Welcome to The Grill Report. I am thrilled to finally have a spot on this blog and this is my first entry so go easy on me. The NHL playoff race is starting to heat up and I couldn’t be more excited. The hockey overload is a thing of beauty and the coverage on TV is decent. But as a precaution I signed up for Game Center Live. Easily the best $80 I have ever spent. In this installment, I’m going to cover why Cory Perry is a legitimate MVP candidate and why visors should be required in the NHL.
Being friends with the Morgus family, I love to hate the Sharks. I really have no issue with the team at all, but it’s fun to root against a team that close friends so avidly support. Which is why I am also rooting for Cory Perry to be the MVP for the NHL this year. It’s easy to make a case for Daniel Sedin (he is leading the league in scoring on the best team in the NHL), but there’s no fun in that when Jackson and Rob are around. Cory Perry has elevated his game this season on a Ducks team that looked like they may miss the playoffs a few short weeks ago. With the strong play of Perry and a Teemu Selanne who refuses to act his age, the ducks are now looking at facing the Sharks in the ﬁrst round of the playoffs this year.
Perry continues to bury the puck in the net against all teams and has come up huge, most recently against the Hawks a few days ago. I have had the pleasure of seeing Perry once in person and I personally do not believe he is as dirty as he is made out to be. He is seen as a Matt Cooke or Trevor Gilles type of player, but players like that donʼt lead the league in goals. It is nice to see goal scorers also include a physical element into their game. He is more valuable to his team than anyone else in the league at this point in the year. I only say that as Crosby would have won in a landslide had he stayed healthy all year.
Perry has put turned a mediocre season for the Ducks into, dare I say it, a Stanley Cup contender. Perry has been good all year, but it has been most recently that he has shown why he should be MVP. Without Perry the Ducks would probably have been looking at a top 10 pick in the entry draft. Perry is the most beneﬁcial to his team, which is what the MVP award is. If Daniel Sedin were to be sidelined with an injury, I think Vancouver would be able to manage. Kesler, Raymond, Sammulson, H. Sedin, and Burrows provide plenty of scoring and with the best blue line and goalie in the NHL it seems as though they could manage without Dan. The Ducks on the other hand do not have the ﬁre power up front to replace a player like Perry if he were to go out and still be successful. The Ducks are made up like a weaker Penguins team.
Crosby and Malkin are out, which makes it hard to believe they will make a serious run at the cup. As long as Cory Perry stays healthy I can see the Ducks beating any team in the league in a seven game series. If the Ducks stay healthy than they are a team that you really would not want to see in this year’s playoffs.
The Vancouver Canucks are widely considered the favorite to win the Cup this year. However they lost one of the best two-way centers in the game in Manny Malhotra. I think they can manage without him but that is not my issue. My issue that Malhotra is out indeﬁnitely due to a preventable injury. The NHL has been considering changing the face protection rule for a while, yet still nothing has been done. Players are routinely injured because of lack of facial protection. Even more speciﬁcally than that, eye protection. It makes no sense to me why players continue to risk injury just because they are used to playing without a visor. Right now only about 60% of NHL players currently use visors. Some players, such as Getzlaf have made the switch to the visor because of one scare that they have had and it seems like it has made no difference in his play and was an easy transition.
While playing juniors I even switched back to a cage from a visor when I narrowly missed taking a clapper to the face. As stated before, I think an already deep Vancouver team can manage without Malhotra, but they would be even better had he been able to stay in the lineup. The same goes for Ian Laperiere in last years playoffs. Don’t get me wrong it takes a lot of courage/ stupidity to block an NHL slap shot with your face but had Laperiere been wearing a visor the damage would have been minimized or he may not have been injured at all. Injuries happen and preventable ones are few and far between.
If the NHL is so concerned with player safety than they need to change this rule and make players wear visors. It is already mandatory in every junior league and you still have to wear a full cage in college. This is where the future of the NHL is. They are already used to it. Most of these players will end up playing in the AHL or ECHL where it is also mandatory to wear a visor. NHL players will have no trouble adapting and those that can’t always have the option to wear their visor on the top of their head like Niklas Kronwall. #IStillHatetheWings
In the next installment I will be looking at what went wrong with the teams that missed the playoffs, first round predictions, and I will ﬁnally decide who came out on top of the Johnson/ Stewart trade. Also we will have a slew of “BizNasty” all time stats and milestones to look at.
ʻTrailer Park Boysʼ Quote of the day: “Asking me to stop growinʼ dope is like asking NWA to stop being black.” -Ricky