IIRO PAKARINEN

Iiro Pakarinen suffered a knee injury early in training camp and didn’t play an NHL game until Valentine’s Day. I would describe him as a replacement-level NHL player or slightly below, but Todd McLellan likes him and the Oilers recently signed the Finn for another year. The coach saw him good early in his Oilers career and that connection remains.

  • McLellan on Pakarinen, January 2016: “We were all over the map trying to find players and trying to motivate guys, but Pak wasn’t one of them. I put him right wing, left wing, power play, penalty kill. He was very effective.” Source

IIRO PAKARINEN 2016-17

  • 5×5 points per 60: 2.04
  • 5×4 points per 60: 0.00 (in two minutes)
  • Corsi for 5×5 %: 45,5
  • Corsi for 5×5 % REL: -3.6
  • Shots on goal/percentage: 15 shots/13.3%
  • Boxcars: 14GP, 2-2-4
  • Numbers via Stats.HockeyAnalysis.com and Hockey-reference.com

He scored well in a very small sample size this past season but didn’t get to play much at even strength or special teams. He did play some on the PK in 2015-16 and had the lowest shots-against-per-60 among forwards. McLellan may see him as a possible replacement for Matt Hendricks among the group who played this past season.

Pakarinen’s signing probably puts Tyler Pitlick closer to the exit, but we’ll see how this rolls out. My RE for him derailed early due to  the injury but it is here.

CURRENT 50-MAN LIST

At this point, he projects as 13F or 14F and those guys still play quite a bit. He played only one playoff game during the Oilers run, meaning Slepyshev passed on the depth chart and that probably stays the same. He can play LW, giving him some utility, and the PK portion of the equation gives him a chance to stick around all year. It’s also true that he has four power-play helpers among his 12 NHL assists. He lost an entire season but the Oilers stepped up and signed him. That’s a tell.

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31 Responses to "IIRO PAKARINEN"

  1. Centre of attention says:

    Didnt Pak have a bit of success during an ahl stint earlyer in thr season? I remember him being sent down for a number of games and finding some chem with his fellow finn IIRC. Perhaps Pulju starts the year 4R with Pak on LW and Letestu at center. Let Jesse get his feet wet at evens and spot him in on the powerplay.

  2. Diablo says:

    Iiro the hero – good cheap depth forward who will give his coach everything he’s got even if he’s sat in the press box for 10 days. Can pass through waivers with out getting plucked, which makes him a decent 14th forward. That has value over the long marathon of the regular season – guy knows his role and doesn’t complain about it.

    TMac had lots of praise for Pitlick this season as well – and he played him higher up the depth chart than Pak. I suspect TMac wants him back to push Slepy. We’ll know pretty soon though … the real tell will come once the expansion draft has passed … if Chia is there with contract in hand we’ll know that this is not another GlenX situation.

  3. Kinger_Oil.redux says:

    – Great post LT! This team now, they only need 2-3 of Pak, Cags, Slepy, Pitlick, pool-party, Khaira (any new guys they sign: i.e. Foo?) to establish themselves as middle-6 F’s.

    – McD et Maroon, & Drai et Lucic, and RNH is a very good foundation on the top-9

    – Great opportunities for Pak et al: properly slotted, and lots of competition and depth for the middle, and none of them are going to be gifted time above where they should be playing.

  4. OriginalPouzar says:

    I sure hope his signing didn’t single the end of Pitlick – they are both decent sized players that can skate and like to hit but Pitlick has a much better offensive upside.

    The Pak signing was a must for expansion draft flexibiity but I would like to see all these tweaners competing for the last couple of forward spots at camp (Pak, Pitlick, JP, Joe G., JJ, even Joey L (although he is a different type of players)).

    If Eberle is traded and the only replacement is a much less offensive right shot like Strome or Versteeg then the right side will need to score by committee and Pitlick helps there more than Pak.

  5. Diablo says:

    JTBlack – response to your comment about looking at Washington’s draft record in the last thread

    They’ve certainly had a lot success with their first round picks – people focus on the Forsburg trade a lot, but overlook the fact that they’ve done such a good job drafting in the first round that they could afford to take a risk like that.

    What I notice about their draft record, is they’ve gone after Euros pretty heavily in the first round – and then their picks stay overseas and develop for a few years before transitioning to NA. I haven’t done a deep look at their draft record to see why that’s working for them though – in other words, do they take Euros as a function of having picks later in the first round or is there something that they are specifically targeting.

    Lol, a sceptic might point out that despite their 1st round success they haven’t won a single cup.

    Pittsburg was easy too look at because, almost all of the players taken with their first round picks have busted – and yet they’ve managed to infuse their team with cheap young players to surround Crosby/Malkin. They’ve used their first round picks as trade capital more than almost any other team in the league since they drafted Crosby.

    I wonder if they have their scouts focus on the lower ranked prospects more heavily knowing that they’re likely to trade their first round picks.

  6. Thinker says:

    Completely forgot pak played a playoff game. Thought he was hurt.

  7. Scungilli Slushy says:

    One of Pitlick, Pak, Slepy could play LW. It’s not a huge deal, loads of Euros play off wing for the shooting angles, McLellan referenced it, maybe it was PC but they don’t worry as much with wingers.

    LT why are you listing Simpson as a RD? I think it’s better to show it as it is, especially since many of those gents are slim prospects on their natural side, let alone with a -6 Corsi and playing on their backhand disadvantage.

  8. GCW_69 says:

    I missed the trade number 22 post earlier.

    I think the smart move, if it can be done, is to trade Eberle for one of those RHD rumoured to be available. We know acquiring RHD is difficult and a unique opportunity is presenting itself with lots of clubs looking at going 7-3-1.

    The number 5-7 forwards (Letestu, Kassian, Khaira) on the Oilers list once Eberle is removed aren’t so special they can’t be replaced. Yet, if the forward pool is as shallow for Vegas as expected, probably means Vegas still grabs one of those forwards.

    Going that route, then,should mean the Oilers retain Reinhart and could start the season with Klefbom, Larsson, Nurse, new guy, Benning and Reinhart as the top six. This also allows the team to figure out what they have in Reinhart before Sekera comes back.

    They would be thin up front, but dangling the carrot of planning with McDavid or Leon should help pull in free agents as short term fixes.

  9. Lowetide says:

    Scungilli Slushy:
    LT why are you listing Simpson as a RD? I think it’s better to show it as it is, especially since many of those gents are slim prospects on their natural side, let alone with a -6 Corsi and playing on their backhand disadvantage.

    Simpson has played much of his Bakersfield time as RHD.

  10. Thinker says:

    Lowetide: Simpson has played much of his Bakersfield time as RHD.

    Must have been tough switching to the right hand, not just the right side.

  11. Diablo says:

    GCW_69:
    I missed the trade number 22 post earlier.

    I think the smart move,if it can be done,is to trade Eberle for one of those RHD rumoured to be available. We know acquiring RHD is difficult and a unique opportunity is presenting itself with lots of clubs looking at going 7-3-1.

    The number 5-7 forwards (Letestu, Kassian, Khaira)on the Oilers list once Eberle is removed aren’t so special they can’t be replaced. Yet, if the forward pool is as shallow for Vegas as expected, probably means Vegas still grabs one of those forwards.

    Going that route, then,should mean the Oilers retain Reinhart and could start the season with Klefbom, Larsson, Nurse, new guy, Benning and Reinhart as the top six. This also allows the team to figure out what they have in Reinhart before Sekera comes back.

    They would be thin up front, but dangling the carrot of planning with McDavid or Leon should help pull in free agents as short term fixes.

    +1

  12. Professor Q says:

    Thinker: Must have been tough switching to the right hand, not just the right side.

    Depends if you sit on it long enough first or not…

  13. jtblack says:

    Thinker,

    Why Right Hand? RHD does not mean “shoots right”

  14. Ryan says:

    Diablo:
    JTBlack – response to your comment about looking at Washington’s draft record in the last thread

    They’ve certainly had a lot success with their first round picks – people focus on the Forsburg trade a lot, but overlook the fact that they’ve done such a good job drafting in the first round that they could afford to take a risk like that.

    What I notice about their draft record, is they’ve gone after Euros pretty heavily in the first round – and then their picks stay overseas and develop for a few years before transitioning to NA. I haven’t done a deep look at their draft record to see why that’s working for them though – in other words, do they take Euros as a function of having picks later in the first round or is there something that they are specifically targeting.

    Lol, a sceptic might point out that despite their 1st round success they haven’t won a single cup.

    Pittsburg was easy too look at because, almost all of the players taken with their first round picks have busted – and yet they’ve managed to infuse their team with cheap young players to surround Crosby/Malkin. They’ve used their first round picks as trade capital more than almost any other team in the league since they drafted Crosby.

    I wonder if they have their scouts focus on the lower ranked prospects more heavily knowing that they’re likely to trade their first round picks.

    Shero was famously quoted as saying that he liked drafting puck moving dmen as currency though history hasn’t followed completely in step.

    Surfing the interwebs, I came across a Kovalchuk for a Eberle proposal. Bias alert that I’ve been a fan of Kovalchuk in the past.

    He’s not a young man, but if he can still skate he has that shot and size.

    Fun to think about Kovalchuk in the Letestu spot on the powerplay.

  15. Scungilli Slushy says:

    Ryan: Shero was famously quoted as saying that he liked drafting puck moving dmen as currency though history hasn’t followed completely in step.

    Surfing the interwebs, I came across a Kovalchuk for a Eberle proposal. Bias alert that I’ve been a fan of Kovalchuk in the past.

    He’s not a young man, but if he can still skate he has that shot and size.

    Fun to think about Kovalchuk in the Letestu spot on the powerplay.

    For me if you are cashing that asset the most important thing is to not lose value. Transferring the cap to the 2RD spot is fine if there is a similar time line to the player. Or cashing the cap space for a high value pick which provides some cap relief and time under control.

    Kovalchuk might still be good, but he is nearly done and Eberle has years left. The age difference makes it a bad exchange for Edmonton.

  16. who says:

    GCW_69:
    I missed the trade number 22 post earlier.

    I think the smart move,if it can be done,is to trade Eberle for one of those RHD rumoured to be available. We know acquiring RHD is difficult and a unique opportunity is presenting itself with lots of clubs looking at going 7-3-1.

    The number 5-7 forwards (Letestu, Kassian, Khaira)on the Oilers list once Eberle is removed aren’t so special they can’t be replaced. Yet, if the forward pool is as shallow for Vegas as expected, probably means Vegas still grabs one of those forwards.

    Going that route, then,should mean the Oilers retain Reinhart and could start the season with Klefbom, Larsson, Nurse, new guy, Benning and Reinhart as the top six. This also allows the team to figure out what they have in Reinhart before Sekera comes back.

    They would be thin up front, but dangling the carrot of planning with McDavid or Leon should help pull in free agents as short term fixes.

    This makes a lot of sense to me.
    To go one step further if they think they can sign Kassian to a 3 year deal under 2.5 per year I would protect him and expose Maroon.
    That oughta get some tongues wagging.

  17. Ryan says:

    Scungilli Slushy: For me if you are cashing that asset the most important thing is to not lose value. Transferring the cap to the 2RD spot is fine if there is a similar time line to the player. Or cashing the cap space for a high value pick which provides some cap relief and time under control.

    Kovalchuk might still be good, but he is nearly done and Eberle has years left. The age difference makes it a bad exchange for Edmonton.

    Remember, hypothetically here, we’re talking in the context of the next two years. That’s when Eberle’s contract ends.

    Also note that, while many of us would love to trade Eberle for 2nd pairing right shot dman, the only hope in hell that will happen is if it’s done before the expansion draft. And even then only maybe… That would also mean exposing Kassian and Letestu.

    At six million cap, Eberle is not a marketable commodity right now. After the pre-expansion fire sale on dmen is over, I’d be very skeptical that Eberle gets you a 2nd pairing right shot defenseman.

    Some of the ultra elite larger players players age remarkably well like Hossa and Jagr.

    Assuming both have players stay healthy and play in the NHL next season, who do you think scores more goals and has more points next season (Kovalchuk vs Eberle)?

    The Oilers if properly tooled could complete for the cup next year. They could also win it.

  18. Oddspell says:

    jtblack:
    Thinker,

    Why Right Hand?RHD does not mean “shoots right”

    Wait, what does the H stand for if not “hand” or “handed”?

  19. stush18 says:

    I got into a bit of an argument with woodguy and maybe some others over pak earlier in the year. Glad they kept him, I really enjoy having him play for the oilers. He is exactly what I would describe as an “honest” hockey player. Imo these guys have value, especially to a team that is close together.

    Personally I think we discount the human side of playing sports too often, and take the numbers as absolute truth. Not that this is a post meant to say “I was right”, rather that I think small moves like this really help build team chemistry,

    I’d also place money on gryba signing with the oilers again. Unless he’s offered a significant raise to go elsewhere, I can’t see him moving. And I think it’s something the guys appreciate.

  20. digger50 says:

    I mentioned Hamonic last thread just as an example.

    However, the waters will be hard to navigate. Moving a defenceman in prior to expansion changes our protection list from 7 forwards to 4; doesn’t really work.

    Best case scenRio is we gain a substantial forward prior to exp draft. I like Kevin Hays and he maybe available as he may not be protected. We give up a first round pick as that is the currency required. The Rangers would not be able to protect an incoming player.

    After expansion draft we look for a hockey trade. This could be an Eberle trade or such. Or it could be picks and prospects trade, the currency that Las Vegas needs. They must convert 7 players into waiver exempt players.

    Two biggest reasons Oilers were out in the second round. Lack of a third line. THEy have pieces, lots of them, but really could use that third versatile center with skill. And the other of course in my opinion was they are still a little shy on defence. Wishful thinking suggests the young players will grow into thier roles and they will get better, and they wil, but it’s not enough. Reggie is hurt, Russel is uncertain, Gryba is steady but we need more.

    I hope Peter does not come out saying “I like what we have” which is code for “I got nothing done”. I hope he hits August bruised and beaten as he went to war and gets us what we need.

    Edit: I suppose there is a way to still pounce on that too 4 dman prior toexp draft and that would be to make a deal. Pou plus we provide you a third to take him. Whatever the trade, if we can guide Vegas into who they will select, it doesn’t matter what we do 7/3 vs 4/4 as the choice has already been determined.
    This may be a tactic used for teams to keep thier good players – buy thier way out.

  21. Professor Q says:

    Oddspell: Wait, what does the H stand for if not “hand” or “handed”?

    Half?

    I keed, I keed…

  22. Diablo says:

    Ryan: Remember, hypothetically here, we’re talking in the context of the next two years. That’s when Eberle’s contract ends.

    Also note that, while many of us would love to trade Eberle for 2nd pairing right shot dman, the only hope in hell that will happen is if it’s done before the expansion draft. And even then only maybe… That would also mean exposing Kassian and Letestu.

    At six million cap, Eberle is not a marketable commodity right now. After the pre-expansion fire sale on dmen is over, I’d be very skeptical that Eberle gets you a 2nd pairing right shot defenseman.

    Some of the ultra elite larger players players age remarkably well like Hossa and Jagr.

    Assuming both have players stay healthy and play in the NHL next season, who do you think scores more goals and has more points next season (Kovalchuk vs Eberle)?

    The Oilers if properly tooled could complete for the cup next year. They could also win it.

    Yeah, that’s really the key to a proposed swap of Kovy for Ebs, who only has 2 years left on his contract, and is unlikely to take a pay cut if he’s still producing 50-60 points per year. Pretty unlikely that he’s resigned unless there is a substantial increase in the cap. Also looking at the other free agents in his UFA year, I’d think the Oilers would be better off spending his cap elsewhere. So you’re not keeping either player for more than 2 years.

    The other is key is the same old question that we’ve been asking in Oil Country for years now – “would player x (Kovy) want to come here?”

    I’ve said it before, it really depends on why the guy is coming back to the NHL – the KHL is a total mess right now financially – given the guy’s history one strongly suspects that his motivation to return is to get one last payday.

    But if he was willing to come to Edmonton on a 2 year, 5 million per season deal then it would signal that he is serious about playing for a cup, and he’s sees the two young elite centres here as his ticket to the finals. In which case, I’d bet on Kovy being more productive on a line with Leon or Connor, than Eberle.

  23. VOR says:

    In the May 25th morning thread Shoot the Moon at 9:18 AM Knighttown posted a thought provoking thesis about the NHL playoffs turning into a lottery.

    “I’d love one of you stats people to do a correlation between being the better team (based on winning percentage) and winning playoff series. I’d bet it’s lower than it’s ever been and much lower than the other sports.

    And if being the better team doesn’t correlate tightly with winning how do you build a winner?”

    I am ready to take a shot at answering his questions. At the time I was dismissive of his thesis. I now think he was right and I was wrong.

    I am going to start by referencing the following source:

    Forecasting Success in the National Hockey League using In-Game Statistics and Textual Data
    by Joshua Weissbock

    https://www.ruor.uottawa.ca/bitstream/10393/31553/3/Weissbock_Joshua_2014_thesis.pdf

    This was Joshua’s Master thesis in Computer Science at the University of Ottawa. There are several money quotes in this paper. One of my favorites is:

    “The upper bound was found using the Monte Carlo method to simulate an NHL
    season with varying amounts of skill and random chance required to win a game. After
    exploring various ratios of skill and luck, with 10,000 iterations each, we found the NHL
    is most statistically similar to a league were 24% of the games are determined by “skill”
    while the other 76% of games are determined by random chance (“luck”). This suggests
    the best we can predict in the NHL is at an accuracy of approximately 24%+ 76%
    2 = 62%”

    In other words all the Corsi, predicted goals, high danger scoring chances, etc. can’t predict more than 62% of the outcome of any single game of hockey. This is all based on data from 2005 and onward. To answer Knighttown’s implicit question: is luck a bigger factor than it has ever been we’d need to know what a Monte Carlo simulation says about earlier periods in NHL history. We will come back to that.

    But we can answer knighttown’s second implicit question. Is luck a bigger factor in NHL hockey than in other sports such as basketball, baseball or football? Michael J. Mauboussin in The Success Equation answers that exact question. You can find a great interview at Wired:

    https://www.wired.com/2012/11/luck-and-skill-untangled-qa-with-michael-mauboussin/

    The answer is that luck plays a much larger role in hockey than it does in other sports but again this is based on data mostly since 2005.

    Now how does all this relate to the playoffs? This is at the very center of knighttown’s post.

    Well, Weissbock, Mauboussin and Tom Tango all seem to agree that in the NHL playoffs luck is less of a factor than in the regular season. Weissbock for example (and beware I am sort of putting words in his mouth) suggest that the correct ratio in the playoff is 48% skill and 52% luck. So still a lottery but one that the players can definitely affect.

    (By the way, all serious stats fans should follow Tom Tango.

    http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/a-qa-with-tom-tango-the-new-czar-of-statcast/

    This post has a great interview with Tango, explains why he matters, and gives a link to his blog.)

    But again how does this compare with previous time periods in NHL history?

    As closely as I could I repeated some of Joshua Weissbock’s research except I used the NHL season from 1979-80 to 1990-1991.

    There is an excellent reason to believe that the results might be quite different. Weissboch found that parity matters greatly to predictability. As parity goes up, that is as the difference between teams in terms of seasonal winning percentages narrows, outcomes of individual games become harder to predict. As parity goes down, as the differences between teams in terms of seasonal winning percentages widens, outcomes of individual games become easier to predict.

    He uses as his example the NHL versus the KHL. The KHL has some rich, extremely successful teams, and some poor never do wells. The outcome of matches between the powerhouses and the basement dwellers is relatively easier to predict.

    So has the NHL ever had a time period that mirrors the current KHL? I would argue that the time period from 1979-80 to 1990-1991 nicely mirrors the current KHL.

    As for what I found:

    -Monte Carlo simulations led me to conclude that over this time period the model that best fit the observed outcomes for the regular seasons of the teams was 52% skill + 48% luck. This is very close to NFL football but still behind baseball, and way behind basketball and tennis.

    -In the playoffs I found that during these years the relationship was 64% skill and 36% luck.

    By the way during the seasons from 1983-1984, to 1988-1989 the two top seeds (best in the east, best in the west if you like) met 4 times. In all the seasons from 1979-1980 to the present that has only happened five times in total. So parity was very low, there were definitely haves and have-not teams, and the two best teams met over and over again.

    -I think it is fair to say that knighttown was right in speculating that hockey is more of a lottery than other sports and that the parity forced by salary caps has increased the role luck plays in outcomes both during the regular season and the playoffs
    .
    That leaves unanswered the question of how to build a team with a big enough skill differential to be a perennial favorite in the modern era of parity or as knighttown put it:

    “And if being the better team doesn’t correlate tightly with winning how do you build a winner?”
    But that, you will be pleased to know, is a question for a different day.

  24. Diablo says:

    digger50,

    I’m fine with protecting 4-4-1, if Eberle’s going the other way in this scenario.

    The additional forwards that would be exposed are Letestu, and Kassian – getting a top 4 RHD is much harder (damn near impossible) than finding a replacement for either of those two players – and you’re only going to lose one.

    I get the concern that we’re losing depth at forward, but in the absence of a deal for another top 4 D, and the potential of losing Reinhart in expansion (instead of a forward), coupled with Russell signing elsewhere cause his agent tried to extort us for money – well we’re an injury away from seeing an Simpson-Oesterle 3rd pairing next season.

  25. Professor Q says:

    Ryan: Shero was famously quoted as saying that he liked drafting puck moving dmen as currency though history hasn’t followed completely in step.

    Surfing the interwebs, I came across a Kovalchuk for a Eberle proposal. Bias alert that I’ve been a fan of Kovalchuk in the past.

    He’s not a young man, but if he can still skate he has that shot and size.

    Fun to think about Kovalchuk in the Letestu spot on the powerplay.

    It’s definitely been proposed here quite a few times. 😉 muahaha

  26. Kinger_Oil.redux says:

    VOR,

    – Well thanks for wrecking my morning as I went through this!

    – Interesting the R-squared of face-off percentage to winning is by far the least correlated.

    – Winning face-offs is such a false narrative: only when it results in a goal do we notice it….

  27. The Trade Guy says:

    I’m actually surprised that hockey is behind Baseball in the luck area. What with all the games they play in baseball and even the best teams still lose about 70 games.

    There is a lot more parity in hockey these days but the style of game is defensive and clogging up the ice and the goalies are huge and athletic and stop tons of shots. So games often come down to one goal that tend to be the crappy “bounce off four things and find the net.” variety.

    McDavid is so good and we can actually get giddy that occasionally he completely takes over games but the strangling, clutch and grab, defensive style slows down even him.

  28. Scungilli Slushy says:

    VOR,

    Interesting, thanks for all the effort. Something that occurs to me about parity, is the league’s influence on outcomes.

    As we are well aware of, the application of the rule book varies over time, between the reg season and playoffs, between playoff series, between players.

    IF the rule book was called reasonably equitably, I think skill would have a greater influence on outcomes than it does, but it’s being repressed. Luck will always play a large role in hockey because it is the most dynamic and challenging of the sports to play.

    That is probably why we love it so much, overly predictable outcomes = boring. Great to see your team win all of the time, lousy if not, and very likely not good for the health of the league to have a few dominant teams that win all of the time, which I’m sure is why they are doing things the way they are.

    Bettman doesn’t like hockey as I see it, and has an old school corporate bully style of management. The fact he has ground things down to where we’re near a point that any playoff team might win the Cup is I’m sure the plan, that there is so much inequity in how that gets done I think matters little to him because at heart it’s a job, he isn’t a passionate fan, and he’s focused on the job.

    There is a sweet spot between league interference, skill and luck that can leave viewers feeling satisfied (fair play) and the games still exciting to watch (less predictable outcomes than other sports).

  29. jtblack says:

    Oddspell,

    I guess it was just the context. LT simply said that “Simpson played most of his time at RHD” … Which makes complete sense to me. Simpson is left handed. AT no point did I take LT’s comment to mean that simpson switched hand …

    I am sure Thinker was just catching him on a technicality …

    I liken it to Driasatl … If someone asked why LT listed him at RW when he is a Left Shooting Centre … and LT says “He spent most of his time at RW” .. doesn’t mean he switched hands …!!

    anyway ..

    Far more important things to discuss!!!!!!!

  30. N64 says:

    Scungilli Slushy: As we are well aware of, the application of the rule book varies over time, between the reg season and playoffs, between playoff series, between players.
    IF the rule book was called reasonably equitably, I think skill would have a greater influence on outcomes than it does, but it’s being repressed. Luck will always play a large role in hockey because it is the most dynamic and challenging of the sports to play.

    I’d love to blame the changes in rules during the playoffs for reducing the role of skill. But these numbers says the role of skill increases during the playoffs. Apparently VOR will tackle the question of what skills you need to build for another day. My money is that one big skill will be clutching and grabbing, Another big skill will be how will refs explain their call to Corey.

    I suspect the main reason for more luck in the regular season is just more inconsistency of day to day effort. Effort levels and consistency better be higher in the playoffs.

  31. jtblack says:

    Scungilli Slushy,

    “As we are well aware of, the application of the rule book varies over time, between the reg season and playoffs, between playoff series, between players.”

    I watched 5 mins of the NBA finals ..Lebron drives the lane, guy grabs his shoulder. Ref calls FOUL! It was a FOUL all season and they still called it. Now switch to NHL ..

    November: Superstar (insert McD) cuts to middle and is hooked and tackled. PENALTY!
    April Playoffs: Superstar cuts to the middle and is hooked and tackled. Nothing. Apparently the best player(s) in the world forgot how to skate, they just fall down on their own now …

    Anyway, I agree with you. The lack of calling clear cut penalties undermines the NHL’s integrity. For die hard, long term fans; we accept this and know that “this is how it’s always been” … for new or casual fans it’s hard to explain, when they say why wasn’t that a penalty; and the answer is “Because it’s playoffs” …

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