Tag: Alan Walsh

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Strange officiating overshadows Sharks’ shootout win vs. Kings


The San Jose Sharks edged the Los Angeles Kings 6-5 via the shootout in a game that began strangely and only grew more bizarre. Sure, it was at times an utterly fantastic contest, yet it will be marred in many eyes because of some odd calls – or lack of calls – by an officiating crew blasted by the likes of mega-agent Alan Walsh.

The night’s most controversial moment came when Ryane Clowe clearly touched the puck from the bench during a late Los Angeles Kings rush. Here are a couple shots I managed to capture from NHL Game Center Live:


Here is a shot from afar:


Jon Wold does a fantastic job of capturing it frame-by-frame here. NHL.com added video of the incident, so enjoy it with the Kings’ announcers reactions as an added bonus:

CSNBayArea.com’s Kevin Kurz caught up with Clowe after the game, but he essentially took Dave Chapelle’s advice and plead the fifth. Drew Doughty wasn’t so shy with his assessment of the incident, as he told Rich Hammond:

“It’s like running on a football field and hitting someone during play,” Doughty said. “I don’t see why it’s any different than that.”

(Note: I’d say it’s more like running on a football field and knocking down an attempted pass – no one got hurt, after all.)

Even Kings team governor Tim Leiweke spoke out about it, as Hammond also captures.

“It’s a shame that a guy can cheat and get away with it in a game this important.”

Well, wow. It’s difficult to say what received more criticism: yet another fantastic bit of hate settled by a skills competition or that missed call (which would have been a two-minute minor penalty, for all the hoopla).

Actually, that’s not true; the missed call pretty much ruled the day. The Royal Half probably captured the mood the best with his reaction:

“Congrats to Ryan Clowe on winning the San Jose Sharks 6th Man Award!”

Hopefully NHL officials round into playoff form by April 11 or there will be many long – and angrier – nights on Twitter. Speaking of which, The Fourth Period’s Dennis Bernstein floated an interesting question: should Clowe actually be suspended for his action? Chew on that in the comments as we take a look at how that lost point could affect the West and Pacific:

The impact

Now that the West’s top eight has been settled, it’s all about playoff positioning. Here’s where everyone whose spot is still considerably subject to change stands now. (Note: I’ll save you deep analysis right now so your head doesn’t explode.)

“3” Los Angeles: 94 points, 34 regulation/OT wins, one game left
4. Nashville: 102 points, 42 reg/OT, one game
5. Detroit: 101 points, 39 reg/OT, one game
6. Chicago: 99 points, 38 reg/OT, one game
7. San Jose: 94 points, 33 reg/OT, one game
8. Phoenix: 93 points, 34 reg/OT, TWO games

As you can see, there’s a lot of potential for change. Any of the Kings, Sharks and Coyotes could swap spots. Phoenix can now “control its destiny” with those two remaining games while the Blackhawks could take the fifth spot with a regulation win against the Red Wings on Saturday.

There are a lot of moving parts, but at least you can snuggle with this bit of simplicity: those eight teams represent the playoff picture, as muddy as it is. Then again, that’s the only real bummer from a busy Thursday; postseason arrangements rather than berths are only on the line going forward.

Tomas Vokoun gets pulled in just over five minutes

Washington Capitals v San Jose Sharks

The Washington Capitals came into tonight’s game against the Carolina Hurricanes with a chance to take a slim Southeast Division lead. It’s still possible for the Caps to come back from a 3-0 deficit, but if the pattern holds, Monday will provide another stew of embarrassment and frustration for Washington.

Tomas Vokoun might end up with the most egg on his face, though.

The Czech-born goalie allowed two goals on just seven shots, which was enough for Dale Hunter to yank him from the game. In the process, Vokoun experienced the shortest start of his career at just 5:09.

In a way, it just fits his up-and-down season. Vokoun’s agent Alan Walsh just Tweeted about his hot recent run on Sunday:


So much for that.

More explanation for Moore non-suspension

Dominic Moore

The New York Rangers have made no bones about their dissatisfaction regarding the decision to fine (but not suspend) Dominic Moore for his hit on Ruslan Fedotenko. Shanahan already took to Twitter to elaborate on the verdict, but that might not be enough for some.

Here’s a further video explanation (because reading and social media are venues for suckers).

Something tells me that the Rangers, their fans and Fedotenko’s agent* probably won’t be satiated by this, either. Give Shanny credit for trying to at least clarify things, though.

* – Seriously, a lot of people complained about this.

What they’re saying about NHLPA rejecting realignment


Tonight looked like it was going to be a run-of-the-mill evening of NHL action until Twitter just about exploded thanks to the stunning news that the NHLPA didn’t approve the NHL’s radical realignment plan. Some might contend with the notion that the players’ union actually rejected the realignment, including agent Alan Walsh:

source:  So what does this mean for the NHL, NHLPA, the 2012-13 season and terrified hockey fans and writers? Let’s take a look at some of the most interesting reactions on Twitter.

NHL teams might officially say that they’re not happy with the NHLPA, but outspoken NY Post reporter Larry Brooks has an interesting take on how some (or perhaps most?) teams might really be feeling:


Aaron Portzline suggests that isn’t true with every team, though:


The NHLPA as a whole might be at odds with that group of spurned teams, although the travel argument is creating some serious debate on Twitter. Bruce Garrioch provides some possible reasoning for the rejection nonetheless:


The factors are up to debate – especially if you are a natural cynic who doubts the honesty of press releases – but Dejan Kovacevic claims that it comes down to one man whose name is associated with terrifying labor stoppages:


There’s been plenty of snark-laced panic over the lockout-friendly implications of this move, but Adam Proteau walks us off the ledge a bit:


Finally, TSN’s Darren Dreger concurs with Proteau’s sentiment and probably sums up an almost undeniably uneasy future for the next CBA:


In other words, it should be awfully entertaining, even if it’s in a rubbernecking-at-a-car-accident kind of way. Let’s hope that the 2012-13 season isn’t lost in the wreckage, though.

Agent calls for NHL to curb ‘concussion epidemic’

New York Islanders v Pittsburgh Penguins

If you polled the hockey world and asked people what they’re most tired of hearing about, it would be some combination of the words “concussion” and “out indefinitely.” The list of names keeps getting larger as Sidney Crosby, Jeff Skinner, Claude Giroux and Milan Michalek are sidelined with troubling head injuries. Michalek’s agent has had enough.

The Canadian Press reveals that Alan Walsh is demanding action from the NHL, which he said is in “the throes of a concussion epidemic.”

“With the economic incentive to make NHL hockey more exciting, the league worked diligently to increase the speed of the game,” Walsh said. “With increased speed necessarily comes increased collision. The results as it relates to player safety are self evident. It’s time for the NHL and teams to treat this issue as the crisis it is.”

Walsh calls for the league to look at the “root causes” of concussions, citing rules that opened up the game, finding safer helmets/mouth guards, head shots and fighting.

I’m with Walsh on improving safety equipment and wouldn’t be surprised to see staged fights gradually decline, but it’s hard to imagine the NHL going back to Dead Puck Era rules. NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly more or less confirmed that suspicion by saying “The last thing anybody wants to do is overreact to a very short snapshot in time.” He’s also correct in saying that concussions are likely a fact of life in this sport – to some extent.

That being said, Daly isn’t 100 percent correct in saying that the league has done everything it can. The concussion procedures still have a way to go (“The Quiet Room” process seems like a joke to many, for example) and the NHL should stay on top of safety innovations.

The truth, then, is somewhere in between. The league still has room for improvement when it comes to preventing these injuries, but I don’t think that a drastic measure like bringing back obstruction is the answer.

What do you think, though? How far should the NHL go to curb this “epidemic?”