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.




Report: Islanders cut first-rounder Barzal from camp

Mathew Barzal
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It seems Mathew Barzal has played in his last game in a New York Islanders’ uniform for a little while.

Barzal took part in the Islanders’ preseason finale against the Washington Capitals on Sunday, but after that contest the Islanders decided to return him to WHL Seattle, per Newsday’s Arthur Staple.

He was taken with the 16th overall pick in 2015 NHL Entry Draft. That selection was well-traveled as it originally belonged to the Pittsburgh Penguins, but was involved in the David Perron trade and then moved to the Islanders as part of Edmonton’s deal to get Griffin Reinhart.

Barzal is noteworthy for his skill and speed, but he may have slipped in the draft due to a knee injury he sustained during the 2014-15 campaign.

The Islanders also reassigned Kirill Petrov, Kevin Czuczman, Scott Mayfield, and Adam Pelech to the AHL’s Bridgeport Sound Tigers.

Torres offered in-person hearing, potentially setting up long suspension

Torres hit

What will Raffi Torres get this time?

The 33-year-old forward that has become known primarily for his controversial hits has once again put himself in the sights of the NHL’s Department of Players Safety. They confirmed that he was offered an in-person hearing following his hit on Jakub Silfverberg Saturday night. He declined the opportunity to meet with them face-to-face, but the offer itself is an important detail because it gives the league the option to suspend him for more than five games.

It certainly seems like the stage is set for a lengthy suspension. While Torres is not considered a repeat offender as his last suspension came more than 18 months ago, the NHL still retains the right to consider his history when deciding on this matter.

Among other incidents, he was once was banned from 25 games for his hit on Marian Hossa in 2012, although it was later reduced to 21 contests after an appeal. The NHL found that Torres was guilty of breaking three rules for that hit; namely interference, charging, and illegally hitting the head. The NHL is reviewing Torres’ latest incident for the same three violations.

You can see the hit below:

And here it is slowed down:

Torres got a match penalty and Silfverberg left the game. Fortunately, Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau said that Silfverberg could have returned, but was kept out for precautionary reasons.