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“Pushing”-Style Hits, A Couple Great Playoff Goals

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New Puck Daddy: Why I hated the decision to start Cory Schneider over Roberto Luongo in game six.  ….I really, really hated the decision. (THN, story in editing as of right now)

For another take on that situation, check out Elliotte Friedman’s always awesome 30 Thoughts column.

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Happy Easter!

Ahhh, that’s terrific.

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Hey, things are heating up, aren’t they hockey fans?  We’ve got two game sevens coming up tomorrow night, and lord knows how many more after today’s two games are played, both of which are tied 3-2, both with the team down in the series playing at home.

….Not that that’s mattered much in playoffs (home ice, I mean – road teams have owned), but it’s supposed to mean something good.

The biggest stuck-in-my-craw issue from the weekend was the one I wrote about for The Hockey News today, so check that link out. 

Beyond that, some thoughts…..

The Mike Richards hit on Tim Connolly

 During a playoff game this weekend (I can’t remember which one), a commentator was wisely yelling about the “pushing from behind” – not necessarily hitting from behind, but the act of extending your arms on a guy you can’t quite reach when he’s in a dangerous position.  I don’t like it either, obviously.

My next victim is..... over there.

In short: when you’re chasing a guy, you used to be able to hook him.  Now if you even think about hooking you get Minority Report’d and sent to the penalty box for committing a future crime.  Other than just let him go, another option is the shove in the back. (Richards hit wasn’t a great example of it because he was easily caught up to Connolly, which makes it worse, actually)

This is fine in open ice, but near the boards it’s just frightening.  Guys are leaning forward with momentum so a shove can thrust them head-first with speed from a gross distance into the boards.

Whether this hit was suspendable or not, I don’t know.  But I do know that in the court of public opinion on dirty play, Mike Richards has unfortunately earned the right to have his name uttered alongside some of the more, ahem, “questionable” players.

Which is a shame, really – I quite liked him and admired his passion and work ethic.  At one point, I considered him in the Jarome Iginla/Shane Doan “boy I hope those great captains find a way to win the cup” conversations (though I always hoped it wouldn’t be with the Flyers, if that were somehow possible). 

But I’m way over that now.  He’s become a menace.  “On the edge” is fine, but you can only cross it so many times before getting villified.  Label, stamped.

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The Tampa Bay Lightning goal that involved seven passes before the bury was like, my favourite goal ever.  I love me some passing, and this was some of the best.

Honestly, I knew they were going to keep passing that – no one was taking it away, nothing was opening up, and they were being allowed to move up on the goal while the tender was getting completely mindfucked.

Had Bobby Ryan not scored the most ridiculous goal I’ve ever seen – including the underrated fantastic-ness of the finish – I’d call it the goal of playoffs so far.

That Bobby Ryan goal was like scratching off a $20,000 prize on a scratch-and-win.  Oop! Got the first one. HEY, TWO!

OHMYGODDDDDDDDDD!!!!

Ryan looked like he didn’t have a sniff to do with his life after it went in.  Just an absurdly terrific goal.

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And last, but certainly not least, I saw this video on Sports Pickle.com and thought it was hilarious.  Classicly awkward sports reporter moment. 

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Congrats to Nashville fans – I’ve been floored at how loud and proud you’ve been, keep up the good work.

Comments

4 Responses to ““Pushing”-Style Hits, A Couple Great Playoff Goals”
  1. Andrew says:

    I’m glad you elaborated on your tweet re: Richards. I’m sure I’m biased as hell as I’m a Flyers fan (and Richie is my favourite player).

    But, how does this hit not fall into the category of a hit that looks worse than intended (as you wrote about a few days ago, PuckDaddy maybe…)

    Connelly is in a horribly vulnerable position and it was a very dangerous play in a very dangerous spot on the ice, no arguing that. But if Richards is expecting Connelly to turn towards the point, he is just shoving him into the boards, and Connelly probably hits the boards with his shoulder. Is this not essentially your point from the article I poorly referenced above?

    Other than this hit and the pre-headshot rule hit on David Booth, when has Richards stepped over the line? That’s a legit question because I can’t remember any other egregiousinfractions. But perhaps I’m pulling a Bonds/McGuire/Clemens and misremembering.

    Anyway, a bad hit, a hit from behind, and certainly worthy of the penalty called on the play. My point is more about the intent rather than the result. Darren Pang on tsn said that Richards came to him at the break and asked to see the replay and asked if Connelly toe-picked on the hit. To me that makes me thing Richards was surprised about how he went into the boards, but maybe he just wanted to see if the penalty was justified.

  2. Steve C. says:

    Nashville fans SUCK!…AAAARRRRGGGG!!!..but their team plays great hockey.
    They are going to give more teams headaches as they move along.

  3. darrent says:

    Great article on Luongo. I was left wondering how this can possibly end well for the Canucks at this point. A guy you have hitched your wagon to for the next decade, who makes the largest salary on your team ( a ridiculous amount!) and tied for the largest in the league and you sit him? You are paying him that staggering salary because you think that he is the best and then you decide to pull this player from the game. Why? To me the whole thing reeks of fear. It was a desperate move made by a desperate organization. I can only imagine what the state of that organization will be if they lose game 7.

  4. Al says:

    Those THN comments are brutal! I thought you used sound reasoning even if after the fact.

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