Hockey fight fans were furious on Tuesday when linesmen stepped in to stop Dion Phaneuf and Jarome Iginla from trading punches in Toronto.
It would’ve been a high-profile bout between two former teammates — teammates, by the way, who’ve been forced to deny rumors they had a physical altercation when they were together in Calgary.
So why did the linesmen get in the way? Both Phaneuf and Iginla kept their helmets on, so it wasn’t that.
Per TSN.ca, former referee Kerry Fraser explains:
The League has encouraged linesmen to prevent a fight from occurring if the situation allows them to do so safely. The presence of space and time between players as they measure one another prior to throwing punches often allows the linesmen a small window of opportunity to safely intervene.
Which is the same explanation that TSN Insider Darren Dreger provided today on Montreal radio.
“The benchmark has been reset now,” said Dreger. “Hockey operations made it clear to me that the mandate is, if there’s a safe way to step into a fight and prevent that fight from happening, the linesmen are told to do it.”
Unlike the old days, when linesmen were a bit more patient…
PHT’s Morning Skate takes a look around the world of hockey to see what’s happening and what we’ll be talking about around the NHL world and beyond.
The Hockey News’ Ken Campbell believes that 3-on-3 overtime would “all but kill” the shootout. (The Hockey News)
Fascinating stuff about Taylor Crosby – sister of Sidney – trying to carve out her own niche as a goalie at Northeastern University. (SB Nation)
Speaking of Sidney Crosby, The Score’s Justin Bourne provided a great breakdown regarding why his shot tends to leave goaltenders guessing. (The Score)
Editor’s Note: Pro Hockey Talk’s partner FanDuel is hosting a $10,000 Fantasy Hockey league for Wednesday night’s NHL games. It’s $25 to join and first prize is $1,000. Starts Wednesday at 8pm ET. Here’s the FanDuel link.
Jarome Iginla explains that his near-fight with Dion Phaneuf was merely a “heat-of-the-moment thing.” (Denver Post)
Simon Gagne’s signing could mean notable changes for the Boston Bruins’ fourth line. (CSNNE.com)
The Philadelphia Flyers are in a tough spot right now, but fans in need of a pick-me-up merely need to watch Claude Giroux’s ridiculous shootout goal on a loop:
Last, but certainly not least bizarre, Alex Ovechkin appeared in a music video for Katya Lel that’s just … *stares off into space like Ovechkin does for most of that really, really bizarre clip*
That clip comes via Russian Machine Never Breaks by way of Slava Malamud, although kudos are in order for Puck Daddy’s description of the video:
If you ever wanted to see a woman who looks like a mash-up of Robyn and Drea de Matteo groping a stone-faced Alex Ovechkin as he holds in a fart for three and a half minutes … Merry Christmas.
Can’t sum it up much better than that.
Jarome Iginla might not be a member of the Boston Bruins any more, but he still thinks highly of them.
Boston suffered a literal last-second loss to Iginla’s Colorado Avalanche Monday afternoon, which lowered the Bruins to 1-3-0 this season. Although the defeat has to be taken with a grain of salt given how close the game was, there were already some concerns about Boston’s slow start before Monday’s contest even started.
Iginla doesn’t think Bruins fans need to worry though.
“They’ve all been close games,” Iginla said, per CSN New England. “Getting [David] Krejci was a big boost for them, and I know they’ve got some guys out. I have no doubts that [the Bruins] will be just fine over there.”
Three of the Bruins’ first four games have been decided by just a goal, although Boston did suffer a 4-0 loss to Washington on Saturday.
Iginla has gotten off to a slow start himself, but the Bruins likely wish he was still with them, especially after Boston recorded just four goals in its first four games.
The Bruins were up against the ceiling though, which made it difficult for them to compete for Iginla’s services.
With just one win in their first three games — and after losing 4-0 at home to the Capitals on Saturday — CSN New England’s Joe Haggerty thinks it’s “okay to question what the heck is going on” with the Boston Bruins.
Players, coaches and executives can say all the right things after a deal like the Johnny Boychuk salary dump, but the message that’s reverberating from the upper levels down to the locker room is that the team isn’t “all in” to win this season. That can have a toxic effect in the clubhouse, and signs of that toxicity have shown up in the first three games. Witness how many B’s players seem to have a look of doom on their faces when they get down by a couple of goals, and there have been more shoulders slumped in the last two losses to Detroit and Washington than at any time in the last five years.
The Bruins are hosting Colorado (speaking of slow starts) this afternoon at TD Garden, and it sounds like they’ll have David Krejci back in the lineup. Which is to say, there’s a very good chance that Boston comes out with the win.
But even with a victory over the Avs, the concerns in Boston won’t be alleviated. Boychuk will still be on the Islanders, and Jarome Iginla will still be playing for Colorado.
Speaking of Iginla, in Haggerty’s opinion, Loui Eriksson — the guy the B’s were hoping could step into the top six and replace the departed 30-goal-scorer — is “a third-line winger in Boston, and he’s never going to be the offensive force the Bruins hoped he’d be when they acquired him as part of the package for Tyler Seguin.”
Related: Risk Factors: Boston Bruins edition
After watching his Colorado Avalanche limp through Thursday’s 5-0 loss against the Minnesota Wild, head coach Patrick Roy isn’t just going to maintain the status quo in the hopes that everything will work out in their rematch on Saturday.
Roy has decided to scratch defenseman Nate Guenin, who was minus-one in 14:49 minutes of ice time, in favor of Ryan Wilson. He’s also reversed some of the changes he made in response to the Avalanche’s offensive struggles in the preseason, per the Denver Post.
Specifically, Ryan O’Reilly will shift back to the left wing while Nathan MacKinnon will serve as a center. Jarome Iginla and Matt Duchene will join O’Reilly on the top line and MacKinnon will skate with Alex Tanguay and Gabe Landeskog.
Roy classified thinks these changes will serve as a “wake-up call” as he doesn’t believe the lines’ struggles were chemistry related.
The Avalanche won the Central Division last season, but they still have a lot to prove given how vulnerable they looked from an advanced statistics perspective in 2013-14.
Can we talk about how bad the Avs were last night?