The season continues to barrel faster and faster toward the preseason, and sports stores in Edmonton have started their annual “stock up on name bars for the consensus number one overall pick in the upcoming draft” that has become a hallowed tradition on the streets of Edmonton. And since it’s Sunday that means it’s also time for First Star, Worst Star.
There’s an old saying that states the best offence is a good defence. And it turns out that the best defence is a diving poke check that denies a sure goal!
Bud Holloway not only has one of the best hockey names to come out of the 1954 NHL season, but he’s also put himself into the conversation for save of the year.
I can’t confirm that Holloway made this play because he had the support of NHL All-Star John Scott behind him, but I also can’t NOT confirm it either. The Ice Caps would go on to lose the game 4-1, but I mean, still, LOOK AT THAT SAVE! Long live the AHL!
A lot of things have gone wrong for the Oilers this season; a seemingly never-ending string of injuries, poor play from key players, gaping holes in the defence that seem to widen every year, among other things. Also not helping the Oilers cause this season? The absurd amount of goals called back. Can anyone remember a season in which THIS many goals were called back on the Oilers? Maybe it’s just me but it feels like every 5th or 6th game something will happen and Edmonton will be denied yet another goal. This week alone it happened in BACK TO BACK Oiler games for Gord’s sake!
First there was Taylor Hall’s no goal call on a delayed penalty against Minnesota on Thursday.
I can’t really fault the ref on this one, as it was a bang-bang play, he didn’t have the world’s best vantage point to see what was going on, and the puck did stop in the crease before Hall banged it home, so I can understand why the ref thought the Wild D-man had corralled the puck. HOWEVER, is this not the type of situation that goal reviews were put in place for in the first place? If we’re going to seemingly have a coach’s challenge or a review from Toronto on every goal, why doesn’t Toronto call down to the refs and say “the Wild player didn’t actually have control of the puck, no penalty on the play as that’s a good goal”? Seems pretty straight forward to me.
The one on Saturday, however, I WILL fault the refs for.
Again, bang-bang play, and the ref looks up to see Taylor Hall steamrolling over Calvin Pickard. No goal call on the ice, fine. But how can the refs or anyone in the situation room in Toronto watch the replay of this and not clearly see that Hall is being driven into Pickard by his own teammate Nathan MacKinnon? Where was Hall supposed to go there? I’m all for protecting the goalies and allowing them to do their jobs without having to worry about getting ran over on every play, but the only thing that would have prevented this is if Hall had not charged the net in the first place.
For a league that constantly tells us it’s trying REALLY SUPER HARD WE PROMISE YOU GUYS to increase scoring they seem to be doing the exact opposite. And it’s not like this is a problem that is specific to the Oilers; how many other examples have we seen this year where a player is sort of near a goalie and a goal is called back due to goalie interference? The challenge system is still a work in progress obviously, but if the NHL is actually serious about increasing offence then the least they could do is stop waving off all these “good hockey goals”. I mean, the Oilers have enough problems as is, the last thing they need is THE MAN trying to hold them down even more!