Wednesday, December 31, 2003

Shawn Legault got friendly with Mark Cairns tonight, barreling into the Odessa goaltender when he strayed halfway to the blue line to head off a potential breakaway.

Now, I agree 100% with Don McKee's assertion that Legault had time to avoid contact, but don't agree with his claim that it should have been intent-to-injure (though his point -- that the key word is "intent," not "injure" -- is well-taken).

Charging was called, but I'm with Jeff Greenlaw on this one. The Ice Bats coach said if it were up to him there would not have been a penalty at all:

Sure he could have [avoided him]. But you know what, I'm a believer that if the goalie comes out of the net he should be fair game. It's not the rule, but I wish it was. When I played, I would have loved to run over goalies. Shawn was frustrated tonight, things weren't going well, he's an emotional guy. He had a chance to take a shot at the goalie and he took it. It was clean, it wasn't dirty, he just bumped into him... it kind of picked us up a little bit.

One caveat -- it wasn't totally "clean" in the sense that Cairns is out there assuming he won't be run, so he's not thinking about protecting himself. But I've never liked the rule, and while no one wants to see it happen to their goalie, those of you who like the Stars no doubt recall the Skrudland-Hasek hit with fondness. (Keith Jones smacking Dom two games in a row the next year was also good.)

Moving on... sometimes I don't know how Steve Newlin finds this stuff: Forbes McPherson is related to Sidney Crosby.

ITC's Tom Schettino says to give the Colorado stuff a rest, but expect rule changes at the ASG. We shall see.

How to open up the NHL, part 738: no stickwork. At all. Checking, yes. Fighting, sure. But no quasi-legal hooks or slashes.

It will never happen, and even if it did you'd get two years of hell adjusting to enforcement. But give Mike Ulmer credit for a crazy-brilliant idea.

And, catching up from Christmas, give Don Parsons credit -- ax in hand, he didn't duck the truth, and tried to let Wiley leave with dignity:

'Jim was a great guy and he had his own style. Nothing against him, but we had a hard time adjusting since we knew what we did in the past won championships. I have a lot of respect for Jim and wish him the best.

Parsons also said: I feel responsible. I haven't played up to my potential.

What's scary is, that's true. But the guy still has 21 goals, and the Kings are 3-0 with Richards.

And btw, when I made that original comment about Wiley going to Tulsa I was having a little fun -- but I promise you, it almost happened.

Happy New Year everyone. I am bound for Indy -- signing Zamboni Rodeo at Friday's Rayz-Ice contest. Maybe Brad Wingfield can join me if he isn't doing anything.
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