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Rules and reactions

by Staff Writer / Montréal Canadiens

BROSSARD – Randy Cunneyworth discusses the Tyler Myers hit, Josh Gorges talks hybrid icing and Max Pacioretty on his nomination.

Action, reaction: While you won’t hear Randy Cunneyworth disagreeing with the decision to hand Tyler Myers a three-game suspension for his hit-from-behind on Scott Gomez, the Habs coach does wish more had been done when the penalty actually occurred. At the time, Myers was only assessed a two-minute boarding minor, and after the Canadiens’ Wednesday morning skate, Cunneyworth discussed the way bench and player reactions factor into on-ice calls.

Max Pacioretty on his nomination for the Bill Masterton Trophy

“Maybe we need to go after the guy and make a big statement about it, or maybe I freak out on the bench and then they realize that it’s a serious infraction, but we didn’t and it ended up being only a minimal call on a dangerous hit. That rubs me the wrong way. You’d love to see them being a little bit more serious about the call when it’s a hit from behind,” expressed the Habs head coach of the decision to only call a minor penalty on Myers who would go on to score the game-winning overtime goal for the Sabres. “The main thing is that he ends up factoring into the game in a situation where he should have been out of the game altogether.

“[Scott] took one shift, realized he wasn’t well and was done,” continued Cunneyworth on Gomez’s attempt to stay in the match following the hit. “Guys have pride. I could tell them all when they get hit like that to roll around on the ice and make a mockery of it and then their guy would probably be out of the game. But we don’t want to go there.”

Perseverance and determination: After having his 2010-11 campaign cut tragically short by a hit that nearly ended his career, Max Pacioretty’s dominant comeback performance this season speaks volumes on the young winger’s will to win. With impressive totals of 57 points and 30 goals – team highs in both categories – the 23-year-old’s season has been made even more meaningful by his participation in numerous charity events as well as the creation of the Max Pacioretty Foundation. Not surprisingly, Pacioretty was named the Canadiens’ nomination for the Bill Masterton Trophy, awarded to players who display qualities of perseverance and team spirit.

“It’s certainly nice to hear things like that said about you. When it was originally brought up to me, I started to look into the award a little further and I got to see some of the others who have won it in the past. It’s an honor for me to be included in the same category with guys like that,” shared Pacioretty who could soon be seeing his name listed alongside the likes of Mario Lemieux, Cam Neely and Saku Koivu among others.

Rule changes: With the general managers meeting coming to an end in Boca Raton, FL, decisions are currently being made that could change and reshape certain dynamics of pro hockey. The GMs have voted in favor of hybrid icing, in hopes of eliminating the risk of injury when two players are in a race for an iced puck. Eight-year NHL veteran, Josh Gorges was on hand after the Habs practice to offer a player’s perspective on the possible rule change.

“I think it’s a great idea. Not only does it let guys conserve a little energy by not having to skate at full speed down the ice to try and touch the puck, but it also takes away the risk of getting tangled up with the other player and crashing hard into the boards,” explained Gorges on the pros of hybrid icing. “It happens way too often that guys go down and get hurt on plays that don’t really have a purpose. Twisted ankles, broken legs, shoulders… it’s not pretty when those things happen.”

Justin Fragapane is a writer for

Rapid fire - Mar. 14, 2012
Max Pacioretty is a candidate for the Bill Masterton Trophy
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Radio-Telethon benefiting the Montreal Canadiens Children's Foundation
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