HATE

I haven’t checked to see how or if the Phoenix press has come unglued. I haven’t checked Twitter to mainline Coyote fan madness. I will. Later tonight.

When Martin Hanzel boarded Dustin Brown in tonight’s game, with Brown lying face down and motionless on the ice, my 8 year old son had a question:

“Why are they cheering?”

I had to think about it for a moment. “Well, Quisp Jr., it’s because the fans in Phoenix are angry because someone told them the hockey team that plays in Glendale has a bandwagon and they should get on it, and so they all went out and spent a few hundred dollars on tickets and it turns out that was a waste.”

Then he said, “I thought you said the Coyotes were disciplined.”

“Um. Er. Yeah, did I say that?”

So, anyway. Back to hate. Part of my problem with Shane Doan has nothing to do with Shane Doan. It has to do with the NBC punditry’s predetermined narrative, which has cast Doan as the “old warrior” hero of this year’s playoffs, in the Ray Bourque/Lanny MacDonald tradition, the high-character veteran who has unthinkably been denied the ultimate prize which he so obviously richly deserves.

So it’s not Shane Doan’s fault he’s been miscast, or that the narrative is falling apart. And I wouldn’t say he’s (exactly) a dirty player. But he does appear to be — as Rudy Kelly put put it earlier — a dick. Is that entirely a bad thing? Not at all. Gordie Howe was probably a dick, too. But his take-down of Mike Richards was a dick move. And we know he’s not adverse to sticking his elbow out to catch a noggin if the mood strikes him.

I don’t think Doan’s hit on Lewis was motivated by dickheadedness. But it was boarding. Even if Lewis doesn’t turn his back on Doan, Lewis is still in a vulnerable position relative to the boards, and that’s the standard for boarding. The rule does indicate that a player in Lewis’s position has an obligation not to put himself in a vulnerable position, and Lewis did turn his back. But boarding doesn’t have to be a hit from behind. It’s a hit where the player is vulnerable because he’s a couple of feet away from the boards and the checker uses the boards as a weapon. And that’s what Doan did. Could have called charging, too, since he he essentially skated 20 feet on train tracks to make that hit.

[UPDATE: I take it back. Just watched it again. Not a charge. Never mind.]

The refs had a choice to make on that play. It’s either a penalty or it isn’t. Lewis’s head is smashed into the boards. He’s bleeding. The absolute least the refs could call in that case is a double-minor for charging [roughing?] and that would be the refs bending over backwards not to call a major on an important player. But once they decide it meets the standard for a major (the standard is “based on the degree of violence of the check”) and a head injury is involved, it’s a mandatory game misconduct.

Just to be clear: if an opponent has the puck a couple of feet from the boards — even if he’s facing you, even if he sees you coming — you’re not allowed to charge at him and drive him into the boards. You’re not allowed to NOT charge at him an still drive him into the boards.

I don’t think he should be suspended for it. It was reckless, not intentional.

Hanzal deserves a couple of games. He’ll probably get one. Smith, for his hatcheting of Dustin Brown, should get a game, but I actually hope he doesn’t. Jason Labarbera is not good, but I don’t like the storyline of him jumping in to play game 3. Think Cory Schneider in round one, but with a little LA history thrown in. Labarbera might just pull a rabbit out of his hat under those circumstances.

But it was Smith’s chop of Brown that made me hate. That could have caused real damage. And Brown wasn’t even being Brown. He was just standing there. Smith is just pissed because Quick is out-Smithing him.

What else is there to say about the game? Bullets:

  • Jeff Carter, natural hat-trick. NBC says that’s the first one in the playoffs by a Kings player since…Wayne Gretzky.
  • Also stolen from NBC: Dwight King, first rookie to score four in the playoffs since Warren Rychel in 1993.
  • Jonathan Quick, shut-out. He’s pretty good.
  • Kings 10-1 in the playoffs, and — as you have no doubt heard — 9 road wins in a row, which, in all of NHL history has been bettered by…

NO-ONE?

 

  19 comments for “HATE

  1. KingOfRedlands
    May 16, 2012 at 12:01 AM

    … i thought we learned this with Peitrangelo… no double minor for boarding. 2 minute minor OR 5 minute major, thats it.

    • KingOfRedlands
      May 16, 2012 at 12:03 AM

      Oh, also, two other teams have won 10 road playoff games in a row:
      The NY Islanders did it twice (I wanna say in the 80’s) and they won the stanley cup both years.

      • Garrett79
        May 16, 2012 at 1:15 AM

         No they didn’t. The Islanders won 9 in a row between the 1982 and ’83 seasons. The Kings tied that record tonight. They did win the Cup both of those seasons though, so you got that much right.

        • May 16, 2012 at 1:22 AM

           The Islanders do hold the intergalactic record for all sports of 19 consecutive playoff series victories.

          • Garrett79
            May 16, 2012 at 9:04 AM

            How close are the Kings to that one?

          • Doughty99
            May 16, 2012 at 11:17 AM

            So what you’re saying we’ll have to wait til next year to top that?

            • May 16, 2012 at 1:32 PM

               Well, since the maximum number of series wins is four per year, we might have to wait a while. Maybe forever.  It took the Islanders five years.

          • OneTimer
            May 16, 2012 at 2:24 PM

            Yea – that’s nucking FUTS.  4 + 4 + 4 + 4 + 3 = 19.

            Most hockey fans know the Isle opened the 80’s with 4 straight Cups … but a lot of those same fans don’t realize that NY also made the Finals again for a FIFTH year, before losing to a talented still-young group of Oil-dudes lead by that Gretzky kid.

            19 straight series wins.  I think that NHL record is pretty safe.

            • DougS
              May 16, 2012 at 10:16 PM

              I don’t see that record being threatened under the current salary cap structure. Too much parity, too difficult for one team to dominate for consecutive seasons. Could happen, but I would say that the odds are rather longer than they were back when Al Arbour ran the Islanders.

    • May 16, 2012 at 1:21 AM

      Yes, but the point is, if the refs wanted to avoid throwing Doan out, they could have called it roughing and made that a double minor. They didn’t have to call it boarding just because it was boarding. 

  2. May 16, 2012 at 12:05 AM

    “But it was Smith’s chop of Brown that made me hate.”

    This, and the Dwight King bump Smith parlayed into something akin to a back-flip off of a pommel horse.  We all could have done without that.

    Although, in fairness, King could ruin someone’s lunch if he just tripped and fell on them in, like, a Starbucks or something.

    • May 16, 2012 at 1:20 AM

      Yeah, I meant to mention the Smith dive. 

  3. Doughty99
    May 16, 2012 at 12:32 AM

    “It’s a hit where the player is vulnerable because he’s a couple of feet away from the boards and the checker uses the boards as a weapon. And that’s what Doan did.”
    Your first mistake was assuming Brian, Dave and Panger knew the rules.

    As I said at the start of the series, all hail lord shannahan for keeping Torres away from them.

  4. Garrett79
    May 16, 2012 at 1:22 AM

     May I add a few bullets?

    •Kings tie NHL record with 7th consecutive road playoff win in single season.
    •Kings tie NHL record with 9th consecutive road playoff win overall.
    •Kings extend franchise record playoff winning streak to 7 games.
    •Kings become 4th team since NHL went to four best-of-seven series in 1987 to open playoffs 10-1.
    •Brown and Kopitar are now 2nd and 3rd in the NHL in points in the playoffs and 1st and 2nd in plus-minus.
    •Kopitar has tied Giroux for NHL playoff assists lead with 9. And for all the talk of how Giroux is now the best player in the world, Kopi needed only one more game and hasn’t had the benefit of shinny hockey to do it.

  5. May 16, 2012 at 8:19 AM

    The Morris hit is the one that gets me annoyed more than any other.  Those knee-on-knee hits were deliberately legislated out of hockey 10 years ago or more.  And then he just goes out and Marchments Scuderi (at least, I think it was Scuderi).

    • May 16, 2012 at 9:23 AM

       Absolutely. The knee was dirty and from where I stand predatory in nature. Ulf-like in its disregard for another person’s livelihood.

  6. May 16, 2012 at 9:22 AM

    Re: Doan.

    I’d like to restate my claim from a few days ago on JFTC that Doan is an A-hole: “Great player? Of course. Great guy off the ice? So I hear (having never
    met him personally). Dirty as all get out and increasingly a threat to
    other players’ safety while on the ice? Most assuredly.”

  7. May 16, 2012 at 2:23 PM

    This is what I tweeted this morning: On the replay of the Hanzal hit you can hear the sound from the crowd go
    from “Yeah, eat it Brown!” to “oh, that has consequences.” #LAKings

  8. sstephen17
    May 17, 2012 at 11:34 AM

    I think the most egregious call of the night was Brown getting a diving penalty on Smith’s slash.  Seriously?!  He got two minutes for being a tree to Smith’s lumberjack.

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