Coaches Challenges? MacLean in Trouble? Rangers Reverting?

From the NY Slap Shot blog:

During the second intermission of the Islanders-Canadiens game, TSN’s
Darren Dreger reported that he had surveyed N.H.L. coaches on whether
they’d like to see a challenge system instituted in the league, much
like the N.F.L.’s, where head coaches can request a review of an
official’s decision. (video and here on his blog).

Dreger said 14 of the 21 he spoke with favored such a system and that
Panthers General Manager Dale Tallon is considering proposing a coach’s
challenge rule at the November general managers meeting.

What got Tallon riled up was this play on Tuesday in Toronto when the
Maple Leafs’ Colton Orr tackled Panthers goalie Scott Clemmensen,
clearly interfering with him (video) and a subsequent shot by Tim Brent deflect off Orr’s skate into the
goal. Neither referee, Stephen Walkom nor Francis Charron, called Orr
for a penalty and that goal turned out to be the game-winner. Goalie
interference is not among the plays currently reviewable by the league’s
video review system.

(Blogging yesterday for The
Miami Herald, George Richards
quoted N.H.L. vice president of
hockey operations Colin Campbell, who acknowledged the referees blew the
call. Campbell said Walkom, the league’s former director of officiating
who returned to the ice last season, was high in the zone and had his
view of the play obstructed by players. Campbell didn’t provide an
explanation for Charron, who was along the goal line and had a clear
view, other than saying he’s “a rookie referee.”)

Dreger reported that one of the coaches who supports a challenge
suggested limiting it to one per team, with a deterrent such as loss of a
time out or a two-minute penalty if the team loses the challenge.

Of the seven coaches who opposed a challenge, Dreger said one feared
coaches would use a challenge to create an additional timeout. Another
said the solution to the problem was better officiating.

Continue reading “The Morning Skate: Coaches Challenges? MacLean in Trouble? Rangers Reverting?” >>


  1. naweed235 says:

    boston’s the best team in the league yes… on the same note, today a pig took a dump on my windshield from high above …

  2. JD_ says:

    To be fair to Higgins, I think expectations for him were always too high. He “failed” everyone by turnin’ out to be the player he’d always been.

    If the Habs were lookin’ to rehabilitate a player – which is not a business you want to be in beyond maybe a Poolio – there is a lonnnng list of guys ahead of Higgins.

  3. SeriousFan09 says:

    Let Montreal take a turn at the king of floppers, they’ve torn him up before.


    – I shall always remember Captain Koivu. Habs and Hockey.

  4. JD_ says:

    Havin’ Rask take your job away from you and hearin’ your name tossed around in trade rumours all through the off-season either kills you or makes you stronger.

  5. samTHEman says:

    I like Chris Higgins when he was here. He was one of my favorite players in Montreal. To answer your question, no I don’t think he is washed up. But I also think he wouldn’t be able to stand the heat in Montreal. There are loads of young forwards in the MTL organisation. Eller, White, Avtsin, Kristo, Palushaj, Desharnais, Maxwell, and to a lesser extent Pouliot and Boyd. It makes absolutely no sense to go backward and sign a former Hab who since his departure totalled 8 goals and 9 assists in 74 games without a Canadiens uniform.

    All that being said, hockey is an unpredictable sport. You could bring him in with G and G, and find that he fits perfectly – there’s great chemistry and he finishes with a 30-30 season. He would be playing in a TOTALLY different team, system and under a new coach. The team morale and leadership are way higher now than when he was here. But Would it be wise to bring him back? Absolutely not…entertaining thought however because i’ve always liked chris higgins. He posted his best campaign (27G-25A-52pts) in 07-08 and then everything went downhill from there, but so did most of the team with dissapointing performances from Kovalev, Koivu, Ryder, Komisarek, etc. It’s too bad. I don’t believe he will ever be a regular top 6 forward in a good NHL team. He’d be in the Leafs top 3 for sure. He has never been a dominant consistent scorer throughout his career.

  6. TomNickle says:

    Boston’s been the best team in the league so far this season.

    They just don’t give up scoring chances and they have a great combination of puck moving ability and physicality.

    Their weaknesses are a defense group that will turn the puck over when opposing teams can establish a good forecheck and puck possession game can frustrate them.

  7. Harani says:

    Tim Thomas: 5-0-0 with a 0.60 Goals-Against Average and 2 shutouts, hasn’t allowed more than 1 goal in any of his 5 games

    Am I dreaming? Since when is Tim Thomas unbeatable?

    “It must be love!”

  8. JD_ says:

    Never been a fan of the Hab retread.

    On top of that, Higgins burned out in 08-09 and has never recovered.

    Not worth the roster spot and, worse, whatever baggage he’s carryin.

  9. TomNickle says:

    His instincts are unreal.

    It gets into your head after a while.

  10. TomNickle says:


    We don’t need him, don’t want him, can’t have him, aren’t interested.

    No thank you.

    He may enjoy a small career revival somewhere, but he would never have one here.

  11. TomNickle says:

    One point I’d like to make about the challenge system is that there is validity to the extra timeout theory that coaches will abuse it.

    They will.  Guaranteed.

    Whenever I’ve had a good penalty killing team coaching minor hockey I’ve never hesitated to call for a measurement of the opposing goaltender’s equipment to get my team a timeout and with the way the equipment is made these days it’s basically a coin flip as to whether you end up on the powerplay or shorthanded.

    The strategy has worked out very well for a number of reasons.

  12. Lafrich says:

    Anyone think perhaps Chris Higgins should come back here to revive his career with the Habs? We could probably get him on the cheap, and maybe he is the guy to play with G and G?


    He was so good here for 3 years, scoring like seventy five goals over those 3 years albeit with a chance to have scored a hundred and seventy five. Nevertheless, I still like him, and think he may be a good fit on the current club.


    Or, is he just totally washed up?

  13. TomNickle says:

    Great to see that with the Ron Wilson trash talk.

    5 wins and they think they’re better than everyone else.  It’s sickening, they need some humble pie.


  14. TomNickle says:

    Boone, Stubbs, Hickey.

    Pull your socks up fellas.  Stu’s got some great stuff.

    Just kiddin guys.  It’s great to chew on some stu instead of Halak, Boucher, Lightning, Blues, etc.


  15. avatar_58 says:

    He looks pretty good in this game to me. Like it’s not even the same guy

  16. Mark C says:

    You need to get more than 14 shots in 45 miunte if you want to beat any goalie.

    With less than 13 minutes left, the Leafs have 4, FOUR shots from players not named Kessel and Phaneuf. This team is a joke.

  17. Danno says:

    It’s settled. Of the two weevils, we’ll go for the Bo-weevils.


    “Hey Richard, two minutes for looking so good!”

  18. Former Jets Fan says:

    Taylor Hall vaults ahead of Carey Price in the race for the Art Ross with a secondary assist on a PP goal.

  19. Ron says:

    The first shift kessel had after the goal had the bos fans were chanting “thank you phil kessel”. What a laugh. The laffs crew wouldn’t mention it on their broadcast.

  20. SeriousFan09 says:

    Josh Gorges currently outscoring Dion Phaneuf, life is beautiful.


    – I shall always remember Captain Koivu. Habs and Hockey.

  21. SeriousFan09 says:

    Quickest way to end a Phil Kessel scoring campaign is have him play Boston, he can’t do a damn against his old club.

    Also, what makes it so hard to beat Tim Thomas? Honestly, I don’t think I can take this flopper contending for the Vezina again.


    – I shall always remember Captain Koivu. Habs and Hockey.

  22. HardHabits says:

    I feel so dirty. Watching the Bruins versus the Leafs with an eye on the points and the standings.

  23. pmaraw says:

    i think our new captain is doing way better than the leafs new captain.  brian mccabe part 2 or larry murphy part 3?

  24. pmaraw says:

    just as i say this i check the scoreboard and seguin has a goal lol

  25. nightmare_49 says:



    Several surprises highlight first three weeks of NHL season  …  by Kevin Allen/ mMucking and Grinding
       10. Colorado defenseman John-Michael Liles leading the NHL with 11 assists. Didn’t you feel as if Colorado wanted to trade him?
  26. Matt_in_TO says:

    Seguin 1 – Kessel 0


    – In Price We Trust

  27. HardHabits says:

    Phaneuf gets roughed up. Seguin gets his 2nd goal of the season.

  28. OneTimer says:

    Seguin scores, ouch Toronto!!

  29. pmaraw says:

    dont really want to see boston go 5-2 or toronto go 6-2-1, wish they both could lose, however i’m just going for a 2 point game.  I do want to see seguin out shine kessel, but i dont think he’s there yet.

  30. Former Jets Fan says:

    Leafs here.  Boston *should* be better in the long run, Toronto *will* be terrible at season’s end.  Let them get a few October wins, and maybe it keeps them out of the lottery.

  31. samTHEman says:

    I would be so happy if they implemented this. It would be so great for the game.

    Something has to be done. I can’t believe the ref totally missed Orr CLEARLY take out Clemmenson on purpose. Riflippingdiculous. He was right infront of him FFS. Charron and Lee, worst refs in my book.

  32. Will Longlade says:

    A coaches challenge rule in the NHL is long overdue. It would go a long way towards getting rid of the pathetic, phantom high stick calls and all the other b.s. that goes on that the refs miss including goalie interference calls.


  33. Propwash says:

    Well, I think Boston is the lesser of two evils


    Goalies in Montreal have two roles, netminder and scapegoat. 

  34. habitual says:

    leap over to TSN videos. at the end of the one about whether McLean will be fired as NJ’s coach, it runs to Pierre McGuire as guest coach of the Montreal Juniors.  When asked if anyone impressed him he says:

    “Louis Leblanc.  He is spectacular.”



  35. Danno says:

    Me too. Still, cheap is how I feel.


    “Hey Richard, two minutes for looking so good!”

  36. anotherhab says:

    Reminds me of Charlie Brown!!!!


    “I find your lack of faith disturbing” Darth V

  37. SeriousFan09 says:

    Komisarek always likes to find people his own size to pick on, especially if they’re the softest 6’4″ players around, remember him bravely going after J. Staal last year?


    – I shall always remember Captain Koivu. Habs and Hockey.

  38. Propwash says:

    I’d rather bahston than toranna win.


    Goalies in Montreal have two roles, netminder and scapegoat. 

  39. Danno says:

    We cheer for Boston tonight? Yes?


    “Hey Richard, two minutes for looking so good!”

  40. Propwash says:

    Komisarek the chicken**** lol, throwing shots when the linesman comes between him and Wheeler


    1-0 Bahston


    Goalies in Montreal have two roles, netminder and scapegoat. 

  41. SeriousFan09 says:

    Big write-up in the Globe and Mail on new owner Geoff Molson.


    – I shall always remember Captain Koivu. Habs and Hockey.

  42. notbigbird says:

    He was old when I was young. 🙂

  43. otter649 says:

    Isn’t Havlat the player that Cammy suckered punched ? when he was with The Flames……

  44. shootdapuck says:


    ex-player – “the kraut line”


    ex-GM who engineered the Phil Esposito-Ken Hodge trade from Chicago!

    Hall of Famer




    “The three stars as selected by Red Fisher of the Montreal Star:
    1st star: Henri Richard
    2nd Star: Doug Harvey
    3rd Star: Jacques Plante

    Final score Detroit Red Wings 5 Montreal Canadiens 3”

  45. otter649 says:

    McGuire guest coached with The Montreal Juniors earlier this week & TSN “That’s Hockey” showed a clip of the practice on the show. Most of the junior players would still be in diapers/infants when he last coached in The NHL as most would know him only as a tv announcer. Some players would be wondering what or what was a Hartford Whaler & what was your coaching record & is that why you never got another coaching job in The NHL due to your head coaching record……….lol

  46. BJT says:

    Just wondering, why Price so low?


    Formerly known as Camel_Larry..
    ..”No more Looser on this teams!!” – Canadienboy

  47. HFX-HabFan says:

    Kostitsyn- 81

    Price- 83

    Gionta- 85

    Pouliot- 79

    Hamrlik- 79

    Subban- 80

    Boyd- 76

    Lapierre- 78

  48. HFX-HabFan says:

    Seriously?  He’s one of their all-time greats.

  49. Propwash says:

    Yep, Im actually pulling O/T at work.

    The guy sounds like the Cowardly Lion.


    Goalies in Montreal have two roles, netminder and scapegoat. 

  50. SeriousFan09 says:

    You watching Boston-Toronto? I normally don’t take the anthems too seriously but if he’s going to do a job that badly, honestly, someone put a slapshot to his face.


    – I shall always remember Captain Koivu. Habs and Hockey.

  51. Propwash says:

    Our anthem singer’s better 😛


    Goalies in Montreal have two roles, netminder and scapegoat. 

  52. SeriousFan09 says:

    Who the hell is Milton Schmidt? Tuned in to scout these new Bruins as it were and it’s Milt Schmidt Night in Boston.


    – I shall always remember Captain Koivu. Habs and Hockey.

  53. Harani says:

    Tampa and Habs tied for Conference lead, NOT a myth.

    “It must be love!”

  54. Harani says:

    That would Havlak but everything is the same to Cherry!

    “It must be love!”

  55. showey47 says:

    Caught an interview with guy boucher on xm204 today. He says speed is more intimidating then size.

  56. BJT says:

    Im thinking:


    Ak- 85

    Cp- 89

    Gio- 81

    Pouliot: 78 (with a potential of 83, mind you)

    Hamr: 77

    PK: 82 (Markov as 89)

    Boyd: 74

    Laps- 72


    Pretty similar!



    Formerly known as Camel_Larry..
    ..”No more Looser on this teams!!” – Canadienboy

  57. Stu Hackel says:

    But Boone is the Superman.

  58. Mike Boone says:

    This doesn’t surprise me. Spatch is an exceptionally good guy – smart and unfailingly cooperative with the media. I hope things work out for him this season.

  59. Stu Hackel says:

    Thanks FJF – I like your Sam Pollack quote and wonder if it applies to bloggers and
    readers. That said, I probably do write more about the East than the West because I see more of it, but there are just as many great stories in the West and I don’t like missing them. Like today, I missed that Hossa is going to be out for a few weeks with an upper body injury. He’s been the best player in the league so far.

  60. Mike Boone says:

    Hear, hear! Stu is The Man.

  61. Mattee. says:

    Off topic but, could Mcguire’s head be any rounder?

  62. C3P1 says:

    Compared to ovechkin…at the highest, i think he maxes out at like a 94 or 95 in the game…

    Ak- 83

    cp- 86

    gio – 82

    benny – 76

    hammer – 79

    pk – 81

    boyd- 72

    laps – 72


    Avon Old Farms: 2007, 2008 & 2010 New England Division I Hockey Champions – #5

  63. Propwash says:

    According to Cherry…Havlat is an ex goaltender of the Habs…go figure.


    Goalies in Montreal have two roles, netminder and scapegoat. 

  64. Stu Hackel says:

    Thanks, malboro man. One of a kind? You sound like my mom.

  65. shootdapuck says:

    Extra Timeout issue is easily solved you lose a challenge and you lose your time out!

    Coaches will be sure before throwing the red jockstrap to initiate a challenge!



    “The three stars as selected by Red Fisher of the Montreal Star:
    1st star: Henri Richard
    2nd Star: Doug Harvey
    3rd Star: Jacques Plante

    Final score Detroit Red Wings 5 Montreal Canadiens 3”

  66. shootdapuck says:

    Better officiating! Ha!

    Unless Bettman can find a way to clone Bill Friday, Bruce Hood,John Ashley, Vern Buffey and Andy Van Hellemond or Red Story!

    This present mob of text messaging, hair gel freaks (thank god he retired!), can’t seem to follow the game even when there are now 2 referees and 2 linesmen helping each other!

    If it wasn’t for hiding behind a union most of these incompetants would be back on the loading dock at home depot!(no offense to any loading dock or Home Depot folks intended). There can be no other excuse for Chris Lee and Dan O’Halloran having over 10 years of experience and being soo useless!


    “The three stars as selected by Red Fisher of the Montreal Star:
    1st star: Henri Richard
    2nd Star: Doug Harvey
    3rd Star: Jacques Plante

    Final score Detroit Red Wings 5 Montreal Canadiens 3”

  67. Storm Man says:

    Gionta hands down. I don’t like Havlat’s Agent and Gionta brings alot more to a team then Havlat does. 

  68. SeriousFan09 says:

    Gionta, Havlat’s got fragility issues which made me chuckle when he was chosen to be Gaborik’s replacement in MIN, I mean honestly, part of the reason he was so much drama for them was because of his neverending hip problems and then they sign Havlat? That and I don’t the Canadiens to ever have to deal with a client of Allen Walsh ever again.


    – I shall always remember Captain Koivu. Habs and Hockey.

  69. BJT says:

    Hey guys, if you were to rate players for an EA Sports NHL game (i.e. NHL 11), what ratings would you give the following players?










    Formerly known as Camel_Larry..
    ..”No more Looser on this teams!!” – Canadienboy

  70. Former Jets Fan says:

    I like the challenge idea because the integrity of the league is being compromised by not just bad, but horrible and game-changing calls in a league that is striving for – and to a certain extent achieving – parity.  I do agree with that one dissenting coach who worried about a free timeout, and I think a bench minor is too harsh a penalty for a failed challenge – after all, the coach was simply trying to preserve the integrity of the game being played.

    So, how’s this for an idea – you put a plasma screen in the scorer’s booth.  If a coach launches a challenge, both head coaches join the two referees at the scorer’s booth to review the replays available.  You set, say, a two minute time limit to watch the replays, and each coach gets about thirty seconds to interpret what they see and plead their respective cases.  The referees reach then their consensus, and in the event of a failed challenge, *that coach himself spends five minutes in the penalty box*.  In this way, the free timeout issue is somewhat mitigated, the game isn’t delayed too too much, and the penalty doesn’t drastically affect the game in the way a power play would, although it would surely affect the penalized team/coach somewhat.  Coaches would have unlimited opportunities to challenge, but only so long as they are correct each time; if your challenge fails, you don’t get another.  This way, if a coach is able to get two or three or four successful challenges in a game, you would have serious question marks being raised about the game’s referees, and that might help with the accountability issue for refs.

    I think it’s important to not have a time limit for goal reviews because the point of a goal review is to get the call right, not to make the best possible decision within an alloted time frame.  A challenge is different though as the calls in question aren’t as critical as a goal/no goal decision – though the ultimate decision could in fact lead to a critical change in the game. 

    The NHL is a business, and NHL teams are in the business of winning the Cup, but ultimately, the point of the business is to entertain fans, and when there is league-wide disgust on any given night among fans, changes must be made to appease the fans.  Sam Pollock has that famous quote about how if a GM listens to fans he’ll ultimately become one, but if the commissioner isn’t listening to the fans, that’s a whole other matter entirely, and one that needs to be addressed lest people start walking away from the game – which can be an issue in places where the local team doesn’t have the strongest foothold in the community.


    And by the way Stu, I’ll join the chorus of HI/O posters who appreciate your contributions.  Our Habs are going to play all of these other teams you post about at least once, and one of them eventually in the Finals 😉 I would however suggest that your posts be somewhat weighted towards the Eastern Conference (as they’ve seemed to be so far).

  71. Rugger says:

    Isn’t Havlat’s agent Walsh?  Gianta for sure.

  72. Harani says:

    I don’t know if this has been posted earlier but Francois Gagnon has an article up on Jaro Spacek. Basically, Spacek says that he doesn’t think that he’s playing as bad as people are complaining. Hammr just came back and they are just getting back in sync and they are forced to play against the other team’s best players. 

    However, Spacek says that he understands that if the coaches think someone is playing better than him, he’s be ok with watching games from the pressbox and learn things by seeing them from a different perspective, anythign that would help the team. And he also mentions that he feels like he’s in great shape. 

    Hearing that actually makes me happy. Especially since a guy who’s making 3.8 million $. And I have to admit that he hasn’t been as horrible as many are making him out to be. He’s been playing on average 20:29 per game and that is way too much for his age.

    Yes, he occasionally screws up but he’s not a bad defenseman. Having Markov back will at least shave off 2-3 minutes off his ice-time and that will surely make him more effective. 

    And one other question: Martin Havlat or Brian Gionta at 5million$? Discuss.

    “It must be love!”

  73. observer says:

    Minutes ago – curse of too many because of expansion incompetant pro sports referees:

  74. marlboro says:


    I really enjoy reading your stuff.  Great addition to this site.  Really is a one of kind.

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