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What players, coaches say about referees, game management, make up calls – Sportsnet.ca

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The Tim Peel incident from Tuesday night is the hot button (mic?) topic right now, and for good reason. It’s a terrible look for the NHL to have one of its on-ice officials audibly note his desire to give one team a penalty, no matter the context. Especially with legalized gambling on the horizon, it could become problematic.

But there does seem to be some confusion over what the core issue is. The terms “game management” and “make up calls” have been thrown around almost interchangeably when, in fact, they are not necessarily the same thing.

It’s no secret that game management is a referee strategy, and not just at the NHL level. It’s taught and encouraged. But game management should mostly be about communication and keeping things under control. Former NHL referee Paul Stewart talked a bit about this with Mark Spector today in his piece. It should be game dependent, too. If there are a couple emotional and physical teams going at it, game management should be aimed to make sure the situation doesn’t spiral out of control, while at the same time acknowledging that in a game where both teams are playing it hard, perhaps the standard for a low end penalty shifts somewhat.

More important than setting a strict season-long standard, perhaps, is sticking to a standard within a game or within a playoff series and not changing course halfway through. That does nothing but confuse and frustrate players.

Some games might not need managing at all. Tuesday’s Detroit-Nashville game looked like it should have been one of those. There was nothing to manage. Only a single penalty was called in the first, there was no heightened emotion or risk. If the penalty that was called on Viktor Arvidsson was supposed to be game management, it sure looked closer to mismanagement — though, again, we don’t have a full view of the picture.

But on the surface at least, it didn’t accomplish what “game management” should set out to.

“Let’s talk about the calibre of the game, the potential calibre of the game,” former NHL referee Bryan Lewis said on Writers Bloc. “Say the Rangers play the Islanders, or Philly plays Washington or Edmonton plays Calgary, games we can think of in advance that are going to be tough hockey games. I don’t need (former ref) Scotty Morrison to call me saying ‘Bryan you better be ready’ — I am. So my intensity goes up a bit. Therefore I’m looking for and want to maintain control from the moment I drop the puck until the last whistle is blown in the game. I don’t sense this happened here. There’s nothing to indicate it was a tough hockey game, nothing to indicate it was going to be a tough hockey game. Two teams that are not in the playoffs. It’s one of those games you should enjoy.”

What proper game management shouldn’t be is forcing the issue to keep penalty calls even, or close to it, no matter the transgression.

Make-up calls are also a reality, and might follow a missed call, or a bad call. We all make mistakes, though, so why compound one miss with another? Innocent missed calls should even out over time due to human error and we live with that to some degree in every sport.

But aiming to call a penalty on one team just to keep the overall power play splits in the game even or close to it? Or calling a penalty to make up for a missed one earlier? That should not be how game management is defined or thought about. These two ideas should be separated, in a perfect world. Even up calls, in fact, shouldn’t be a thing and, to me, is the real problem here.

“The key word here is marginal penalties,” Lewis said. “We don’t want marginal penalties in any game, the players don’t want them.”

This was the penalty at the centre of Tuesday’s uproar, when Arvidsson was called for tripping.

It’s all about how standards for management are set, directed and supported on a grand league-wide scale. Not every game needs to be called the exact same way for officials to be effective, but mistakes should be admitted to and moved on from. Not made up with two minutes later.

So with that in mind, various players and coaches around the league were asked for their takes on the Tuesday incident, game management and makeup calls. Here is some of what they said…

NATE THOMPSON, WINNIPEG JETS

“I think if you look at every sport, we’re probably the only sport really where games are managed. It’s a tough job, those guys are in a tough spot. That’s the biggest thing every player wants. We want consistency. If you’re calling penalties consistently or if you’re letting guys play I think that’s what guys want. I don’t think they want it to change from game to game, you want consistency night in night out.”

ROD BRIND’AMOUR, CAROLINA HURRICANES HEAD COACH

“Watch the games. Watch what happens at the end of games. If a team’s up, seems to get a power play for the team that’s behind. I think it’s just human nature. It’s hard. I know they’re not trying to do that. I don’t believe that’s how they go about it. It’s just human nature to maybe look for the team that’s down, but it seems to happen all the time.”

TRAVIS GREEN, VANCOUVER CANUCKS HEAD COACH

“As far as standard and whatnot I think standards change from game to game sometimes and depending on the heat of the game. But if you’re going to talk about standards in pre-season when you’ve got half the team’s rookies and talking about Game 7 playing for a Stanley Cup, I don’t think that’s really gonna happen.”

NATE SCHMIDT, VANCOUVER CANUCKS

“Every game’s different, every game is unique. Not just the same script every night. When it comes to officiating, I try not to look too far into it because they’re trying to do a job… as a player you just hope when they make a call they stick with it, stick by it.

“For me with referees, I have a lot of respect for guys who own it. If there’s something that happens in a game good, bad, or indifferent for your team and they own it, we’re all human and we make mistakes… if there’s a weak call or something like that, it happens, it’s human nature. Does it warrant another one? That’s not my decision to make. I think it’s about game flow and how it’s moving. They think things have gotten out of hand or getting away with a little too much then that happens. Game flow, game situation, as long as they own it it’s cool by me.”

NICKLAS BACKSTROM, WASHINGTON CAPITALS

“Honestly I’ve never heard it in my 14 years here. I’ve never heard anything like that. I think it’s maybe unfortunate that it happened and came out that way, but at the same time the league had to do what it had to do.”

PAUL MAURICE, WINNIPEG JETS HEAD COACH

“The black and white calls are all easy. But the entire game is a judgement call. What you’re hoping for is an understandable standard and that’s what we’re all shooting for. But the game at least is viewed in the same kind of judgement band. You get some games called a little tighter, some a little looser, you get in a playoff series you’re looking for that kind of standard. I think the referees have to have room for those judgements. That’s what the whole thing is about.

“I think what we’re talking about is that band of the standard that happens in a game as long as it stays consistent. We understand that sometimes that standard is slightly different. The idea we would get this consistent in 15 rinks a night, that’s just not going to happen. You’re just hopeful that what’s a penalty early is a penalty late.

“As far as how they do it, they set an internal standard for a night that has to be in the NHL guidelines and we try and hold the referees to that standard.”

ZACH HYMAN, TORONTO MAPLE LEAFS

“Refs have a really tough job. You’re never going to make one side happy. A lot of calls, they vary obviously because it’s a person making the call. I know it’s human error, they’re mistakes. I think the refs are doing the best they can. The NHL sets that standard and you just try to make the calls based on that standard. I don’t know to speak to make up calls but it’s a tough job to do.

“It happens in all sports. Look at the NFL. You had the pass interference stuff, and in baseball you have a strike zone where you can look at that. But I think the nature of reffing is there’s going to be human error involved in it and you want people to be involved. You want to have refs. You don’t want to have everything on review. There are complaints about reviews now! So I think no matter what, when you’re in a competitive environment and it’s heated and both teams want to win you’re going to think you got the wrong end of the call sometimes and sometimes you’ll be on the other end. It’s the nature of competitive sports. When I say refs have a hard job it’s the truth. They gotta stay the line and make it as even as possible. Some games you’re going to get good calls and some games you’re gonna get bad calls. In the end you hope it balances out.”

ADAM LARSSON, EDMONTON OILERS

Q: Are makeup calls just part of hockey?

“Probably a little bit, but it shouldn’t be. It’s unfortunate that something like this happens, but everybody does mistakes. Everybody is not perfect. He made a mistake but unfortunately you don’t want make up calls to be part of the game. I don’t think it’s right. I think if it’s an obvious one I don’t think it should be made up for.”

JOHN TAVARES, TORONTO MAPLE LEAFS

“I’d like to give a clear, easy answer but I think it’s extremely difficult and the referees have a very tough job trying to manage all those things, applying a standard, keeping consistent, and also getting a feel for the game because I do think there’s that element to it. The best way I feel about it is keeping the standard as consistent as possible, at least from start to finish. Some nights a little more gets let go, sometimes it’s a little tighter. But when the standard’s changing in-game so significantly that’s when it can get so frustrating as a player because something happens to you or someone on your team and you feel a similar situation, same type of play, doesn’t get called and maybe because the referee doesn’t want to decide the game at that point, which I can understand. But from us competing out there those are the times you can get frustrated trying to understand. I know dealing with the referees they don’t want to be the ones deciding the games. They want the two teams to be doing that.

“I think (calling the rulebook as it is) has to be at the top of the list, the absolute framework of the way the game’s getting called and the way it’s getting applied so I completely understand that. But I don’t think anyone wants to see important games, important points, happen to be decided by a faceoff violation in the last two minutes of a great hockey game that’s got a lot on the line. But at the same time we want to have the accountability… If sometimes things have a little bit of a different feel to them from night to night I can understand that a little bit personally, but it’s when things shift so drastically through a game that’s when it can be tough.”

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Canadian cyclist Michael Woods just misses podium after gruelling 234-km ride – CBC.ca

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In a race that lasted nearly six hours and traversed more than 200 kilometres, in the end it came down to a matter of inches for Canadian cyclist Michael Woods.

With Ecuador’s Richard Carapaz capturing gold, Woods was among a group of five riders who were in a flat sprint over the final 100 metres, jockeying for silver and bronze. With a few metres to go, Woods appeared to get boxed out by two other riders, ultimately finishing fifth and missing out on a medal by less than a second.

“I am really happy with how I rode but just off the podium which was my big goal,” Woods told CBC Sports after the race. “I tried to get some separation as much as I could but it just wasn’t in the cards.”

Woods final time was six hours, six minutes and 33 seconds, 1.07 behind Carapaz.

Belgium’s Wout van Aert captured silver. Slovenia’s Tadej Pogacar took the bronze.

Woods overcame gruelling conditions, on what riders called the toughest Olympic course ever, to be in contention at the finish.

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The 34-year-old was barely mentioned during this race before, like a coiled spring, thrusting himself into the top group with about 30 kilometres left of the 234-kilometre race.

Coming into this race, the Toronto native and Ottawa resident said the brutal course, full of deadly climbs, “really suited him.”  He was right.

“I thought I was the strongest climber today, but I had to roll the dice [and] it didn’t play out as I’d hoped,” Woods said.

“I really didn’t want it to come down to a sprint. I tried to attack several times and I wanted to get away like Carapaz did, but I just wasn’t as lucky as him and able make the move that he did.”

This race had an Olympic feel that’s been lacking here in Tokyo as for the first time athletes had a crowd cheering them on. Thousands of fans welcomed the riders as they entered the Fuji Motor Speedway two hours from Tokyo, where the race finished. Riders also received strong encouragement from locals who lined parts of the course as the race snaked through the mountains, where COVID-19 protocols aren’t as restrictive as in Tokyo.

A pack of riders goes past Yamanaka Lake during the men’s cycling road race on Saturday. (AFP via Getty Images)

While countries like Italy and Belgium and France had five riders who were able to control the pace throughout the race before launching waves of co-ordinated attacks, Woods did much of the work on his own.

About 80 kilometres into the race, it appeared that Woods might have been involved in a crash that sidelined a pair of British riders, but he escaped contact. He did have to drop back from the pack momentarily as he appeared to have issues with one of his shoes before getting a fresh pair from his team car.

With the iconic Mount Fuji looming over many parts of the course, the 130-rider field had to navigate a series of five gruelling climbs adding up to nearly 5,000 metres, a more arduous challenge than even the most difficult mountain stages at the Tour de France.

As one commentator put it: add in the humidity and it will feel like they are climbing Mount Everest.

The toughest challenge of this race came near the end, after nearly 200 kilometres of racing, called the Mikuni Pass, the steepest climb in cycling.

Woods said before the race that the steep ascents made it a “good course for him.”

“It is a really challenging climb, really steep, but it really suits my skill set. I think with the heat, particularly with the amount of climbing in this race, it really does suit my abilities,” Woods told CBC Sports.

WATCH | The Olympians: Mike Woods

Watch CBC Sports’ The Olympians feature, on Mike Woods. 3:06

Beyond the brutal climbs, riders also had to endure the searing heat. Early this month, Woods actually decided to leave the Tour de France early so he could come to the Olympics early to help acclimate himself to the heat.

“I did three hours in the peak heat of the day, sweating profusely, and I was really happy that I got that in. I think I need a couple more days of that heat exposure and I think I’ll be good in terms of actual race day preparation,” Woods said.

The Olympic road race is usually held on a circuit, but at these Games, riders began at Tokyo’s Musashinonomori Park then passed through Kanagawa and Yamanashi Prefectures before finishing at the Fuji International Speedway. As riders wound their way through the Japanese countryside, they were treated to small slices of Japanese culture, including ancient temples and ornate fountains.

Just two weeks ago, Woods was involved in a crash at the Tour de France, where he suffered a severe road rash. But coming into these Games, Wood said he felt healthy and in great spirits.

Back home, his wife Elly is just about to have a baby boy. Despite changes coming at home and a career that has now included two Olympics, in the moments after this narrow defeat, Woods said that you may see him in Paris, the site of 2024 Olympics.

“We will have to see what the course in Paris is like,” he said. “I will be 38 at the next Olympics, So it’s difficult to say. But this has me all the more motivated and if the course in Paris is challenging, I will be there I think.”

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Canadian medal hopefuls Humana-Paredes, Pavan start beach volleyball with easy win – CBC.ca

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Under a scorching sun, brilliant blue sky and temperatures that soared above 38 degrees Celsius at the Shiokaze Park in Tokyo, Canada’s dynamic beach volleyball duo of Sarah Pavan and Melissa Humana-Paredes wasted no time taking it to their Dutch opponents. 

The No. 1-ranked and defending world champions took a few minutes to get their footing in the golden sand at the venue, but when they did, they were a force to be reckoned with. 

Pavan and Humana-Paredes defeated the Netherlands duo of Katja Stam and Raisa School in straight sets (21-16, 21-14) on Saturday to open their Olympics. 

“I think today we made it clear that everything we’ve been working on has paid off,” Pavan said after the victory. “The three times we’ve played that team it’s gone down to the wire. Today we took care of it.”

The duo fell behind early to the Dutch, trailing 5-2 in the first set and looking somewhat frustrated. But after an end change Canada rallied, stringing together four straight points, the fourth a huge Pavan block at the net, to take a 6-5 lead.

She pumped her fist in the air before sharing a high-five with Humana-Paredes.

“Regardless of the empty stadium I was shaking like a leaf,” Humana-Paredes said. “I was so nervous and so excited and put on a brave face.”

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The team talked about needing to feed off one another’s energy on the court because they normally thrive on the crowd. So any chance they get to ignite one another here at the Olympics, they take full advantage of it. 

Thousands of blue seats around the venue sat empty because of COVID restrictions — a similar scene at every Olympic venue in Tokyo, still in a state of emergency.

WATCH | Pavan, Humana-Paredes win opener in straight sets:

Canada’s Melissa Humana-Paredes and Sarah Pavan opened their Tokyo 2020 beach volleyball campaign with a straight-sets (21-16, 21-14) win over the Netherlands’ Katja Stam and Raisa School. 5:34

The Canadians started to pull away slowly from the Dutch. Pavan’s 6-foot-5 frame was a huge advantage at the net, blocking another Dutch smash to make the score 14-10. 

The Dutch were visibly frustrated by Pavan’s daunting presence at the net and started making unforced errors. The Canadian duo then cruised to a 21-16 opening-set victory.

“We came out a little slow just getting used to the environment, nerves, excitement, everything. We settled in pretty quickly,” Pavan said. 

The Dutch weren’t about to go away too easily in the second set, going shot for shot with the Canadians. Canada mounted a 12-9 lead before a technical timeout for crews to rake the sand court.

Humana-Paredes then took her defensive game to a different level and at times was seemingly all over the court, digging up balls that seemed destined to touch sand. 

Pavan’s presence at the net continually frustrated the Canadians’ Dutch opponents. (AFP via Getty Images)

The experience, poise and power of the Canadians proved to be too much for the Dutch duo. Pavan and Humana-Paredes finished off the match winning the second set, 21-14. 

“Our game plan was on point. We executed our serving game very well and our defensive system. We were very prepared,” Pavan said. 

She finished with four block points and 11 attack points. 

One of the key strengths to Humana-Paredes and Pavan’s game is their ability to communicate. Because of the silent venue their strategy could be heard very clearly throughout the venue. They were constantly talking to one another and sharing information to each other and it slowly wore down the Dutch. 

WATCH | Pavan, Humana-Paredes headed for history:

On this week’s episode of Team Canada Today, we go behind the scenes at training while Andi Petrillo tells you all you need to know about Olympic beach volleyball. 7:57

“That’s something we’ve been working on and it’s a cornerstone of our team,” Humana-Paredes said. “Our communication on and off the court, we put so much work into that. Communication is what we always come back to.”

Pavan and Humana-Paredes now take on Germany in their second match of the tournament in Pool A. 

There are 24 teams competing at the women’s beach volleyball tournament, including another Canadian duo made up of Heather Barnsley and Brandie Wilkerson. They play China in their first game on Saturday night in Tokyo. 

There are six groups made up of four teams. The top two teams from each group advance, with four more joining them in the round of 16. Then that gets trimmed down to eight teams, four teams and then the gold medal game. 

That’s the game Pavan and Humana-Paredes are targeting and are off to a perfect start. 

“It’s such an honour to be here and surreal. It’s something I’ve dreamt of since I was a little girl. I just want to soak it all in.”

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Coyotes trade Oliver Ekman-Larsson, Conor Garland to Canucks – Arizona Sports

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Oliver Ekman-Larsson #23 of the Arizona Coyotes during the NHL game against the Montreal Canadiens at Gila River Arena on October 30, 2019 in Glendale, Arizona. The Canadiens defeated the Coyotes 4-1. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

The Arizona Coyotes traded captain and defenseman Oliver Ekman-Larsson to the Vancouver Canucks, as well as forward Conor Garland, the team announced Friday.

Arizona Sports’ John Gambadoro first reported talks of the deal.

In return, the Coyotes will get forwards Jay Beagle, Loui Eriksson, Antoine Roussel and the 9th overall pick in the 2021 NHL Draft that was used to select Dylan Guenther. Arizona also receives a 2022 second-round pick and a 2023 seventh-round selection.

“On behalf of the entire organization, I would like to thank Oliver for everything that he has done for the Coyotes the past 10 years,” Coyotes general manager Bill Armstrong said in a press release. “He is a tremendous player and person and we wish him and Conor the best of luck in the future.

“We are very pleased to acquire the ninth overall draft choice in this year’s NHL Draft along with Loui, Antoine and Jay. Loui and Jay are both Stanley Cup champions and along with Antoine, they are all solid veterans who will provide us with great leadership and experience.”

Ekman-Larsson, 30, has spent the entirety of his NHL career with the Coyotes after being selected sixth overall in the 2009 NHL Draft. The defenseman has 128 goals and 260 points over his Arizona career, for a total of 388 points.

Last season, Ekman-Larsson recorded three goals and 21 assists in 46 games. He has been the captain of the team for the last three seasons.

The Coyotes signed Ekman-Larsson to an eight-year, $66 million extension in the summer of 2018, a deal that has six more seasons left on it for $8.25 million each year. According to Gambadoro, Arizona will pay for roughly $1.2 million of that salary each of the next six years.

The 25-year-old Garland has been one of the Coyotes’ primary goal scorers in the previous two seasons. The winger had a team-high 22 goals in the 2019-20 season and 12 last season.

Garland is a restricted free agent this offseason.

Beagle, 35, had five points in 30 games last season while the 31-year-old Roussel contributed four points in 35 games. Lastly, the 36-year-old Eriksson played in only seven games.

Roussel is on an expiring deal worth $3 million next year, as are Beagle ($3 million) and Eriksson ($6 million).

The 2021 NHL Draft takes place on Friday.

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