Following the commencement of the NHL’s Rule Enforcement Meetings, Senior Executive Vice President Colin Campbell highlighted one of the key developments from the two-day affair:
Players want to eliminate diving. Big time.
Here’s the skinny from Dan Rosen of NHL.com:
The players in the session, including Ottawa center Jason Spezza, Vancouver defenseman Kevin Bieksa and Toronto defenseman John-Michael Liles, led an impassioned discussion on enforcing the diving/embellishment rule (Rule 64.1), Campbell told NHL.com. He said the players want to distribute a list of divers around the League so it can be posted in all 30 dressing rooms and be delivered to the on-ice officials.
“They want to get [the list] out there,” Campbell said. “They want the player to be caught, whether it’s on the ice by the referee or by us on video. They are all tired of diving. The object is to make them stop eventually and, by doing that, they can get it out there around the League, embarrass them. The referees will know it, too, so the divers don’t get the benefit of the doubt.”
The “diver’s list” became big news following the last lockout when, early in the 2005-06 season, then-Kings forward Sean Avery blasted Campbell after being placed on the list — one that publicly identified him not just as a diver, but a repeat offender.
Campbell responded to Avery’s criticisms with comments similar to those he made on Wednesday.
“We can tell a dive most of the time,” he said. “We’re just trying to get the emphatic ones and hope that players don’t want to be on a list with their names up in every dressing room.”
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One of the more memorable moments from Game 6 between Boston and Washington was seeing Bruins forward Brad Marchand get run off a play by Capitals forward Jason Chimera. Chimera made glancing contact with Marchand, but Marchand spun out like a cyclone before tumbling to the ice holding his face. Meanwhile, the Capitals headed down the ice where Chimera scored a goal.
Marchand has carved out a poor reputation for exaggerating calls and it’s only gotten worse during this series… But don’t tell Patrice Bergeron that. CSNNE.com’s Joe Haggerty hears it from Bergeron about how he has no idea where this diving talk is coming from.
“I don’t have anything to say with it to be honest with you,” Patrice Bergeron said. “I didn’t see him dive, but [Brad Marchand] plays the game hard, plays the game with a lot of pride. Last year [Marchand’s play] was a huge reason why we went all the way. I’m very happy to have him on my side.”
It’s better to have a guy like that on your side than to not as he’s got to be all sorts of irritating to play against. As far as the diving stuff, however, Marchand’s earned his reputation for a reason and all throughout this opening round series he’s found inventive ways to hit the ice. It might be part of his game, but if he winds up costing his team another goal thanks to his antics, it might be time for a sit-down discussion.
There are few things that annoy people around the league more than a player diving. So when an NHL referee tells a coach during the game that one of his players didn’t get a call because he’s a diver, it’s sure to hit a nerve.
In the final minutes of the Ducks tight 2-1 victory over the Ottawa Senators, Ryan Getzlaf reached out with one hand and hit defenseman Erik Karlsson on the leg with his stick. Karlsson when down to the ice and it minimized a Grade A scoring chance with just over a minute left in the game. The Ducks eventually were able to recover the puck after a weak backhand attempt, clear the puck, and ultimately win the game.
The play could have gone either way. We’ve seen far less called tripping this season; yet we’ve seen far more forgiven in the waning minutes of a game. The controversy stems from the comments made from referee Dan O’Rourke to Senators’ head coach Paul MacLean after the play.
“The referee informed us that (Karlsson) was a diver,” MacLean told the media after the game. “We were a little bit disappointed. Erik Karlsson leads the league in points by a defenseman, he’s an elite skater in the league, and, to this point in time, I can never remember him taking a dive. If it’s not a penalty, it’s not a penalty, but I don’t think you should be accusing someone of being a diver. That’s a pretty serious accusation, isn’t it?”
What do you think? Do you think Erik Karlsson has earned the reputation as a diver in the past? More importantly, do you think the on-ice officials should take that into account when a player goes down at the end of the game?
Fire off in the comments…