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Rustling around the mail bag

by Phil Coffey /

The outcome of the 1993 Stanley Cup Final is still a sore subject for one Ice Age reader.
You’ve got questions and so do I. No guarantee on answers, but let’s take a stab at it and see what develops.


Welcome back Phil. I was desperate without hockey this summer and reverted to watching some tapes of the past Stanley Cup, plus a "very few" miracles from L.A. But reminding me of Dick's opening thoughts, (ha, ha) I'd nearly forgotten the name of "Gilmore".. .etc... oh, let's not go there.

I've now got total respect for the refs and am thoroughly happy with instant replay as a way to help them out. But if Dick still wants to “play,” let's not forget his precious/cheap shot Canadiens of 1993 and Game 2 against the Kings... and the stick call ...and then the goal while a Canadien (no names please) had both feet in the goal crease, but Les Habitants get the call in their home city...thank you very much.

Welcome back Phil and NHL hockey!

-- Robert Lee

I am willing to venture that in few other forums will you have fans debating a playoff series from 1993. Thanks Robert.


Phil, welcome back!

Glad the season has started, and I have some questions for you based on odd circumstances that I thought of while playing NHL 08 for my PS2. (PS3 is way too expensive.)

1) If a player gets a goal while he is not currently on the ice, does he get a +1 for it? Marcel Hossa was the last player on my team to touch the puck, then went off for a line change. Then, a member of the Flyers knocked it into his own net. Hossa got credit for the goal, but didn't get the +1 since he wasn’t on the ice. Know if this has ever happened, which it probably has, or what the NHL rules state?

2) If my team is on a penalty kill, and the other team slashes me, and there is a delayed penalty and then my penalty killers score a shorthanded goal, what happens? This actually hasn't happened in my game, but it's an interesting point. I assume it's a weird call, wherein I would get credit for the goal (obviously), and the man wouldn't get a penalty, and the opposition would still be on the power play.

3) I know that empty-nets do work, and sometimes the team that pulls its goalie scores to tie the game. What about when the team is down two goals. Does that ever work? I know in 05-06, Detroit beat Chicago while down two goals in the last minute of regulation, but don't know the situation. Any stats, or experiences, with this?

Thanks, Phil. Looking forward to your column all year. Let's go NHL!

-- Zach, New York

Hey Zach. Here is my take on your conundrums.

1. Not on the ice, no plus.

2. Goal counts, no penalty, their PP continues.

3. No stats at my fingertips, but two goals in the final minute of play is a rarity indeed.


Do you think Kevin Lowe still needs to make a deal to put some fear into other teams this year? My answer to that question is yes. I think Mr. Lowe should send T.J. Kemp, Bryan Young, Ethan Moreau and Rob Schremp to Toronto for Wade Belak, Kris Newbury and John Pohl. Thanks for reading my e-mail and what is your response to my question?

-- Darcy Whitecourt

Hi Darcy. I don’t think the Oilers are in as dire shape as many others. Obviously, some of the kids will need an adjustment period, but I think the talent is there for the Oilers to surprise.

As for your trade offering, I think you would be giving away too much from an Oilers’ standpoint.


Have we seen the last of Eric Lindros on the ice?
Dear Phil,

I've been searching everywhere to get some updates on Eric Lindros and Matthew Barnaby. Do you know where they are and if they're playing hockey?

-- Bonnie

Hi Bonnie. Matt Barnaby has retired and there is speculation that Eric Lindros will do the same once he wraps up his work with the NHLPA on selecting a new executive director.


Hi Phil,

I'm glad that the season has started now, and I hope we all will see a great new season with a lot of great hockey, great goals, great saves, great fights and no cheap shots and brutal fouls.

I have a question around the “official score sheets” that go along with the games played. I have to say I don't like the new layout of the sheets and I'm missing the goalie stats (name of goaltenders, shots/saves). In addition to that, it's too bad that they don't auto-refresh like they did in the past. ... I like the new “real time” feature, but it does not provide the oversight of the score sheet and so I have a hard time adjusting to it.

-- Steffem, a big NHL fan from Germany

Hi Steffem. Agreed. Goalie stats need to be included.



While watching the NHL Premiere games in London, England with Anaheim vs. LA on CBC, I thought I saw something that was very interesting. With a camera shot that came from up in the seats it showed the base of the boards. They appeared almost transparent, but they were not. That gave me an idea for better fan experience and potentially better TV coverage. Hockey arena "see-through boards." It is very annoying when at a game when the play is along the boards that you cannot see the play entirely from the stands, especially for those near the ice. This also would allow better TV camera coverage at the ice's surface without interfering with the play (cameras behind the boards at ice level). I also thought about the fact that "see through" boards would pose a problem with the players being able to see the puck. However, I have often noticed that buses have advertising on their windows but the passengers can still see out. Combine this affect with the capability to see through from the fans perspective may enhance the hockey experience. Just a thought to enhance the hockey experience. What do you think?

-- Todd A. Martin

Hi Todd. If I recall correctly, back in the days of the WHA, the arena in St. Paul that housed the Fighting Saints had transparent boards. It actually made the game tougher to see from a TV standpoint because on many angles the puck was totally lost amid the varied background of what was behind those boards. Also, I’m not sure if there is a material that would remain sufficiently transparent with all the wear and tear the boards take.



Just back from watching the 2nd Kings vs. Ducks game in London. ( I went to both. )

Thanks to the NHL for allowing us to see live NHL regular season games. The last NHL game I saw was back in 1988 - the abandoned Stanley Cup Final game in Boston when the lights failed.

Hope the NHL make this a regular feature of the hockey season.

-- Paul Baker

Thanks Paul. Glad you enjoyed the game.


Everyone talks about how the new records should have asterisks beside them because of the new rule changes and OT/shootout loser points. But this is how the game is played nowadays. That’s like saying that Gretzky’s 92 goals should have an asterisk beside it because that season had more than 80 games when previous record seasons had only 70.

Mark McGwire broke baseball’s home run record, but he's bigger than Roger Maris was, and played more games. Too bad, that’s the way it is, give these guys their records and let them downplay it themselves.

-- Shawn Robertson

Hi Shawn. Agreed. There hasn’t been that significant a change in the sport to warrant asterisks.

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