First Star, Worst Star: November 1, 2015

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I’m going to go out on a limb here and I say I was not alone in spending most of my day on the couch, overeating leftover chocolate bars and promising myself I’ll never drink again (No Booze November?). I hope you all had fun last night, because it’s time to get back to business with another First Star, Worst Star.

FIRST STAR

If there’s one thing we know for sure about the top tier European leagues is that they’re filled with guys named Linus whose sole purpose is to go out there and score cool goals for us to watch on Youtube. 

Linus Klasen is no stranger to highlight reel goals. Here he is back in 2013 doing typical Swedish shootout things. 


Linus Klasen Innovative Shootout Goal vs Czech… by HockeyWebCast

And more recently, here he is playing in the Swiss A league, looking like a Swedish Connor McDavid, literally deking out an entire team and potting one to tie the game at one in the first period. 

If you watch to the end of the video you can see him go to the dressing room after scoring, which I can only assume is because the Swiss league has a rule where you must provide your opponents with new jock straps after their own are sent into the stratosphere due to irresponsible deking.  

You move Linus Omark. Your move. 

WORST STAR

I personally think the coaches challenge was a long time coming in the NHL. How many times have we seen a call or non-call change the outcome of a game, with a team or a coach having no recourse to change things? But obviously the entire system still needs some tweaking. 

I don’t want to pour salt into a fresh wound here but I still have NO IDEA how Pouliot’s goal was called back due to goalie interference last night. 

I still don’t see any real contact there and to me it doesn’t even fit the definition of goalie interference in that Ramo wasn’t impeded and unable to make the save. AND YET, the war room in Toronto once again pulled the rug out from under the Oilers and took back a clear goal. 

And here’s an even MORE egregious example! 

This Leaf’s goal was called back because…. Joffery Lupul was in the general vicinity of Henrik Lundqvist? I mean, I’m sure no one among us could ever say no to Henrik Lundqvist in any capacity, but this is insane. If these are going to be considering goalie interference then they might as well bring back the crease rule from the late 90’s. For a league that constantly bangs the drum of wanting to increase goal scoring this is clearly counter productive. Again it’s still a work in progress, a new system that everyone has to get used to, and I’m sure they’ll eventually start to get these calls right, but that’s no solace to a group of angry Oiler fans who had to drown their sorrows in peanut butter cups and vodka last night. Now if you’ll excuse me there’s a bag of Nibs calling my name. 

    • Chainsawz

      From NHL.com

      “Additional Notes Regarding Scenarios Subject to Expanded Video Review

      1. The League will make available in all arenas, technology (either a handheld tablet or a television or computer monitor) that will allow on-ice Officials, in conjunction with the Toronto Video Room, to view replays if, and only to the extent, a formal Coach’s Challenge has been initiated (or, in the final minute of play or in Overtime, a review by Hockey Operations is initiated). To the extent practical, the replays made available to the Officials on the ice will be the same replays that are being utilized by the Toronto Video Room.

      2 Once a Challenge has been initiated (or, in the final minute of play or in Overtime, a review is initiated by Hockey Operations), the Toronto Video Room will immediately establish contact with the Referee (or Linesman) responsible for the call on the ice via the headset and will inquire and discuss with the Referee (or Linesman), prior to the Referee (or Linesman) examining any video, the following: (a) the Referee’s (or Linesman’s) “final” call on the ice; and (b) what the Referee (or Linesman) observed on the play.

      3. The on-ice call will then be reviewed simultaneously by the appropriate on-ice Officials at ice level and by Hockey Operations in the Toronto Video Room using any and all replays at their disposal. After reviewing the play and consulting with the Toronto Video Room, the appropriate on-ice Officials will then make the “final” decision on whether to uphold or overturn the original call on the ice. Once the decision is made, the Referee will inform the Penalty Timekeeper/PA Announcer and will make the announcement on the ice.”

  • Semi

    As aggravating as these calls are right now, it’s time the goalies got some protection… Guys need to know that ANY contact with the goalie will nullify a goal. the transition will be painful, as were/are some of the new age hooking/holding calls, but they are a means to a worthwhile end.

    • NJ

      If they want to make it a rule that any contact is interference then that is okay, but make it a rule before enforcing it.

      It really annoys me how much contact you can get away with normally but if it is a coaches challenge any contact with the goalie is automatic no goal.

  • Semi

    I don’t get what the refs are doing with goalie interference right now. I think they forgot the rules that it either has to be intentional contact, or the contact has to stop the goalie from being able to defend his net. When letestu made contact with Ramo’s head, his head didn’t even move from the contact, showing that the force wasn’t enough to warrant goalie interference.

  • Semi

    Does anyone even understand what the NHL is doing with coaches review? If they are going to do a video review you might as well get the real people to do it, instead of the refs. Also wouldn’t it make more sense for the people who make the original calls not get to review them?

  • NJ

    If they say zero contact then its simple to follow and enforce, and the video feeds the Refs use better be exactly like the ones the war-room would get.

    Winning Teams dont leave game decisions up to the Refs unless they are having an off night.

    A good team nullifies the Officials because they can outscore the opponent under all near reasonable circumstances and embarras them during games by doing so . The Dynasty Oilers could eat one-sided officiating all night long and still win 7-4.

    You dont need to be so close to the Tender anyways, deflections come from everywhere and screening from another foot out isnt impossible either.

    • Cheap Shot Charlie

      So what happens now that there is such parity in the league and the “Dynasty Oilers” (and other dominant teams of the past) don’t exist?No team wins 7-4 when both teams are playing well and the officials are doing a good job, anymore.

      And screening from another foot out lets the defender get behind you and push you out of the way. Don’t you think the players position themselves there for a reason?

      When you return to reality, come join us in the present.

  • Serious Gord

    I’m totally fine with the goalie interference rule on one condition.

    Goaltending equipment is reduced by 20-25% – including pads two inches narrower and 15-20 % shorter, jerseys to be stretch fit And sticks shorter in length and blade.

    For far too long the goalie wing of the nhlpa has had too much power. Time to lower the boom Before hockey scores become soccer scores. If that means 30-40% of the current NHL goalies have abbreviated careers so be it.

    • The Last Of Barrett's Privateers

      This might have been ok up until goalies started to become 6’3 and taller and wooden sticks were the norm.

      This has player safety written all over it.

      Never get past the NHLPA.

      Then you’re openly ok with taken 5 or so years of salary knowing they will get hurt………oh brother.

      I tell you what Gord, as a former goalie myself why don’t you strap on a pare of 80’s or 90’s pads and pants, go put on the old chest protectors drop down in a butterfly and take a one timer from Chara!

      When your femur finally heals or your heart doesn’t explode from the impact of a puck coming off a composite stick then I’ll gladly support that argument.

      Or.

      Increase the nets two inch’s each side, two inches from top to bottom and oval the posts.

      Keep goalie equipment as is.

      • OtOil

        Every year SeriousGord bangs the same drum, saying the problem is with equipment size. Even with all their gear, it’s still a painful job. I would concede resizing the glove a bit, but really, they’ve just gotta bite the bullet and increase net size.

      • Serious Gord

        Pads blocker glove and stick have nothing to do with safety. Nor does a baggy jersey and pants. Plenty can be done in those areas with zero safety issues.

        And the net in hockey is sacred just as the baseball diamond is. It should be the absolute last resort to change its dimensions especially now that statistical analysis if rowing like gangbusters.

        • Oilcounty88

          Umm..the baseball diamond analogy is pretty weak considering every ball park in the major league has different dimensions that affect the amount of HR’s hit….For instance the right field in fenway park is one of shallowest in the league and therefore gives up a substantial amount of HR’s to left handed batters. Considering baseball is the poster child for statistical analysis I’d say you have a weak argument.

        • The Last Of Barrett's Privateers

          Pads, blocker and stick have nothing to do with safety……….

          So, I should wear pads designed for a 5’10 guy?

          I should hunch over and use a smaller stick?

          I should slam my bigger hand into a smaller glove?

          This is your argument? C’Mon man.

          The net is just a net, nothing should be sacred.

          The one great thing about the NHL is its willingness to adapt its game to fit the players needs.

          Goalie leaves net to play the puck, introduction of the trapasoid, removal of redline, curve on the sticks to using illegal curves, moving the nets back, moving the nets forward.

          The rules have been changed from the 1900’s to now in order to evolve the game.

          Nets should be no different.

          Keep the safe equipment now, increase net sizes.

          Equipment has to vary between players.

  • Serious Gord

    Coaches challenge should be a penalty for delay of game if the call is not overturned.

    You better be sure, and not using it to gain an extra large timeout.

  • The Last Of Barrett's Privateers

    The NHL is so stupid when it comes to these things.

    Basically what’s going to happen is the goalies will initiate contact at some point in the crease, if a goal goes in they have an iron clad way to reverse it.

    The NHL needs more scoring so they come up with this nonsense, essentially bringing back the foot in the crease rule.

    A player goes anywhere near the crease and a goalie can bump them or slide into them, if a shot goes in, then the rule on the ice is impeading a goalies position in the net will apply.

    So basically the rule is stay out of the blue paint and absolutely no incidental contact.

    Foot in the crease rule.

  • OtOil

    Coach’s challenge needs to be nerfed. changes to OT, and yadda yadda are designed to improve the audience experience. Instead we got two momentum breakers, ONE OF THEM IN THE MIDDLE OF A POWER PLAY!!! 12 extra minutes of exiting standing around… and the worst of all Flames fans gloating about their exploit of the rules.

  • OtOil

    Correct me if I’m wrong… I’m too lazy to go look it up… If the goalies in the blue paint you can’t touch him. If contact is made its no goal. Unless you’re pushed into him. Is that the rule? Cuz if that’s the rule then the right call was made. No matter if you like it or not. Just let it be the standard. The problem i have with the NHL is you never really know what’s gonna be allowed and what’s not. It’s all over the place

    • Mooseroni

      I think your wrong, I thought it was impeding the goalies movement you couldn’t do.

      A skate lace in the crease is where were going with this!!! Can’t remember the year that was… (1998?) When that was a rule

  • dougtheslug

    This is so lame for so many reasons. Watch Ramo – he doesn’t breathe a word of protest to the refs, just skates to the corner with his head down. He obviously wasn’t aware of an infraction. It wasn’t until Flames spotters in the booth caught sight of a replay that the whole “coaches challenge ” thing got started.

    But what’s worse is Harley having the gall to call another challenge in the third period when Flames had a goal called back for a way more egregious infraction-Talbot had been essentially bowled over in the crease and the officials waved it off on the ice-apparently Hartley felt that this time, it WASN’T goaltender’s interference, and we had to endure another delay. Flames fans of course think this is great coaching. I call it hypocritical.

  • Leaking5w-30

    The goalie stick is not safty related. The league could easily outlaw the paddle and requir golies to play with player sticks.

    Also if we further restrict what players can do in the crease we should also further restrict what golies can do outside of it. I’d suggest no intentional puck freezes outside the blue paint. Give them a delay of game if they smother a rebound or hold on to a glove save beyond the crease.

  • RyanCoke

    I think everyone will agree that ramo was not impeded from making a save. I think everyone will also agree he wouldn’t make the save if there was no “contact” regardless.

    • Derzie

      I don’t. If you watch as Ramo shifts from left to right, his head is impeded and lags behind for the first bit of the slide. Whether it was enough to be the difference between a goal & not is questionable but his movement was slightly impeded.

  • Been there

    First off, not a fan of replays,.you are trying to make a perfectly good imperfect game perfect. The game is and always has been decided on mistakes, overcoming them and bad calls with discipline is what builds winners.
    As for Pouliots goal it should have counted regardless, but in the same breath the oil should never have been on that power play, brutal penalty call as well.
    To me the problem is once again very inconsistent officiating, for years the top teams seem to have a different set of criteria, while low end teams get terrible calls.
    As well officials always try to keep the number of calls fairly even, and late in the game the whistles disappear. JUST ENFORCE THE EXISTING RULES, and the game will be great!

  • billythebullet

    The coaches challenge is nothing more than another gimmick. The NHL already has too many gimmicks. 3 on 3, no spinning allowed shoot outs, what’s next? How about a 10 minutes total goals ot like basketball 3 on 3 with the nets turned around backwards? Now that would be entertaining. Coaches challenge is not entertainment, and goals already went to review too much before this new goofy gimmick was introduced.

  • billythebullet

    After the last look at the Lupal call back, his foot got hooked onto Henriks and he wasn’t able to drop into the butterfly to make the save. Weak, a little but it was interference.

    The Oilers call back was criminal, pure robbery. They should be ashamed. It’s a conspiracy. What’s wrong with the world?