Andrew Shaw’s Emotion: Right or Wrong?


Hockey is an emotional game. Fans are emotional, coaches are at times emotional, and players will often show signs of emotion. Emotions come from different sources during a hockey game, whether it be from a big hit, a fight, a big save, a big goal… or even after a penalty call. 

During the game against the Anaheim Ducks, while his team was putting tons of pressure trying to tie the game at two a piece in the last minute of the third period, Andrew Shaw was given a penalty for hooking… and he wasn’t pleased about it. After viewing the replay from the penalty box, Shaw smashed his stick against the glass, then broke it on his knee while making sure to have a few choice words for the referee… which cost him a misconduct.

If you haven’t seen the play in question, here it is:

Yes, Shaw’s penalty cost the Canadiens a chance to even up the score in hope to send the game to overtime. Whether it should have been called a penalty or not is up for debate, which is certainly not the purpose of this article. The penalty was called and that in itself is what cost the Canadiens a chance to get at least one point.That’s how the cookie crumbles.

But some “fans”, frustrated with the fact that the team is having such a good start and looking for things to complain about, are raging on Shaw for his reaction in the penalty box. Why might you ask? No one really knows, unless they are looking for fleas where there are none.

Really folks? Do we need to go back in time when one of the best leaders in the NHL showed emotion in the penalty box? Remember Doug Gilmour?

Shaw showed some emotions. He did that spontaneously, because he cares! He cares that this call, at that particular time, is what the referee decided to call when both let others pass all game which were more obvious than this one! You see, what players, coaches and fans cannot stand is the lack of consistency not only throughout a season, but during a game.

Give me a team of players who care well ahead of players who will accept losing.

Two referee system not working

It’s been said time and time again, but this two referee system is not working. Not only do you add one more body on the ice where space is already hard to find, but you involve a second judgement in there for penalties. How many times do we see the referee closest to the action choosing to let a play go and the far referee, from almost centre ice, raise his arm to make a call on that same play?

When you only had one referee, yes some calls were being missed but you can’t convince me that calls aren’t being missed today with the two men on the ice. However with the one referee system, players knew what to expect. They knew the referees, what they liked to call and what they would let them get away with. It was rather even on both side. No second guessing from another judgement out there.

The NHL needs to take a second look at this two referee system and find ways to get back to one referee on the ice. Linesmen can already blow the whistle to call a penalty when there are too many men on the ice, and get consulted when a defensive player shoots the puck in the crowd from his own zone. Perhaps adding a couple of penalties would help take some of the pressure off the referee but two guys with the red stripes simply doesn’t work. It doesn’t work for the players, it doesn’t work for the teams, and it certainly doesn’t work for the fans.



Dustin Tokarski Has Himself to Blame


When it comes to young players, all they can ask for is for someone to give them a chance to prove what they can do. If they work hard on their art, if they are good students of the game and good learners and if they have good coaching, an opportunity is all that they want.

When he was traded to the Canadiens, that’s what Dustin Tokarski wanted. He couldn’t ask for a much better goalie coach than Stephane Waite, who has worked miracles with Corey Crawford in Chicago, and took Carey Price to the next level.

Tokarski got the chance of a lifetime when Price went down to injuries in the series against the New York Rangers in the spring of 2014 and to his benefit, he took full advantage of it. If the Canadiens lost that series, it wasn’t because of Tokarski’s goaltending and those performances made then backup Peter Budaj expandable.

The following season, the native of Watson, Saskatchewan had a good start but cooled off in the second half of the season, to the point that the coaching staff was reluctant to give Price much needed days off. And it was all downhill from there for Tokarski.

At training camp this fall, he was not ready. Mike Condon was and he basically stole the job from Tokarski, who was so bad that even rookie Zachary Fucale impressed management more at camp and pushed the former backup down the organisation’s depth chart.

Still though, Tokarski had other chances to prove himself this season with the two sets of injuries to Carey Price, combined with the fading play of Condon. He took part in six games this season for the Canadiens and has only managed one win, while posting a dismal saves percentage of .878 and a goals against average of 3.18, well below respectability.

His lack lustred performances even forced GM Marc Bergevin to acquire a more experienced goaltender in 29 year-old Ben Scrivens, which ultimately spelled the end of Tokarski with the Habs.

While Tokarski now finds himself in an organisation without a Carey Price in front of him, the Ducks are a team with some good depth in goal and he will have his work cut out to get back to the NHL. Tokarski needs to take a deep long look in the mirror, realize that he blew it with the Canadiens and that he must get his act together quickly if he hopes, one day, to realise his dream of landing a job in the NHL.