NHL Drops the Ball After Kreider Hit on Wennberg

The NHL made a huge statement when they suspended Sharks forward Raffi Torres for 41 games after his brutal hit on the Ducks Jakob Silfverberg.

This was a big leap forward for the league that has had a spotty record when it comes to consistently holding players accountable.

Saturday night, they took several steps back after they decided not to discipline Rangers winger Chris Kreider after he concussed Blue Jackets center Alexander Wennberg.

As you can see from the above GIF, Kreider went out of his way to plow over Wennberg when the puck was out of his possession after an unreasonable amount of time.

The hit may not have been as violent as the one Torres threw, but it is every bit as egregious.

There is no place in the game for this. A lack of discipline of any kind is completely unacceptable. This approach will keep the league in the dark ages until they decide to uphold their own rules.

Rose-Colored Glasses

There are a lot of reasons to be negative about the Blue Jackets’ 0-2 start to the season, but today, I want to focus on a couple of positives.

What better place to start than the play that Brandon Dubinsky made to set up Cam Atkinson’s breakaway goal:

Dubinsky made a great defensive play to steal the puck and followed it up by sending a simply disgusting pass to spring Atkinson. The former Ranger is a very underrated player in this league.

Columbus was the superior team for most of the first game against the Rangers and continued much of this in the second game. At times, they were their own worst enemy with mental lapses and overly-aggressive play, but showed a lot of positives as well.

If this team can put its talent and passion together with smart, fundamental hockey, look out NHL.

The 2015 RIT Hockey Analytics Conference was held yesterday. I can honestly say that I did not attend, but it was fascinating just following the social media postings of those who were there.

One of my favorite quotes was from Matt Pfeffer, an analytics consultant for the Montreal Canadiens.

I think that this would apply to fans as well. Many people don’t care what Ryan Johansen’s relative Corsi was, they want to know how his play impacted his team and what he can do to improve. The numbers are just a tool to express this. For most, the proof is in the pudding.

If you are interested in seeing some of the conversation, just search the hashtag #RITHAC on Twitter.

Additionally, at least part of the conference is on YouTube here.

Until next time.