NHL Blog Beat – January 11, 2012.

Who stays or goes with the Blue Jackets?…Three more takes on the NHLPA delaying divisional realignment…Can the Bruins remain dominant this season?…Do teams really get momentum boosts from fights?…Stars mid-season awards…Drew Doughty not playing as well as he should…

CBJ BLOG: Ranking which players will stay or go with the Blue Jackets this season. No, Rick Nash isn’t in the “go” category.

OFFSIDE: A SPORTS LAW BLOG: Eric Macramalla explains the NHLPA’s legal basis for rejecting the NHL’s realignment plan, and why talk of a lockout is way premature.

PUCK DADDY: Greg Wyshynski suspects the league might actually be grateful the PA made the move it did, considering the two unbalanced conferences and the uncertainty over Phoenix.

TOM BENJAMIN: explains why this is just business as usual for the league.

THE HOCKEY WRITERS: Bob Mand suggests the Boston Bruins may be in good shape to avoid regressing in the second half.

CANUCKS ARMY: Jonathan Willis explains why teams don’t get as much momentum from hockey fights as believed.

DEFENDING BIG D: The Dallas Stars mid-season awards. No surprise the under-rated Jamie Benn and Loui Eriksson are among the winners.

SURLY AND SCRIBE’S LA KINGS BLOG: Drew Doughty is playing with a cavalier attitude unsuitable for someone earning as much money as he is. I know his performance ain’t helpin’ my fantasy hockey team this year! Pick it up, Doughty!


  1. Doughty: Comparisons to Ray Bourque went straight to his head.

    Hockey fights: they slow the game down, causing team momentum to drop on the ones riding hot, not so much gain. So do offsides, icing, etc. Slowing the game down is a key defensive strategy when a team has offensive momentum.

    Unbalanced Conferences: “Balance” is a pipe dream. Nobody bitched that the Patrick Division had 6 teams to the other three divisions who had 5. Seeing as it’s four conferences and not east and west anymore, it shouldn’t matter whether two conferences in the west have more teams. The GMs voted yes, nothing wrong with that.

    People get obsessed about the smallest things. The system right now isn’t working and those who turned it down offered no alternative (better) system, so the reasons for turning it down are nil unless alternative ideas are suggested.

    Playoffs in new Conferences:
    Only the first round should be within conference. The second and third should be complete reseeds in the league so that divisional rivals who may well be the best teams in the league could potentially face off against one another in the finals. NJ vs NYR in 1994 is the defining series that year with that stupid guarantee and Matteau’s double OT winner… that was the very first year they seeded in conference rather than in the division and it probably should have been the Stanley Cup finals. Too often has the Finals been lame because it’s not best vs. best, and that’s what people want to see. I’d like to see a chance for Boston to play Montreal in the finals, those are the ones people talk about, not Carolina against Edmonton or Detroit roflstomping Philadelphia or Washington. Colorado vs. Florida. I saw this as an opportunity to finally see decent playoffs past the first round, the “interesting” matchups coming second and third round and not in the Finals.

    The way it is now, I too often see a team playing a team that fights all the time and despite winning, the players are all playing sore with bruises all over their bodies, and they don’t have enough left in the tank for the very next series.

    They can also use the four conference thing and seed 1, 2, and 3 and have a wildcard on the rest of the teams that make the playoffs to moot that unbalance in the conferences; you preserve the 2v3 and 1v4 where you can but sort the rest. Like seriously, there’s so many solutions but people don’t apply them. It’s too bad. I was REALLY looking forward to seeing four conferences; I haven’t enjoyed the playoffs for the last six years, matchups were mostly lame.

  2. Mjr… Are you serious with your babble? The current system is far better then the suggested changes, they’re plenty of excellent playoff series after the first round every year.. I bet the fans of all the teams you suggested disagree with your opinion of the finals. Car vs Edm was a 7 game series down to the last goal. It was extremely exciting hockey.. Sorry to you but not everyone and their cousins want to watch Boston vs montreal in the finals.. That can stay as the eastern finals. If it was Edm vs Cal in the finals would you still be preaching the crazy sauce?

  3. MJR – “I haven’t enjoyed the playoffs for the last six years”……….seriously? I enjoyed a lot of your comments but…..c’mon man, you sure this is your sport?
    Anyway, we now know why the realignment was rushed through without any hubbub. Because they never expected it to get past the PA approval stage. It was an opening play, and they knew where it would end up this year, so they spent all of an hour talking about it and then played some golf. So there is really no point being disappointed or having a gripe. And yes, having 6 teams in the Patrick was, at the time, considered a real problem and a competitive disadvantage. Much like Detroit has always considered being in the west to be.