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A blog by a long time New York Islanders fan who stays true to the fellas wearing orange, white and blue…but thinks the Islanders organization has some shaping up to do.

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Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Versus Makes Good Points on Icing, Misses With Ovechkin

Hockey Central, take note.

The VS crew took over the telecast, and overall it was good. Aside from some commentary about the game, they discussed other happenings in the NHL, among them no-touch icing and the potential winners of the Hart trophy. Icing was a good debate- with the fractured femur of Minnesota's Kurtis Foster came a frenzy of talk about perhaps adopting the rule for next year in the NHL, as they already have in Europe. I for one agree with the rule- yes, some great plays are made out of icings, especially when negated, and one of my favorite forwards, Sean Bergenheim, has negated quite a few icings with his hustle, creating good scoring chances. But if this happens again, I would expect and want the NHL to consider no-touch, because even one injury on the play can be excessive, and if it becomes a habit, then something has to be done to stop it. It's not worth a player's well-being.

One point, however, that I didn't like, was on the topic of the Hart Trophy. This year, two Russian players- Pitt's Evgeni Malkin and Washington's Alexander Ovechkin- are vying for the prize, among a flurry of interest. Last I knew, Ovechkin had the narrow edge in points, and yet some of the broadcasters were saying that perhaps Malkin would get the trophy, because if the Capitals do not make it into the playoffs, Ovechkin will not get votes. This, I find, is not true, because one man does not make a team. The Capitals have not made the playoffs since Ovechkin came to the NHL, and he won the Calder in 05-06 and also was in the running for a scoring title last year, although he had somewhat tailed off from his dynamic rookie campaign. Although more of a do-it-yourself player, he is not enough for the Capitals to muster a playoff push- they need every player to give their top effort.

So it really is all down to the best man winning the title, and personally I am pulling for Ovechkin- an exciting, wildly creative player who upon joining the 60-goal club this season, has re-captured my attention quite recently. But whatever the case may be, the scoring title belongs to the player, not the team- and the best player deserves the prize, simple as that.

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