Angus here - have created my own blog, and wrote on the headshot hypocrisy in the NHL right now. Here is my piece over at Angus Certified.


My THN column from yesterday is here.



I missed the first two periods. Martin Brodeur is probably embarrassed that I tuned in just in time to watch him let in two goals. Or not. I pick apart his play a little, point out his decline… and then I miss him stopping all 18 shots that he faces, but watch him allow two goals on nine shots.




With two points last night, Chris Kreider has five points in 13 playoff games. He also has two game-winning goals. Great start to his career and in case you missed my thoughts on him earlier – I see low 40s for him next year, and a Blake Wheeler-like progression (so fourth year – boom).




Identical stats to Kreider (five points, minus-2, 13 games) – Patrik Elias. These stats from the latter player is considered disappointing, but from the former player it’s considered fantastic.




Henrik Lundqvist has faced 23 or fewer shots in four straight contests.




Besides Lundqvist, Dan Girardi has to be the MVP of the Rangers in these playoffs, no? Leads them in ice time – important ice time at that – third in points, and his 52 blocked shots lead the league by a mile.




You know how to get the other team to stop blocking shots? Shoot harder.




Dumbest thing I’ve seen in hockey. (Clarification - I refer only to diving in front of shots to block them - some readers didn't get that) Sure, it’s working. And if it wins a Cup good for them. But I don’t think it’s beneficial 99 times out of 100. If the Rangers win the Cup, they’d win without the shot blocks too. One goal in 10 shots go in, generally speaking. So if your team lays down and blocks 10 shots a game, they’re stopping one goal per game. If one player gets injured for every 50 shots that are blocked – how many goals are allowed as a result of that player missing time? What if Girardi is out for a month because he blocked a shot? If that happened, the Rangers let in five extra goals over 10 games. In the long run, over a large sample size, more goals will go into the net because of a ‘block shots’ trend.




Also – why not, after you just take the lead, just lay five players on top of each other in the net until the game is over? Stupid.




Over the next 16 days, a lot of quality prospects will be signed. June 1 is the deadline for signing players drafted in 2010 (excluding college and certain European). The Red Wings fully intend to sign Calle Järnkrok, Teemu Pulkkinen and Tomas Jurco – all three of whom rank pretty high on my Fantasy Prospects List.




Ovechkin, Semin and Backstrom are off to the World Championship. I’ve never heard of Round 2, Game 7 losers still getting into that tourney before. Interesting stuff.




I got this from Puck Daddy – Todd Richards coached the Jackets to an 18-21-2 record. Not bad, considering what the record was before that. A healthy and unsuspended James Wisniewski, a free agent acquisition goalie, and of course Yakupov or whoever they get with the pick...  and this team may not be so bad next year. Not good, but not terrible either.




This guy thinks that the Blackhawks could be putting Patrick Kane on the trade block. I’m inclined to agree. I think, in terms of value, Patrick Sharp and Jonathan Toews are superior. Kane being moved would give nice return and free up cap space.




 Despite the fact that Simon Gagne has been cleared for contact, he is not joining the team. He’ll need to take some hits, usually this is close to a two-week process, which would put a return for the Stanley Cup Final if they get there. But at that point, if they’re winning, do they bother?




Nashville prospect Austin Watson was named the OHL’s playoff MVP. He’s still a couple of years away…




Vladimir Tarasenko, who didn’t make Team Russia at the World Championship due to questions about his conditioning, is expected to make a decision about the NHL or the KHL (for next year) within the next couple of weeks.




Valtteri Filppula is having a great WC tourney – he had four points in Finland’s 4-1 win over Kazakhstan and he has nine points in seven games.




Our friend Chris Nichols from has the ramblings tomorrow, subbing in for me. He’ll pop in from time to time throughout the offseason.




This was an interesting breakout move, getting it out of the Rangers zone. Led to the opening goal by Girardi:







Did you guys see this funny DJ mix of John Tortorella pressers?




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Comments (15)add comment

donpaulo said:

... wow some rangers love on this site ? AMAZING smilies/grin.gif

Did I mention they will be BETTER next season ! THN I am looking at you smilies/tongue.gif
May 15, 2012
Votes: -1

Jaxx said:

re: shot blocking... the first time a young player "gets out of the way" from blocking a shot that becomes a goal, he might find himself pinned to the bench, the minors and/or viewed as a pussy to his teammates. good players will always try and block the shot, they just have to be smarter about it. ie. know who is shooting, time of game, score of game... if chara is ready to blast one with 5 minutes to go and you are down 5-1 then............
May 15, 2012
Votes: +0

cullitons said:

... Yep, Ovechkin can't make the all-star game in Ottawa this year tho....
May 15, 2012
Votes: +0

letnry said:

... I have no problem with shot blocking in games. I think its advantages are two-fold. Not only are you generally preventing the puck from getting through to your goalie/dirty areas, but how many times do we see it lead to a turnover and odd man rush the other direction? Players willing to sacrifice, give their all, is the type of heart and soul effort I love to see in games.
May 15, 2012
Votes: +0

aleco83 said:

Shot blocking, an equipment issue. Equipment design is lagging behind protecting players from the true nature of the game and it's just a matter of time before the design catches up, i.e. when helmets were introduced, visors, improved padding etc. I don't think the game needs to be changed since blocking shots has always and will always be part of the game. If you want to stop the injuries, improve the equipment.
May 15, 2012
Votes: +0

Kevin9 said:

... What is "stupid" is the comment, "why not, after you just take the lead, just lay five players on top of each other in the net until the game is over?" to try to emphasize your point. Really?

Shot blocking is really not taking anything away from the game, it still moves fast as it should.
By blocking the shot at the point, you greatly reduce the fluky goals that get pinballed around on the way to the goalie.
And if you know another team does it, then do a better job of faking shots and going around the guy.
This would be facilitated by every team widening the ice surface to create more room. (take out 1st two rows and push seat prices back 2 rows...owners only then lose 2 rows of lowest price seats.)
This would also rectify the worst thing to ever happen to hockey, the Trap.

May 15, 2012
Votes: +0

bullwinkle said:

Shot blocking I have often thought the same thing. Players get injured all the time doing this. And I really wondered how effective it was at preventing goals. I can see a player skating straight into the Dman so the puck hits his pads straight on (although I recall having some lumps on my shin that didn't go away for weeks doing this when I played, but no broken bones). It's the side of the body that should not be in the way of a puck.

The stats are interesting and it's something for coaches to consider, especially when one of your best players gets hurt.
May 15, 2012
Votes: +0

Dobber said:

... I'm not alone with my shot blocking comments, guys. Some passionate hockey fans/colleagues/friends of mine have made some hilarious, belittling comments about the whole shot-blocking idea and I thought I would put some of that into my ramblings today. But good to hear some passionate counter opinions. Although, suggesting not wearing skates or no longer hitting is the wrong direction to take this. I don't agree that apples belong in salads, so you're suggesting we should take out lettuce as well?

Outcast - I also don't mean accidental blocking shots, or taking away a shooting lane. I obviously only refer to diving in front of the puck. I'll clarify this

Jordan Staal - blocked shot broke the foot when he was about to return from the Subban injury.

DDS - Yakupov - my mistake. I'll reword
May 15, 2012
Votes: +0

Disco Stu said:

Disco Stu
@Dobber's Jordan Staal comment Dobber,

I may not be remembering correctly, but I'm pretty sure it wasn't because of a blocked shot injury that caused Jordan Staal to miss have the season. It was from PK Suban skating over the top of his foot in that second round playoff series that sliced some tendons in the top of his foot.
May 15, 2012
Votes: +2

mrmojorisin said:

Blocking shots.... really? You know what else is dumb, wearing skates. Players get serious cuts and miss several games, not to mention guys that lose edges and crash into the boards and get hurt. There is also the speeds that guys reach when they are skating, just think how many less concussions there would be if guys had to wear shoes on the ice and were only going 0.005 kms an hour when they hit each other?

Anyone who has played any level of hockey has been taught from the time you are 5 that you get your body in the shooting lane and your stick in the passing lane. This prevents scoring chances which is what hockey is all about. If you would like to see high scores I suggest you switch over to the NBA playoff: 107-98, now THAT is entertainment.....
May 15, 2012
Votes: +2

DDS said:

Yakupov How are the Bluejackets getting Yakupov?
May 15, 2012
Votes: +1

noglovenolove said:

Shot Blocking With Girardis 50 blocked shots that presumably stopped 5 goals from going in. They're not in the conference final if they let in an extra 5 goals. Think about how close those games were with Washington. Assuming half of Girardis blocked shots came in that series then that's 2.5-3 goals he prevented. That's huge.

I agree with you that it doesn't make too much sense in the regular season, but players have to do it in the playoffs or else their whole team isn't playing anymore.
May 15, 2012
Votes: +2

outcast said:

blocking shots? Thats pretty foolish. How many shot blocks are from simply skating in front of the shooting lane from the point? How many goals would be scored because player A in the defensive zone steps out of the way and lets the pointman blast away?

The major reason forwards are blocking shots is simply because they are skating in the way of prime scoring areas; suggesting to stop blocking those shots is just foolish.

May 15, 2012
Votes: +2

Dobber said:

... Hitting is part of the game. Always has been. How many of Girardi's shot blocks were in front of Zdeno Chara? Not a hypothetical argument, since hundreds of players have been hurt from this. Any stance I take on any issue, you can find an example of a player who represents a counter issue (Girardi) - as could I. Would the Flyers have won more games last year if Carter didn't block a shot with his foot? They'd have been a different seed, faced a different first-round opponent... you never know. Or the Penguins in 2010-11, had Jordan Staal not missed half the year from blocking a shot with his foot...
May 15, 2012
Votes: -1

slufoot said:

Shot Blocking Your shot blocking argument is akin to saying Ovechkin or Lucic should stop hitting - because they could get injured - and thus score less goals if they aren't playing. But the reason they ARE so effective is that they are physical players.

Girardi is good defensively BECAUSE he blocks shots so efficiently, so to say they would allow more goals while he's injured than they would if he wasn't blocking shots is just a ridiculous hypothetical argument.

And Girardi has missed 2 games in 5 seasons - 3 of which he was top-5 in blocked shots. What does that trend tell you?
May 15, 2012
Votes: +2
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