Tag Archives: nhl

“No Wusses Play Hockey”

By Ellen Chlumecky

April 6, 2015

Football, rugby, lacrosse, wrestling, boxing, field hockey, and of course hockey are all very rough, high contact sports. There is always debate on what the roughest sport is and most importantly what sport has the toughest athletes. I’m sure there’s cases for all the above but most recently hockey has proven it’s worthiness for the toughest sport overall. This recent prestigious honor is due to Drew Miller of the Detroit Red Wings.

Drew Miller is the most recent example of the toughness that is demonstrated daily by hockey players. This incident was so fatal that Miller and his teammates feared he’d lose his right eye. On Tuesday, March 31st, the Red Wings played against Ottawa. Miller was standing behind Mark Stone and took a skate to the face, because Miller wears a visor it cut up the majority of his face pretty bad. Miller needed 50 to 60 stitches to close up the gash on his face. While Miller initially thought that he had lost his eye, the doctors cleared him and mentioned that his vision is fine. Miller wanted to go back in for the third period against the Senators but the doctors and his wife advised against the decision because of the fear of ripping the stitches.

Miller is now sporting a deep scar from his right eyebrow across his cheekbone. The whole cut was very deep especially in the cheek area. The eye itself is fine. Doctors have enforced him to wear a protective cage for a while, but he is convinced that he can still perform his duties on the ice.

If that wasn’t enough, Drew Miller suited up to play for the Red Wings in Thursday’s 3-2 loss to Boston at Joe Louis Arena. The day he decided to suit up for the game was only just two days after a skate to his face. While this may seem absurd to most, it would be more painful for most hockey players not to play than to sit out with an injury. That’s how badly they want to play and help their teammates.

Hockey players push the boundaries beyond belief. Their passion to their craft is unmatched by any other sport. While I’m sure other athletes have shown just as much dedication, there is a unique aspect to hockey players’ dedication. Coach of the Red Wings, Mike Babcock, called the incident the definition of team building. While fellow teammate of Miller, Brendan Smith, stated, “I’m not sure how to say this, but no wusses play. It’s a tough sport and I think that’s why it’s ingrained at a young age. If you don’t want to play a tough game, you go play tennis or golf.”

 

The King is Back in his Throne: Henrik Lundqvist

By Ellen Chlumecky

April 1, 2015

You may remember that the king of goalies, Henrik Lundqvist, has been out since February 2. Lundqvist missed 25 games due to a serious vascular injury. A great loss for the entire New York Rangers organizations and their fans. Not that they are without their star players: Martin St. Louis, Rick Nash, Ryan McDonagh, Dan Girardi, and Derek Stephan. However without a solid goaltender, we know that you’re as good as gone in the NHL. Thankfully for the Rangers, Lundqvist is back in action. On March 28th, Lundqvist was able to make his return back to his kingdom in the net. They played the Bruins at TD Garden and even though the energy was thrilling, the results weren’t exactly what the Rangers were looking for in return.

http://www.blueshirtsunited.com/video/rangers-fall-beantown-highlights-analysis

Lundqvist and the New York Rangers fell to 25-12-3 with a 4-2 loss to the Bruins. Lundqvist finished with 26 saves against the Bruins. He faced 14 shots in the first period and allowed three goals. The first came only 1:41 into the game when Milan Lucic of the Bruins was credited with a goal after the pick was redirected in with his skate to give Boston a 1-0 lead. The play was reviewed but it was confirmed that the goal was allowed because it was determined not to be a distinct kicking motion.

The second goal of the game was at 9:26 of the first. It was also scored by Lucic. The Bruins took a clean breakout and a series of quick and crisp passes through the neutral zone before Lucic finished with his second goal of the night and 17th goal of the season. The third goal of the game by the Bruins was also scored in the first period and was scored by Carl Soderberg. The fourth goal of the game by the Bruins was scored by Reilly Smith early in the second period.

Lundqvist was obviously not happy with his performance but looks at this game as a chance for improvement. It didn’t help that the first period was clearly dominated by the Bruins and was a tough place for the Rangers. Lundqvist thought he did well in the second and third but will obviously learn from what went wrong in the first. First game back in 25 games would be hard for anyone in the game.

The Rangers have eight games left in their regular season. Lundqvist should be receiving a few more starts to try to regain his strength to the start of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. We wish Henrik Lundqvist in his return back to Madison Square Garden. If anyone deserves a win, it’s him, with hard work and a massive amount of will power he will be as good as new.

Mike Richards Returns Home to the LA Kings

By Ellen Chlumecky

March 24, 2015

On March 22, the Los Angeles Kings made a decision to recall Mike Richards from their AHL affiliate, the Manchester Monarchs. The Kings recently added the veteran back on to its low-scoring lineup before opening a five game road trip against the New Jersey Devils on Monday night with their playoff dreams looming in the near future. After three losses in their past four games, the Kings sit two points behind Calgary for third place in the Pacific Division.

Richards was waived and immediately sent to the minors in January when the Kings lost their patience with several seasons of his poor performance on the offensive production. Once Richards cleared waivers, he accept the minor league assignment. He gained 14 points in 16 games for Manchester. He is currently in the middle of a 12 year contract through 2020 that carries an annual cap hit of $5.75 million. General manager of the Kings, Dean Lombardi, had said that Richards had been sent to the AHL reluctantly because of his efforts. They made a statement saying that they would recall the veteran for the playoff push if his replacements didn’t excel. His replacements didn’t succeed, so here Richards is now.

Mike Richards is no stranger to being a strong player. In fact, he’s gotten in trouble for it several times. He’s a hard-hitting player who a multitude of players have to frequently look out for on the ice. He tends to dominate physically and is more than often called a bully on the ice. Before he was on the Los Angeles Kings, he was previously the captain of the Philadelphia Flyers. he was drafted in the first round of the 2003 NHL Entry Draft by the Flyers and 24th overall. He has been the member of two Stanley Cup winning teams with the Los Angeles Kings. He has also been on numerous championship teams, including: the Memorial Cup, World Juniors, Calder Cup, and Olympic Gold.

The Kings have been having a rough year. A player who has consistently been a goal producer for the team wasn’t performing so they thought it was the best idea to send Richards back down to the AHL. Maybe they thought that sending Richards down to the AHL would light a fire under him. It’s really crunch time for the Kings right now so calling Richards back up might be a good option for them right now. The Kings really need to light a fire underneath their players right now.

Patrick Kane’s Recovery Coming Along

By Ellen Chlumecky

March 16, 2015

I do not need to reiterate the struggle that Chicago sports have faced this year. The Bears have been going through a new structuring system with a new coach and new staffing decisions. The Bulls have been through some major injuries. Specifically the stars of the team, forcing other teammates to step up in a big way. The Blackhawks have been having a pretty good year. They were definitely headed for the playoffs. All seemed well for this one Chicago sports team.

Now, here’s where that Chicago curse hit home. Patrick Kane had a freak accident on the ice where a combination of a little shove and he seemed to trip on his skate and fall straight into the boards. While this may have seemed like any ordinary hit in hockey. Unfortunately, Patrick Kane ended up hitting the boards with his shoulder. Which resulted in him fracturing clavicle. I do not need to talk about how important one’s shoulder is to someone much less a hockey player.

Chicago Blackhawks fans cringed in horror when they realized that one of their star point scorers was going to be out for several weeks. Patrick Kane has been vital in the past two Stanley Cup championships and the past few playoff runs. The majority of the fans and Blackhawks’ analysts believe that his injury will be a negative impact on Chicago’s chances of winning another championship.

However, there is one person who is truly positive that his recovery from the fractured clavicle won’t count him out of the season completely. That person is number 88 himself. He’s hopeful because there is still some time left in the season. He truly is aiming to play in the playoffs, while he is not positive what his plans will be for playoffs. However, he personally is optimistic about the success of his team without him.

Kane underwent surgery on February 25th and was put on a twelve week time-table to return. He told ESPN he is still on that time-table as of this week. He has been going to rehabilitation training every day and actively working out his lower body. It seems as if he is doing every thing he can in his power to be back at 100%. You can tell that he hates being injured. He is one of those players that wants to be playing and wants to be trying to help his team in every way he can.

In recent years, Patrick Kane has endured criticisms and has made his fair share of mistakes. Most young hockey players are susceptible to this but he was under the spotlight because of his tremendous talent and rookie status. I believe this personal excerpt shows that he’s actively trying to change this unpopular opinion of him. He has matured as a player and wants to bring home another Stanley Cup for his team.

 

Calling All Goalies: Florida Panthers Looking for Practice Goalie

By Ellen Chlumecky

March 10, 2015

On Thursday, March 5, the Florida Panthers announced that they will be holding open tryouts for any goalies or even fans to be hired as their practice goalie for one day. This whole experience is a contest proposed by the Panthers. The Panthers executive chairman Peter Luukko is hopeful the contest expects a great turnout for such an amazing ultimate fan experience. Successful applicants will invited to a tryout on March 16th. Two finalists will then go head-to-head during an intermission of Florida’s game against Montreal on March 17th. The winner will then get a contract.

This is a dream come true for any aspiring goalie that never got the opportunity to make it to the big leagues or even a fan whose dream is to experience what it’s like to play in the NHL. So what inspired this somewhat unusual contest? If you weren’t watching the Florida Panthers and Toronto Maple Leafs game, you might have some insight on what inspired the contest.

During the game, both Panthers’ goalies – Roberto Luongo and Al Montoya – suffered injuries. Not having another backup goalie, the goalie coach for the Panthers had to quickly suit up to serve as the backup. Robert Tallas last played against the New York Rangers in 2001.

In the first period, Luongo was injured by a shot from Maple Leafs forward Leo Komarov. He stayed in a game till the end of the period. Then he was replaced by Al Montoya. Early on in the second, Montoya gets injured as well. This meant that the Panthers were without a healthy goalie.

It was believed that Derek MacKenzie and Scottie Upshall might dress as emergency goalies as they both went down the tunnel to the locker room while Montoya was struggling on the ice. Luongo was also seen in the tunnel in street clothes as they were trying to figure out who was going to be put in. However, the person who ended up suiting up was Tallas. Two years prior he was put in the same situation so it was not too unusual to ask of him.

At the end of the day, Montoya attempted to play through his injury until Luongo suited up again to finish the game. The team was trying to get Tallas cleared by the NHL to play in the game but during this process, they realized that Luongo would just have to finish off the game.

It’s unfortunate that a hectic and panic-inducing event had to occur for the Panthers, especially since they ended up losing 3-2 in spite of the situation. In the end, they got a great promotional deal out of the event. So I guess it’s about looking at the glass half full, right?

Does the Crime Fit the Punishment?

By Ellen Chlumecky

February 23, 2015

Star player for the Dallas Stars, Tyler Seguin was hit on February 13th. The results for the Tyler Seguin hit came out on Monday, February 16th. Dmitry Kulikov is suspended for four games and in accordance with that will forfeit more than $93,000 in salary. While on the other hand, Seguin has a lower-body injury and could miss up to three to six weeks. Seems fair, right? It does not exactly add up in my mind, but maybe that’s just a personal opinion.

While I know it’s completely unrealistic to award Kulikov a three to six-week suspension, it also doesn’t seem fair taking into the account the brutality of the hit. A knee injury is a very detrimental to a hockey player’s game. Their knees help them skate fast, use the force from them to hit other players, and are needed for the general premise of practicing and improving themselves on the ice. They’re pretty important if that wasn’t already obvious.

The Miami Herald seemed to describe the incident as an “accident.” They stated the “Kulikov appeared to mis-time his hip check and took out Seguin at the knees with his upper body. They did point out that Seguin did not see Kulikov coming. I just find it difficult to believe that you can make that kind of hit on someone without an intention of hurting them seriously.

Patrick Burke, an NHL player-safety director, said, “It’s illegal to throw a body check below the knees. Kulikov delivered a dangerous hit that is excessively low leaving the opposing player no way to defend or brace for the contact.” I completely agree with him. A hockey player cannot brace themselves when a player comes at their knees especially when they don’t see the player coming. Which is why I’m personally surprised that there wasn’t a bigger penalty given to Kulikov when he could’ve very well done permanent damage to Seguin.

I am not the biggest fan of Tyler Seguin. I am not oblivious either, though. He is a talented and tough hockey player. The Dallas Stars losing him for three to six weeks is a huge detriment to their game. Yes, they have Jamie Benn, Jason Spezza, Antoine Roussel, John Lingberg, Erik Cole, but at the end of the day Tyler Seguin helps pull that dynamic together. While Jamie Benn will probably try to take the lead while Seguin is out, it’s going to be a huge setback for the Dallas Stars.

Super “Star” Fallen: Tyler Seguin

By Ellen Chlumecky

February 16, 2015

I have said it once and I will say it again, hockey players don’t understand how to hit people without permanently injuring other players. There is a difference between a clean hit and a cheap shot. Hockey players start to practice hitting other players as soon as they are out of squirts and pee wees. Hitting is a part of the game, there is no way to get rid of hitting in the game of hockey. There also seems to be no way of convincing bull-headed players to stop making these kinds of moves.

This cheap shot placed Tyler Seguin of the Dallas Stars on injured reserve on Friday night. On Saturday the 14th, Coach Lindy Ruff stated that Seguin had a knee injury and could miss two to four weeks. The Stars officially announced on Sunday, February 15th that Seguin has a lower-body injury and now could miss up to three to six weeks.

Seguin was hit by Dmitry Kulikov of the Florida Panthers and had to be helped off the ice. As you can see in the video, Kulikov went low and hit Seguin on his right knee right after he made a pass. Kulikov was ejected from the game. While it’s not official, it looks like Kulikov will be suspended indefinitely pending the hearing but could be suspended for more than five games.

Coach Ruff and players were irate with the whole situation. Teammate Vernon Fiddler described the play as “gutless.” Coach Ruff said it’s a play that “I don’t like” and, “It’s a dirty low play that the league doesn’t like, and I want to see the league deal with it.” I completely agree.

I don’t know how many times a player has to get injured the way Seguin currently is before players get it through their heads that they can’t keep making hits like this. Hitting is one of the entertainment factors for many fans of hockey. I would never say to remove hitting from the game. I would enjoy seeing players hitting people smarter than they currently are hitting fellow players.

The NHL Department of Player Safety needs to review these tapes further in-depth, consider the injury and the length of the time the injured player with be out. Then they need to assess the injury accordingly. Clipping is a type of hitting that could permanently end a player’s career. It is not something they should take lightly. Players need to be smarter about hitting or abstain from it if they can’t learn the correct way to do it.