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Afternoon Analysis

Afternoon Analysis: And Now For Something Completely Different

I was only able to find highlights from Sunday on, and there wasn’t really one play (I couldn’t watch the Oilers highlights) that stood out for me, so I dug a little deeper and managed to find one good example to highlight, plus something I wanted to comment on.

The play I want to highlight is the overtime goal that Chicago scored on San Jose. In this clip, Tory Brouwer gains the Sharks zone and dishes off to Duncan Keith, who dumps the puck in deep.

Jonathan Toews and Brouwer go on the forecheck immediately and completely overwhelm the Sharks’ defenders (Dan Boyle and Doug Murray). Despite a few chances for the Sharks to break away and clear, the Hawks forwards just keep coming and coming, stripping the puck a few times until Toews manages to feed Brent Seabrook sneaking in from the point for the goal.

What I want to point out here is that hard work is responsible for this goal. Neither Hawks player gave up on the play even when a Shark defender had the puck, and their tenacity was rewarded.  Toews and Brouwer had already done a good job of forechecking and could have easily disengaged, but they didn’t, and as a result their team got the extra point.

Instead of a second clip, I want to comment on Colin Campbell’s comments from this past Saturday’s edition of Hockey Night in Canada. Campbell essentially stated that there is no current plans to revise any rules to deal with head shots because the “fans” like big hits, etc. While I couldn’t find any video (anyone else know where I could find it), you get the basic idea.

I am typically not a fan of knee-jerk reactions to current problems, but to me the NHL has about zero credibility on this issue. Passing the buck to fan enjoyment while players are being injured is pretty low, even for them. I would even be willing to get behind the league if they just came out and said that they have no actual system of judgment other than to automatically give Avery 5 games if he does something wrong and to turn a blind eye if a “star” commits a transgression. Otherwise, feel free to run people head-first through the boards so long as they are a marginal player or if they play outside of the Beltway.