Mailbag: Goalie interference, new lines

June 13, 2014, by

We received two questions this week to answer in the mailbag. Be sure to email us and ask us any questions, and we will be sure to include them in these posts.

Photo: AP

Photo: AP

Vic asks: Can the Coaches not ask for a review in the NHL? In particular, Dwight Kings goal. I get the call, or no call, but isn’t that reviewable. Can’t AV just jump on the ice and ask to review it?

In short, no. Currently, the only plays that can be reviewed via instant replay are questionable goals (high sticks, kicking, crossing the goal line, etc). Hockey is really lagging behind in the instant replay category, and considering how fast the game moves, they need to be on the forefront of utilizing this technology. I understand the sentiment that there should be some human error, but there are certain plays that absolutely need to be reviewed. Goalie interference is definitely one of those plays, as there is way too much inconsistency here. King’s goal aside,g goes both ways. There were countless instances of phantom goalie interference calls that led to disallowed goals.

Following the King incident, the NHL announced that they will be looking into goalie interference consistency and ensuring they get the calls right. Whether that means we get instant replay, we won’t know until the change is announced.

Hatrick Swayze asks: Any chance the afternoon post could explore the new lines we saw the other night? Switching out Hags and Kreider is a minor tweak, which I could understand making.

Also, seeing something done with Richards was inevitable, but the fit on the 4th line just isn’t there. Putting him on a line with Boyle is a marriage of opposites as you are putting the guy with the highest % of D zone starts (Boyle) on the same line with they guy who you shelter with the highest O zone % starts (Richards). So now that you have this line, when/where do you put them on the ice? Who do they match up against? I know we saw the song and dance last year, but if Richards can’t hang in a scoring role shouldn’t he be scratched? I guess what he means to the room and the players is enough to warrant relegating him to a 4th line role, despite the obvious miscast.

Given all of the above, do we break up our best line of Zuc-Brass-Pouliot? I know that they are extremely effective, but are forgoing the offensive optimization of MSL & Kreider by not allowing them to play with Brassard?

Would you ever endorse this:

Zuc – Stepan – Nash
Kreider – Brassard – MSL
Hagelin – Moore – Pouliot
Dorsett – Boyle – Richards/(dare I say Carcillo?)

(More details on this question here.)

This is a loaded question, so let’s go after this one at a time.

The change was a necessity not because of Carl Hagelin/Chris Kreider, but because of Brad Richards’ decline this series. Richards has been a step behind in almost every aspect of his game, and he was hurting Hagelin and Marty St. Louis. Moving Dominic Moore up to the second line was a no-brainer, since you don’t break up your one consistent line in Benoit Pouliot-Derick Brassard-Mats Zuccarello. With Moore and Richards switched, it made sense to get some size on the line, moving Kreider down and swapping him with Hagelin. All of that came from Richards’ inability to be an effective top-nine forward.

Richards is absolutely miscast on the fourth line, but he isn’t going to be a healthy scratch either. Richards doesn’t have the defensive ability to be a shutdown guy like Brian Boyle or Derek Dorsett, so once he lost his spot in the top-nine, he was always going to be miscast. I still think Alain Vigneault will give that line the majority of the defensive zone starts, but both Boyle and Richards are struggling in the face off circle; not exactly a recipe for success for DZ starts.

As for the lines, on paper they look just fine (swap Richards/Dorsett since Dorsett is a right-handed shot). The only concern I have is, again, breaking up the only line that has generated offensive chances consistently. As for Carcillo, if he sees time in the lineup, I doubt it will be at the expense of Richards.

"Mailbag: Goalie interference, new lines", 5 out of 5 based on 1 ratings.
Categories : Musings


  1. TxRanger says:

    Looks like Richards buyout is now unquestionably a done deal.

  2. Hatrick Swayze says:

    Thanks, Dave. I certainly agree with you’re sentiment, and I’m not advocating to break up the Brassard line for the reason you mentioned. However, given how we looked completely outmatched in Game 4, I think the coaching staff needs to at least consider it.

    As for the first question, the NHL needs to expand which goals are reviewable under video replay. It is ridiculous that goalie interference calls are not subject to such review. Additionally, I am in favor of instituting a coaches challenge into the game. I see no reason for the league to block something like that.

    • Walt says:

      Like in football, each team can challenge a play per half, so why not one per period, or per game??

      The NHL has to really review the officals in the finals, and let them explain why certain calls were made, while others weren’t???????

      Things don’t move very fast in the NHL, but when people question the officals, they are in trouble! If they want to be taken seriously, they have to address this issue.

      • Hatrick Swayze says:

        I’d be happy to start with 1 per game and see how it goes.

        It was reported last year that many GM’s were tentative to adopt the coach’s challenge because of when it could be used. What situations would be applicable and what would not be? Too many question marks apparently….but those should be addressed and they should implement this once and for all. It would certainly add to the integrity of the game.

      • flatbush says:

        The NHL is not lagging behind in coaches challenges. Just because the NFL and MLB have this dumb aspect doesn’t affirm the NHL in the dark ages. Don’t think we need coaches challenge. We already have the ability to decide to review a goal. That can be expanded to include goalie interference. We could expand it to another seven situations if we want to make this a mockery. In last nights game many things not called or called incorrectly especially when you review it 5x. Figure out whats important and let an off ice or on ice official decide to review. When something happens that may effect a goal maybe that should be reviewed but then again that can also be very subjective.

  3. Fotiu is God says:

    David: Why is JT Miller, a skilled, physical forward who can finish not involved in this narrative?

    Is it beyond the pale to slot in JT Miller for Brad Richards?

    I see his positional-defensive shortcomings, propensity to wander referenced by a few of you BSB personalities. Though it’s not for his defense that Darryl Sutter sends Jeff Carter over the boards.

    Hell, Miller bangs. Goes to the net. And, moreover has the legs-wind-energy that Brad Richards seemingly left in Tampa with Torts. (Or blew on Olivia Munn. 😉

    • Spozo says:

      You don’t insert a rookie in to an elimination game in the Stanley Cup Finals for the defacto captain who has won a conn smythe in the past. At this point we live or die with Richards in the lineup.

      • Fotiu is God says:

        You couldn’t have put it any more poignantly, Spozo: live or die. Emphasis on the latter.

        We’re going down Memory Lane, revisiting the very same narrative from our last trip to the ECF, when Torts sat BR down at a pivotal-decisive moment.

        To quote LBJ, that dog don’t hunt.

        • Spozo says:

          Well it sounds like you are ready to lose. Personally, I’m ready for a win tonight and game 6 back at the Garden.

          • Fotiu is God says:

            Spozo. How’d that suiting up an overpaid spent force over a young stud winger work out?

            Appears that erstwhile Conn Smythe winner was just bought out after five games’ worth of underwhelming shifts during the SCFs.

            Torts, in hindsight, had that one right.

      • WayneG says:

        Not sure if I agree Spozo. The Richards problem is/could cause a domino effect. It’s not so much moving him off the #2 line it’s where do you put him. One player, Richards, not playing well, is causing the shake up of 2, or possibly even 4 forward lines. IMHO that could be more disruptive to the outcome of the elimination game. I refer you to the lack of communication and confusion it caused last game. Yes we won. But I think all will agree it was certainly notour best effort by a long shot.

        • Spozo says:

          Pulling Richards out of the lineup is only half of it. I’m equally not sold on putting Miller in on the second line and thinking that gives us a better chance to win than having D Moore there. And if you put Miller on the 4th line, how is that any different than putting Richards there? If you insert Miller in and take Richards out it shakes up the lines just as much and putting Richards on the 4th.

  4. WayneG says:

    I would also take Olivia Munn to the garden and make her promise to go back to him if he wins the cup!

  5. cv19 says:

    The boys in the NHL “war room” should have had the nuts to at least make an “in the crease” call to disallow the goal. That would have been the intelligent thing to do. I can’t get past it.
    Boy, has Richards messed us up or what? It’s a shame that fourth line has to be broken up. Love ya Richie but jeez, what a time to tank.

  6. Leatherneckinlv says:

    What you do is make the Brassard line number two and move Richards to number 3

    1st line Step with Nash and Kreider
    2nd line Brassard with Zuke and Pouliot
    3rd line Richards with St Louis Hagelin
    4th line D. Moore with Boyle and Dorsett

    you play 1, 2, 3, 1, 2, 3, 4, 1, 2, 4, 1, 2, 3, 4

    • Ray says:

      It doesn’t matter how you number the lines. AV adjusts ice time depending on how well the lines are doing. Last game, Zuke was on line #3, PP unit #2, and scarcely played on the PK. He easily led all Ranger forwards in ice time. (Interestingly, Moore was second.)

    • Hatrick Swayze says:

      This doesn’t address the optimization of certain wingers. The idea that Richard is holding MSL, and to a lesser extent, Hagelin back is forcing AV to match them with a capable center.

      Furthermore, what you are suggesting would mitigate 2 of our capable top 6 forwards (Hags and MSL) just because Richards can’t hang. The goal is to give guys like that a better chance to succeed, not limit their ice time.

  7. Leatherneckinlv says:

    Let’s Go Rangers!!

  8. scott says:

    Take Richards off the power play .Putting the same players out every time does not work.

  9. Leatherneckinlv says:

    What is wrong with Girardi…man he looks like a chicken with his head cut off….ughhhh

  10. Chris F says:

    Another horrible game changing call. I can’t take this anymore. Just throw out the rulebook and let anything go. That’d be fairer than these calls.

    • Rangers Fan in Boston says:

      Not a good call, but to be fair the Rangers once again dominated in the third. They’re not earning any breaks.

    • Rangers Fan in Boston says:

      Seriously. It’s unfathomable how badly they’re getting outplayed.

  11. TxRanger says:

    So proud of the boys. They fought so hard. This has to be one of the closest 4-1 series. Great season. Great season. Looking forward to the bright future this team has.

  12. Rangers Fan in Boston says:

    Very proud. Hell of a showing. Three OT losses stings though.

  13. joe719 says:

    How many f**king chances do you need to score 1 friggin goal. Just unbelievable. The legend of this team grows once again!!!!! The gang that couldn’t shoot straight!!!! I would have preferred it more if they got blown out . This is just brutal!!!!!!!

    • TxRanger says:

      Honestly, if Voynov didn’t make that play, Nash gets the game winner and we’re all talkin’ game 6.
      We had our chances, Quick was just playing lights out. Hank played better, LA just got so, so, so many shots on him that it was just a matter of time.

      • joe719 says:

        Chance, after chance, after chance. NOTHING!!!!! Just a Brutal way to end this great, wonderful run.A 5-0 rout would be easier to swallow. At least then you would know you were outclassed. But this? Brutal!!!!!

  14. joe719 says:

    Tomorrow I’ll be more than proud of them, Tonight just pissed!!!!!! No sleep tonight!!!!!!

  15. Leatherneckinlv says:

    Brutal way to lose….The kings were the better team and had more will to win. This Ranger team did well. When you think about it they had the lead 4 out of 5 games for the entire game to lose it still. Only game they trailed was the 3rd game. Many Rangers need to look at themselves in the mirror.
    Only players that get a reprieve are Lundqvuist, Zuccarello, Kreider, Stralman and Boyle. They gave their hearts out. Rest of the the team had their up and downs.
    Another Cup run if it is in it for them they will win. They had to learn a ton in what it takes to win it now.

    • "The Original" Rob says:

      So we go alllllll the way to game 5 of the cup finals, and you want half the team gone????

      • Spozo says:

        Typical “what have you done for me today” attitude.

        I’ll join you in congratulating this team on the second best season I have seen in my lifetime.

        • TxRanger says:

          I agree with Leatherneck on the fact that this team acquired some serious experience and will be poised next year. Other than that, he sounds like a disappointed diehard fan.

          Let’s not play this game. Lets celebrate the great year the Rangers had.

      • Leatherneckinlv says:

        I said there were many players that need to look at themselves in the mirror, not get rid of them. Girardi was brutal, Nash did not do what he was brought here for, Richards…oh man. These players along with St Louis, McDonagh and Stepan were outplayed by the Kings. Our big names did not show up or contribute to giving it your all. They were 99 yarders which is not good enough to win. This team has glaring holes and many redundant players. Size and grit always win. An example…the smurfs of the 80’s getting dominated by the Islanders…the 70’s team losing to Boston though that team was a really good team. Orr was just well….Orr….I talk from years of experience watching hockey.

  16. "The Original" Rob says:

    Great Season guys! So proud of this team! It’s been one hell of a ride, and as much as I felt that we’re one of the top teams in the league, I never expected for us to be this successful, and take it this far. I want to also, thank everyone on here for making this season such a special one and will never forget it.

  17. Chris F says:

    What can be said. That was one of the best overtime duels I’ve seen in a long time. Went out with a bang, at least

  18. Walt says:

    I waited to post this morning, because I was soooo pissed off last night that I couldn’t sleep.

    We were 11-1 when leading going into the 3rd, and again we blew it. How did we blow it, that damn prevent defense, you can’t imagin how much I hate that. It cost us, along with the call against Zucc, WTF?????

    Please, someone explain to me what’s the effin reason to do this?? If we attack, we play in their zone, we don’t get scored on. Hank played his heart out, he deserved more support than what he got.

    Like my buddy Leatherneckinlv, size kills, and we have to address this over the off season. LA was big, strong, fast, and skilled. They never gave up, and it appeared that they toyed with us when they fell behind 2-0 in many games. It was like OK boys, let’s show them a thing or two.

    In closing, I have to say it was a great run, I lost sleep, got a bleeding ulcer, upst my wife with my yelling, but what else is new?? Slat’s please go out there and address the size issue, and grit, so that next year we can win the whole 9 yards!!! I’m proud of my boys, and take this as a lesson in what needs to be done to win it all!!