Thursday, March 20, 2008

Linkorama

Brad Schlossman's article previewing the Final Five shows that all five goalies have had record-setting years at their schools. I'm sure a lot of people will immediately look at the numbers these goalies are putting up and scream, "It's that damn trap!" but I would also point out that a number of them set records for save percentage as well. The fact is, shots are still getting to the net, they're just not getting into the goal. Even though players have received a huge technological advantage in recent years with composite sticks, there just isn't that much net to shoot at anymore. I fear that ultimately, the only solution is to make the goalies smaller or make the nets bigger.

Troy Jutting and Jason Wiley both visited Tom Pohl in the hospital this week. First off, I think Minnesota deserves a ton of credit in that I haven't really seen anything negative said about Wiley. I think everybody understood that there was no malicious intent there. Both teams were playing incredibly hard and incredibly physical, and a terrible accident happened.

That said, I didn't want to mention this when there were far more serious issues at hand, but the WCHA reviewed the video and said there was no intent to injure on Wiley's part, so why will he have to potentially miss MSU's first NCAA tournament game for an intent to injure penalty? The league isn't allowed to lessen penalties handed out by on-ice officials, only increase them, so there's not much that can done now. Probably a better choice would have been to give Wiley a game misconduct and refer the incident to the league and additional punishment from there. I understand that the head of officials in the WCHA doesn't like video since it often makes his refs look bad, but wouldn't it be wiser to review the incident more closely before making that decision? Especially since I don't think head ref Derek Shepherd had a great view of the incident and had to rely on his linesmen who were...how do I put this without using the word douchebag?...overzealous in their desire to affect the outcome of the games.

(Side rant: It figures that the one time a WCHA ref actually brings his A-game, he gets paired with two clowns who think they are refs. The nicest thing you could say is that they were awful both ways. The double-OT penalty on Friday got the most pub, but there was an equally terrible too-many-men penalty in the second period on Sunday, a 10-minute misconduct where a warning would have sufficed, and an embarrassing number of blown offsides and icing calls both ways.)

Among the myriad of articles picking apart the Ann Arbors News' whaling expedition that produced an Independent Study Tuna, probably the most interesting I've seen came Michigan English professor/guitarist for George Bedard and the Kingpins Randall Tessier, who discussed some of his experiences teaching athletes, including this story about Jack Johnson:

A final example from my experience is that of Jack Johnson. Too many students look at the pursuit of a degree as simply a way to make money. Seeing how Johnson addressed his university experience taught them a lesson about the value of an education that I could never impart. Although he was drafted by the pros in 2005, Johnson elected to stay in school. In 2006, however, the possibility of injury, and the offer of instant playing time and a multi-year, multi-million dollar contract made it impossible for him to hold out. At the time, he was in my Eng. 225 class (Argumentative Writing). It was late winter with about three weeks left in the semester. He came to me and said, “Dr. Tessier, I have to report to the L.A. Kings for their last six games, but I want to finish up here so I can continue my education next year on the west coast. If you’ll allow me to work on my papers for the week and a half in L.A., I’ll return to class with my completed essays and be in class for the last week.” Even though Jack was set for life financially, he was of a mindset that a degree was something with an intangible value that can’t be measured with a monetary yardstick. The students were blown away.
I would not have guessed that.

Just in case you were worried about the amateurism of Bemidji State's baseball team, fear not, because the NCAA totally nailed them for running a NCAA Basketball Pool with a $5 entry fee. Nice work, NCAA.

2 comments:

rr said...

I'd say that the McCloud said that after reviewing the play they saw no intent to injure mainly as a way to minimize any additional piling on. What good would have been accomplished by stating that they thought it was in fact intent to injure? Could be a legal liability issue as well. It wouldn't really strenghten the leagues case in a court of law to admit something like that beyond what the on ice official ruled.

I'm not going to try and guess what Wiley was thinking but I do know that carrying your stick and elbows up that high is not where they should be. You just don't hit people in the head like that. I don't think Pohl had the puck at the time either.

I don't think the punishment is excessive either. It's only one game, Tom Pohl on the other hand had his college hockey career prematurely ended.

Anonymous said...

Kind of funny how Schlossman got abused on this site for his all WCHA team, but lately you've been pulling a lot of his information...