No suspension for Frans Nielsen headshot on Kesler, because Kesler dove

Ryan Kesler snaps his head back, trying to draw a call against water.

The Department of Player Safety has been busy early in the season, handing out heavy suspensions for a number of dirty hits. In the last two weeks alone, Cody McLeod, Michael Grabner, Maxim Lapierre, Ryan Garbutt and Patrick Kaleta have been suspended for a combined 27 games, and that’s to say nothing of the impending John Scott suspension, which is likely to be the lengthiest yet this season. There has been little hesitation to drop the ban hammer, and the DOPS is only getting more aggressive.

All that in mind, you can understand why Vancouver Canucks fans would be somewhat surprised to learn that Frans Nielsen won’t even get a hearing for what appeared to be an elbow to the head of Ryan Kesler Tuesday night on Long Island.

Here’s video of the moment:

On first glance, it appears that Nielsen is attempting to separate Kesler from a bouncing puck along the boards, and as he does so, he catches Kesler up high with his elbow, spinning the Canucks centre around. That’s what the officials believed happened, and Nielsen was sent to the penalty box for two minutes for elbowing:

Here’s a gif of the moment, courtesy @choderama:

And yet:

 

Why no hearing? Why, when the Department of Player Safety is looking to crack down on headshots, especially picking the head, and when Alex Edler just returned from a three-game suspension for doing something fairly similar?

Simple. It’s a dive. Kesler dove.

He’ll do that.

There’s no real collision to speak of. It’s not a reckless play. It’s not a partial headshot. It’s nothing. Ryan Kesler, one of the league’s most egregious divers, simply dove egregiously.

Watch the looping GIF. Nielsen blows by Kesler, who loses the puck, and then he bodies Kesler off from it. It’s a pretty standard defensive play. But when he leans into Kesler, he brushes the side of Kesler’s head. At that moment, feeling it and knowing he’s about to be beaten, Kesler flails, pulling a mid-air 180 and dropping to the ice in anticipation of the call. The refs don’t see anything, but since they, like most of us, are pretty sensitive to a player lying facedown on the ice — especially after a week chock-a-block with players stretchered off — they call Nielsen for what appears to have happened.

Consider that the last time Kesler will get the benefit of the doubt this season. Remember Stephane Auger? Officials remember being duped. This isn’t a case of the league being insensitive to the Canucks. It’s the evidence for why they might be later.

Most of the time, I don’t really care much about diving. It’s scummy, sure, but for all the calls you draw by diving, I’d say you lose just about as many due on reputation. So whatever. It balances out. I don’t have much of a moral reaction to it. Some guys are above it. Some guys (lots, in fact) aren’t.

But this one I find especially unconscionable, because Kesler is preying on the league’s primary concern. This is some dangerous territory he’s wading into, feigning a headshot, and making a mockery of hockey’s move to protect its players’ heads is only going to further sully his and his team’s reputation.

Worse, when the Canucks actually do need the benefit of the doubt, Kesler just used it up.

And wouldn’t you know it, the Canucks are struggling to get calls early this season, something John Tortorella addressed when queried about on Thursday. Via Jason Botchford at The Province:

“I know the reputation from the outside looking in. When I wasn’t coaching here everybody thought Vancouver dove and did some whining. Our team is not going to dive. They’ve been talked to. I don’t think there’s much whining going on either.

“I’m certainly not trying to accuse the refs of that. But I know there’s been a reputation. I’ve been in the league long enough I know sometimes that hangs around too. This is my chance to to say we’re going to be an honest team. We’re trying to be an honest team. And I hope we get some goddamn calls along the way.”

They’ve been talked to? You might want to talk to at least one of them again.

There’s been a lot of chatter about Kesler’s play to open the season, mainly due to the increased expectation surrounding him because of his 41-goal season two years ago and the panic he won’t get back to where he was. But I’m not overly worried about Kesler’s production.

His productions, however — elaborate little theatre pieces like these? Those have to go.

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116 comments

  1. Betty Henderson
    October 24, 2013

    I don’t believe he dived, you do? Garbage . Your opinion,my opinion, I’M Right.

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    • darcy
      October 24, 2013

      dived?

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      • Truculent
        October 25, 2013

        Dived?

        Since you asked, here is your answer:

        “Dived: Usage Note: Either dove or dived is acceptable as the past tense of dive. Usage preferences show regional distribution, although both forms are heard throughout the United States. According to the Dictionary of American Regional English, in the North, dove is more prevalent; in the South Midland, dived. Dived is actually the earlier form, and the emergence of dove may appear anomalous in light of the general tendencies of change in English verb forms”
        Quote from freedictionary.com

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  2. Joel
    October 24, 2013

    I dunno about calling THAT incident a dive. I’m ok with it not being a suspension (mainly b/c I don’t think Edler should have been suspended for a similar hit), but lets look at it.

    He DOES catch an elbow to the side of the head, although we can argue about the force of the elbow’s impact.

    His face DOES impact the boards.

    He then went down.

    He didn’t lay on the ice and try to get a call (i.e. like the Burrows/Auger incident)

    He got back up pretty much right away.

    Now you’ll get no argument from me about his well deserved rep for diving/embellishing to draw calls.

    But in this case I think its unwarranted.

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  3. Jeff
    October 24, 2013

    Am I the only one concerned about the ducks in the modified gif? Anyone know if they’re Ok?

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  4. Tim
    October 24, 2013

    I disagree that it was a dive. I also don’t think there should be any supplementary discipline. To me it looked like Nielsen hit him mostly in the shoulder and Kesler was knocked down. I know it doesn’t always seem like it, but sometimes hits are just clean hits that aren’t headshots or dives.

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  5. sara
    October 24, 2013

    Only Sharks and Kings are allowed to dive! Everyone knows that.

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    • russellgburger
      October 24, 2013

      And Bruins.

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    • dontpassjustshoot
      October 24, 2013

      I call you out for West coast bias, sara! Original six can dive too. Look at Makaveli’s tremendous mash-ups of the Bruins on youtube. :)

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  6. Dave Nussbaum
    October 24, 2013

    He gets hit with a clean shoulder, but then it looks like his head hits the boards. Shouldn’t have been a penalty, but I think Kesler’s reputation may be having an effect on your objectivity as well.

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  7. Not a dive
    October 24, 2013

    The league’s anti-Canuck bias has infected the local media …

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    • Greg
      October 25, 2013

      You are referring to this blog as local media?

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  8. George
    October 24, 2013

    If you look at it in very slow motion at 53 seconds, you can clearly see his head (and head alone) was struck from the side with enough force to immediately change the direction his body was going in. This was not a dive.

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  9. Marcus
    October 24, 2013

    Kesler definately gets hit in the head….and to think he dove is insulting to everyone that has taken a hit to the head.

    Get your heads checked…

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    • nick
      October 24, 2013

      I would further your knowledge of the word definitely. Also the word insulting.

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      • Matt
        October 25, 2013

        You are, no doubt already well schooled in the word “jackass”

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  10. Brent
    October 24, 2013

    Even though I do have homer eyes, really do not think this is a dive, . Looks to me like shoulder to the head, deflects him into the stanchion (where most of the damage occurs) and then the railing on the board. head principle point of impact. Should be a suspension.

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  11. Dive?
    October 24, 2013

    The league’s anti-Canuck bias has infected Scarrison Booney. No wonder he’s green …

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    • Harrison Mooney
      October 24, 2013

      No anti-Canucks bias here, friend. I just write what I see, and I see a dive.

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      • sara
        October 24, 2013

        so anytime Kesler is taken down by a hit it is automatically a dive? That is pretty much the same BS that has helped the league railroad the Canucks the past 3 years. Try looking at the play again. It was a shot to the head. Kesler was on skates. Gravity tends to its thing at a time like that.

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      • sara
        October 24, 2013

        What’s more, if the league ever refused to grant a suspension because of a “dive” by any other known divers (aka any Shark or King), then I might buy this decision. Instead because Kesler is a Canuck it is just another example of the league being a-okay with dirty hits against the Canucks (and ridiculously overindulgent on suspensions against them).

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      • peanutflower
        October 24, 2013

        I’m not really seeing a “dive” here. I’m not really even seeing any elaborative movement. I would never hesitate to call Kesler out for anything that was suspect, but not seeing it here. Not this time. It’s like the guy who called wolf, though, I guess.

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      • Tom1040
        October 24, 2013

        Finally your talking sense.

        :)

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      • Mallick
        October 24, 2013

        It’s a bit grey. I think his head is touched by Nielsen and also the wall. I don’t think there should be a suspension.

        I respect your opinion wholeheartedly regardless of whether I’m right or wrong.

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      • Nateb123
        October 24, 2013

        Sorry mate but more than a couple of people were sitting on that side of the ice. Kes’ chin clearly hit the top of the boards as he went down. That’s not gonna happen on a dive.

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      • Derwoody
        October 24, 2013

        Watch the giff again paying close attention to which leg is bearing all of his weight at the exact moment of impact. Observe what happens to the skate of that leg. It turns towards a dead end path with the boards in a very vulnerable position to that part of the body. No matter what, Kesler’s going down at that point. So, I dare you to take your personal knowledge and experience with skating, and apply what you observe in the giff and convince yourself its a dive.

        Anyone who has ever had a pair of skates on knows full well, Kesler had zero chance of staying on his feet in this event.

        Shame on the Anti_Canuck bashing based on the past and not the present. Your comments are baseless and unfounded.

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        • Derwoody
          October 25, 2013

          Im not surprised our author has declined to review the giff based on the evidence I have presented. If he did, he would have to admit its not possible Kesler dove, and more likely, that he has never laced up the blades or played the game.

          Integrity check time.

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  12. antro
    October 24, 2013

    Hmm…I trust you’ve looked at this more than I, but Nielsen actually takes his hand off his stick and cocks his elbow as he reaches Kesler (and he slows down to lean into Kesler). It’s hard to tell if Kesler also dove, but I don’t think Nielsen is as innocent as you are making him out to be. It looks to me like the ref made the right call, catching the elbowing.

    Actually, the more I look at it, the less I’m convinced that Kesler dove. That gif seems to me to show that Kesler gets a pretty good shot from Nielsen, and I hope Nielsen at least got a warning from Shanahan.

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  13. Adrian
    October 24, 2013

    You sir, Mr. Mooney, are an embarrassment. Elbow contacts chin=headshot. What happened to the integrity you used to espouse? You need to stop drinking the kool aid you editorial team is pouring.
    Look, Vancouver newspapers have found the magical readership formula…be as negative as possible and readers will buy buy buy…mostly out of outrage and shame do you get website hits. Not due to quality journalism.
    I get it. You have to write this stuff…you are told to. You have kids to feed and bills to pay. Sad really…

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    • Harrison Mooney
      October 24, 2013

      Oh good grief. No one told me to write anything. I have next to no editorial direction whatsoever. I could go weeks without speaking to my editors. They honestly put no pressure on me to write anything. Not everything is a journalistic conspiracy.

      In this case, I just saw a dive and wrote that. That’s all.

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      • NarkusMaslund
        October 24, 2013

        Come now. EVERYTHING is a conspiracy when it comes to the Canucks. :)

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      • whoseonfirst
        October 24, 2013

        you probably should have confided in your editors… they probably would have told you it’s not a dive, write something else…

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      • Truculent
        October 24, 2013

        Congrats on becoming an Associate Editor at Puck Daddy. A link to this PITB article can be found there, so perhaps:
        ” I have next to no editorial direction whatsoever,” may be true concerning the Vancouver Sun, but may not be the entire truth where hockey talk/ opinion is concerned.
        My initial thought when I started to read this article was that it was an obvious parody. IMO the call on the ice (2 min/ elbowing) was perfect with no supplemental discipline required & no dive occurred. I feel that this article wasn’t truely meant for PITB fans but perhaps was meant to cater to the Puck Daddy crowd.

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        • Harrison Mooney
          October 24, 2013

          I don’t even understand this comment. Are you trying to suggest Puck Daddy made me write this article?

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          • Truculent
            October 24, 2013

            No. I am not suggesting that PD made you write this article.
            And I do like you.
            And i do think you do great work.
            And I do want to be friends.
            But your “no editorial direction” comment seems inaccurate when you post a link to this article You wrote for PITB , in an article You wrote for PD (Puck Headlines october 24).
            That to me indicates “editorial direction”.

            Where I wrote that I believe the article was meant to cater to PD readers was derived from your sentence:
            “This may surprise you, but Ryan kesler recently dove (PITB)”
            The sarcasm in that statement seems a little meaner than the more light-hearted sarcasm we generally enjoy on PITB.

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      • Aaron
        October 24, 2013

        Although I also didn’t see a dive you need to lay off. Harrison is just saying what he saw right or wrong. It’s not like Kesler has never dove. Either way a head shot is a head shot and a dive is a dive both should be penalized for what they are. No more no less team/player/
        should not matter. The inconsistency of calls really frusterates me and not just the canuck calls\

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  14. NarkusMaslund
    October 24, 2013

    Has the DOPS come out and called it a dive? Or given any explanation why they aren’t looking at it?

    I’m genuinely curious, Harrison, if you think it’s a 2 minute penalty or not? The fact that Nielsen doesn’t seem to react like it’s ridiculous suggests to me that Nielsen did indeed catch him with the elbow (intentionally or otherwise). How severe? Hard to say, although it does look like he catches the dasher/stanchion/boards on the way down as well. Kesler does get up pretty much right away. Dunno. The lack of injury and severity means I’d be ok without a suspension, but I certainly think the evidence is there to justify a 2 minute minor.

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  15. Hoser25
    October 24, 2013

    The head was the principal point of contact. This alone has been justification for past suspensions. It obviously wasn’t severe enough to knock him out, and i think this was much more “incidental” than many others we’ve seen. I don’t think Kesler dove, either; I would stumble if I caught an elbow on the chin while reaching for the puck. I think Nielsen is a d-bag for throwing his elbow and was appropriately penalized, end of story….unless he does something like this again.

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  16. Naturalmystic
    October 24, 2013

    Kesler embellished the hit and laid on the ice like he was pole axed. Unless it is Scott or LaPierre laying out Kesler there will be no action by the league. Kesler earned that rep now he has to wear it.

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    • Mike
      October 24, 2013

      Naturalmystic is usually a bear-baiting troll but, on this point, I have to agree. Kesler seemingly embellished and his reputation may have given the league their justification for not suspending Nielsen. Either that or they have started to suspend to the injury exclusively. Either way, Kesler (one of my favourite players, I have to say) does something similar often enough that he has lost the benefit of the doubt. And justifiably so, IMO.

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      • dontpassjustshoot
        October 24, 2013

        Thank you, Mike, for showing more journalistic professionalism than the writers of the article! You watched the gif and write “Kesler seemingly embellished”. I watched the video closely and don’t agree with your opinion, but I have no issue with you writing this.

        PITB pompously states as absolute fact: “It’s simple. Kesler dove”.

        An unbiassed writer would acknowledge that it’s a tough call and there’s a possibility of error. After all, if your head is being targeted, your reflex is to jerk it away, so a lot of true headshots as well as honest accidents will have a big element of the recipient honestly flinching back. Do players have some weird moral responsibility to hold very still and wait for whatever followthrough the other guy chooses to give? Reflexes prevent that anyway.

        I personally think even if the recipient embellishes on a headshot (raised elbow like that), the league still needs to look at the fact that the head was targeted if they claim to be cracking down on it and at least make a phone call. Maybe the writers don’t consider that an issue to touch on in an article with the words “no suspension because” in the title.

        Maybe the writers don’t think players are capable of changing their behaviour and will join biased people in pigeon-holing them by past behaviour forever.

        Either way, it’s laughable how the writer is able to declare as a fact that the contact is a “brushing” of Kesler’s head. Um, OK. If a New York newspaper had written that, “homer” is the only word that could be used. But a Vancouver writer solemnly dishing this out – wow, he’ll get a real reputation for being balanced and non-homerific. In fact PITB sometimes sacrifice a balanced approach to their own interest in making sure they are not seen to be blindly championing their team.

        John Garrett has just posted an article I like about “Conspiracy Theory” and whether the league is treating the Canucks fairly. He points out that it is to say the least unusual for a star scorer to be given three penalities in a game, of which at least the last two were soft calls. He mentions that the Canucks trail the league in powerplay opportunities even though they haven’t been outplayed. He’s a brave man to point this out – not just because of any recrimination from the NHL, obviously. Rather because it’s so unfashionable to even suggest it’s possible that there’s bias involved in the NHL – terribly uncool, and so homerific.

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        • Harrison Mooney
          October 24, 2013

          “In fact PITB sometimes sacrifice a balanced approach to their own interest in making sure they are not seen to be blindly championing their team.”

          Ha. Okay then.

          Amazing to think you’d rather believe that than believe a blog would exclusively feature the opinions of its writers.

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          • 19Yzerman19
            October 24, 2013

            It’s really weird to see people questioning your motivations and honesty in writing this piece given that there is no evidence of you guys ever doing anything but posting what you think. The reason, to me, appears to be that people are incredulous that you can look at the same video as they’re looking at, and see something different.

            Just like I said to Daniel below, I look at that video – particularly the angle at :54 – and it unequivocally looks to me like contact between Nielsen’s shoulder and Kesler’s head. Apparently, you guys look at the same video and think he didn’t touch him.

            People generally assume that when they look at something on video, everyone is seeing exactly what they are. However, peoples’ brains interpret the visual information differently such that we can be looking at the same thing and draw different conclusions as to what we’re physically looking at.

            But that’s not our intuitive reaction. If I show you what looks to me to be a picture of a duck, and you swear up and down that you’re looking at a picture of a rabbit, my first instinct is to think you’re being dishonest. How could you not be? How can you look at a picture of duck and think it’s anything else? It’s the only explanation that makes sense, ostensibly. But that’s not necessarily correct.

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          • dontpassjustshoot
            October 24, 2013

            Opinions, when they’re stated as such – sure. But the article is all stated as fact. From that video it is impossible to judge as fact how hard the head contact was, and yet: “It’s simple. Kesler dove.” and his head was “brushed”. And there is no balanced enquiry like people expect in a blog of this standard: there is no mention of the other guy’s arm coming off his stick and sweeping towards the recipient and why on earth it would have done that.

            I may not comment when it’s an opinion piece I disagree with, like the one about why Edler’s suspension was warrented (Makaveli’s video summarized my argument anyway. Consistency please!) But when the writers declare facts that are not facts, I’m not the only one who weighs in.

            I’ve followed this blog a long time, and it’s very good. I do find whenever a Canuck’s conduct is called into question, this writers opinions are affected by genuinely not wanting to be homers or seen as homers, and so lean too far the other way.

            An example of this is hammering Kesler in a whole article about an alleged dive on inconclusive video evidence but never noticing, “hmm, that’s odd; six minutes of penalties against Henrik Sedin, top scorer. How many other teams’ stars get that many penalties on that kind of call – wow, that third one wasn’t a trip at all, the other guy literally stepped onto his stick and slipped?” You can’t have missed it, as you’ve been plugging an (affectionately?) mocking gif of Henrik’s response ever since the game, which would have been a good hook for a story. But a story that might come across as homerism.

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            • Harrison Mooney
              October 24, 2013

              Henrik would probably get fewer penalties if he hooked people less, I dunno.

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          • nateb123
            October 24, 2013

            Protip: Arguing with people in the comments makes you look like a douche with something to prove. Your reaction colours these proceedings a lot more than what commenters say and your responses lend credibility to you being far from objective in your claim Kes dove.

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            • Daniel Wagner
              October 24, 2013

              Oh please. We reply to comments because we like to engage people. In general, we prefer blogs where the author responds to people in the comments, so that’s the way we run our blog.

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              • nateb123
                October 25, 2013

                I was unclear. I have nothing against discussion involving the authors. Everyone enjoys that level of involvement better, I’m sure. PITB has a great comments section because of that.

                But Mooney doesn’t know how to acquit himself with any sort of dignity. Being explicitly clear in his condescension and dismissiveness when speaking to people who have posted some very real and frankly more intelligent analysis of the situation than he has is just digging his hole deeper. All this “Uh huh” and “I dunno” is the written analog of rolling his eyes in reply.

                Weirdly people get confrontational when you’re a dick to them. Especially when they’re loyal readers who generally value what’s said here and felt this was a significant enough dip in quality to make mention of. So another protip if I may. When people give enough of a crap to craft a long comment and that sentiment is echoed nearly a hundred times: listen. You want to engage people? Show them you give a shit about what they say instead of just trying to argue with them.

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        • andy
          October 24, 2013

          this comment is more thoughtful and better written than anything that’s appeared in PITB in a long, long time.

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  17. phoenixfire3
    October 24, 2013

    Nielsen takes his left hand off his stick in order to pop Kesler in the jaw on the way by. Whether or not Kesler exaggerated his reaction to the hit or not is irrelevant in my opinion, since the head was the principal point of contact. I’d love to see a front view of the hit so it would be easier to judge the force of the hit and therefore the extent (if any) of Kesler’s “dive”.

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  18. steveB
    October 24, 2013

    did Dan Russell hack Harrison Mooney’s account?
    :-\

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  19. PB
    October 24, 2013

    I usually agree with you but I think you’re way off on this one. I think he took the hit, it was a relatively glancing blow — but Nielsen clearly jerked his shoulder upwards slightly at the point of contact, hit Kesler’s head, and the force of the impact was mainly him hitting the edge of the boards. It wasn’t the hardest hit in the world, I don’t think it was particularly dirty, I do think it was a penalty and I don’t think it should be suspendable. Kesler has done a lot of diving and yapping which colours his reputation but this is not a good example of a dive.

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  20. J21
    October 24, 2013

    Yeah, I don’t really see a dive either. I’m sure he embellished it, but that only puts him within the class of 100% of athletes in all sports who try to draw calls to help their team when the opposition gives them the opportunity.

    There should be no such thing as a “reputation call” in any sport. If you think a player dove, fine, don’t call a penalty. (Although I would argue that the vast majority of NHL diving instances involve at least a nominal violation of the rulebook). But it shouldn’t trouble a ref’s ability to evaluate each case on its own. Not say “Well, this is player X, so I’ll just kind of assume it was a dive whatever the evidence.”

    The idea that certain teams are more “divey” than others is also an absurd concept in a league with loads of player movement. Individual players may be, but those individual players don’t all play for the Canucks — and even where some of them have (such as Kesler), that hardly “taints” the rest of the team. As Sara says above, we’ve seen more than our fair share from San Jose and Los Angeles in recent years, and yet those teams pay zero price. They didn’t earn an unshakable reputation which follows them around for years and leads to direct consequences on the ice.

    So no, I’m not really prepared to accept the idea that this team, specifically, has made its bed and must lie in it — neither the factual assumptions, nor the conclusion it leads to. Is simple, impartial officiating really that much to ask?

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    • Nee
      October 24, 2013

      “Yeah, I don’t really see a dive either. I’m sure he embellished it, but that only puts him within the class of 100% of athletes in all sports”

      Not trying to be rude, but you say he embellished – is that not a dive then?

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      • Mike
        October 24, 2013

        I think a dive is making something from nothing while embellishing is making something look worse than it was. The high stick to the face that barely makes contact is a high stick but the head jerking back to “sell” it to the refs is embellishment.

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      • J21
        October 24, 2013

        What Mike said — it was still a penalty and should have been called.

        By analogy — football receivers sell pass interference calls hard all the time. Doesn’t mean there wasn’t pass interference.

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  21. George
    October 24, 2013

    The proper way to angle a guy off is by making the principle point of contact the body, not the head.

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  22. Mt
    October 24, 2013

    I’ll be the single person without an opinion. I’d really like to see an overhead angle. Short of that you just cant see whether or not there is contact to the head. I don’t know how you can be so sure that there is or isn’t–you just cant see the contact or the space between Kesler’s head and Neilson’s shoulder/elbow that would prove no contact. I appreciate HM’s stand, as I think that Kesler’s diving is short sighted (a powerplay is not worth a reputation) and embarrassing. Thus, I want to see the dive but can’t quite. It seems like it’s either a dive or an embellished head-hit. But there is a big difference between faking a head-shot and making sure one gets noticed. It’s the difference between sleazy and silly.

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  23. wes
    October 24, 2013

    The response to this article is almost unanimous. I would suggest that perhaps another look is warranted considering the response of your thoughtful readers.

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    • Harrison Mooney
      October 24, 2013

      Not sure how a bunch of Canucks fans refusing to believe Ryan Kesler dove calls for a second look. Trust me, I gave this enough thought the first time.

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      • PB
        October 24, 2013

        You’re entitled to your opinion of the play. I don’t think it’s anywhere near as clear cut as you’re making it out to be and I think it’s a little much to imply that it’s just obstinacy on the part of Canucks fans not to see it your way. There are many other interpretations here of the same play which come to a different conclusion. It’s a little presumptuous to insist that only yours is correct.

        That said it’s clear that Kesler’s reputation and previous antics don’t help the situation, any more than Cooke’s did with the hit on Karlsson last year. But there’s no where near the clarity you seem to imply.

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      • Body Schmautz
        October 24, 2013

        Yeah, Nielsen deserved a minor penalty for the head shot rather than playing the body. Not more serious than that. Looks like Kesler embellished it but then he got up and skated to the bench. Not a dive.

        HM, I have to agree with the others that you are off base on this – but dude you are defiant!

        Still enjoy your blog immensely. Thanks.

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  24. Doug
    October 24, 2013

    If you think that was a dive you know very little about hockey. You sound like that fool Blake Price. Definitley a penalty he hit Kessler high and Kessler lost an edge and fell into the boards .Kessler lucky he was not injured.

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  25. Sean
    October 24, 2013

    I agree with those saying that it was embellishment. Yes, he was hit, but the reaction is disproportionate to the contact.

    A player can both be hit AND “dive” at the same time. The NHL has not had a good response for how to handle these situations, though. If you ignore the dive or embellishment, it can create phantom penalties or otherwise make a mockery out of league enforcement. If you make the dive a penalty that washes out the original call (which we have seen as Canucks fans), you wind up suggesting that the two actions are equivalent – that it is just as bad to hit someone in the head with an elbow as it is to overreact.

    The real problem is that a 2 minute minor is the standard currency for doing something not allowed (unless it is egregiously bad) and that there is no good middle-ground.

    As for Kesler, I really do wish he’d stop with the embellishment. It feels like a vicious cycle where Canucks players never get the benefit of the doubt on calls (because they have a reputation for whining and diving), so they are more inclined to embellish or overreact when they feel like they are wronged to make sure the officials really see this one. That fuels the critics and officials to go even further not to give them favorable calls. Repeat.

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  26. clutch fan
    October 24, 2013

    It looked like he might have feigned being injured on the hit, which I personally don’t like, however it wasn’t really a dive. He probably feigned injury because the refs were clearly not calling many penalties on the Isles players for some reason to force their hand (still not cool). The dive by the Islander’s player on the ensuing penalty was a really obvious one though, don’t remember the dude’s name.

    I think you are missing something here though in terms of officiating fairness, Kesler’s is not the only top player who we have footage of feigning injury, or embelishing. I don’t think he is as bad as dudes like Joe Thorton, Brad Marchand, and Dustin Brown. Based on your logic these players teams shouldn’t be getting many calls, I haven’t checked, but I believe that they probably get a lot more calls than the Canucks.

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    • Naturalmystic
      October 24, 2013

      A dive is one thing, pretending to be injured after diving in order to get the opposing player thrown out of the game is another. That is scumbag territory.

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    • Nee
      October 24, 2013

      “Based on your logic these players teams shouldn’t be getting many calls, I haven’t checked, but I believe that they probably get a lot more calls”

      If you are going to suggest that, you should probably check first.

      From NHL.com/team stats

      Vancouver: 39 PK, 29 PP
      LA: 43 PK, 35 PP
      San Jose: 29 PK, 47 PP
      Boston: 23 PK, 30 PP

      Also: 4 teams in the league have had less PP’s than us, and 5 teams have had more PK’s than us.

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      • clutch fan
        October 24, 2013

        Yep, San Jose and Boston getting the calls… interesting about LA…

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      • shoes
        October 24, 2013

        sadly for your stats all the teams you mentioned have played 2-3 games less than the Canucks. The Canucks are well in 30th place when PP’s are calculated per game at 2.7. And worse than that they received 12 PP’s in the first 2 games and after that is has been badly skewed each and every game and more so on the road trip. AND no right thinking person cannot think the Canucks, out shooting there opponents in all but 1 of those games did not deserve to at least once come out on top of the PP’s. AND as penalties DO change the outcome of a game it explains why a team outshooting another team but getting more penalties called can easily lose. PP shots are higher % to score.

        So while I agree there is no conspiracy, I feel the refs are making the Canucks pay for some imagined slight somewhere along the way. Which of course is a conspiracy. :)

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  27. goaliemike
    October 24, 2013

    OK OK OK! It WASN’T a dive. It WAS embellishment though, no doubt about it. Kesler lined up for the resulting power play and used his recently elbowed face to “jaw” with the Isle’s player.

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  28. Unknown Comic
    October 24, 2013

    I still find it odd that diving is often debated in ethical circles, but referees making calls based on reputation and not what they see is considered par for the course.

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    • J21
      October 24, 2013

      Or deciding whether or not to make a call because the score’s tied, or because it’s the 3rd period, or because a particularly famous player is involved, or because the fans shouted, or because it’s the playoffs, etc.

      Honestly, the notion that diving is worse than partiality (or than inflicting physical violence) is a pretty sad commentary on hockey culture.

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      • John in Marpole
        October 24, 2013

        Referee discretion to make a call has been a part of hockey, and just about every other sport, since the dawn of time.

        If an official in any sport called every foul that happens during game play all sports would look like an NBA game (and NBA games would feature 100′s of foul shots every night). I don’t want to live in that universe.

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  29. Naturalmystic
    October 24, 2013

    I think we can all agree that Harrison’s allegations of Kesler diving is uncharacteristic considering his unseemly love for Vancouver’s NHL team. It is so out of character I wonder if there has been an incident similar to when Captain Kirk was trapped in Dr. Lester’s body.

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    • Mike
      October 24, 2013

      I’d be like you coming here to praise anything Canucks-related, naturalmysic. Good joke by the way.
      Actually, one of the reasons I was originally drawn to PiTB was due to both Daniel and Harrison’s relative objectivity in analyzing the team. True, they have loyalties and often have some rose-coloured glasses as all fans of sports-teams do. But, I have never found them to be knee-jerk reactionaries and hyperbolic Canuck defenders (or AV/MG-haters, Luongo-loathers or conspiracy theorists) that the vocal majority of online Canuck fans seem to be.
      This particular position by Harrison is honest and well thought-out. It also acknowledges the lack of innocence of Kesler when it comes to diving and embellishment. He loathes the presence of certain tendencies among Canucks and states it. It is a good debate to have, even if certain participants in this forum are mentally inflexible enough to see how he reached his conclusion.

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  30. Nee
    October 24, 2013

    I’ll stick my neck out here with Harrison and say that it looks like a dive to me as well. The contact looks pretty minimal to my eyes. Now, I’m not entirely confident in this assertion – another angle of the incident might make me think differently.

    But I guess that’s exactly the problem, isn’t it? Kesler has the reputation as a diver, so he’s not going to get the benefit of the doubt on an incident that might not be embellishment. And since we can’t see inside his brain to know what he’s really thinking, the officials and DOPS have to go with what they can actually see, and what they know about the players involved.

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  31. steveB
    October 24, 2013

    If this was the first PITB column that I’d read I doubt if it would be bookmarked and a place that I check frequently.
    I can read this sort of stuff all day long on Yahoo and elsewhere.
    Given the past body of work, I’ll continue to follow PITB and hope for the best.

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  32. typicaljs
    October 24, 2013

    http://vansunsportsblogs.com/2012/04/18/the-six-best-ryan-kesler-tumbleweed-gifs/

    The fact that people take the time to make these should be all canucks fans need to see to quit whining about “anti-canuck media” and he “did” get hit with an elbow.

    He didn’t get hit with a thing except some cold air to his face. for at one point being close to an American Hero Kesler sure plays the game like a giant sissy.

    Also, you should check the Kings v Flames game from Monday. Carter “high-sticked” wideman in the shoulder and wideman faked like it him in the face. going so far as even kicking his legs while down on the ice acting like he was “reallllly” hurt. Impressive to see such a hollywood-esque performance from a player on a Western canadian team.

    Now I know players are going to embeliish, but I was really upset to see a player to go THAT far to draw a call. You already went down holding your face when you didn’t get touched. Do you really need to kick your legs in pretend agony? It’s honestly reaching a point I’m not happy with.

    and before everyone jumps all over me, trust me. I call a spade a spade, I love watching Quick’s gamesmanship. Losing his mask at just the right time. Suddenly needing to adjust a strap after an icing call. His flops aren’t Mike Smith bad, but he certainly holds the hell out of whoever he can whenever he gets the chance. The gamesmanship doesn’t bother me as much as the acting though. and faking like your seriously injured when you weren’t even touched is a bit too far in my book.

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  33. Canadian Olympic Dive Team
    October 24, 2013

    Too bad Kesler is American… He would make a great fit on the Canadian Dive Team!

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  34. steveB
    October 24, 2013

    seems like a case of 2 wrongs making a right.
    Headshots are A-OK if the receiver has a history of embellishing.

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  35. 19Yzerman19
    October 24, 2013

    This is a bad article. Here’s why it’s a bad article.

    There needs to be a distinction between embellishment and “diving”. Embellishment occurs when a penalty is committed and the victim of the penalty exaggerates the consequences in an attempt to ensure that the ref notices the penalty and calls it. “Diving” occurs where no infraction has been committed, but a player acts as if there was a penalty in an attempt to fool the ref into calling it.

    I’m watching that gif over and over and Nielsen clearly hit him in the head. He lifted up his elbow when doing it, you can’t see if the elbow made contact but something did. Watching the video, it becomes clear that the elbow didn’t contact Kesler’s head, but it also becomes clear from several angles that the shoulder did. That’s a head shot. Now, he didn’t hit him in the head very hard, and Kesler clearly embellishes it to draw the penalty (puts hand on face) but it’s not a dive. Nielsen committed a penalty. In this case it was a hit to the head.

    Exhibit 13,422 as to why I hate supplemental discipline being so concerned with suspending to the injury. It wouldn’t have required much to go differently for that to end up causing a concussion. This is a situation where the reputation of the player who went down in Kesler is distracting from a potentially dangerous play and everyone’s letting Nielsen off the hook.

    That’s why this is a bad article. Arguably Kesler deserves a penalty for embellishment on this play. But no one has ever been concussed by an opposing player throwing his head back and grabbing his face after getting high-sticked. Given the NHL’s rightly focusing on minimizing head injuries, making Kesler the focus of the discussion is irresponsible. It’s lazy, crap journalism that seizes on a narrative – “Kesler and the Canucks are divers and look here they go again” – and applies the facts to that pre-existing narrative.

    Do better.

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    • Harrison Mooney
      October 24, 2013

      Uh huh.

      I’m aware of the difference between diving and embellishment, as in my opinion, this was a dive. Nielsen barely touched him, and not enough for a penalty.

      As for the narrative, I’m aware of it, and I’ve written about the lazy attempts to play to it over the years and how frustrating it is. But that doesn’t mean you can never point out a dive again, and in this case, it seems worth pointing out, especially since people were calling for a suspension on this play.

      Comment better.

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      • 19Yzerman19
        October 24, 2013

        Wait, this is internally inconsistent. You say you know the difference between embellishing and diving, and that this is a dive. Then you say that Nielsen barely touched him – i.e., he hit him in the head, but “barely”.

        I mean, I think he hit him in the head hard enough to knock him off balance, leading to Kesler then falling to the ice and grabbing his face to draw the call. Thus embellishing. Neither of us know because neither of us are Kesler.

        But either way, the degree to which a guy gets hit in the head – how hard the hit is – does not change the fact that a hit to the head is a penalty. Further, the fact that it wasn’t hard doesn’t make it less of a dangerous play. Re-do this sequence ten times over, and if one of these guys moves slightly differently it’s a concussion.

        I don’t think there should’ve been a suspension either. I think realistically it’s a penalty to Nielsen for 2 minutes for a check to the head, and if you want to call Kesler for embellishing, go nuts. But in this case, when you’ve got one player doing something dangerous, particularly involving a hit to the head that is currently an area of concern for the National Hockey League, playing up the embellishment as the main focus is nonsensical.

        Same play, but Jordan Staal instead of Ryan Kesler. How does the article read? You may say “exactly the same”, but I’m not inclined to believe you.

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        • Harrison Mooney
          October 24, 2013

          Well, if it’s Jordan Staal, I’m not writing it, since this is a Canucks blog. But if he was a Canuck and it was a dive, I would say he dove. It would obviously read somewhat differently because Staal doesn’t have a reputation as one of the league’s worst divers, though.

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      • sara
        October 24, 2013

        Actually no. You are saying it was a dive because it was Kesler so it must be a dive. There is a reason that so may people are calling you out and telling you to look at the play again. You are clearly using your bias to continue the anti-Canuck “they’re all divers” rant that the league and the media are constantly spewing.

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        • Daniel Wagner
          October 24, 2013

          No, he’s saying it was a dive because Nielsen didn’t hit Kesler in the head.

          We have no interest in continuing the Canucks diving narrative. In fact, it’s a frustrating narrative because it frequently isn’t true.

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          • 19Yzerman19
            October 24, 2013

            Well, okay Daniel, but you’re seeing something different from me. At :54 seconds of the youtube clip we get what appears to be the best angle, and it looks quite a lot to me like there is contact with Kesler’s head. I don’t know how you can say that he simply never hit him in the head after watching that but I suppose it’s possible, though rare, that two people with perfectly good eyesight can look at the same video clip and see different events.

            I interpret what I see following that contact to the head as Kesler getting a bit off balance and deciding it’s a good time to flop on the ice and, once there, grab his face for good measure and stay down a bit. I’m not arguing that that’s something he should do; I’ve repeatedly said an embellishment penalty is justifiable. But I don’t see how you can say Nielsen didn’t touch him.

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            • Guest
              October 25, 2013

              I disagree 19Yzerman19 about seeing contact at the :54 second mark of the Youtube clip. Nielsen skates *in front* of Kesler at that angle, making it impossible to know for sure if there was contact or not. Nielsen’s body is blocking the view. The repeating GIF shows there is more space between Kesler’s head and Nielsen’s shoulder/back than the Youtube clip suggests. I don’t know if there is embellishment or not, its not a clear case at all. What I am seeing here is a whole lot of homerism from Canucks fans. Understandable as the reaction to an overarching narrative has to be a strong one, but I see nothing clear or suspension worthy here.

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      • shoes
        October 24, 2013

        Harrison: You are a sensible guy and watch a lot of hockey. You made an assumption here based on past history that allowed you to look at the video and come to one conclusion. Because I have respect for your judgement I looked at it about 100 times and I see a shoulder in the head, not hard but nonetheless in the “head” and then Keslers head goes around and the jaw contacts the boards. Should it have been an elbowing? maybe not, but nonetheless Neilson never argued much because he knew he contacted Kesler in the head area. Suspension? Hardly the 2 minutes was enough. I think the only pain Kesler got was jaw on dasher. But it did not appear to be a dive, just a bit of unfortunate timing with that rub rail. (like Boyle, but not nearly as hard and not from behind)

        I think you overreacted trying to not be a homer. Commendable usually but wrong in this case. No issues with me though, as I have been wrong before.

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        • Harrison Mooney
          October 25, 2013

          Thing is, I didn’t make this assumption based on past history. My initial reaction to this play was that Nielsen got him in the head. I snarked at Mark Spector for suggesting otherwise. And then I watched it a bunch more times and I was writing it and changed my mind.

          Dude, I had to apologize to Mark Spector. I’d have much preferred Kesler didn’t dive. Nothing to do with not being a homer. I just have an opinion.

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          • NarkusMaslund
            October 25, 2013

            Listen Canuck fans, you gotta respect a man if he feels convicted enough about his position to apologize to Mark Spector. You really should have lead with that bit. No Canuck fan in their right mind would dare question your conviction about anything ever again. And there is sincerely no hint of sarcasm in any of that.

            I’ve refrained from interacting with Spector on Twitter now since I’m terrified that I might accidentally have to apologize to him at some point. One can never be too careful.

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  36. Kevin
    October 24, 2013

    Thats absolute CRAP. Edler gets 3 games for a guy skating headfirst into his back, and then we have a guy give a heads-hot to one of our top players and gets nothing ?!

    Its quite easy to see Nieslen lifted his arm off his stick to give kesler a shot, whether clean or dirty, it still contacted keslers chin first and spun him off. If you can’t see that you need to get your eyes checked, theres no biased on a Live TV feed what happened happened, you can’t just make it up. The league is suspending people because the head was primary contact ??? so the chin is not considered the head ?? i am really confused.

    This League is a god dam joke. . . . its really painful to even watch anymore….. its just incredible how blatantly biased the league is. I know some people can play favorites or try and cheat for their own benefit, but usually you try to be a little less obvious and sneaky about it.
    How the league can just stand up and say. . . Vancouver, good luck, but everyone in the league has FREE REIGN on you and can cheat, trip, hook, slash and head-shot you at will because F*@# You. . .

    its to bad there isn’t an un biased policing body to control this messed up league.

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  37. nancy
    October 24, 2013

    I don’t believe that’s a dive at all. Kesler has a bad reputation and will never get the benefit of the doubt, not saying it’s justified but that’s the way things stand. Nielsen hits him up high, spins him around and as Kesler goes down he hits his face on the low boards at the bench. You can see him after, grabbing his jaw.

    Now, I don’t think that’s a terrible hit or anything, it was mostly to the body, two minutes is all a hit like that deserves. But just because it’s Kesler, everyone assumes any physical contact must have been Kes diving, that’s bogus. A lot of other players in the NHL have been busted for diving, but nobody gets crushed for it the way Kesler does, you see Dustin Brown or Logan Couture flopping and for some reason they still get the benefit of the doubt in a way Kesler never, ever will, from the refs, from fans, or from the press.

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  38. Thanatos
    October 24, 2013

    Hey Canuck fans, this is why the league thinks you’re a joke and why everyone despises you. A *clear* dive by the master of diving and all you can do is defend him. For once in your lives just admit the truth.

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    • shoes
      October 24, 2013

      from all of BC…..a hearty thanks to you from Alberta Thanatos. Now get out there and shovel snow afore you get plumb snowed in.

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  39. Zach Morris
    October 24, 2013

    I gotta say, I’m surprised. This did not feel like a PITB piece in the slightest.

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  40. Scott
    October 24, 2013

    I might agree that the play was more of an embellishment than a dive, but I’d rather argue that it was more just strange than anything. The direction the hit came from clearly throws Kesler off balance – balance he probably could have kept better if he really tried. The resulting impact with the boards makes it look a lot worse than it might have if it were out in open ice. When I first saw the play, my thoughts were “Wait, what, a penalty? Sweet!” I felt like we caught a bit of a break, to be honest. When you really slow it down it does, at first glance, look a bit more egregious, but a closer look – I believe – quickly clears that up. If you slow down the video as Nielsen cuts in front of Kesler, Kesler’s head does not move until after Nielsen’s shoulder has already almost completely passed it. At worst, Kesler’s head clips the back part of the shoulder as he leans forward. Also of note, the league considers a change in position of the body before and during the hit in its determination. You can clearly see Kesler leaning forward right before Nielsen hits him, which means he is partially to blame for being in a vulnerable position regardless of the outcome.
    Edler’s suspension was pretty bogus in my opinion. I’m glad there wasn’t another bogus suspension coming out of this incident.

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  41. Knight of Cydonia
    October 24, 2013

    Wow. This may be the least humorous comment thread on a PITB post. Very un-PITB-like. Unless that in itself is amusing…

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  42. Nateb123
    October 24, 2013

    Love watching Mooney’s questionable journalism get smashed to pieces. PITB’s comments section gives me hope that the internet isn’t always a horrible cesspool.

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    • Harrison Mooney
      October 24, 2013

      Questionable journalism? This is an opinion piece on a blog. What are you even on about?

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  43. will
    October 24, 2013

    I tend to agree that this ‘hit’ really only looks bad because of how hard Kesler works to sell it. It never helps when he starts on the resulting PP, at least in terms of supplemental discipline, which I think we can all agree tends to suspend either based on repeat offences or injury.

    That said, this seems to be an unnecessarily inflammatory article. I might call it something like “Are the Canucks fans ready to grow up along with their team?” It just reads like you hoped to get a comment section full of venom. You can hope for more objectivity from the fans who frequent your blog, but you have to acknowledge that we fans tend to feel surrounded on all sides by hatred, whether that’s true or not.

    We all, as fans of this team, need to feel able to be critical of our own team once in a while. And our players need to learn to change their ways. Diving sucks and I hate things that give the people who mock my team more ammunition. I see our player’s (Kesler’s) actions in this incident more embarrassing than justifiable.

    I also kinda wish I was reading an IWTG about the New Jersey SO win right now. Henrik marionette gif had me in stitches before work the other day.

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    • Will
      October 24, 2013

      Upon reading this a second time I think you got it pretty much spot on, at least in terms of how ‘tough’ you were on the home team. I called it unnecessarily inflammatory but I rescind that comment. Kesler tries to sell this one way too hard and I’m as sick of this crap as it would seem Harrison, and Daniel, and I would imagine a great many of you other Canuck fans are.

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  44. SEAPP
    October 24, 2013

    It does seem like there is some contact, regardless of whether it was head or not (which I personally think it was; doesn’t seem suspendable though). The question these comments raise is was it a dive/embellishment. I dont think so since Kesler doesn’t seem stable. His right foot doesn’t seem planted when he gets hit and it seems like a natural action of his body to get twirled around if he isn’t set properly to take the hit. I don’t think he generated the force himself to spin around, personally it seems like a natural action based on unfortunate circumstances (leaned over, not balanced, angle of Neilson’s hit, stick/skate in Keslers feet).

    Regardless, I still like you Harrison and this blog.

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  45. Wagman
    October 24, 2013

    Apparently people really want a controversy – how many pages of comments did I just scroll to make my own comment? Wow.

    Keep it up boys – always entertaining (both the blog and the comments)!

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  46. Butch
    October 25, 2013

    It’s just amazing that even when the Canucks own coach and home town blogger see what the rest of the hockey world has seen for a long time, you get nothing but denials here from the fans. Simply amazing level of denial.

    Just the usual excuses, whining about the Bruins, and whatever else. The whole organization is so out of touch. I used to root for the Canucks even though I lived far away. Loved Linden and Bure. Then the nonsense of 2011 and the team strategy of drawing penalties at all costs, drove me and many others away.

    Listen to Tortorella and Mooney people. They speak the truth. The first step is admitting you have a problem.

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  47. iain
    October 25, 2013

    several days later – i do not see any kind of dive in that gif. i thought originally that you were being sarcastic, but then i saw your responses to comments and realised that you do think kes dived on this one.

    gotta disagree. and even if, IF, he did dive – it was a clear elbow to the head – surely at least a phone call with brendan should have been forthcoming, if only to say, ‘hehe, if you’d done that to anyone except the notorious US Olympic silver medallist in diving, we’d a suspended you. but…as it is, attaboy’

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    • JeremyOK
      October 25, 2013

      Often the fun in reading a PITB post arrives at the moment you discover the subtle and twisted sarcasm after you thought it was serious. Perhaps I was still embarrassed by having initially missed the (excellent) joke in the Fear the Fin guest preview, but I honestly thought this was parody until well into the “analysis” part, when the earnestness accumulated to the point where I had to go back and start again. Kudos for turning the formula on its head, but I think the 100+ comments indicate that most of us are used to laughing along and agreeing with most of your opinions…so it felt weird to be suddenly so serious and to disagree so strongly.

      Not that the dissenting opinions are unanimous. To me, this does not look like a dive or a headshot, so I couldn’t believe the range of interpretations. I don’t believe it should have been a penalty, but I can’t either imagine that Kesler would slam his own face into the boards to get a call . He was a bit off-balance, Nielsen bumps him, and he falls awkwardly into the boards. These things happen dozens of times each game, and rarely generate a call (or an article).

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  48. mb13
    October 25, 2013

    Harrison – as usual I disagree with you. I don’t think Kes dived on this play… I think he was caught off guard and stunned more than anything.

    Interesting you would pick this occasion to discuss Kes diving as there are many more obvious examples. Then again, I could see how someone could see it as a dive…. and maybe I’m wrong and you’re right…. only Kesler knows.

    Kudos though for calling it like you see it and being neutral on this one though.

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  49. RWilkie
    October 25, 2013

    This is bush league reporting at it’s finest. You who wrote this have no idea what you are talking about, simple as that. Get an education in hockey and maybe skate a bit before you insult a professional athlete.

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    • Blueliner
      October 27, 2013

      Do you have any prior professional writing experiences on consistent basis? I’m quite sure the answer is no. By your logic, you shouldn’t insult him as well. He has his own opinion on that matter and you have your own which disagrees with his. No need to insult the man. State your difference and argue with your points. Leave the hate at the door.

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  50. RWilkie
    October 25, 2013

    It doesn’t matter how you look at it

    It was boarding or elbowing and a high hit. Take your pick, it was a penalty regardless if Kesler hit his face on the boards. Once again bush league crap writing.

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  51. tj
    October 25, 2013

    I didn’t see the game, and only heard there was some controversy when listening to the podcast above. I’ve been out of town, on a technology-free vacation. In other words, fresh eyes and opinion-free going in…

    The first thing I thought about was, were the tables turned, and it had been Kesler ‘elbowing’ his way into the play, I’m pretty darn sure those gazillions here calling out Harrison and defending Kesler’s ‘honour’ would be calling it a ‘good hockey play.’ They would not be saying Kesler had ‘clearly elbowed’ and deserved a suspension.

    My second thought: Kesler up to his usual tricks.

    My third thought: I agree with Harrison.

    My final thought: Harrison is entitled to his opinion–it’s a blog, has always been a blog, and the fellas have never really pretended to be any more than bloggers. It’s only when they write something a bunch of fans don’t like (be they Canucks or other teams’ fans) when they get called out for being bad journalists.

    Keep up the good work, fellas. I may not always agree with you, but I appreciate your attempts to maintain integrity, humour, and an open mind.

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  52. T1
    October 25, 2013

    Seems as though the author of this piece has taken the ‘dive’ one too many times if he seriously thinks Kesler dove on that play.

    Someone here in the comments has already said it…. your piece is bush league and not even factual. Next time I won’t even bother clicking on any link that brings me here and I’ve been an avid reader of this site for some time. Really?? He dove??? Puhleeeeze……

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  53. Chris
    October 26, 2013

    What moron wrote this? Not only is it very poorly written, it’s a terrible article, and a horrendous interpretation of the events. Someone, please, take this persons media credentials away. They do not deserve an audience.

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    • Blueliner
      October 27, 2013

      If you don’t think this blog site doesn’t deserve an audience, then you can help by never reading another article here again.

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  54. NHL Rulebook - Canucks Edition
    October 27, 2013

    What I like best about Kes’ acting is how he really gets into his role – the way, after the “feint” of Neilsen’s elbow to his head, he purposely throws himself body then chin/head into the boards is classic method acting.

    Yessiree, that sure is some good “acting” – seriously?

    The only bad actors here are Sheriff Shanny and his cronies with their blatant bias towards the Canucks. If the roles were reversed you know darn well that the Canuck player would have been suspended for that kind of hit.

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