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No. of Recommendations: 2
Monday night saw Colorado win a shootout (as in tied after OT, not in the figurative sense) over Minnesota. There were two highly interesting elements to this game.

First, at 8:53 of the second period, Jordan Greenway took the cheapest possible headshot on the Avs goalie (Darcy Kuemper). He was assessed a minor penalty, which was quickly negated when Kurtis MacDermid took exception and fed Greenway's head about 1% of what it will eventually deserve in retaliation (instigating minor). Kuemper stayed in the game after being attended to by trainers but had to leave for concussion protocol after the next whistle, and currently has no timeframe to return.
The video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e1yqAVu-PGs&t=98s (see about 1:30 in if there are any doubts about what a mismatch this was)(also trigger warning for somewhat uncharacteristic homer announcing from Peter McNab and Mark Mosier--I hate it when other teams' guys do it so I'd be remiss not to call it out here).
And a column about possibly going big to replace Kuemper if he's done for the year, which after watching the year, it looks like he could be, and so should Greenway be: https://www.milehighhockey.com/2022/1/18/22889748/reaction-a...
How he didn't get 5+game and a suspension (doubt he'll sit if it's been this long) is beyond me, but it sure calls to mind what players tend to do when the NHL doesn't do enough. Avalanche brass is probably too smart to talk openly of bounties and such, unlike total scum of the earth Brian Burke and Marc Crawford were in 2004, when Big Head Todd the Monster ended Avalanche rookie Steve Moore's career with a well-known in-game retaliation (probably been written about enough, I should stop). But I will say I won't be too disappointed if Greenway gets a tooth knocked out by a cross-check to his coward mouth from someone in the bottom half of the Avs' lineup for each game Kuemper misses. Gotta admit, I kinda know a bit more how Vancloozer fans felt when Moore wasn't suspended (or even penalized) for the shoulder check to a head-down, reaching-for-the puck open-ice hit that concussed Markus Naslund for 3 games back in the day.

Second was Colorado's late go-ahead goal (3:something left) by Nathan MacKinnon. If you haven't heard about it, watch it first, then decide for yourself how obvious it is. Here's a column from some Minnesota homer clown that has the goal and some serious 43rd-president-level craziness ('I don't know, you tell me' insinuation) from the Wild's HC: https://www.hockeywilderness.com/2022/1/18/22889259/minnesot...
Now, both the columnist and the coach are actually trying tell us that if Kahkonen catches the puck, hides it in his glove, then slides completely across the line into his own net without being pushed AND without the refs being able to ACTUALLY SEE the puck (because it's in the glove), then the only proper call is "No Goal". Shyah. Sure thing Dean (and Thomas, the columnist). The coach was actually quoted: “I said (to the refs), ‘Who made the call, you guys or the league?’” head coach Dean Evason said. “And they said, ‘The league did.’ And then I asked, ‘Did you guys see it in the net?’ They said, ‘No, it was never in the net.’ Stopping here: that's a total lie. They would never say that. They would say 'No, we never SAW IT in the net.' They know to leave the rulings to league HQ in Toronto. Resume quote: So I’m really looking forward to seeing the NHL Network or them sending out that video to see what angle they had that shows the puck in the net because no angles that we have – overhead, everything …That puck could be in his crotch. It could be anywhere."
Riiiiiight. Anywhere, Dean? Because I think we have a pretty good idea from the video just where the puck was the whole time. Right where it went when MacKinnon shot it: check the end of the 16-second Twitter video from Michael Russo, embedded in that column I linked. Under the pad, top of the skate, which ended up *IN THE BACK* of the net before the Wild skaters basically dragged Kahkonen out of the net. A "No Goal" call there would have absolutely defied the laws of physics, because no, DEAN, the puck is not going to travel up Kaapo's left pad on its own immediately after MacKinnon's shot lodged it between the pad and the skate laces *AND THEN* travel back down, again on its own, and pop out back at foot-level only after said skate has left the net.

That's some wild stuff right there, and between Greenway's cowardice, Evason's lie and 43-like evasion (hey, that'd be a nice typo for his name), and that columnist's hack job, I'm not sure what's going on with Minnesota's NHL club. They scored the equalizer to earn a point (on the backup goalie, thanks to Greenway's headhunting in the second), but Colorado picked up the win thanks to said backup goalie's apparently record in shootout situations--apparently Pavel Francouz has now stopped all 12, or maybe 15, shots he's faced in the shootout this year. It was all over the broadcast but I haven't found anything in print (figuratively speaking) to corroborate that yet. NHL.com's stats page might need to be updated, because they say it's only six.

-n8 (Sheesh, enough about one game, bro)
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No. of Recommendations: 1
Had not seen the cheap shot. That is bad. This is why fighting never leaves the game as teams have to be able to respond to that IMO.

As for the goal. Yes, it went in and yes it was under the foot. But the call on ice was no goal so the question is whether they need to 'see it' to overturn it. It would seem they do not need to clearly see it. Hard to get the exact phrasing of the review rule though. It seems to just give the reviewer some space with vague 'determines that' language.
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No. of Recommendations: 0
I need to do a rare self-reply because this part of my sleep-deprived 0:dark:30 rant

Kuemper if he's done for the year, which after watching the year, it looks like he could be

was way off* and I gotta clean it up. Kuemper returned to the Avs' bench 2 nights later in Anaheim to back up Pavel Francouz (who notched his first career shutout) for a game that, on an unrelated note, saw MacDermid-Deslauriers V go a bit over a minute--one of those classic tough-guy scraps where both guys get tired out and there's no real loser. In this one it looks like most commenters are going with Deslauriers due to his serious reach handicap and the fact that he got MacDermid's helmet off 2/3 of the way in but didn't lose his own. Then DK returned to the ice tonight and for the second of the back-to-back 'LA swing' to beat the Kings 4-1. Colorado's now on a 10-0-1 streak and sitting atop the West.

Of course, it's a bit silly to look at NHL standings based on points with teams playing such a widely varying number of games: currently 32 for the Isles, up to 42 for the Ducks/Preds, with a median of 39. I'm glad they finally got around to scheduling the Covid make-ups for the break, so long after it was announced (1 month ago today) that NHL players won't be in Beijing. That should get us back on track for the March stretch run.

-n8 (also 2 in a row for the Kraken! w00t!)
* because I don't know a lot about concussions, but I've heard that they can be severe without looking like it, or in this case, the opposite. Related: get well soon, Avs up-and-coming D-man Bowen Byram.
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