Chearleaders for Canadian NHL teams? But we actually like the game!

Check this out: Oilers fans boo addition of NHL cheerleaders, and I do, too. If I ever see a cheerleading squad at the ACC…

Check this out: Oilers fans boo addition of NHL cheerleaders,   and I do, too. If I ever see a cheerleading squad at the ACC…

LaForge pointed to the growing popularly of cheering squads among U.S. NHL teams.

Hey, NHL, here’s a clue: Canadians actually like hockey! You don’t see cheerleaders at Baseball games. Just as baseball is the great American past time, hockey is the great Canadian past time and we’re going to be watching and demanding teams because we like the sport.

Horrible, horrible decision. The NHL, day by day, loses respect on all fronts. Stop selling out the NHL!

LaForge pointed to the growing popularly of cheering squads among U.S. NHL teams.

Read more: http://www.calgaryherald.com/sports/Oilers+fans+addition+cheerleaders/3715175/story.html#ixzz13CeTcrZ6

CAN vs SVK 18-0: Do you feel like a (wo)man now?

Sigh. My apologies for turning on my broken record player but it looks like I have to shine an uncomfortable light yet again on the idiocies of competition. Canada’s women hockey team beat Slovakia 18-0. At least that’s nothing compared to Slovakia’s 2008 blowout of Bulgaria 82-0. You heard me. That’s just stupid.

Sigh. My apologies for turning on my broken record player but it looks like I have to shine an uncomfortable light yet again on the idiocies of competition.

Canada’s women hockey team beat Slovakia 18-0. At least that’s nothing compared to Slovakia’s 2008 blowout of Bulgaria 82-0. You heard me. That’s just stupid.

“It’s not a game you want to play in, and you don’t take a lot of pride in a score like that,” Hefford said. “But it’s the Olympic ideals. We train for four years, and we’ll hopefully play five games in this tournament. So, to take one night off, that’s unfair to us.”

I’m embarrassed by that statement. Olympic ideals? Wow. Just wow. And this “unfair to us” business? Or point differentials? Utterly lacking in regard for your fellow human being.

Trust me, I’ve played on losing teams all my life. I’ve also played on a few occassions on championship teams. In hockey, ten goals is about the limit. There’s something about double digits that reeks of disrespecting your opponent.

Especially in a sport where you’re trying to help other teams you’re doing more harm than good with a hopeless game. At least give them their dignity by winning your game in a modest fashion and letting it go.

But, no, somehow, somewhere, this idea that blowouts are a necessary evil has gotten us actually convinced. Where did we learn this from? That our sports organizations are teaching young people these insane ideals is atrocious. Leaders who do not respect their pupils lose the respect of their pupils and no longer act as leaders. They are simply viewed as pompous asses.

And, hey, if you don’t like hearing it from me, Don Cherry has made similar comments about making the other team look bad. You just don’t do it. It’ll come back to haunt you.

Auger vs Burrows (NHL vs you and me)

The hockey world is aflame with passionate discourse on the Burrows afair. In case you’ve been living under a rock, Burrows made allegations about NHL referee Auger after a game the night of Jan 11 10 between Vancouver and Nashville. Burrows claims the penalties Auger gave him that game were revenge for making Auger look bad in a previous game.

The hockey world is aflame with passionate discourse on the Burrows afair. In case you’ve been living under a rock, Burrows made allegations about NHL referee Auger after a game the night of Jan 11 10 between Vancouver and Nashville. Burrows claims the penalties Auger gave him that game were revenge for making Auger look bad in a previous game.

The actions of Auger don’t suprise me at all. I’m pretty confident something is rotten there. But it’s not about that particular call and it’s not about referees taking revenge: It’s about the NHL business having games officiated in such a way as to ensure a certain end. That end, at its most well intentioned, is a more exciting game, something that appeals to traditionally unfavourable markets.

The New NHL is all about more goals. They’ve tailored everything to produce more goals. The rules have changed to produce more goals. The rules have changed to protect skill players over other types of players. Oddly enough, the rules have changed to remove protections for goalies (I’ve seen countless goals scored simply by pushing the goalie with the puck across the goal line). The rules have changed around the crease (remember the foot/crease rule?). And the officiating has changed to produce more goals. I firmly believe this is a mandate from the NHL business. Business wants more goals, so referees manufacture situations to get more goals scored. I’ve seen it time and again. Questionable calls to get the first goal of the game within the first period. Questionable calls to give the losing team a chance to get back in it. Questionable calls to give one last chance to a team to tie it up in the last few minutes of a game.

I’ve written about it before and I’ll say it again: when you see a pile-up in the net and the goalie pushed into the net with five guys on top of him (this actually happened in the ’09 playoffs) and lo and behold they’re reviewing instant replay to see if the puck crossed the goal line! Talk about putting the cart before the horse! There’s ten things wrong before you even look at the puck going across the line!

All of that is not referees acting out on their own. That’s the NHL business “managing” hockey games through officiating to produce a more exciting sport for markets that don’t like seeing low scoring games, even though a 1-0 game is usually cited as the most exciting games to watch.

So, yes, in this case Auger might have been caught red handed. But all the other questionable calls you’ve been noticing these past few years? You’re not going crazy. That’s referees obeying the NHL to keep their jobs.

NHL referees, aside from the rare personal revenge, are massaging games at the behest of the NHL business. That’s the real story. Burrows is just the tip of the ice berg. And that’s why you’re going to see the NHL go into overdrive to ensure the idea of the NHL business massaging games doesn’t gain any credibility on a wide scale. Which is why you’re going to see an overreaction to the Burrows allegations one way or another. Mark my words.

Update: The immediate response from the NHL has been to fine Burrows and do nothing to Auger. We’ll have to see how this plays out in the long run but it looks like this is overreaction by underreaction. By doing nothing, it appears as if the NHL wants the matter to quietly go away. Let’s hope it doesn’t. The NHL business needs something to stir it up and set it right.

CAN vs LAT 16-0: Do you feel like a man now?

Canada shut out Latvia 16 to nothing. Tell me, does that make you feel good, Team Canada? Are you proud of yourself?

Canada shut out Latvia 16 to nothing.

Tell me, does that make you feel good, Team Canada? Are you proud of yourself?

I’m a die-hard Canuck. Hearing about a 16-0 game just makes me feel embarrassed to be citizens of the same country as Team Canada.

It doesn’t help our team: the game was a gift. It doesn’t help their team, they’re so discouraged nothing they could have learned will stick.

And it certainly isn’t good for our kids on the Canadian team to have a coach and organization that wouldn’t take control and tell the team to “just have fun” as it becomes clear it’s going to become a blowout. A good coach will realize this early and won’t let a game get far past 10 goals. I’ve done this as a player on one of my teams in the past, just encouraging my guys to go easy and have some fun.

Somebody give Canada an unsportman-like penalty.

Update: Yes, I’m aware goals will determine spots in the event of a tie. I don’t buy that excuse when it’s sportsmanship we’re talking about.

NHL Referees, you made the wrong call.

You just can not call a goal if the puck doesn’t enter the net.

In a game, Sat Nov 21 09, between the Phillidelphia Flyers and the Phoenix Coyotes, with the Coyotes up by one they shoot for an empty net late in the third. The puck misses but a Coyotes player races to put the puck in the net. He is hooked and the puck never enters the net. The referees huddle and call it a goal.

You are wrong referees.

That is a grossly unacceptable call and creates a horrible precedent. It doesn’t even have a precedent itself.

You just can not call a goal if the puck doesn’t enter the net.

Yes, it’s unfortunate the player was hooked. Yes, it should have been a penalty, even a penalty shot – on a goalie.

Check the highlights and bloopers and you’ll see many, many, many people fanning on point blank, empty net shots.

There is just no excuse for that call.

Referees, I will grant that you were over emotional in a high stress situation, but you’re professionals and you made the wrong call.

If anything, that game should be annulled.

It was a terrible and wrong call.

Chicago coach rips officiating

I have no respect for the NHL anymore, as a business. You bunch of money-grubbing suits.

Check out the article on tsn. There’s a tonne of debate online about this.

I can’t talk about this particular case but I’ve thought all year, and last year, officiating has been bad. Not because the officials are throwing games, but because they’re being told to call in a certain way by the NHL business side.

I have no respect for the NHL anymore, as a business. The goals allowed these days are ridiculous. A player can run a goalie into the net and score?

You bunch of money-grubbing suits.

Reality check: You’ve made the game a pale comparison to what it was a few years ago.

I’ll call it right now. The NHL won’t do well until it makes the game better.