2013 NHL Stanley Cup Final - Game One

Writer: NHL playoffs are ‘annoying’


Inconsistency in officiating during the Stanley Cup playoffs seems to have turned one writer off to the point where the individual prefers the regular season over the post-season.

Paul Kasprzak of The Guardian Express used the term “annoying” a few times in a piece about the playoffs, primarily to describe the feeling over the suddenly different standard in officiating from the regular season.

Here are two snippets of what Kasprzak wrote. Click here for the full version.

Living in Buffalo, N.Y., I am a hockey fan like many others in my city. Even though I am a hockey, the National Hockey League Playoffs are annoying.

The regular season in the NHL is great to watch. The reason is players can skate, players fight and penalties are called. When the playoffs commence it’s a totally different story as the referee’s whistle goes into their pockets.

And to finish:

So, until Gary Bettman is no longer commissioner or the NHL, the NHL playoffs are always going to be annoying.

The league and other hockey fans could counter with the recent ratings, which hold the NHL, not far removed from another lockout, in very high esteem.

According to the Associated Press, Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final between the Chicago Blackhawks and Boston Bruins “attracted the most TV viewers for an opening game of the Stanley Cup finals in 16 years.”

But officiating – and the different standards in the playoffs – has been a source of frustration for hockey fans, players and those in the media.

Bettman has stood by his officials.

“The officials in this league are the best in the world, I believe – not just in hockey, but in any sport,” Bettman said during a press conference last week.

“I believe they have the most difficult job, and it always seems to undergo even more intense scrutiny this time of year.




Blue Jackets’ Wennberg done for night with upper-body injury

Alexander Wennberg, Jay Bouwmeester
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It wouldn’t be a regular season game without a Columbus Blue Jackets injury, right?

OK, the Blue Jackets hope that 2015-16 looks different from the medically challenged mess of last season, but at least one player is banged up tonight.

Alexander Wennberg suffered an upper-body injury and won’t return on Friday, as the team noted.

There’s no word yet regarding how serious the issue might be. It looks like he might have suffered an injury thanks to a Chris Kreider check:

Naturally, the Blue Jackets must hope that this doesn’t begin another trend.

Kings grab goalie insurance by signing Budaj

LOS ANGELES, CA - SEPTEMBER 22: Jhonas Enroth #1 and Peter Budaj #31 of the Los Angeles Kings stretch before a game against the Arizona Coyotes at STAPLES Center on September 22, 2015 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NHLI via Getty Images)
via Los Angeles Kings
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In slightly less interesting Los Angeles Kings news than the latest in the Mike Richards fiasco, the team handed Peter Budaj a one-year, two-way deal on Friday.

The veteran goalie’s contract pays $575K on the NHL level and $100K in the AHL (though it’s $150K guaranteed), according to Hockey’s Cap.

At the moment, it sounds like Budaj will be third on the Kings’ goalie depth chart. That says as much about how things have been going lately for Los Angeles than Budaj’s work on a PTO.

As noted above, one of the more significant moves in Budaj’s favor came when the New York Islanders claimed Jean-Francois Berube off of waivers this week.

The Kings actually waived Budaj before signing him, so this has to be a relief to a goalie with a fairly robust resume as a backup.

All apologies to Budaj, but it’s probably true that the Kings would prefer not to see him at the NHL level very often in 2015-16.