Sometimes junior hockey games go off the rails. You’ve seen NHL games get nasty, you’ve seen refs lose control of the game, but I assure you, neither compare to what happens at some junior games. The reffing is worse, there’s less pressure to act like a professional, and sometimes you end up with what you see above. I personally witnessed a coach shimmy across the glass to get at the other bench, another hurl a stick like a javelin into an opposing team, and a metal gate used as a weapon in a coach-on-coach fight. This stuff happens.
The not-so-politcally-correct video below takes place after Noah Nelson, captain of the Wenatchee Wild of the NAHL, had been ejected, causing assistant coach Chris Clark to lose his mind and get himself ejected too. This is how he reacted.
The joke, you see, is that the refs don’t see too good.
As has been pointed out to me by a few people on Twitter, it’s not like Jonathan Huberdeau, the third overall pick to Florida in last year’s draft intentionally wrestles the referee to the ice before starting a fight in the third period of what his very likely his last game as a Saint John Sea Dog. It was fairly circumstantial.
Skip ahead to about 3:18 of the below video. After jawing with Halifax’s Martin Frk, a frking good teammate of the Detroit Red Wings select from this past draft named MacKenzie Weegar comes in to jaw with Huberdeau, who gets restrained by linesman Jay Doiron. The two were likely discussing the QMJHL’s Rule 47.11, that forbids a player from taking part in a fight with five minutes to go in regulation or overtime and will credit the player an automatic game misconduct.
What they probably should have been discussing is Rule 41.4, which discusses a “Category 3″ abuse of officials.
Wednesday night’s Super Series game between the WHL and Team Russia was supposed to be a battle between the top two picks in the 2012 NHL Entry Draft, Nail Yakupov and Ryan Murray. Unfortunately, Yakupov fizzled in the face of physicality and Murray was solid, yet unspectacular.
Instead, it became a battle between two goaltenders, Andrei Makarov for Russia and Laurent Brossoit for the WHL.
There was a possibility that Ryan Strome could have been playing with the New York Islanders this season with a strong training camp. Instead, the 5th overall pick in the 2011 draft is tearing up the OHL for the Niagara IceDogs, leading the league in scoring with 37 points in 21 games.
On Monday night, he also led the OHL past Russia in the second leg of the Subway Super Series.
Prior to Wednesday night, the QMJHL had lost five straight games to Team Russia in the CHL-Russia Super Series, with their last win coming in 2009. The fifth loss came Monday night, as goaltender Andrei Vasilevski put together a masterful performance and Mikhail Grigorenko led the way offensively for the Russians, who won 6-2.
The top forwards for the QMJHL were effective at times, but struggled to get the puck past Vasilevski, with Florida Panthers prospect Jonathan Huberdeau and the 2013 draft-eligible Jean-Sebastien Dea and Nathan MacKinnon frequently on the ice for goals against. Huberdeay and MacKinnon both finished minus-4 and Dea finished minus-3.
Missing from the lineup on Monday was Jonathan Drouin, a 2013 draft-eligible forward who plays alongside MacKinnon for the Halifax Mooseheads. His 24 points in 12 games this season makes him tied with PEI forward Josh Currie for the highest points-per-game average in the QMJHL. Drouin missed the first game while still recovering from a foot injury, but his return and familiarity with MacKinnon seemed to make all the difference for the QMJHL on Wednesday.
Much of the hype heading into the first game of the CHL-Russia Super Series revolved around Nail Yakupov’s return to Canada for the first time since he left for the KHL. It was also the first time 2012′s first overall pick would face 2013′s likely first overall pick, Nathan MacKinnon, who started on the top line for the QMJHL alongside Florida draft pick Jonathan Huberdeau.
Yakupov was supposed to play 50 games in Canada this season, more if the Oilers made the playoffs. So…50 games, then. Instead, if the lockout wipes out the entire NHL season, the 6 games of the Super Series may be his only games on Canadian soil.
Instead of Yakupov being the centre of attention, Russian goaltender Andrei Vasilevski stole the show.
I am dying laughing. Well, now I’m just smiling as I type this, but moments ago, I was scaring my cats a little. The bar has been raised for entertaining hockey interviews, and we have the assistant coach of the OCN Blizzard, Clay DeBray, to thank for that.
In hockey leagues around the continent that aren’t being locked out, pre-season is under way (specifically the junior leagues). The OCN Blizzard play in the Manitoba Junior Hockey League, and are in the process of selecting their team for the season. After beating the Flin Flon Bombers the previous night (a fact completely irrelevant to this post, I just wanted to include as many great prairie town names as possible), the Blizzard couldn’t hold on in the third period against the Nippawin Hawks, losing 4-1. Read the rest of this entry »