Hockey writers poke fun at possible rule changes from R&D camp

Thumbnail image for developmentcampone.jpgWhenever the NHL discusses making changes – particularly ones that are off the beaten path – they make life pretty simple and easy for satirists and bloggers. So it’s probably no surprise that while blogs such as our own did indeed pour over a ton of the details, some of the funniest hockey writers had a field day with the NHL research and development camp.

With that in mind, I thought I’d share three of the better parody articles on the subject.

First, here is some commentary from Colorado Avalanche blogger Jibblescribbits, who produced fake reactions from NHL team’s on potential rule changes.

5 Minutes of 3 vs 3 OT

Washington Capitals scout– Imagine an Ovechkin-Semin-Green line. Or we could be radical and use two forwards and a defenseman

A Minnesota Wild scout– It’ll be difficult, but I think we could still suck the life out of this.

A Philadelphia Flyers scout – Plays right into our hands, since we’re kind of used to playing 3 vs 5 anyways

[snip]

24 inch blueline

Detroit Red Wings scouts – Our players may finally be able to see it

Ottawa Senators scouts – More defensive zone to protect? At least it won’t change Jason Spezza’s game

A Vancouver Canucks scout – Wait they’re testing 24 inch blue lines? You don’t say. I just thought Wellwood fell on it.

scoutsatrandd.jpgNext, the Pegasus News has their snarky list of “long overdue rule changes” (that didn’t actually go through, obviously).

Long-Overdue Rule Change #16: Unattractive players will be given game misconducts.

Long-Overdue Rule Change #17: Special “Get Medieval” nights will feature players using spiked maces instead of sticks, referees dressed like bishops and plague-infected rats swarming the concession stands.

Long-Overdue Rule Change #18: Two-minute minors will be accompanied by the player’s mom showing embarrassing baby photos of the offender on the JumboTron.

Finally, you cannot have a story about hockey satire without blogger Down Goes Brown. Here’s an excerpt from the piece he wrote for his new gig with The National Post.

The league also looked at continuing to restrict line changes. One new rule would see teams that went offside be unable to change lines before the next faceoff, similar to what happens now with icing. This change is expected to be popular with the many fans who find themselves saying things like “This game is OK, but I’d enjoy it more if the players were constantly vomiting from exhaustion.”

This ongoing war on line changes is expected to someday culminate with coaches having the option to disable line changes altogether, but only if the opposing coach gets up to use the bathroom and leaves his Xbox controller lying around.

Icing has always been a mixed blessing for hockey fans. On the one hand, races for the puck are exciting. On the other, exploding hip fragments can sometimes fly up into the stands and get in your beer. The NHL is trying to find a way to keep the former while minimizing the latter.

The answer appears to be a concept called hybrid icing, which is just like regular icing except it gets better mileage. Experts agree that it will cost twice as much and cause your insufferable granola-snorting neighbour to strut around like he’s better than you.

Good stuff. I hope you enjoyed those parody articles as much as I did. Remember, even in some of the darkest (or driest) of times, someone – somewhere – will write something funny that makes fun of hockey. Kind of a comforting thought, isn’t it?

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    PHT Morning Skate: Stevens sees similarities between the Wild and those great Devils teams

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    –In a Q & A with NHL.com, Minnesota assistant coach Scott Stevens says this year’s edition of the Wild reminds him of the stingy Devils teams he played on. “It reminds me very much of the Devils in how we play. We definitely love to protect the middle of the ice. We might give up a few more shots, but we give up a lot of those perimeter shots and hopefully our goaltenders know where the shots are coming from,” said Stevens. (NHL.com)

    –Maple Leafs rookie Auston Matthews has shown that he’s got the hockey thing down, but his “Call of Duty” game has come a long way, according to teammate Mitch Marner. (BarDown)

    –Many expect the Canadiens to try to land a top two center between now and the trade deadline, but in an interview with TSN 690 radio, GM Marc Bergevin says “you can never have too many defensemen.” If you listen to Bergevin, it sure sounds like he wants to add a mobile defender to play with Shea Weber. (TSN 690)

    –The Chicago Blackhawks got some solid production from Vinne Hinostroza, Nick Schmaltz and Tanner Kero in last night’s win over the Avalanche. You can watch the highlights from that game by clicking the video at the top of the page.

    –How much would you pay for a young NHL superstar’s game worn jersey? The jersey Auston Matthews wore during the first period of the Centennial Classic sold for an incredible amount of money. (Yahoo)

    –Will we see Patrik Elias return to the New Jersey Devils this season? The 40-year-old underwent cartilage replacement surgery on his knee during the off-season, but he doesn’t seem willing to close the door on his NHL career just yet. Elias wants to make a final decision on his playing career by next month. (USA Today)

    –Going through a scoring slump is never fun, but going through a scoring slump when you’re the captain of the Montreal Canadiens might be one of the more unbearable things in professional hockey. Max Pacioretty was able to overcome a slow start thanks to some big-picture thinking. “At the end of the day, look at the life we have, look where we’re playing. I love playing here so much, and the fact I’m able to be the captain here, it sounds cheesy, but what’s better in life right now? I’ve got a family, I’ve got an awesome team, I’m the captain of the best franchise in the world,” said Pacioretty. (NHL.com)

    Lonnie Cameron, hockey-tough linesman, shakes off puck to head (Video)

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    Talking about hockey toughness is pretty much a trope at this point, yet there are still moments that impress even the cynical among us.

    Linesman Lonnie Cameron accomplished that for many on Tuesday, as he returned to the Nashville Predators – Vancouver Canucks game despite taking a puck to the head in a scary moment.

    Judging by the Twitter feed of Brooks Bratten from the Predators’ website, Cameron missed mere minutes of time.

    So, yeah, it seems like Cameron qualifies as “hockey tough.”

    As far as the game itself went, the Canucks beat the Predators 1-0 thanks to Henrik Sedin‘s goal (his 999th point) and Ryan Miller‘s 30-save shutout.

    Is this more than just a slump for Henrik Lundqvist?

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    People have been wondering for years if Henrik Lundqvist would finally fall off track and, you know, look human. After the New York Rangers’ zany 7-6 loss to the Dallas Stars, those rumblings are probably getting a little louder.

    Don’t expect the Rangers to throw their star goalie under the bus, though, especially after a wide-open game like Tuesday’s goal-filled game at Madison Square Garden.

    In fact, Rangers head coach Alain Vigneault is already penciling Lundqvist in for Thursday’s game against the rising Toronto Maple Leafs.

    “He’s going to play, he’s going to try real hard, and we’re going to try to play better in front of him,” Vigneault said, according to the New York Post’s Brett Cyrgalis. “This is a team.”

    Lundqvist, meanwhile, said about what you’d expect:

    Naturally, Lundqvist and plenty of other Rangers threw the word embarrassing around quite a bit to describe this game, or at least the first 40 minutes. It’s just that no one’s really raking Lundqvist over the coals.

    Is this time different?

    Again, Lundqvist is no stranger to struggles, even if he struggles less often than just about any franchise goalie in recent memory.

    Still, the sample size is getting large enough for this stretch to be a concern for the 34-year-old netminder.

    While goal support and stretches of good play open the door for a respectable 18-12-1 record, Lundqvist’s allowing almost three goals per game (2.89 GAA) and has a backup-level .902 save percentage this season. And that’s over 32 games.

    Things get even uglier if you focus on more recent events.

    He’s allowed 20 goals in his past four starts, including allowing 12 tallies over four periods during the past two games. Lundqvist has a putrid .841 save percentage in January after producing great work in November (.925 save percentage in 11 games) and nice numbers in December (.915 in eight games).

    Lundqvist has given up four goals or more on nine different occasions since Nov. 23.

    In other words, there are a lot of different ways in which he’s struggling:

    Is this a matter of Lundqvist regaining his focus or is “The King” finally abdicating his throne?

    The Rangers are going to let him try to work through this. Otherwise, they might just need to hope that this is an off-year and *gulp* at least consider how far (an eventually healthy?) Antti Raanta could take them.

    Supporting cast rallies Blackhawks in win against Avalanche

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    For much of the season, the Colorado Avalanche’s biggest names have let them down while many believe that the Chicago Blackhawks are getting it done despite a mediocre supporting cast.

    On Tuesday, the script was essentially flipped. The Avs’ stars were productive, yet so were lesser-known Chicago forwards like Tanner Kero and Vinne Hinostroza.

    The most important narrative stayed the same, however, as the Blackhawks found a way to get by the Avalanche in a 6-4 decision.

    The Blackhawks took a 2-1 lead into the second period, but the Avs put together one of their best stretches of this lousy season. Blake Comeau tied it up, Matt Nieto scored his first goal with Colorado and then Matt Duchene answered Chicago’s only goal of the second period (by Kero) to give the Avalanche a 4-3 edge.

    The Avalanche doubled Chicago’s shots on goal in the second period, generating an 8-4 edge. It felt like a rare moment where Colorado’s talent actually flexed its collective muscles.

    Then the Blackhawks turned it on in the third, generating a 12-5 shot edge of their own and finding a way to win.

    Hinostroza ended up making the biggest difference, scoring the tying and game-winning goals before Kero iced it with an empty-netter thanks to an unselfish pass by Jonathan Toews.

    (It’s not to say that Chicago’s big names outright slept through this game, either. Toews got that assist and Marian Hossa made a bunch of plays to help make life easier for Hinostroza and Kero.)

    This wasn’t always pretty, but the Blackhawks are doing enough to get points night after night. On some nights, that’s the real difference between a contender like Chicago and a languishing squad like Colorado.