April 14, 2004

Faking It.: At lot was made about Mike Ribeiro's acting a couple of days ago in the Montreal / Boston series. Now Montreal's Alexei Kovalev bascially cost the Canandian's a playoff series because he was trying to draw a penalty in double overtime. How bad was it? His own teammates are saying things like this... "I guess he got slashed. Maybe. But do you stop playing?". I know everyone wants to win, but why is it that some players always try to get the upper hand by fooling the referee.

posted by camcanuck to hockey at 12:33 PM - 25 comments

Oops... here is the permament link to the Bob McKenzie post. The link other link will probably change tomorrow.

posted by camcanuck at 12:42 PM on April 14

I'm stunned by what Kovalev did. I know it was a 'heat of the moment' sort of deal, but I can't possibly imagine how that happens to any pro player, let alone a world class talent like Kovalev. You can't explain it. You can't understand it. Hell, you can't even approach understanding it. All you can do is sit back, sigh, and say the man effed up BIG time.

posted by 86 at 01:31 PM on April 14

word.

posted by garfield at 01:33 PM on April 14

unbelievable. i can understand trying to draw a penalty (in some instances), but with glen murray coming at you that quickly? at that point in the game? kovalev is going to be the goat for some time I would imagine?

posted by lilnemo at 01:34 PM on April 14

As they say in Montreal, he's the "chevre". Kovalev is a dummy. But the whole Habs team is to blame for letting the B's back in it. This game should have ended after 60 minutes. I don't see them coming back after such a deflating loss, but I hope I'm wrong.

posted by Succa at 02:27 PM on April 14

Watch the replay from nhl.com (broadband Windows Media link) It's pretty funny (of course I'm a B's fan so I enjoyed the payback). If the refs would just be consistent about their calls we wouldn't have a problem of diving. Sometimes things get called, sometimes the same things don't (and this is in one game, varying with who's doing and who's being done). It's frustrating to watch and I'd imagine even more frustrating to play through. That said, Kovalev is a fool to think that the refs are going to whistle much in 2nd OT. Can't imagine that Sourre calling him on it is going to help their clubhouse. Looking forward to an implosion tomorrow night.

posted by kokaku at 02:53 PM on April 14

paraphrasing what I wrote in this thread: Yah, he tapped your gloved-hand with his stick while you were skating. He didn't cut it off and pour salt on the wound. Stop writhing around and screaming like you're being burned alive. Just suck it up and take the fucking puck out of the zone. The Ribeiro fake-o-rama was downright embarrassing to watch. I half expected an alien to leap out of his chest, the way he was thrashing around. The Kovalev fake-out (and believe me, he was trying to draw the penalty) was a fitting end to his pitiful Montreal career. Except for a period-and-a-half of playoff glory, he's been a brutal deadline deal for the Habs. After seeing those actors, you can't help but appreciate players like Gilmour who tried to drag himself to the bench after having his ACL/MCL ripped from the bone in his last Leaf game.

posted by grum@work at 03:16 PM on April 14

Seems like Kovalev was still thinking like a Ranger, instead of, y'know, a gutsy playoff performer. (...two...three...four...) Seriously, though, he doesn't seem to grasp how playoff hockey is different, and never really has. More importantly, he didn't even fake it right. I mean, if he had just fallen as if shot as soon as the stick touched his arm, Souray gets back and we're probably still playing today. Problem was, Kovalev didn't dog it enough.

posted by chicobangs at 04:16 PM on April 14

The refs have been very inconsistent this year, but I don't think that would change the diving / acting that many players do. What is my mind is just comical is the way Kovalev runs into his own player when he 's trying to draw the penalty. Like chicobangs said it's one thing to take the slash and fall thrashing to ground. It's another to run into your teammate who is coming back to help. It almost looked like he did it on purpose. Maybe Kovalev had some money on the B's to win? ;-)

posted by camcanuck at 05:06 PM on April 14

The Canadiens called it a two-handed slash, but Green said: "If I'd have double-handed him, his arm would be broken." Just a bad decision by Kovalev. It's pretty messed up for Souray to be calling him out in the media, though. I wouldn't want to be in that lockerroom.

posted by Samsonov14 at 05:21 PM on April 14

It almost looked like he did it on purpose. Maybe Kovalev had some money on the B's to win? Side note: The way that Theodore has been playing between the pipes, and the problems that his family has had this year with gambling/organzied crime, I'd suspect him first off. I'm not saying he's throwing the series, but he's let in some awfully easy/long shots in these playoffs so far.

posted by grum@work at 05:33 PM on April 14

Notes - To counter booing of the U.S. anthem before Game 3, the Canadiens played a videotaped message of Hall of Famer Jean Beliveau asking fans to respect both national anthems. A handful still booed. Many more chanted Go Habs Go Nice. Geez, if you can't listen to Jean Beliveau ...

posted by wfrazerjr at 05:39 PM on April 14

frazer, on Saturday's HNIC, Ron Maclean told the Habs disrespectful to "cool it". He's awesome.

posted by garfield at 05:42 PM on April 14

HNIC? That CANNOT stand for what I am thinking it stands for, can it? Oh, whew, just figured it out...Hockey Night in Canada...makes much more sense now. Still, funnier the other way.

posted by pivo at 06:03 PM on April 14

What did you think it meant!? It's a shame, really. Kovalev was playing damned well that game (and last), and all that was for naught because of his little act -- and after the Ribeiro incident, the analysts talked about Kovalev during the Ranger days. They said that he can't catch a break now because of his acting job years ago. No ref trusts him anymore. Funny that those would turn out to be prophetic words. Anyway, I was lying down watching the second overtime... and right as they scored, seriously, I think it was the only time this year that an event in a hockey game made me literally LOL. Heh. With the dumbass Habs fans, I'm glad that the Bruins are going to win it. Toronto + Boston would be a good match-up! (assuming either TB loses or NJ wins)

posted by mkn at 06:31 PM on April 14

I let all my emotions out with that goal, so I just want to say that was an amazing game and it couldn't have ended more fittingly. And link to this.

posted by yerfatma at 07:20 PM on April 14

That was so lame. Even if Kovalev was hurt why would he take his eyes off the play? Contrast this with Dan Cloutier who, during game three, blew out his ankle (or knee) but still managed to get back up and make a save. That's dedication.

posted by btwillig at 10:00 PM on April 14

blew out his ankle (or knee) This just in: it's the ankle.

posted by btwillig at 10:05 PM on April 14

welcome to spofi, btwillig!

posted by jerseygirl at 10:22 PM on April 14

thanks!

posted by btwillig at 11:27 PM on April 14

I just watched the highlights of this. (Thanks for the link, kokaku) Yeah, Kovalev's actions look circumspect and wimpy, but I want to make 2 points. One, the Habs were caught changing defensemen when Kovalev gave away the puck, and that's why there was nobody behind Kovalev (a forward handling the puck in neutral zone; probably preparing to dump it in). Two, Kovalev's name was called in virtually every clip of that highlight reel. He was all over the ice, scored the second goal for Montreal, and the Habs wouldn't have made it OT without him.

posted by msacheson at 12:49 AM on April 15

This is a really odd incident. Julien and Souray seemed to question Kovalev as if they were talking about a Bruins' player. And Travis Green. "If I'd have double-handed him, his arm would be broken." And then, "I don't know if his arm is broken." A poor piece of improv. It's not a real slash unless bones are broken? >Problem was, Kovalev didn't dog it enough. Maybe that's right. Did anyone see Chris Pronger get a late-ish call? The other player skated away, Pronger pointed at the ref, the ref made the call. I don't understand this about putting away the whistles in overtime and the end of third period. The officials don't want to "decide" the game by making a call, but by not making a call, they decide the game.

posted by Philfromhavelock at 11:23 AM on April 15

It's not a real slash unless bones are broken? Completely biased opinion, but I think what he was getting at is the spin. Seems like every reference to the incident in the Montreal Gazette describes it as "two-handed". Your question applies there too: why are they bothering to mention the two hands? To me, the description "two-handed slash" evokes a ax swing with definite intent to injure. However many hands Green used, it didn't look that nasty.

posted by yerfatma at 11:56 AM on April 15

Look. Hating the Habs is hardwired into my genetic code, but it's true that what happened wasn't a slash, the way one would think of a slash, especially a two-handed one. Green's stick got up to about waist-level, and he made a feeble attempt at a stick check he was just too far away to finish. That's all that happened. Anything else is mountain-molehill territory. Kovalev, no doubt, has not a friend in the world right now. If Montreal doesn't come back and win this series, he might be playing hockey in Venezuela next year. (I'm exaggerating, but I feel for him. A little.)

posted by chicobangs at 01:03 PM on April 15

Personnally, I want Bob Gainey's head on a stick. I still don't get why they fired Pierre Gauthier, and the Kovalev trade was just about the worst thing the Canadiens could make. I believe it was a true slash, that would have been called in the first or second period. I also believe that the slashing really did hurt Kovalev, and that the pain caused a brain seizure. If he was faking it, he would have faked it well, he knows how to do this. I have never stood up during national anthems at sport events. I don't see the relevance.

posted by qbert72 at 05:49 PM on April 15

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