Thursday, February 02, 2006

 

Wing Swap

Item: Flames trade Reinprecht and Sauve to Coyotes for Leclerc and Boucher

Good? Bad? Hard to say--we'll find out over the next few months.

I like(d) Rhino. He and Lombardi seemed to be our only guys who score goals with quick hands. And Leclerc seems to be widely described as a defensive forward.

That said, their career statistics are very similar, right down to the frequent injuries:
Leclerc's playoff experience with the Ducks in 2003 is also a nice addition.

I might have more to say about the Sauve/Boucher/Sutter aspect later. Hey, if you only saw the highlights of the SO loss to the Jackets last night, they probably simply mentioned that C-Bus was on a 5-on-3 when they scored their 1 goal. Here's why:

Nice. I discussed this rule a month or two ago; Tart Cider has some harsher words for it here.

Comments:

It's a pretty easy solution: don't shoot the puck over the glass.

I don't see the penalty as a way of letting the refs decide the game. I see it as a way of handcuffing the refs from deciding a game. The point of the penalty is to increase offensive chances by preventing the defenceman from just firing the puck out of play when they are in trouble. Sounds good so far. The problem is that it takes away any discretion. If I was a ref, I would hate it, because it doesn't allow me to determine whether there was intent or not. On the other hand, making it automatic prevents players, fans and the Pat Quinns of the world from bitching out the refs. All they have to say is, "hey, I don't get to decide."
 


P.S. You can't blame that call for the loss. If you can't score more than one or two goasl a night, you have bigger problems than the refs.
 


Quite right. The rule can be criticized in general as demanding too much of players who are taught from age five to chip the puck off the glass. But the notion that flinging the puck completely out of the field of play doesn't constitute a delay tactic only occurs to anyone when they're already shorthanded and their well-meaning defenceman screws up.
 


That is the most ridiculously contradictory thing I've ever heard.

The refs "decided the game" by calling a goal over which they have no discretion? Puh-leeze.

I don't think much of the rule, but there is only one person responsible for putting the team a man (or two) down - the fool(s) who shot the puck over the glass.
 


I find myself sadly siding with the Oiler faithful on this one. The rule is a bit capricious sometimes, and clearing the puck with a high shot off the glass is not as easy as it sounds, but a rule's a rule, and the refs called it the way it was written. The Flames also fumbled about three good chances to clear the puck during the long 5 on 3.

But, that was only one goal and you have to expect your opponent to get at least one every night. If you can only put one puck past Marc Denis all night long, you can't expect to win.
 


I don't really like the rule without referee discretion, but it's not horrible. What bugs me is how the refs called the entire game. That is to say, they didn't. There was clutching, grabbing (especially on Iggy) and hooking all night, and the Flames didn't even get their second man-advantage until OT. We've completed over half the season where 99% of the games were strictly enforced with penalties after penalties, where the refs have made it clear that no infraction will be tolerated, and then last night they "let them play".
So that two man advantage for Columbus was huge/odd/frustrating in a game with barely any penalties, in a season with shitloads of penalties.

Regher and Warrener are usually 2 of the steadiest d-men in the league, and it's not often they fuck up. It's even more unusual of them to do it 5 seconds apart. Thing is, there were at least two occasions in that 5 on 3 where the Flames forward should have iced the puck but didn't, then Columbus scored with only 6 seconds left.

Calgary's d-men aren't the problem.
(Except Ference. I hate Ference.)
They'd have to fuck up alot in order to erase all the good they've done.
 


While the 5on3 was stupidly unnecessary (whether it's a useless rule or whether it's stupid to shoot the puck over the glass twice in a row) the reason the Flames lost was because they had 37 shots on net and scored 1 goal...

It should have been a 5-1 game last night.
 


I think we Oiler fans could get behind that standard. Calgary has outshot the opposition just 30 times in 53 games; Edmonton is 36/52.
 


39 if you include the SO
 


The rule is crystal clear and it was applied fairly in both cases. No question. But the fact is, the rule is absurd on its face, at least at even strength.

If puck hits the top inch of the glass and goes down the ice, it's icing. The offending team is not allowed to change players while the other team skates all the way back to their own end, touches the puck, and the whistle is blown; then the linesman skates all the way back to this end of the ice.

If the puck goes one inch over the ice, the whistle blows immediately. They could "punish" it the same way as icing, and there would literally be less of a delay before the ensuing faceoff than there is for icing.

To my mind, there is no good reason why puck-over-glass should be treated any differently than icing. (Though I'm willing to listen to arguments.)

As to the other stuff, no, I'm not "blaming the loss" on this rule. If anything, I'm looking on the bright side. The Flames have allowed 3 goals in the past 2 games. One was on a Kipper mental mistake that he makes maybe 3 times a year; one should have been disallowed for goalie interference; and one was at the end of a 114-second 5-on-3, where neither penalty was due to undisciplined play.

It looks to me like the Flames are finally tightening up, after a fairly long (and relatively prosperous) stretch that saw a lot more 5- and 6-goal games than we're used to. This is good, because goals will come.
 


Here's the link to where I made this same point last month (see the P.S.), i.e. a no-doubt fruitless attempt to prove that I'm not whining.
 


If you can't score more than one or two goasl a night, you have bigger problems than the refs.

Particularly when you're playing Columbus.

The Flames have allowed 3 goals in the past 2 games.

The Flames fan says that the story is allowing 3 goals in 2 games against St. Louis and Columbus. The Oilers fan thinks it's scoring 3 goals in 2 games against St. Louis and Columbus. We need a neutral third party here.
 


A question on that rule, does anyone know if the rule specifies what the maximum height of the glass is in each zone?

What I'm getting at is, do you see this rule potentially leading some home times to put in higher glass so that their team may have an advantage?

As for the Flames, i'm reminded of a good sports quote "i think the team who puts the most points on the board tonight is going to walk away with the win."

Sadly for Calgary, they ain't so good at putting points up.
 


One thing the rule seems to do is create more 5 on 3 power plays. Clearing the puck with a high shot off the glass is a good play when you are killing a penalty. Shooting it a couple of inches too high is not such a good play, but it can happen in that situation.

Of course, the mischief the rule is trying to address is a player deliberately shooting the puck into the crowd to get a whistle/line change, etc. That never really happened that much before, and probably happens almost never now.
 


I don't think the glass is regulated. Then again, I don't even know if the ice size is regulated. It never used to be. Owners should build stadiums around their teams, or vice versa. Like in baseball. It adds a certain something. Look what it used to do for the Blawkhawks. Now they play in a cavernous hole.

I like the rule. I suppose you could call it like an icing, but then you could call gloving the puck that way too. Or anything, for that matter. The difference is that icing keeps the puck in play, whereas throwing it into the stands does not. If I ice the puck, there is at least a theoretical chance that my team can chase it down. I can't pull an Artest and climb into the seats to get one that has been dumped over.

The problem with calling it like an icing is also that it allows defensive teams to reset, even if they have to keep the same players on the ice. The way the rule is now, it allows for heavy pressure to cause a turnover. If guys knew that they were just going to have the whistle blow for a faceoff, they would flip it over all the time. The goalie would just yell to them, "we aren't set" and the guy would dump it over the boards.

In the end, I think it is a good rule. It reminds me of the NFL rule penalizing the quarterback for thowing the ball away. It may be more prohibitive, as football penalties vary in yardage,but it encourages and rewards teams who are aggressive on the forecheck. And if you are at the end of a game and this costs you the victory, you should have worked harder in the previous 58 minutes.

Which gets back to the original point that the Flames lost to Columbus. And is it just me, or did they give up another 2 goal lead against St. Louis? How come we haven't talked about that?
 


Why is everyone getting down on the Flames lately? They haven't been playing great, but neither has the rest of the division. Vancouver has only been a little bit better at 6-4-0. If Calgary were "slumping" you'd think the Oilers would have gained on them at least a little bit in the past 10 games, but their records are identical at 5-3-2.

As far as the trade goes its more or less a lateral move unless, like some people, you believe Reinprecht is somehow an offensive genius. My take would be that Sutter made the move to get rid of Sauve, which was pretty much guaranteed after his comments he made about him after the Avs game. He may have given up some playmaking ability in Rhino, but he hasn't exactly been winning them games lately.
 


Er, actually, the glass is regulated under Rule 2.

Affixed to the boards and extending vertically shall be approved safety glass extending eight feet (8') above the boards at each end of the rink and not less than five feet (5') along both sides of the rink.
 


There you go. I didn't actually bother to look. I had heard something about Sather raising the glass height at MSG; it was probably someone commentating on the fact that it would be something Sather would do, in order to help his team.
 

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