Tag: Aaron Rome

Moore on Weise

Vigneault doesn’t think Moore should be suspended


Yes, it was late, and John Moore deserved a penalty for it.

No, it’s not worth a suspension.

That’s how Rangers coach Alain Vigneault sees the hit that Moore leveled Montreal’s Dale Weise with last night in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Final.

“The guy (Weise) was admiring his pass a little bit,” Vigneault said today.

“I don’t see what else it could warrant (in addition to Moore being ejected from the game). But I’ve been surprised before.”

Indeed he has. Like in the 2011 Stanley Cup Final, when he was coaching Vancouver and his player, Aaron Rome, was suspended four games for hitting Boston’s Nathan Horton late. He was definitely surprised (and furious) by that ruling, and things quickly went south for his Canucks.

What the NHL decides to do with Moore remains to be seen. The player has a hearing today for an illegal check to the head.

“The league will do what it has to do,” Vigneault said last night. “I think [Moore] was penalized on the ice. John is definitely not the type of player to try to hurt someone, but it was a late hit and it was the right call on the ice.”

And according to Vigneault, that’s where it should end. With the call on the ice.


Five telling stats from the first round

Nino Niederreiter, Semyon Varlamov

1. Colorado’s score-close Fenwick — 38.7 percent

By far the lowest of all 16 teams in the first round. In the regular season, the Buffalo Sabres finished 30th, and they were at 41.0%.

Look, a lot of Avalanche fans thought we were picking on their team when we asked if Colorado was in trouble after Game 3. Honestly, we weren’t. All we try to do here is call it like we see it. The Avs are an exciting young team with a bright future, but defensively they still have serious issues. Just look at the late tying goal the Wild scored last night:

That is not sound, structured hockey right there.

Again though, bright future. Just have some things to learn.

2. Anze Kopitar — 10 points

Tied for the most in the playoffs, with Paul Stastny, Nathan MacKinnon and Zach Parise. There’s a good chance Kopitar is going to win his first ever Selke Trophy this season, and deservedly so. He’s an elite two-way forward, right up there with Jonathan Toews and Patrice Bergeron.

This is a goal Kopitar scored in Game 6. Note how he started and finished the play:

3. Boston’s power play — 37.5 percent (six goals on 16 opportunities)

Hey, remember when the Bruins’ power play went 0-for-21 versus the Habs in 2011? And remember the disgruntlement in TD Garden during Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Final versus Vancouver when the B’s failed to score on Aaron Rome’s five-minute major for hitting Nathan Horton late? Boston won it all that year with a power play that converted on just 11.4 percent of its chances. Related: Torey Krug and Dougie Hamilton weren’t on that Bruins team.

4. Penguins’ record when they led after two periods — 1-2

Yep, both Pittsburgh losses to Columbus came after the Penguins carried a lead into the third. In all, teams went 28-7 in that situation during the first round, which isn’t all that great. Compare that to, say, the 2000 playoffs when teams went a combined 53-4, or 2004 when they went 67-6. When the Penguins won the Cup in 2009, they went a perfect 11-0.

 5. Frederik Andersen’s save percentage — .892

The only goalie with a sub-.900 save percentage to advance to the second round. In large part because Kari Lehtonen’s was even worse, .885, for Dallas. (Not a lot of great goaltending in that Ducks-Stars series.) Should be interesting to see if Bruce Boudreau goes back to Jonas Hiller against the Kings.

Ruff: Poor defense vs. Avs ‘really falls on my shoulders’


Lindy Ruff took one for the team on Monday.

Following an ugly 6-2 loss in Colorado, Ruff deflected criticism of his young, inexperienced defense by saying he needed to do a better job of preparing them.

“Our defense were a step slow — they were a step slow on the coverage,” Ruff said postgame. “I’m going to work with them. They’ve got to play in big situations against big players and they’ve got to make those plays for us.

“It really falls on my shoulders to get them there. Because they’re the guys that are going to have to play.”

Without injured  veterans Trevor Daley and Stephane Robidas, Dallas leaned heavily on the likes of Jamie Oleksiak (20 years old) and Kevin Connauton (23), more so after another veteran — Aaron Rome — was lost to injury after playing just 2:36 in the opening period.

Things blew up in the second period, as Colorado scored four times in an 11-minute span to put the game out of reach. All four goals came at even strength with Oleksiak on for one and Connauton on for two.

In protecting his youngsters, Ruff re-iterated that it’s on the coach to get them ready for the speed and pace of the NHL.

“We got some young defense that are playing in some bigger places,” he explained. “I’ve got to get them in a better spot.”