Puck Podcast – January 30, 2010

On this week's show we'll debate a controversial fight and the punishment handed down for it. We'll talk about another game being disrupted by the actions of a fan and another alleged biting incident on the ice and a whole lot more. We'll also be joined by our Puck Podcast draft expert and scout Mike Murangi and read your e-mails as well.

MP3 File

About Doug Stolhand 27094 Articles
Doug Stolhand is one of the co-founders and co-hosts of the Puck Podcast and has been a member of the NHL media since the show's inception in 2006.


  1. …and I agree with Eddie on the helmet-to-the-head call. You can’t call that penalty on the player’s “perceived” intent. The rules are the rules. The skaters know the rules.

  2. Fistric was penalized severely for hitting Nystrom in the head with his own helmet – he was given a match penalty. Considering that came just 8 minutes into the first period that means he missed 42 minutes of that game. A suspension beyond that, though, has to take the intent of the player into the equation in my opinion.

    Here’s what Fistric had to say:

    “When I look at the tape, it’s obviously not the way that I felt it was,” Fistric said. “The helmet got caught in my hand and I went to swing and the helmet was still there. I dropped it right away once I realized it was still there. Anyone that knows me knows that not only was it my first fight in a long time, but I haven’t had any history of being a dirty player or anything like that. It was heat of the moment and you lose track of stuff. When adrenaline is going, you lose track of things. It’s not what I wanted to do. I meant no harm to Eric and I was glad that he came back and he was fine and there was nothing wrong with him. I just have to move on from it.”

    Pretty much exactly as I saw it. I know Eddie, and many others, think that he intentionally took the helmet off and that he intentionally hit him in the head with it, but I disagree and I don’t think players should get suspended for accidents – especially when they don’t result in any injuries.

  3. I am making a long reach here but, if I get a speeding ticket, the police officer does not give a hoot about whether I intended to speed or not – I get caught breaking the speed limit, I usually get a ticket. I agree that sometimes folks can talk their way out of it but I don’t agree with this inconsistent justice. And, taking it a step further, if I rear-end another car at a stop light, I am ALWAYS gonna get the ticket – even if my intentions were to stop in time.

    I just think that, if you take as much human interpretation out of rules enforcement, it would lead to a more consistent game. So many of these rules are for the protection of the players – maybe, if they were enforced more consistently, less players would get hurt.

  4. hey guys Phil from Tokyo here love the show it is snowing here tonight so excited only happens here once a year.The opening and closing ceremonies for the vancouver Olympics will be in BC place a 55000 seat football stadium the first time the winter olympics ceremonies will be held in a indoor stadium.My Boston bruins have hit a real bad spot I hope they can pull out of it before the playoffs are not attainable!!!

  5. Hey guys, wanted to post my concerns on why allowing goals kicked in should NOT be allowed. Let me use example to make my point though. Say a team is down a goal with a minute to go in the finals. The puck sits in the crease and there is a guy right there, however his stick is tied up. If kicking the puck in is allowed that guy is going to kick at the puck despite the obvious risk of injuring the goalie who will be trying to cover the puck with his glove. I think when you basically have a weapon on the bottom of your skate you can’t put in rules that allow players to use those weapons in such dangerous ways…

    I’m not in favor of changing the rules to take away goals that go off a foot either though. I think in this case while there will be cases where human perception might get it wrong and it will be arguable at times, I actually prefer the rules the way they are right now.

    I also have to agree that I don’t think the Fistric situation warranted a suspension. The problem is accidents do happen. I know that it was stated that “if I took a baseball swing at you wouldn’t that be suspendable?”. Of course it is, but what if you’re taking that swing at a puck on the ice to clear it and the stick comes up off another’s stick and smacks a guy in the face? It is now an accident … still suspension worthy? As I said, accidents happen and while they are penalties and sometimes harsh ones, they don’t necessarily mean suspensions are warranted. I honestly believe Fistric in what he says happened there and I have very little love for the Stars honestly…

    Btw as an Avs fan I believe we’ll make the playoffs but I am not so blind to think that it is a sure thing and I’m certainly not so full of myself that I lose respect for a show or announcer that has a different opinion than mine.

    Keep up the great work and I look forward to next week’s show…

  6. Guys…love the podcast…listen as often as I can here in Guangzhou, China.

    GM Place isn’t available after the Olympic games because Vancouver is hosting the Para-Olympic games immediately after the games (its a part of the agreement to hold the games)…therefore, they aren’t able to use GM Place until its all cleared out from that.

  7. neither hot nor cold on their hands!!!!!!!

    That made me laugh hysterically at work… people are looking.

  8. Hey guys, just wanted to post this over from last week’s comments:

    “I was upset by the unsubstantiated, offhand claim made and answered in kind. I was insulted at the way you tossed away one of the most incredible, feelgood GM, coaching, and team efforts in the NHL this year, without a breath of why you felt that way.

    I apologize for how I reacted, but I was a bit miffed. Am I listening again this week… yes. But I am honestly still a bit shocked at that opinion, and how little you chose to expound upon that stance.”

    I honestly posted that before I listened to this week’s episode… and am a little shocked that my offhand comment got air. And while you ask me to back up my statement, I still haven’t heard a good reason why you think that the Avs will slip. So I suppose as long as your stance is “The avs aren’t making the playoffs” my stance will be “I’ve lost respect for a member of this podcast’s ability to assess the NHL landscape.”

    It wasn’t a personal attack (but I can understand if it was taken personal), it was a heartfelt reaction to a unsubstantiated discard of my team.

    I’m not stupid to think the Avs are a 100% lock to make the playoffs, but I can explain why they most likely will be playing hockey this spring. As opposed to your one sentence statement of failure that summed up their future. I hope you can at least see my point of view here.

  9. Ummmm….

    I can see your point of view and since I’m the one that thinks the Avalanche will miss the playoffs I’ll give my reasons:

    1. Scoring. I don’t think it will continue to pour in from such a wide variety of people. I think the Avalanche will have troubles scoring down the stretch and that will cost them.

    2. Goaltending. I find it hard to believe that Craig Anderson can play THAT well for an entire season and I think the slightest slip in his performance will cost the team.

    3. Trading deadline. I think many teams will improve themselves at the trading deadline but I don’t think the Avalanche will be one of them. If you’re not getting better, you’re getting worse and I don’t think the Avalanche can afford to stand pat and still keep pace in what is becoming a VERY tight playoff race.

    4. Detroit’s health. I think the Red Wings will make the playoffs, especially since they are getting healthy, and that means someone who is currently in the playoffs will have to fall out.

    Please keep in mind that I predicted the Flyers to win the Cup this season so I clearly have no idea what I am talking about. In fact, since the opposite of what I predict seems to happen you should be thankful I am picking the Avalanche to miss the playoffs!

    Thanks for listening to the show and for taking the time to write in.


  10. Hi Doug. I thought I would also take the time to defend my stand on why I think the Avs will make the playoffs … as well as reasons why I may be wrong … while addressing your thoughts as well.

    1- Scoring. You are certainly right that the scoring has come from everywhere for Colorado this year. While it is possible that the kids could stop producing and that the veterans hit poor streaks as well, one of the great things about having scoring coming from everywhere is that you should be able to count on a goal or two each night from somewhere even if a couple people do hit a bad streak of pointless games. I think that even though this individual or that might hit a rough patch (Wolski is currently in one), the odds of it happening to such a wide range of players is pretty slim for any lengthy stretch. Btw, interesting fact from a recent game, of the 12 forwards that had dressed 7 were 1st or 2nd round draft picks of Colorado’s (8 were drafted by the Avs in all), and 10 of the 12 had only ever played in the NHL for Colorado.

    2- Goaltending. It was my belief that Anderson was the man for the Avs to go after during free agency. I believed that he was a true #1 awaiting his shot. I also still believe even after last year that Budaj is a very solid backup, just not a starter. Should our goaltending stay healthy and Anderson isn’t overworked (the Olympic break will help where he was snubbed from team USA), I think our goaltending will carry us to the playoffs. Of course an injury could occur, or Anderson could wear down from a heavy workload he hasn’t faced before and that could cause a slide that would see the Avs miss the playoffs … but I believe that he won’t wear down and he is a true #1 that will continue to play very well.

    3- Trade deadline. I agree that I don’t see the Avs doing much. At most I think maybe they might move Salei or Clark but not for anything substantial. I think they have a youth movement right now that they don’t want to break up and while they do have some pieces that can be moved, I still don’t think they will be active and I’m ok with that. Honestly though I don’t think a lot of the teams will make a great number of moves that will put them leaps and bounds ahead of the others. Maybe a team or two will landing a Kovy or something similar (though that price will be high), but I expect mostly depth moves and moves for secondary scoring. Will this hurt the Avs? Maybe. Maybe it is best to continue with what they have though, maybe moreso for the future than a playoff run this year. I believe however that there aren’t going to be a great number of teams who improve themselves so much so that inactivity in Colorado removes them from the playoff picture.

    4- Detroit … or rather “The rest of the West”. The race is tight in the west. I think it could get tighter. I think that the Avalanche will continue to sit in the 4-5 spot and continue to challenge Vancouver for the division title. However any slip by any team outside of SJ or CHI right now could see them out of the playoffs. That fact is probably the biggest arguement for anyone questioning if a current playoff team will fall out. Detroit is certainly too good not to make a run (but man I’d love to see them not make it), Dallas I think is capable of making a run still though I don’t know their upcoming schedule, Anaheim should be capable of making a run, and while I think Calgary didn’t really make themselves better with their moves, they could end up getting more secondary scoring and putting a run together. That’s four teams who could potentially push for spots and that means anyone with a bad couple weeks could suddenly be on the outside looking in (Nashville may end up that team IMO though nothing says it will be just one team either).

    5- Other thoughts. Youth may end up hurting this team as well but I think it could be one of the big things that helps them. Most people worry about youth wearing down because of the longer, packed schedules. They may have a point in some cases but watching this team all year the youth has just gotten better. I think their young age mixed with just those couple of veterans who really lead (Foote, Hejduk, and despite his own youth Stastny) help the team stay focused and playing complete games. They don’t care that they’re supposed to lose and they don’t give up … and I haven’t seen this team become intimidated by anyone. Other than a couple of blowouts (Vancouver and Washington come to mind) this team has been in the game every single night this year and while they have frustrated Avs fans with blown leads at times they have also come back in the third period more than I remember the team doing in any season prior to this one.

    In the end I think it is going to be a dogfight with Vancouer for the division title but a playoff berth none the less. However it certainly could go the other way.

    Anyway, appreciate your input and ideas and enjoyed “debating” my thoughts on it as well…

  11. Doug- I have to disagree with your reasoning in #3 of the Avs not making the playoffs. Yes, last season, the Penguins pulled off a great trade and landed Kunitz and Bill Guerin and I think that was a big part of their late season surge (Kunitz) and eventual Cup win (Guerin).

    But I think this is the exception to the rule. Think of the last few champions before Pittsburg. Detroit? Stood pat. Anahiem? Stood pat. Hurricanes? Lightning? Before last season, only the Colorado Avalanche made a big move at the trade deadline and won the Cup.

    How many moves backfired? Remember Nashville mortgaging their long term future for Forsberg and flaming out in the first round? Or Pittsburg trading for Hossa? Ryan Smith to the Isle? Or the 500 trades made for Keith Tkachuk?

    To say that not doing anything is a death knell for your playoff chances or success just does not follow the facts.

    (And I think the Avs ARE making the playoffs, but not winning the division… My reasons are the balanced scoring, especially from the youngsters that have proven themselves this year; the goaltending because Anderson was indeed a really good goalie in tandem with the vastly underrated Vokoun in Fla; and a good coach that lets the team play to their style, being aggresive and staying in the offensive zone. Of course, then they lose to a listless NY Rangers team, so my confidence is a LITTLE shaken! 🙂 )

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