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