Friday, May 22, 2009

The "Wussification" Of Hockey Is Complete

The Chicago Blackhawks have gotten back into the Western Conference final. After blowing a 3-0 lead, the Hawks got an overtime goal from Patrick Sharp to give them a 4-3 win. It means the Wings now lead the series 2-1. However, this one will be remembered for Detroit defenceman Niklas Kronvall absolutely destroyed Chicago's Martin Havlat with a hit that knocked Havlat cold.

None of the referees called a penalty on the play--nor should they have--as the hit was clean, but as Havlat laid on the ice being attended to it was decided Kronwall should be given a 5 minute major for interference and a game misconduct. A 5 minute major for interference?? Interference!!!! That's it, the NHL might as well put skirts on these guys and turn the game into womens hockey where this is little or no contact. Even a good, clean hit isn't allowed now. What a colossal crock of you know what! If the NHL suspends Kronwall for this, it will be an absolute embarassment.
One other thing, the old "code" just about tragic consequences for Havlat. He is lying there on the ice helpless and unable to defend himself because he has just had his lights turned out. Someone from Chicago has to go after Kronwall though and what resulted was a big scrum happening right around the prone body of Havlat. It would have been so easy to step on him with a skate or something else. Were any penalties called after the scrum. Of course not!!!
You might remember when the Hawks beat the Flames in the first round of the playoffs that I openly wondered if that might be it for Mike Keenan. I was right as the Flames told Keenan to hit the road after two seasons. The Flames struggled down the stretch mainly due to injuries and the fact Miikka Kiprusoff was worn out. GM Darryl Sutter acknowledged the Kiprusoff matter saying he can't spend that much time between the pipes, but he would not buy the injury argument saying the team didn't meet expectations. The rumour mill is already circulating that Brent Sutter will leave New Jersey to join his brother. Brent has let it be known he would like to be closer to home and may leave the Devils with a year to go on his contract. I also somehow think the NHL has seen the last of Keenan.
The Windsor Spitfires were favoured to win the Memorial Cup, but for a while it didn't look like they would get there. Windsor has joined Kelowna in the final after a 3-2 overtime win over Drummondville. After losing their first two games, the Spitfires have shown why they went into the event as the number one ranked team in Canada. I wouldn't be surprised to see them end the Rockets run Sunday.
The NBA conference finals continue to come down to the last second. Lebron James hitting a 3 pointer at the buzzer to give Cleveland a much needed 96-95 win over Orlando. A Magic win would have put them up 2-0 with the next two in Orlando. I don't think NBA commish David Stern is going to get his marquee Lebron vs Kobe final. Either the Lakers or the Cavaliers will falter in the conference finals if not both.
I talked about this a few weeks ago, but I've got to bring it up again. Why aren't CFL players featured in commercials. There is a RONA ad where football players are doing yard work. The "players" are actors. Why couldn't they be actual CFL players---one from each team. During the ad, you get a quick snippet informing you RONA is a proud sponsor of the CFL. They are a proud sponsor, but for one reason or another they don't want to market the players of this league. Is this the fault of the players association, the league, the advertisers. Who????
Sportsnet's Scott Carson has an idea for MLB Commissioner Bud Selig. In a column you can see on, Carson says Selig should ditch the current three division format in each league and go to two eight team divisions. He also advocates putting teams in Las Vegas and Portland. First off, baseball doesn't need expansion. In fact, getting rid of a couple of teams wouldn't break my heart any. Mr. Carson obviously doesn't see that like it is in the NHL, there are some baseball teams(the Florida Marlins) who simply play their games in front of virtually no one. Secondly, there is nothing wrong with the baseball divisions the way they are now. If Selig is to make changes in my opinion, it should be to maybe add some more playoff teams and ditch this ridiculous notion of the league that wins the All-Star game getting homefield advantage in the World Series. Make the league that wins the most inter-league games get homefield advantage. Carson does believe though that scheduling should be in place making each team play everyone else at least once. I advocate that, but I don't know how badly that would screw up the scheduling.
A Regina woman won 10-thousand dollars in the "Roll Up the Rim" contest. That woman was not my beloved wife. She buys enough damn coffee from the place that she should at least get a free coffee or donut from time to time but NOOOOOO!!!!! Keep trying Tracey, keep trying!!! Same goes to the mother-in-law!!!
Why is there still so much anger over the Kitwana Jones trade?? Did the Fred Perry trade last year teach you nothing!! The outrage was similar last year and Steven Jyles is still here while Perry is a Bomber. I've said it once and I'll say it again. Kitwana likely wouldn't have made this team so instead of embarassing him by outright releasing the veteran not knowing if anyone will pick him up, the team made a deal for him by getting a body. If Jones registers double digit sacks and is an all-star this year then crow all you want, but right now I can't see that happening.
Have a great weekend everyone!!!


Anonymous said...

The NHL supposedly has its best referees working as the playoffs continue. If this is the case, Dan O'Halloran should not work the finals or any more games this year. HNIC says it was him who made the call on the Kronwall "penalty". This after it was clearly shown he didn't raise his arm when the hit was made. Hockey is becoming more and more of a joke each day. Maybe I'll watch the NBA playoffs least everyone realizes in that league the officiating is a joke.


Kelly Markwart said...

Havlat should be given 2 minutes for "looking down between his skates" and letting the puck pass him by. He could have been taken to the box, propped up, and periodically checked upon by the penalty box staff if he happened to lean over before the 2 minutes were up.

Not touching the puck now means that when you're in the proximity of posession, or perhaps see a big hit coming, you happen to turtle or get knocked over, then you get rewarded by having the contact imposed on you, the other player is penalized.

By looking down, Havlat's head would not have dented Kronwall's shoulder pads. The concussion would have been avoided.

Anonymous said...

Good post Kelly! As a Blackhawks fan, I have to admit I was quite surprised to see Kronwall get kicked out for that hit. I don't know how interference could be called when the puck was in Havlat's skates.
That was a joke and the NHL should apologize for what took place. As for Havlat, I wonder if he even knows Chicago won!!!!