Krys Barch regarding Maxim Lapierre: “I don’t know if he has an ounce of man in him”

21 Comments

Ever since Game 1 of the Cup Final and Bitegate, the topic of conversation has been as much about extracurricular activities as its been about the actual play on the ice. Instead of talking about thrilling last second victories or shocking overtime game-winning goals during the off days, we’ve seen plenty of stories talking about Burrows biting Patrice Bergeron or Maxim Lapierre trying to get Bergeron to bite him back. All of this on the sport’s biggest stage.

Plenty of fans have expressed their disgust since the series started. When the officials and league refused to penalize or fine Lapierre for his taunting in Game 2, it opened up a can of worms no one wanted to see. In Game 3, both Mark Recchi and Milan Lucic stuck their fingers in Lapierre’s face in response to his actions in Game 2. The problem is this: as ridiculous as everyone’s actions have been, nothing really breaks any rules. An official could have issued an unsportsmanlike minor—but the taunt itself didn’t break any written rules.

After Lapierre’s actions though, a current NHL player has finally had enough of the ridiculous antics. Dallas Stars’ enforcer Krys Barch used his Twitter account to blast Vancouver’s current pest:

“I can’t stand watching #40 and not even playing the game. I don’t know if he has an ounce of man in him. I’d be embarrassed to be his father.”

After sharing his thoughts, Barch appeared on TSN Radio 1050 to further explain his viewpoint:

“I would not allow my son to do the same. It’s absolutely embarrassing. It’s too bad right now that the rules in place protect this class of player, [one] that pretty much has no class.

(snip)

“I had a few personal text messages from players throughout the league that pretty much said ‘I wish I could say it, but I can’t. But, I absolutely agree with you’.”

Whether you agree or disagree with his viewpoint, it’s good to see an athlete standing behind his comments after his tweets made waves. He didn’t delete the comment and he didn’t say they were taken out of context. That alone is precedent that all athletes could follow.

We always hear about the unwritten rules of sports and how each sport usually will police itself. In baseball, if a guy steals signs from the catcher, he’ll catch a fastball in the middle of his back next at bat. The most obvious example in hockey is when a star player is hit, the opponent knows there will be a price to pay. It sounds like Lapierre may have a little answering to do next season—and not just against the Bruins.

What do you think of Krys Barch’s comments? Are you glad that an NHL player had the guts to openly speak his mind? Or would you rather he just shut up and watched the Cup Final like the rest of us?

Rangers punch playoff ticket to wrap up night of clinched spots

Getty
Leave a comment

The New York Rangers weren’t ecstatic that Chris Tierney‘s 4-4 goal sent their game to overtime against the San Jose Sharks, but either way, getting beyond regulation punched their ticket to the playoffs on Tuesday night.

For the seventh season in a row, the Rangers are in the NHL’s postseason. They fell to the Sharks 5-4 in overtime, so they haven’t locked down the first wild-card spot in the East … yet. It seems like a matter of time, however.

The Rangers have now made the playoffs in 11 of their last 12 tries, a far cry from the barren stretch where the Rangers failed to make the playoffs from 1997-98 through 2003-04 (with the lockout season punctuating the end of that incompetent era).

New York has pivoted from the John Tortorella days to the Vigneault era, and this season has been especially interesting as they reacted to a 2016 first-round loss to the Penguins by instituting a more attacking style. The Metropolitan Division’s greatness has overshadowed, to some extent, how dramatic the improvement has been.

This result seems like a tidy way to discuss Tuesday’s other events.

The drama ends up being low for the Rangers going forward, and while there might be a shortage of life-or-death playoff struggles, the battles for seeding look to be fierce.

Oilers end NHL’s longest playoff drought; Sharks, Ducks also clinch

Getty
Leave a comment

There’s something beautiful about the symmetry on Tuesday … unless you’re a Detroit Red Wings fans, maybe.

On the same night that the longest active NHL playoff streak ended at 25 for Detroit, the longest playoff drought concluded when the Edmonton Oilers clinched a postseason spot by beating the Los Angeles Kings 2-1.

The Oilers haven’t reached the playoffs since 2005-06, when Chris Pronger lifted them to Game 7 of the 2006 Stanley Cup Final.

In doing so, other dominoes fell. Both the Anaheim Ducks and San Jose Sharks also punched their tickets to the postseason.

The Sharks, of course, hope to exceed last season’s surprising run to the 2016 Stanley Cup Final.

Meanwhile, the Anaheim Ducks continue their run of strong postseasons, even as their Cup win fades to the background ever so slightly. All three teams are currently vying for the Pacific Division title.

The Western Conference’s eight teams are dangerously close to being locked into place, as the Nashville Predators, Calgary Flames and St. Louis Blues are all close to looking down their spots as well.

Want the East perspective? Check out this summary of Tuesday’s events from the perspective of the other conference.

Craig Anderson took his blunder hard – probably too hard – in Sens loss

Leave a comment

Members of the Ottawa Senators were quick to come to Craig Anderson‘s blunder (see above) in Tuesday’s 3-2 shootout loss to the Philadelphia Flyers, and it’s easy to see why.

It’s not just about his personal struggles, either. When Anderson’s managed to play, he’s been flat-out phenomenal, generating a .927 save percentage that ranks near a Vezina-type level (if he managed to play more than 35 games).

Goaltending has been a huge reason why Ottawa has at least a shot of winning the Atlantic or at least grabbing a round of home-ice advantage, so unlike certain instances where teams shield a goalie’s failures, the defenses are absolutely justified.

Anderson, on the other hand, was very hard on himself.

You have to admire Anderson for taking the blame, even if in very much “hockey player” fashion, he’s not exactly demanding the same sort of credit for his great work this season.

It’s official: Red Wings’ playoff streak ends at 25 seasons

Getty
8 Comments

When we look back at the 2016-17 season for the Detroit Red Wings, it will be remembered for some said endings.

It began without Pavel Datsyuk. We knew that their last game at Joe Louis Arena this season would be their last ever. And now we know that Joe Louis Arena won’t be home to another playoff run.

After 25 straight seasons of making the playoffs – quite often managing deep runs – the Red Wings were officially eliminated on Tuesday night. In getting this far, they enjoyed one of the greatest runs of longevity in NHL history:

Tonight revolves largely around East teams winning and teams clinching bids – the Edmonton Oilers could very well end the league’s longest playoff drought this evening – but this story is more solemn.

EA Sports tweeted out a great infographic:

“Right now it’s hard to talk about it, because you’re a big reason why it’s not continuing,” Henrik Zetterberg said in an NHL.com report absolutely worth your time.

Mike “Doc” Emrick narrated a great look back at Joe Louis Arena here: