NHL players, coaches looking to embarass floppers with list


NHL players, coaches looking to embarass floppers with list

The Bruins may finally be getting their wish as the divers, embellishers and floppers will be on watch once hockey gets going this season.

A two-day Rules Enforcement Meeting concluded in Toronto on Wednesday, and NHL Senior Executive Vice President Colin Campbell said the biggest thing taken away from the discussion was stronger enforcement of the diving penalty, according to an NHL.com report.

Normally diving has been called simultaneously with a tripping or hooking call offsetting the whistle with matching penalties. But the nearly unanimous support was to eradicate the Nestea plunge out of the NHL after teams like the Montreal Canadiens and Vancouver Canucks perfected the art of the penalty-drawing dive.

Ironically enough Canucks defenseman Kevin Bieksa was one of the NHL players at the enforcement meetings looking to snuff out the diving infractions, but he has long been one of the Vancouver skaters to play the game with some level of honesty. Campbell said that players, coaches and managers are hoping for a Most Wanted list of divers to be posted in every NHL locker room, and therefore hopefully embarrass them.

So P.K. Subban, Mike Ribeiro, Alex Burrows and Maxim Lapierre among others should officially be on notice that there will be a zero tolerance policy for divers on the ice next season.

"They want to get the list out there," said Campbell to reporters. "They want the player to be caught, whether it's on the ice by the referee or by us on video. They are all tired of diving. The object is to make them stop eventually and, by doing that, they can get it out there around the League, embarrass them. The referees will know it, too, so the divers don't get the benefit of the doubt.

The Bruins were one of a number of NHL teams that has complained loudly over the last two seasons about diving and embellishing from their opponents. According to the NHL Rulebook, players who violate the divingembellishment rule are subject to supplementary discipline through fine andor suspension.

Campbell told NHL.com there was no appetite among the group attending the two-day summit to suspend repeat offenders. The players group led by Bieksa, John Michael-Liles and Jason Spezza -- felt the punishment of having your name on a divers' list in the 30 NHL dressing rooms would be enough to reduce the frequency with which the cheap tactic is used.

To be fair Brad Marchand was also guilty of the same thing in the first round series against the Washington Capitals last year as well, but a more strict enforcement will hopefully sweep the flopping right out of the game.

Hockey, after all, isnt soccer with the acting and the flopping while feigning injuries, and there is little desire for the sport to trend downward into that direction. It will be a little less enjoyable if the Montreal Diving Club T-shirts disappear from the street corners when the Canadiens come to Boston each season, but at least the hockey will be much better off for it.

O'Gara sent to Providence, but could return any time


O'Gara sent to Providence, but could return any time

BOSTON – The writing was on the wall once Rob O’Gara was scratched in the last couple of games, and he was finally sent down to Providence on Tuesday. The move was made to clear room for Adam McQuaid to rejoin the B’s lineup, and help the Bruins continue improving from their 15th rank among team defenses in the NHL this season.

The 23-year-old O’Gara was a plus-1 rating in three games to start the season, and played very well in 16:01 of ice time while winning physical battles, adequately moving the puck and generally showing that he’s got a future in the NHL. With veteran defenders returning and little margin for error on a B’s back end already featuring 19-year-old Brandon Carlo, it was too much to attempt carrying two rookies on an NHL defensemen corps for a long stretch of time.

So now O’Gara will go to Providence where he’ll play bigger minutes, play in all situations and stay ready for the next time Boston needs him.

“He’s good. I think he makes good passes when he has time. I think we want him to work on maybe being under pressure, and being a little stronger on his feet and being able to make better plays,” said Claude Julien. “But he’s really close. When I say he’s real close I think you could see him back here at any time. I have no issues with Rob O’Gara.

“I think as a young player he has to play, so when we can play [him again] I have no issues with him in our lineup. If he doesn’t get [the playing time] here then we’ve got to get it for him somewhere else.”

While O’Gara is going to Providence for some more AHL development at this point in time, there’s a tacit acknowledgement from the Bruins that the big, hard-working defenseman is definitely going to be a valued part of their future.

Still looking for first point, Heinen stays patient


Still looking for first point, Heinen stays patient

BRIGHTON, Mass. -- It may be strictly due to injuries or because Ryan Spooner is being moved back to third line center full-time, but Danton Heinen is going to get another top-six look on the wing. The 21-year-old Bruins prospect will be skating on the left wing with David Krejci and Matt Beleskey in Tuesday night’s game against the Minnesota Wild after serving as a healthy scratch last weekend against the Montreal Canadiens.

Heinen has only two shots on goal in the four games leading up to the scratch, and has been quiet offensively after leading the Bruins in goal-scoring during the preseason. Clearly there’s an adjustment to be made there, and it looked like the playmaking rookie winger was starting to develop a little more confidence trying to make plays while skating with Krejci and David Backes in last week’s win over the New Jersey Devils.

Heinen actually looked reminiscent of Krejci on a couple of plays, pulling back the puck after entering the zone and catching a trailing B’s teammate with a perfectly executed lead pass on the offensive rush. That effort plus a trip to the ninth floor press box last weekend seemed to reinforce just how much time he has to make plays, and that should be a benefit for both Heinen and his linemates.

Sometimes getting that first NHL point is the hardest part when a player breaks into the league, and it’s been that way for the young winger through his first four games.

“[Krejci] is such a good player, and I just try to complement him any way I can,” said Heinen. “You never want to be up in the press box, but it gives you a different perspective on the game. It’s a different angle. From up there it looks like you’ve got way more time. I definitely think I can be more patient with the puck, and make some smarter plays.”

Heinen started to do that in his best NHL game to date prior to being scratched against New Jersey, and it resulted in greater offensive possession and a couple of potential scoring plays getting created for the B’s second line. Unfortunately it didn’t lead to actual goals, and Heinen knows that’s what needs to happen through him if a player like him, with an offense-minded reputation from his University of Denver days, is going to stick top-6 in Boston.

“You can’t rely on the [top] guys every night,” said Heinen, who watched the Habs beat the Bruins on Saturday night while essentially shutting down Patrice Bergeron, Brad Marchand and David Pastrnak. “When we’ve been out there we’ve kind of been getting some chances, but we’ve got to bear down.

“[Krejci] likes to play with the puck a lot, so you just get him the puck, go in hard on the forecheck and try to get open because he’s a good distributor.”

It sounds like a simple plan that might be a very good thing for young Heinen, who needs to start breaking through offensively if he wants to stick around in Boston for the long haul.