Sunday, November 4, 2007

Sunday Sundries

Taking stock of North Dakota's talent and musings on Grand Forks:
Talking about the Hobey Baker Award in early November is about as absurd as Christmas music playing at the mall already. That being said, the four North Dakota players in the top 10 of's Hobey Watch were as advertised. I would put T.J. Oshie at the top of the group. As nasty (and legal) as that hit was on defenseman Nate Prosser, it showed Oshie's well-roundedness. At 6 feet, 192 pounds, Oshie had chalked up a goal and an assist before unleashing his fury on Prosser--and that was all in the first eight minutes of Friday's game. He's fast, he's physical and, as CC goaltender Richard Bachman and I discussed on the plane at 5 a.m. this morning (before passing out), he's scary good. The Tigers should be thanking their lucky stars they don't have to face North Dakota in the regular season again. The two teams would be a sweet matchup in the Final Five, but there's a lot of season left to go. I don't want to get ahead of myself and end up on a flight back to Grand Forks in March. I can only handle one Grand Forks trip per year.

Recruiting Roundup:

  • Forward Rylan Schwartz, who leads Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League rookies in point-scoring and is seventh in overall standings, was named SJHL Rookie of the Month for October. Schwartz will join the Tigers in 2008 or 2009.

  • In his first United States Hockey League season, forward Dakota Eveland has contributed to the Omaha Lancers' 8-2 start with a goal and an assist in seven games. Eveland is tabbed for the 2010 incoming class.
Tiger Tracks:
  • Looks like Peter Sejna made his debut with Zurich of the Swiss-A league.

  • Mark Stuart's overtime play helps the Boston Bruins top the Buffalo Sabres.

  • Matt Zaba continues to follow my well-beaten path between Connecticut and North Carolina. After a brief stint in Hartford, Conn., with the American Hockey League's Wolf Pack, Zaba returned Friday to the Charlotte (N.C.) Checkers of the East Coast Hockey League.


hattrick said...

IMO, as a referee myself, the hit on Nate was not legal. Here's why. As two players approach the end boards at high speed most refs will let a bit of contact take place so each has the ability to slow down and keep their balance as well as establish a possible position so as to cause what did happen not to happen. Both players made a lean toward each other with the intent of the contact. However, the play is to be made with the idea of avoiding injury at a "safe" level of force. Then a scrum would ensue for the possession of the puck. Nate initiated at a safe level. Oshie did not. With the force of the hit Nate was strewn toward the boards and was knocked down as we all know. The hit took place at the goal line some 5 to 6 feet from the puck so an appropriate call should have been made. Interferance or boarding would have applied. The knocking down of the player before touching the puck can never be allowed. Interferance is called for a lot less than that and in this game. Boarding would have been appropriate as obviously he was flung into the boards much too violently. Safety has to be the rule at all times. How is this any differant than checking from behind when his head banged off the back wall? With this over violent play near the boards he did not participate in a sportsmanship way and should have been given a penalty. This is no differant than the player who reaches to poke the puck and in so doing the opponent skates over the stick and falls. Oh well, he caused the player to fall so he gets a tripping minor. As unitentionally as may be the case, it still is a penalty. Oshie caused the player to violently be thrown into the boards head first. We all know that just because a penalty was not assessed doesn't mean that one wasn't committed.

Kate Crandall said...

Great points and thanks for the feedback. I was sitting next to Greg Shepherd during the game, so that's where I got the legal ruling. But it looked nasty, no question. I was surprised to see Prosser get up as quickly as he did.

hattrick said...

Greg Shepard. Most hockey people would say that his interpretation of the "new" rules is "old school" at best. I would expect him to go to bat for his ref initially when he is in mixed company. He would probably want a little reflection time for review. Lets remember he does belong to the good 'ol boys club of refs. There is no way that that was a legal contact. A bumb or moderate contact would have been applicable in this case when coming close to the boards at high speed but this, in most reasonable people's eyes, surely was not. How is this any different than knocking someone down or even knocking them aside anywhere on the ice prior to either of them touching the puck? And to fling someone into the boards so they end up hitting the boards head first is boarding by definition. The repeated showing of the hit both nights in order to charge the crowd after someone is injured is lame at best and in very poor taste. Have they forgotten Robbie Bina's incident with our buddy Paukovich? Nate may very well end up with more to his situation due to the hit as we are hearing this week. They surely knew that he was out with a concussion at the least. Another concern along the same line is the early exodus of college players to the next level before they earn their degree. Many are encouraged to leave because the development is so differant from the next levels ie, ECHL, AHL, NHL. The primary differance is the penalty calls. The college game needs to clean it up much more. Every level including youth has a much better game now. The game is not the same so they feel why do it? Why hasn't college and especially the WCHA changed? Obviously 35-40 games is a concern also but clean it up and they may stay because it would be a more similar game.

cc tiger observer said...

Kate, you report that Oshie "unleashed his fury on Prosser"? and post a link to the hit? Kate, who do you report for? How do you think Nate would feel with your choice of words and posting a link to the video to one of his worst moments playing college hockey ? I'm sure he's glad you've got his back.

Kate Crandall said...

View it how you will, I thought -- ugly as it was -- people would want to see what happened and judge for themselves, rather than relying on hearsay.

After what Prosser went through last season, it was great to see him back on the ice today at practice. It was certainly a tense and scary moment on Saturday.

Lastly, I report on CC hockey for The Gazette.

Thanks for stopping by the blog.

Kate Crandall said...


I also agree the repeated showing of that hit was pretty bad, especially since Prosser did not return to the game. I guess my sharing of the link could be viewed in the same way, although that wasn't my intention.

I do see what you're saying about boarding and I will definitely be following up to learn more about that penalty--thanks for all of your insights. I think you make a good point that refs don't really have the leeway to decide one's intent--it's either a penalty or it's not. You've definitely given me a lot to mull over. Thanks for taking the time to write.


ckj said...

I know it was a hard hit and you hate to see a kid get hurt (particulary one from our team and potentially serious). But I apprecaited being able to see the hit and video first hand.