The Sabres have elected to keep Ron Rolston on as their head coach for next season. Not going for an established coach indicates to me that they are indeed going 'rebuild', and that the unproven coach can grow as the team grows.

*

My thoughts on the Calder finalists - I think the right picks were made. Granted, Alex Galchenyuk and Nail Yakupov had the best final two weeks. And Vladimir Tarasenko and Cory Conacher had the best initial two weeks. But the trio of Gallagher, Saad and Huberdeau were consistent throughout. And while the best rookie this season - Jonas Brodin - was to me the absolute best freshman on any team, he didn't have the flashy stats to warrant a Top 3 nomination.

*

You know what is starting to get on my nerves? The whole 'suspension' thing. Not the NHL and the inconsistency there because - newsflash: that's not ever going to change, situations are perceived differently by different personalities. No, what I'm referring to is the reaction from vocal fans and media. Every hit, somebody's whining about a suspension. An elbow goes up a little? Suspension. A player smells funny? Suspension. Just stop. Watch the F'n game. Just like you used to watch it 10 years ago.

The Wheel of Justice? This player got X games, so this player who did a similar thing should also get X games? Yeah, stop that. Take the word "suspension" out of your rant, and insert the words "sit in timeout" and you sound exactly like my conversation with my four-year-old and my two-year-old when they're fighting. "But he got this…" and "Hey, no fair…" Who. Cares. Injustice and bad calls in sports happen all the time. What you see as a suspension, your neighbor sees as a clean hit. Don't stress out about it, just sip on your beer and watch the game.

And I'm as guilty of it as anybody - and I've been focused on stopping. I see a massive hit in a hockey game, I don't want my first thought to be - will he have a phone call from the NHL tomorrow? But that's what pops in my head right away. And I hate it. I don't want it to be like that anymore. So I'm going to focus. I'm going to watch hockey and when elbows go up, or big hits are thrown, I'll just nod, sip on my beer, and keep watching and enjoying the game. Who's with me?

*

Tuukka Rask stole one for the Bruins. He made 45 saves on 47 shots and on the second goal it was a defensive breakdown that caused it - and he still bailed his teammate out twice before finally Kessel stuffed it home. It's the reason why Rask had been the top prospect goaltender prior to making the jump. The Leafs are toast if he's found his zone.

 

 

The Bruins were winning draws left, right and center. The linesman seem to have caught onto to Tyler Bozak's faceoff move and implemented a zero-tolerance policy. The slightest cheat and he was sent out of the circle. So when he stayed in, he lost the draw.

Speaking of which, I've had enough of linesmen making themselves the star of the show. Drop the puck please. You can be replaced by a tube that slides down from the ceiling. Drop the puck.

*

Cody Franson led both teams in shots on goal with seven (tied with JVR). He had just one shot combined in Games 1 and 2. He also led the Leafs in ice time (24:43).

*

Not sure why David Krejci was second star of the game. Jagr was the best skater for the Bruins, and Lucic a close second. Krejci earned two of his three points thanks to Lucic, who was like a freight train at times. Jagr had just one assist to show for it, but was dangerous all game and you will see him on his new line in Game 4 I'm sure. He clicked well with Peverley and Kelly.

*

My column for The Hockey News yesterday took a close look at Pascal Dupuis, who is an unrestricted free agent in the summer - how do you play it? Buy? Sell? It's all here.

*

The minute John Tortorella recognized Derek Stepan as their No.1 center over Brad Richards and played him accordingly, the Rangers became the team we expected them to. He's played 73 minutes over three games now.

With the three-point game last night, Derick Brassard has 14 points in 16 games as a Ranger. So glad I traded him three hours before the Blue Jackets traded him. Man. But who saw that coming? I had no idea he was on the block. Brassard also recorded five hits.

Mats Zuccarello has eight points in his last 10 games. Sleeper for next year, no question.

Marc Staal played 17:17 in his return to the lineup from that brutal eye injury he suffered.

*

Dave Bolland and Ray Emery will not be ready to return to action tonight for the Blackhawks, but both are looking pretty good for Game 5.

*

Jets' prospect Mark Scheifele is still going. Barrie moved onto the OHL Final against the Knights. Scheifele had four points in three games last week to earn OHL player of the week honors. We have him fully profiled right here. Edit: Scheifele had five points last night in a 6-3 win! (s/t to Jimmy Taktikos via Twitter)

*

Justin Abdelkader was suspended for his hit on Toni Lydman. So he was out, Mikael Samuelsson (finally) draws in. Here is the hit that got the suspension:

*

Jason Pominville was back in practice for the Wild, but is still questionable. The team also added to their Black Aces, calling up Mikael Granlund and Matt Dumba.

*

Matt Beleskey has five points in his last six games.

*

Although Vladimir Tarasenko was back in the lineup for St. Louis, he had just 5:51 of ice time. Were it not for two shifts in the last seven minutes - immediately after the Kings took the lead - Tarasenko would have been under five minutes.

The line on Vladimir Sobotka - two assists, plus-2, with 10 hits. One thing's for sure - the loss wasn't his fault.

By comparison, David Perron was minus-3 with an assist and zero hits.

*

Detroit scored three times and their players tallied six assists. Of those nine points, six were earned by first-year players. Smith and Andersson had two points each. Brunner scored the OT winner - with Nyquist earning an assist.

Brunner's OT winner:


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Comments (17)add comment

shovelguy said:

shovelguy
@Rusty Pickles Yakupov spent most of EV TOI with Gagner but RNH, Hall, and Eberle weren't anywhere near Yakupov this at all. Yakupov's top 3 lines this season: Gagner-Hemsky, Gagner-Paajarvi, and Jones-Horcoff. Frozen Pool can help you out to confirm this.
May 08, 2013
Votes: +0

Steve Janz said:

Steve Janz
... Dobber is sipping his beer way too much...someone suspend him fast!

Suspend the really terrible hits - like Lemieux many moons ago....or Hunter...many many moons ago! Let the players take care of the rest...
May 07, 2013
Votes: +0

repenttokyo said:

repenttokyo
full face protection If someone dies, it's not going to be from a facial injury. It's going to be a skate cut to the neck, a broken neck from a hit, or a brain injury from a collision/hit.
May 07, 2013
Votes: +0

The Comish said:

The Comish
Just venting... I've been watching NHL hockey on a consistent basis for a very long time, since '79-80 and the officiating over the last couple of seasons has to have been the worst I have ever seen. Inconsistent - yes, that is bound to happen when you have two referees and two linesmen that now seem to have conferences to decide what they saw - although I admit, if they get the call right, I'm okay with that...but that's one step away from going upstairs to replay for the officials.

A part of the problem is that the NHL keeps telling the referees what penalties they are going to focus on this year and that is complete crap. Call the rules that are in the book and let the referees manage the game as they see fit. IF the NHL doesn't like the way they are managing the game, counsel the referee and then let him know he's under watch for x amount of games and if he continues to miss calls, then demote him to the AHL for a "conditioning" stint. The rules "du jour" drive me insane. One year it's obstruction fouls, next year it's head shots, next year it's rule 42, the next it's something else. Call the game the way you see it refs!

The game seemed better when there was one referee and the players still policed themselves. With two referees and the instigator in place, players like Sean Avery thrived. There are now more "agitators" than ever in the NHL who don't fear anything. In the old days, they would at least be sitting in the box for five minutes (for receiving) and likely getting additional dental work done to them. I agree that some players are truly fearless, but if you read Theo Fleury's book where he talked about getting hit by Marty McSorley (like getting hit by cement blocks!), you would truly have to be fearless to want to take a beating at a player like that's hands.

I also realize that the good old days weren't as good as I remember, but at least if you were a dick on the ice, you likely had to pay the price on the ice in blood. That's a much better deterrent than maybe serving a suspension on Shanaban's Wheel of Injustice.

As for serious injuries, I hate seeing any player taken off the ice on a stretcher or a serious bleeder and I do think that we will see a player die from injuries sustained on the ice. Definitely something I could live without seeing. The answer lies in something no one wants. Full face protection.

Crosby would still have most of his teeth and likely not suffered a broken jaw if he had full face protection. Same for Lars Eller's facial injuries. With those stupid whip sticks, now nearly everyone can shoot the puck around 100 mph (162 km/hr)and it's only a matter of time before someone takes it in the face (forehead/temple should do it) and dies on the ice. Ban the whip stick and/or make full face protection mandatory.

Why when I go to a job site, I HAVE to wear a hard hat and steel-toed boots? Why do they MAKE me wear eye protection when I'm working on the lathe or cutting some pipe? What use is the Players Union if they don't give a damn about the players safety?

Why don't players want to wear full face protection? The macho image of hockey players? They can't see the puck when it's in their feet? Really? Try putting on your shoes after a stick takes out your eye or eating a steak when your mouth is all mangled from taking a puck in the face. All those cuts? They make you look manly. Chicks dig scars. Think of all the face-washing that would magically stop after whistles. I'm sure someone could come up with a quick detaching facemask, so that the boys could have a good dustup. Make it a penalty to pull off someone else's face mask (unsportsmanlike conduct? Duh!).

Let's hear some good reasons why it isn't mandatory already? /end rant
May 07, 2013
Votes: +1

repenttokyo said:

repenttokyo
Dobber The problem with that 'sit and just watch' attitude is that it doesn't address how to reduce the risk of serious head injuries from the game.
May 07, 2013
Votes: +0

Rusty Pickles said:

Rusty Pickles
Huberdeau Brodin and Yakupov were in much better situations to have success. Yakupov played with much higher quality scoring line mates, and Brodin played with Suter. Without stats in front of me i'd garner to guess that Yakko probably also had the most PP TOI of the finalists. Playing with Gagner, RNH, Hall, Eberle, Schultz, yeah you should lead rookies in scoring, probably by a wide margin....(which did not happen)

For the most part of the year huberdeau was playing with the likes of shawn matthias, peter mueller, drew shore, marcel goc, and thomas fleischman. While Flash is a legit top 6 guy on most teams (and huberdeau really only played with him down the stretch) the other guys for certain are not, well except on this years version of the Florida panthers they were.

To me Brodin's play is probably the most impressive but the award should go to Huberdeau and deservingly so. Putting up those points on that team and with those line mates shows you this kid is gonna be a star once some of the other pups start to grow up around him.
May 07, 2013
Votes: -2

allonblack said:

allonblack
... "You can be replaced by a tube that slides down from the ceiling"...haha awesome, and yes...drop the freaking puck already!
May 07, 2013
Votes: +2

shovelguy said:

shovelguy
Huberdeau I would HIGHLY question that Huberdeau had a consistent season. 2 goals in the last month and an half. Please. The only thing that Huberdeau has on Yakupov and Brodin is time zone.
May 07, 2013
Votes: +1

MacLiii said:

MacLiii
Suspensions Sorry, but Shanahan should be fired for the Job he's doing during the playoffs. At least 3 clean hits ended with suspensions due to a player not getting up or injured after the hit. A shoulder to shoulder hit to a player with his head down should not be suspendable. Yes, Head shots should be but if the initial contact is to another body part, no.

Also, absolutely no way Gallagher warranted the nod over Brodin. 11 points from a rookie defenseman that plays the shut down role is much more impressive than 28 points from an offensive forward. If not for Brodin, Suter's signing doesn't look so good as he was the calming influence on the back end that allowed Suter to jump into the offensive play so much.
May 07, 2013
Votes: -1

Rodgort said:

Rodgort
youtube clip I don't think brunner's ot winner was the backstrom injury in warm-up. But maybe the goal was so well timed that it retroactively hurt backstrom! haha. (Sorry I had to, the first gaffe I have caught)
May 07, 2013
Votes: +0

Guy Incognito said:

Guy Incognito
"here here"... ...should be "hear, hear" (as in "hear him, hear what this fine gentleman has to say").

And if Barret Jackman can win the Calder without any flashy stats, Brodin should at least have been nominated.
May 07, 2013
Votes: +1

Kudelskis Krushers said:

Kudelskis Krushers
Red Wings Line-Up Changes FWIW, Samuelsson had already played in game 3 (the game where Abdelkader charged Lydman), including taking up his usual spot playing the point on the PP. It was Bertuzzi who drew into the line-up last night to fill the void created by Abby's suspension.
May 07, 2013
Votes: +1

Billy_the_Phil said:

Billy_the_Phil
Suspensions Sorry Dobber but I disagree with you on this one. I think we should keep talking about it again and again if we want things to change.
You'r saying it will never change, of course if nobody complains nothing will.
But things can change even in the NHL (slowly, I know). I also know that bad calls will always happend, but rules can be change to take away the "perception factor" just like the high-sticking rule. There should be a rule like that for headshots, a minimum suspension of x games even if the headshot is accidental. With agravating factors adding to that (like if its not an accident). And if the other player sustain a concussion then the suspension is double. Punishing the results ? Yeah just like highsticking (2 minutes) + blood (4 minutes); accidental who cares: YOU ARE RESPONSIBLE !

I don't want to go back to hockey like 10 years ago! Don't get me wrong, I sure can appreciate a GOOD hit, but I think we should do everything possible to take away the bad hits. And the only thing fans and medias can do to "clean" the game is talk about it and complain about it.
May 07, 2013
Votes: +1

Anze said:

Anze
Me too ! I'll promise I'll try...
May 07, 2013
Votes: +0

Nehithaw said:

Nehithaw
Suspensions Here here! I agree with you 100%

May 07, 2013
Votes: +1

Noma said:

Noma
... You should see a few games of SM-liiga, and I'm sure the NHL linesmen and their puck drops will be very decent after that.
May 07, 2013
Votes: +0

hockey said:

hockey
Rask Did not steal that game. Stole a goal maybe and played great but the game I watched had the B's dominating and the leafs throwing a lot of outside junk at rask.
May 07, 2013
Votes: +0
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