Monday, November 06, 2006

Around the Rink 11.06.06

The news is getting worse for the Phoenix Coyotes. After a come-from-behind victory on Saturday night over the LA Kings; it was announced today that leading scorer Mike Comrie will be out for a month with a broken foot. The injury occured on Friday night after Comrie took a shot to the foot. Comrie lead the team with 11 points.

I mean-- it's bad enough that the Coyotes are struggling out of the gate, but to have your leading scorer injured in the process is a slap in the face. They better hope that Shane Doan's back problems are behind him so he can try and pick up the slack.

I've ranted about this on the show, but I think I'll take it hear were I can elaborate more. I don't like the "Three Stars" awards in place of the Offensive/Defensive award. I understand what the NHL is trying to do and it's cute. However, my fear is that one of these weeks; there will be three forwards and no defensive representation. I know that the NHL would find some way to get a defenseman or goalie in; but that's just a fear I have.

It seems like it's always an offensive and defensive as #1 and #2 for the week and the third was picked out of a hat containing five or six names just to fill out the void left. As much as the NHL wants to change; don't change it for the sake of change. The Offensive/Defensive was a better option because it was a tougher pick amongst a pool where as thee Three Stars could be luck of the draw.

Now, Oilers fan; please just breeze past this because I'm going to talk about Friday night's game. If you don't want to deal with the heartache; just move along.

If you haven't seen what happened at the end of the Oilers/Stars game on Friday night; here's video courtesy of YouTube. As you can see, the Oilers scored....but only after Mick McGeough had whistled the play down on what he thought was a hand pass. For the defense of McGeough; with Horcoff's bottom-hand all the way down the stick; it's easy to assume that could have happened. However, for the Oiler's defense; he was on the other side of the ice and was blocked by everyone else on the ice. That would have tied the game, but it ended in a loss for Edmonton.

The comments that took place after where Oiler's coach Craig MacTavish called the call "retarded" got him fined $10k. The NHL wants to be a fan-friendly industry, why fine someone for saying something everyone in Rexall Place and pretty much everywhere else (sans those who root for Dallas) was thinking and probably said when they saw the call. Look, it could be in bad taste; but when you grant the media access to a coach or player after something like that happened 5 minutes before the sworm, expect emotions to run over.

Senators' rookie Alexei Kaigodorov was suspened by the team after he refused to go to the AHL. Kaigodorov had said that if the Senators sent him down, he would go back to Russia the play for Magnitogorsk. That seems like it's going to happen.

The odd thing about this is that Kaigodorov and the Senators were not dinged when it came to the Russian league accusing the NHL of stealing players. Did the Russian league not care about the Sens?? Did they not care about Kaigodorov?? It's possible, but the more likely scenario is probably what Kaigodorov did when he actually gave in his two-week notice; he stayed with the team for those two weeks. He didn't bolt the minute the Sens came calling; he gave his two-week notice, he stayed with the team while waiting for those two weeks, and then he went over to North America. I'm sure had the others done something like that; there wouldn't be a huge mess like there is right now.

Now, I understand why Evgeni Malkin was named Rookie of the Month. He was a house of fire coming in and hasn't disappointed. However, the thing I'm concerned about is this becoming like the whole Sidney Crosby thing last year where he's given the Calder in October; but is blown out come June when the actual award happens.

Granted, the rookie class of this year hasn't had the pizzazz last year's had; but there's plenty of talent. Though, East Coast bias could play into it as guys like Matt Carle and Anze Kopitar are in California, where I think the law is that all hockey games must start at 7:30 local time to completely screw the East Coast papers.

All I'm saying is that Malkin would have won the Rookie of the Month sooner rather than later; why not award a rookie who played all the games and didn't just steal the scene like Malkin did. Plus, remember Sean-O's rookie theorem: There will be a rookie coming out of the blue in the second half to win the award.

By the way, anyone who wants the Philadelphia Flyers' GM job; I think all you have to do is contact the Flyers' office and say you rocked in the dynasty mode in NHL07 and you should be given an offer. That's how it seems, since Ed Snider really wants someone other than Paul Holmgren in charge. They even went behind Holmgren's back to offer the job to Colin Campbell, though he rejected it.

I'm not a fan of the Flyers' by any means, but you would think that someone like Snider would have the decency to sit Holmgren down and tell him straight up that the job may be right for him, but he's not right for the job. It's that simple, and though Holmgren may not like it-- he'll respect the organization a lot more because of that.

On a final note, it seems that the NHL Network could be heading south. While looking that Job Postings on; I found this little job tidbit. It seems that Comcast (most likely since they are the primary rights holder) is gearing up to carry the NHL Network. It's been in Canada for a couple of years now and seems to be desired amongst the hockey faithful in the US.

Whether or not enough people will buy into it will be told in time, but those who want the NHL Network; contact your cable or satellite provider or the NHL.

For the time being, here's a look at the NHL Network in Canada and what they are offering and the always reliable Wikipedia entry about the NHL Network in the US.

That's it for now. I promise, I'll take better care of updating. I know I've said it before; but this time, I kinda mean it....maybe. In any case, check out Face Off Hockey Show Wednesday Nights at 9 PM ET or always on at the FOHS Podcast site. If all else fails, check the FOHS Message Boards to gab about all there is to gab about.

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