Even though this picture is apropos of absolutely nothing, I just couldn't resist it.
Anaheim Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau was not a happy man Saturday night.
The focus of his rage was Dallas Stars defenseman and broken-nose magnet Stepane Robidas, who received a boarding minor for a hit that left Corey Perry with an injured shoulder.
Mike Heika has a good report on what Boudreau said to the media after the game. We had them in our post-game recap, but here's the highlight in case you missed it.
"Of course, any hit that's into the boards for a defenseless person, isn't that one of the criteria? Even if he didn't extend his arms, he pushed him or if he didn't, he held him and pushed him and held his arm to where he couldn't protect himself. That Robidas guy does it every game and we tell him. He gets away with murder all the time. And then he says well, I didn't try to or didn't mean to. It's not good enough."
Now, a couple things about boarding since I'm the resident rules nerd. It takes a lot (read: significant head or neck injury) to get a major for boarding when the attempt is at a hockey play rather than a head-hunting type play, so while Boudreau makes an argument that it should have been five minutes, that wouldn't follow the NHL's precedent.
Full disclosure: I was driving across the middle-of-nowhere Missouri listening to the game on the radio, so I did not see the hit and have not been able to find a replay. But from what I've read, Perry was off-balance and falling when Robidas went to make an otherwise legal check. If that's the case, then it's absolutely boarding under the "penalty of result" rationale, but it's not the type of hit that would warrant extra discipline. And you can decide on the irony of a team that won a Stanley Cup on the back of Chris Pronger (and the long-time coach of Alex Ovechkin, who I love but definitely plays on that edge) complaining about borderline checks for yourself.
After the jump, more on the Stars win over the Ducks, the Stars depth continues to shine and the Jack Jablonski story takes a happier turn.
- We will have more on the return of Stars captain Brenden Morrow later today, but he was the focus of many game stories for having a typical Morrow night - an important goal and three minor penalties. [ESPN Dallas]
- Heika approached his paywalled gamer from a different angle - the Stars aren't just winning one type of game during this 9-0-1 run. They're taking whatever the game presents and running with it to victory. [DallasNews.com]
- Our friends over at Anaheim Calling are coming to terms with the facts that the Ducks probably won't be able to make a miracle run at the playoffs and comparing this year to the last time the Ducks didn't play in late April. [Anaheim Calling]
- The Los Angeles Times no longer travels with the Ducks, but they did have the cursory Associated Press gamer. [Los Angeles Times]
- Loui Eriksson is not only underrated, he is clutch, and clutch is everything in life. [Puck Daddy]
- While the Stars first line, especially Michael Ryder, has been a huge part of the current run, the team is getting contributions from throughout the lineup. [The Hockey Writers]
- I've performed the Star-Spangled Banner at several sporting events, and while I've never forgotten the words like these folks did to their own national anthems, I can tell you that my father always told me to write down the lyrics on a notecard and stuff it in my pocket just in case. Your mind blanking is one of the scariest things for a performer. Poor people. [Backhand Shelf]
- The high school hockey team where Jack Jablonski played before being paralyzed this winter won the Minnesota high school championship. [St. Paul Pioneer Press]
- Meet the enemy: The Minnesota Wild could do the Stars a favor by beating the Calgary Flames today, but they might have to do so with a tenuous backup goalie situation. [Minneapolis Star-Tribune]
- Around the Pacific Division: In a battle of two wounded animals, it was the land mammal that clearly came out on top. The Phoenix Coyotes defeated the San Jose Sharks 3-0, which knocked the Sharks out of the playoff picture for the moment. [San Jose Mercury News]
- Other scoreboard watching: That's because the Colorado Avalanche refuse to die even without Matt Duchene, picking up a 4-3 shootout win over the Edmonton Oilers that was marred by a disallowed Oilers goal. The Avs are one point ahead of San Jose, but the Sharks have three games in hand. [Denver Post]
- Your friendly Twitter reminder of the day: "Don’t forget to set your clock ahead an hour tonight. Or, if you’re the timekeeper for the Los Angeles Kings, an hour and 1.8 seconds." [@NHLRulebook]
- I'm a big fan of Brenden Morrow, but he's not known for giving the most engaging interview on the team. Even so, I got a huge giggle out of the little sarcastic eyebrow raise at the beginning of this when he talked about not screwing things up when he got back. Another full disclosure: I'm writing this post about to keel over from exhaustion just as daylight savings time switches over, so it may not be as funny to you as it is to me and my sleep-deprived brain.