though, it’s not all that bad for Montreal. They managed a 2-2-1 mark during a five-game road trip heavy on quality opponents.

Also: six of their next seven games come at home, where they’re 12-1-1. So things will look brighter soon enough.

Still, with some injuries and a big road trip to end 2016 and start 2017, there may be some moments where Montreal looks vulnerable.

Ultimately, fighting through stretches like these could very well benefit the Habs later on.

* – Ah, the old standby: “Player X isn’t seeing eye-to-eye with Therrien.”

From the Blues’ side:

Ristolainen, Kane, O’Reilly push Sabres past McDavid and the Oilers

EDMONTON, AB - OCTOBER 16:  Rasmus Ristolainen #55, Matt Moulson #26, Sam Reinhart #23, Kyle Okposo #21 and Ryan OÕReilly #90 of the Buffalo Sabres celebrate a goal against the Edmonton Oilers on October 16, 2016 at Rogers Place in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. (Photo by Codie McLachlan/Getty Images)
Getty
Leave a comment

On Tuesday, it wasn’t just about Jack Eichel vs. Connor McDavid. Instead, it was a clash between a fleet of young scorers who were in their prime, with the Buffalo Sabres coming up on top against the Edmonton Oilers.

In particular, high-scoring defenseman Rasmus Ristolainen, power forward Evander Kane and two-way center Ryan O'Reilly made the difference in Buffalo’s 4-3 overtime win.

Ristolainen’s first goal of 2016-17 was a big one, as it clinched the contest in OT:

Evander Kane scored two goals of his own, including one in the dying seconds of regulation to allow Buffalo to get a standings point (and then a second) in the first place.

Kane finished with two goals, O’Reilly generated two assists and Ristolainen managed a one-goal, two-assist performance.

It would be wrong to say that the marquee names didn’t show up at all. McDavid generated two assists and Eichel also nabbed a helper.

You’d be correct in saying that other young players stole the show, though, and the Sabres were the biggest beneficiaries.

Video: Brent Seabrook shaken up after awkward fall

Leave a comment

It wasn’t nearly as scary as the falls suffered by Travis Zajac or Philip Larsen, but the Chicago Blackhawks are still holding their breath when it comes to defenseman Brent Seabrook.

As you can see from the video above, Seabrook was tripped up by Jordan Martinook of the Arizona Coyotes during a simple puck battle. Seabrook was shaken up after falling awkwardly on that play.

At the moment, it’s unclear if this will be an ongoing issue or if the Blackhawks avoided a costly injury.

Martinook was not penalized.

CSN Chicago’s Tracey Myers notes that Seabrook wasn’t out to begin the third period. So far, not so good.

The Blackhawks beat the Arizona Coyotes 4-0, so the silver lining for Chicago is that they won.