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.
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",