You Know What I Hate?! – Feb 20

Alain Vigneault is angry. And so am I. We don’t understand the kicking rule.
Actually we’re both just confused. But I’m calmer than him. And he gets to yell at the refs.
Photo courtesy Jeff Vinnick/NHLI/Getty Images

Today I continue my weekly feature of me venting and raging on stupid crap happening with the Canucks, their fans and around the NHL. Two things about feature… 1) It will appear (hopefully) every Monday (this week, Tuesday!), and 2) It is blatantly ripped off from a stand-up bit from comedian Craig Anton. On either point, I make no apologies. Enjoy. Or don’t.

This week, I have the following items disallowed because of a distinct kicking motion: Anonymous player polls, non-flex schedules in the NHL, spending time with my children and racist puns.

You know what I hate?! NBC Sports decision making. Yesterday was Hockey Day in America, so NBC decided that the marquee match-up should involve the defending Stanley Cup champions (good choice) and the Minnesota effing Wild (bad, bad, bad choice!). First of all, you don’t need to promote hockey in Minnesota. They get it already. The game doesn’t need one iota of selling there, because they’ve already bought in, and have for decades. Second of all, since its inception, the Minnesota Wild has been a historically boring team. This is NOT the team you want to use to promote hockey in the US. Ever. Never ever. This game should be Exhibit A for the need for a flex schedule in the NHL for TV viewing purposes. For instance… EVERY OTHER GAME played on Sunday afternoon (PIT@BUF, STL@CHI, SJS@DET) plus some of the other evening games would have been a better game to showcase. Anybody but the Wild. Those are words to live by.

You know what I hate?! The stupid off-the-skate rule in the NHL (rule 49 in the book). Last night in Edmonton, the Canucks had a goal disallowed late in the first period when Manny Malhotra was ruled to have deliberately directed a puck off his skate into the net. Or so we think. Who knows?! And that’s what I hate! I don’t hate the fact that Malhotra’s goal was disallowed. In fact, I was in the minority of Canucks fans last night that said that the goal should NOT have counted. As I saw it, Malhotra turned his skated and pushed his skate, therefore directing the puck to the net. But most people didn’t see it that way. Most people saw Malhotra simply turn his skate. The rule is so confusing and gray and nebulous, and is so open to interpretation that it is impossible to have any consistency with the way that it is called. This rule HAS to be changed or at least clarified. The NHL either has to allow any goal off the skate, or disallow EVERY goal that goes in off a skate. One way or another. Because right now, the current rule ain’t working.

You know what I hate?! Anonymous player polls. What a crock. Recently, there was an NHLPA/CBC Sports anonymous player poll, asking NHL’ers about their fellow players and teams. Anonymous polls of any kind are ridiculous and the results are total nonsense. For instance, as was pointed out on Puck Daddy, only 59% of respondants said that Zdeno Chara had the league’s hardest shot. No, dummies, he HAS the hardest shot, so 100% of you should have answered Chara. See why they’re dumb? And apparently the Vancouver Canucks are the league’s most overrated team. Yes, a Stanley Cup finalist last year and currently ranked 2nd in the league in points and 3rd in winning pct, are overrated. Right. Oh and also, the Leafs are the 2nd most overrated team and the 6th most UNDERrated team. Oh, and Alex Ovechkin was voted 5th in "Who is the toughest forward to play against?" Remember last month in ANOTHER anonymous player poll (from SI) when Ovechkin placed 2nd in the "Most Overrated Player" category? Yeah, anonymous player polls. They’re totally valid and useful and stuff.

You know what I hate?! Those f**kers at ESPN. ESPN’s hockey coverage is laughable at best – at least on television and sportscenter, their website and Insider content is pretty good – but that’s not even where I have a problem. Instead, over the weekend, a headline writer at ESPN decided to go with "a Chink in the Armour" as a headline regarding Asian American player Jeremy Lin, along with two OTHER usages of the word "chink" referencing Lin in some capacity.  The headline writer was sacked, and an on-air host was suspended 30 days. Why on EARTH would that writer EVER think that it was appropriate to use the word CHINK in any connotation with an Asian ahtlete!?! Hopefully, this will signal an end to Linsanity. Please.

You know what I hate?! Power outages on game nights. Crap! There was a power outage at my house (and 2600 other houses) Sunday afternoon that went well into the afternoon, threatening to keep me from watching a perfectly unimportant game in mid-February against a team that is already out of the playoffs. WHAT IF I COULDN’T WATCH IT?! I WAS MAD. I need to consume every moment of every Canucks game. In mean, for God’s sake, I was forced to spend time WITH MY CHILDREN! And we spent "quality time" together, and "talked" and "laughed" and "enjoyed each other’s company". THE HORROR! Luckily, the power came back on 30 minutes before game time, allowing me to focus on a meaningless mid season game and completely ignore my children, as I originally planned.

  • Wrong about the skate. It has to be a distinct kicking motion to be disallowed. You can direct it all you want, you just cant KICK it in.

    As described in the rule book:

    A puck that deflects into the net off an attacking player’s skate who does not use a distinct kicking motion is a legitimate goal. A puck that is directed into the net by an attacking player’s skate shall be a legitimate goal as long as no distinct kicking motion is evident.

    • Now ask an NHL ref if he understands e rule as it’s written.

      The answer will be “no” and that’s my point. It’s irrelevant how it’s written because body understands the rule.

      Besides that, I’ve had a couple of people tell me today that they’ve seen an angle that shows Manny clearly making a kicking motion with the puck.

      But again, that’s irrelevant. The rule is not clear at all. Even the refs who are supposed to understand the rule don’t get it.


    The early window, in which most of the country saw Sharks/Red Wings (others saw Penguins/Sabres or Blues/Blackhawks) drew a 1.4/3 overnight rating, the second best overnight for indoor hockey coverage on NBC since the network regained the NHL contract in 2006. This despite being in the dreaded early slot and competing with ABC’s coverage of the NBA, which featured Jeremy Lin’s debut network television appearance.