NHL Postseason Morning Coffee Headlines – June 12, 2013.

Blackhawks to split up Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane, Tuukka Rask starring for the Bruins, updates on Pekka Rinne and Vladimir Tarasenko, and much more.

Blackhawks split up Patrick Kane & Jonathan Toews for Game One of Cup Final.

Blackhawks split up Patrick Kane & Jonathan Toews for Game One of Cup Final.

CHICAGO SUN-TIMES/BOSTON HERALD: Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville will split up Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane for Game One of the Stanley Cup Final, while Tuukka Rask is starring for the Bruins as their starting goaltender.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Game One of any series is a “feeling-out” process for both teams, so it’s worthwhile to split up Toews and Kane and see who they do against Boston’s defense. Rask, meanwhile, has stepped comfortably into the role of starting goalie since Tim Thomas’ departure, and has to be considered a candidate for the Conn Smythe Trophy.

ESPN.COM: Scott Burnside interviewed “a handful of coaches and GMs” to get their take on the inconsistency of officiating in this year’s Stanley Cup playoffs.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: A penalty called in the regular season should be a penalty called in the playoffs. I’m sick and tired of seeing the rule book abandoned during the postseason. Call the game by the rules! “Let the players decide the game”? Yes, by having them play by the rules! The inconsistent officiating has been a serious blight on what’s otherwise been an entertaining playoffs.

TORONTO SUN: Phil and Tony Esposito, who played for the Boston Bruins and Chicago Blackhawks, offer up their take on this upcoming Cup Final.

THE TENNESSEAN: Nashville Predators goalie Pekka Rinne claims his rehab from hip arthroscopic surgery is going well and he hopes to be ready for training camp in September.

STLTODAY.COM: The Blues want young forward Vladimir Tarasenko to work on his conditioning during the off-season.

TRIBLIVE.COM: Pittsburgh Penguins ownership spent most of yesterday in a meeting with GM Ray Shero discussing the team’s future, including that of coach Dan Bylsma.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: A number of pundits, bloggers and fans are calling for Bylsma to be replaced. We’ll find out soon enough if the Penguins front office share that opinion.

NEW YORK POST: Larry Brooks reports the Rangers should move quickly if they hope to hire Alain Vigneault as their head coach, as the Dallas Stars could soon make Vigneault an offer.

CSNPHILLY.COM/THE BUFFALO NEWS: Flyers beat writer Jay Greenberg and hockey analyst Harry Neale will be inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame. Greenberg won the Elmer Ferguson award by the Professional Hockey Writers Association, while Neale won the Foster Hewitt Memorial award.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Congratulations to both men for their well-deserved recognition and honors.

NATIONAL POST: The CHL has announced it will start banning European goaltenders in next year’s entry draft.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The move is supposedly being done to allow Canadian-born goalies more opportunities to make it in the CHL. I believe it’s an excuse to wallow in xenophobia. Shame on the CHL.

4 Comments

  1. i rarely disagree spec but i have to in this case, its not really unusual for countries to prioritize their own youth. dont know for certain but i think russia, sweden and finland (perhaps among others) do something similar. like i said i coud be wrong. if an irrational fear of foreigners was the cause then wouldnt all euros be banned? the meaning of xenophobia seems to continue to widen :p

    • I also agree with you. As Canadians, we are the ones that (mostly) pay for for the Canadian Hockey League to exist by buying tickets, merchandise, etc. I don’t think its unreasonable to reserve some roster spots for Canadian kids. Especially when goaltending spots come at a premium and this is a position we are currently lacking at internationally.

      I also have no problem with different officiating standards from the regualr season to the playoffs. Do I want consistency from game to game? Sure. But I also don’t want to see cheap penalty calls every 30 seconds, scores resembling 80s firewagon hockey and games/series determined by who is better at drawing penalties and scoring with the man advantage.

  2. My favourite Harry Neale line came when he was coach of the then-hapless Vancouver Canucks:
    “We’re terrible at home and we can’t win on the road. We’re running out of places to play.”
    You’re the best, Harry. Congratulations.

  3. The NHL is the only pro sports league that relaxes its standards for officiating in the post season. This “let them play” mentality is asinine. Can you imagine NBA announcers lamenting about a call that wasn’t made, but would of been had it occurred in a regular season game? Or how about a wide receiver in the NFL who gets held up trying to make a reception, but the officials turn a deliberate blind eye for fear that their call might impact the outcome of the game? Everyone seems to bemoan the “puck over glass” penalty, but think of where we’d be without it. I guarantee that the officials, in an effort to preserve the integrity of competition, would not call a large majority of the infractions we’ve witnessed his year, if the decision was left solely to them. If the NHL took a stand and enforced the rules to the letter of the law, from the beginning of the regular season until the Stanley Cup is awarded, there would be no more grey areas, and less inconsistency. Players would adapt. They would have to. Sure there would be a learning curve, that’s to be expected, but come play-off time there would be no steady parade to the penalty box for marginal infractions, and games wouldn’t be won and lost based on numerous powerplay opportunities because the players should be well aware by then of what is and isn’t a penalty.