Hockey Blog Beat – December 16, 2011.

The aftermath of Chris Pronger’s season coming to an end… Ken Dryden weighs in on concussions in the NHL…Why the hate for the Sedins?…The NHL week in review…Why it would be awesome if the Phoenix Coyotes won the Stanley Cup…Trophy tracker update…Review of Adam Proteau’s “Fighting the Good Fight”.

PUCK DADDY/BACKHAND SHELF: Greg Wyshynski and Justin Bourne weigh in on the aftermath of the announcement Chris Pronger’s season is over, and how it will affect the Philadelphia Flyers.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Can’t add much to what Greg and Justin have written on the subject, other than to say I don’t believe GM Paul Holmgren will rush out and find a replacement defenseman, as he’ll play the waiting game to see how the team, and the defense corps, responds to Pronger’s absence in the coming weeks. They’ve already done well without him, and that continued performance could determine whether Holmgren goes shopping for a big fish at the trade deadline, or merely an affordable, experienced depth d-man.

GRANTLAND.COM: Hall of Fame goaltender Ken Dryden offers his opinion on the concussion issue plaguing the NHL, and calls on league commissioner Gary Bettman to be more proactive on the subject.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Dryden of course makes excellent points in his essay, and to its credit, the NHL has become more active in recent years to address this problem, but there’s still more to be done. Sadly, I fear the league brain trust will drag its feet, especially in the face of growing scientific evidence linking head trauma suffered by pro athletes to CTE.

Why do the Sedins get so little respect?

GREATEST HOCKEY LEGENDS: Joe Pelletier explores the hatred aimed at the Canucks Sedin twins, concluding it’s due in part to jealousy and a North American bias against them.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I think Pelletier hit the nail on the head. The beef often tossed at the Sedins is they’re “soft”, yet there are other stars in the NHL who play a similar style and aren’t subjected to the kind of taunts and insults the Sedins are. Sadly, there remains a misguided perception Swedish players in particular, and Europeans in general, don’t appreciate the NHL game and aren’t willing to play hard enough to win the Stanley Cup. That’s lingered since the early 1970s. Hey, if the Sedins were on my favorite team (Canadiens), it would be a much better club than it is now. I was praying for the Sedins to hit the UFA market two years ago, in hopes the Canadiens, who had money to spend that summer, would land them.  Canucks fans who boo these guys now will miss them when they’re gone from the club in five or ten years time.

GRANTLAND.COM: It’s Friday, and that means Katie Baker checks in with her weekly look at the NHL week that was.

THE COPPER & BLUE: Derek Zona on how great it would be if the Phoenix Coyotes won the Stanley Cup, as it would put the league in a bind if they intend to relocate the franchise next summer.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It would make an interesting dilemma for the NHL, don’tcha think? It would be one helluva spin job by the league to try to make that look good!

RED LIGHT DISTRICT: Updates their trophy tracker for mid-December. Most notable is Claude Giroux has pulled ahead of Phi Kessel for the Hart Trophy, and Shea Weber ahead of Zdeno Chara for the Norris.

THE HOCKEY WRITERS: A review of THN.com columnist Adam Proteau’s new book, “Fighting the Good Fight“.

5 Comments

  1. Nice pun on “league brain trust” in talking about concussions.

  2. Canucks fans boo the Sedins? The sisters comments were a long time ago, although not to Bolland apparently.

  3. I think jealously has a lot to do with it, as does that they are identical twins leaves them more open to ridicule. Critics also ignore that Henrik has an ironman streak over 520 games, not counting playoffs. It’s the 2nd longest active streak in the NHL after Jay Bowmeester. Although, it looks like the heavy assaults of cross-checks the twins receive each game finally caught up to Daniel who missed last game due to back spasms.

  4. any knock on the Sedins for not being “tough enough” would end if the haters could see how much abuse they put up with to get their scoring chances, they often just shrug their shoulders and score on the resulting powerplay. the passing clinics they put on often happen at such a frantic pace it leaves oponents dizzy and invariably pulling the puck out of their net. the Sedins won back to back scoring titles, but you have to wonder how much better they’d do with a pure goal scorer on the wing instead of Burrows or even a true power forward like Iginla (or Backes from St. Louis who they signed to an offer sheet a couple of years ago) and they’re still in the prime of their careers so conceivably they could get better. when their playing days are over they’ll likely be first ballot Hall of Fame members as they have the numbers and the awards (lacking only a Stanley Cup to this point) and the players like Bolland who regularly cut them down now will be bragging about how they’d played against them

  5. I’m with you on the Sedins, Lyle. They are game-changing players who take a beating every night out and keep producing. Any team in the NHL, including Chicago, would love to have them. Bolland’s rant says more about him than the twins.