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Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Zebras in the crosshairs

You, the hockey fan, may not know it, but the guys in the stripped shirts are often related. Two games by two different members of the Koharski family were criticized this week. In the NHL Don Koharski, coming off a decision that cost the Edmonton Oilers the game against the Los Angeles Kings on Monday, January 8, decided to sacrifice the San Jose Sharks on the altar of his demons, holding them to six penalties in row starting after a fight in the first period.

While the San Jose announcers were trying to describe this in polite terms, the anger could be heard that their team was being dealt with as the lamb taken to slaughter, the meat for Koharski’s atonement. The Oilers, despite the sixth man help, ended the game 3-2.

On the other side of the continent Jamie Koharski, is being criticized for his calls in an American Hockey League game between the Norfolk Admirals and the Bridgeport Sound Tigers. Michael Fornabaio's blog on the Bridgeport Sound Tigers 3-2 loss starts with questions about two calls made by this Koharski.

Over on Madison Avenue, yet more questions are being raised. The Blackhawks loss due to a video goal review (which doesn’t involve the on-ice officials) is being challenged. According to announcers, the league has superior video capabilities, even beyond that of the networks, allowing it to review each goal, in Toronto, and approve it or not.

In the Shoot-out loss to the Minnesota Wild on Sunday the 14th, Wild goalie Manny Fernandez can be seen almost, but not quite stopping the shot by Blackhawk Denis Arkhipov. As it inches across the goal line he glances down and kicks it away with his skate. No goal say the boys in Toronto. The Blackhawks are so upset, according to reports, that they plan to bring the matter before the board of the NHL at its next regularly scheduled meeting. There is an excellent video of the questioned goal at the Blackhawks website.

Buffeted by more injuries, the Blackhawks have dropped eight out of nine, with one of the losses being the above shoot-out., since December 29. Fragile hockey is back on Madison Avenue.

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