One-Touch Passes is your Monday afternoon feature that gets you up to speed on tidbits from around the NHL with a look back at the weekend that was.

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Explanation, please: Zach Bogosian isn’t going to get suspended for the hit he put on Andreas Nodl yesterday, despite getting enough air-time to clear a KIA and throw down a dunk. The video:

You can’t help but get the impression that Shannahan came down hard in the early season to “set the tone” and has since backed off to a Colin Campbell-esque level of discipline. I’m usually not the guy railing for more suspensions, but man, that Bogosian hit deserved a couple. “As the video shows, Bogosian left his feet for the hit, so he will not be suspended.”

Whassat now?

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This is getting out of hand: The St. Louis Blues aren’t just first in their division or conference at this point, they’re first in the NHL. And to top it off, they’re starting to run away with the President’s Trophy.

They’re the first team to 100 points, so I’ll ask: do you believe in the St. Louis Blues? Am I the only one skeptical of this team heading into playoffs? I know they’re playing incredible, I know they have solid depth and goaltending, I just feel like they’re missing the top-end piece (or two) that would give them the push they need to go all the way. But then, they’ve shown they haven’t needed it so far, so I’ll shut up now.

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Well that’s an unlucky draw: Nashville doesn’t have enough games to catch the Blues, and can’t climb any higher in the West because of the division-winners getting home ice, so whoever finishes 5th (right now the Red Wings) is about to skate into one hell of a formidable hockey team.

Alex Radulov’s agent has confirmed that he is in fact coming over to play for Nashville, which adds a 26-year old two-time old KHL Player of the Year to their roster. He’s the piece this team has been missing for years. Like the Blues, they’ve always been deep with good goaltending (and disciplined), but now they have a game-breaking difference-maker too. And better, they’re suddenly going to be a lot more fun to watch.

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That ain’t right: I’ve been unable to dig up the site I originally read this on, but how’s this for the skewing of stats: Taylor Hall has been on the ice for seven empty-net goals against this year, which goes on your plus/minus. He’s -3 on the season, but in reality, he’s been a plus player this season.

If you didn’t care for plus/minus before, that should officially turn you off of that stat.

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Random opinion I feel like sharing: At this point in the NHL season, close races come down to a boat load of luck. The Western Conference is a mess.

That’s Dallas, Phoenix, San Jose, Colorado, Los Angeles and Calgary all within two points, some teams with under 10 games to play. One of Dallas, San Jose, Los Angeles and Phoenix is going to be a three-seed, while it’s likely another one or two will miss playoffs entirely.

I say it comes down to luck, because how healthy your team is makes such a big difference here. How the schedule was drawn up makes such a big difference. Add actual on-ice luck to the mix, and we really aren’t going to have any idea which team is better than the next out of that pack. But luck will determine who gets perceieved as better.

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 High bar: The past few years, the NHL’s marketing team has out-done themselves. I mean, truly, the commercials “Cup Raise” and “History Will Be Made” were just phenomenal series.

This year, they’re going after the casual fan a little bit more than the well-informed hockey nerd with their slogan “Because it’s the Cup.” It does leave them a lot of wiggle room (“Because it’s…..” is a broad sentence starter), but it certainly lacks something when you compare it to those other commercials (so far, anyway). Here’s the debut:

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Feel free to share your take below. Do you believe in the Blues? Hate the new NHL commercial?

Comments (7)

  1. Bogosian: did he leave his feet before the hit? I mean, he must have a little bit I guess, IOn can’t really watch much of the video at work so all I have is what I recall… but a year ago that’s a penalty (which, presumably he got), possibly an ejection (which he got) and that’s it. Why does he need anymore? Head’s not targeted, is it? I didn’t think it was…

  2. I’ve not been as connected this year as most, thanks to not being in any fantasy pools (which is super-weird), but I still did a spit-take at the Blues being #1 overall.

    When the hell did that happen?

  3. The Blues have been without 5 of their top 9 forwards all year. When Andy McDonald came back, their PP% jumped up over 10%, their GFA up almost 1 goal. He is the play-maker that just makes things happen for the Blues. Difficult to have offense when you’re missing your main offensive players. They have been missing their main offense guys, not the grinders or “typical” two-way guys.

  4. Justin: Love your opinions,…but not in step this time. Bogo barely left his feet and head not targeted. (Despite different rules,…how does it compare with Cooke’s hit on Savard? Perhaps I should be picking this bone with NHL rules.) Methinks the NHL got it right this time (blind squirrel theory). While your “air time” comments are colorful, and part of why I follow you,…..this time they don’t stand up to the video.

    Heard you are were a “Seawolf”. How about a link to their “Smoke on the Water..esque”..school song?

    Keep up the good ,and colorful, work.

  5. As per Taylor Hall, might it have been here that you read it?

    http://oilersnation.com/2012/3/15/the-edmonton-oilers-with-an-empty-net

    By Jonathan Willis?

    • Therrre it is, yep. Thank you sir.

      HockeyBob, thanks for the kind words, obviously we disagree on the hit, but whatever, that happens. I haven’t heard the new Seawolves song…I’m intrigued!

  6. Justin,
    Can you clear somethin up regarding jumping and hitting?
    The argument you hear from fans of teams whose player just charged someone and seemingly left their feet after the hit is “he didn’t leave his feet until after he made contact.” Winnipeg Jets fans sang this in unison after Bogosian’s hit. Although, the replay that is shot from behind Bogosian shows he clearly jumped.

    My question is, is it even possible to make contact with your feet planted and then (substantially) leave the ice after contact? I understand the power in a hit comes from the legs and that the force can make the player delivering the hit come off the ice slightly. But Bogosian is literally a couple feet off the ice in the screen cap above. It seems impossible for that to happen without “jumping”

    Thanks

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