Got a question on rule clarification, comments on rule enforcements or some memorable NHL stories? Kerry wants to answer your emails at cmonref@tsn. Nike Air Max 95 Outlet Uk .ca. Kerry, In the closing minutes of the second period of Game 4 between Pittsburgh and Columbus there were the remnants of two broken sticks behind the Pittsburgh net. The official in that zone didnt pick up any of the pieces even when the play went deep in the Columbus end. I know he has other responsibilities, but it would only take a couple seconds to gather the sticks up and remove them from play. Ive seen other times where a ref does pick up a broken stick while the game is still in play and dumps it to the nearest players bench. So why do broken sticks sometimes get picked up but not other times? Personal choice or something else going on? Louis Frlan III Louis:You are correct in your assertion that the ref has other (more important) responsibilities with play in progress; particularly to watch for the presence of a penalty infraction; which by the way I would like to see called more consistently! If any debris (broken stick) or lost equipment (glove, helmet) can be easily accessed, most refs will pick up the obstacle(s) and discard them or return them to the players bench or penalty box as they pass by in the normal flow of action. I did this whenever I was able to do it "safely". An objective of every referee is to sustain game flow. In picking up debris I applied referee rule No. 1 - common sense and foresight! From a safety issue there is potential (no matter how slight) for a player to step on a broken stick and crash into the boards or fall awkwardly thereby sustaining a needless injury. With an eye toward the potential for bad things to happen, I was always concerned that a player would shoot a broken stick in the direction of the puck or puck carrier which could result in an interference infraction or the assessment of a penalty shot. I could prevent any opportunity for these things to occur by picking up the debris with a quick swoop whenever the play dictated. The refs are cautioned about being distracted through picking up broken sticks that could result in missing something elsewhere. For this reason some refs just arent comfortable veering their focus away from the play. I can appreciate that fact and it is their personal choice, Louis. The debris behind and around the Penguins net on this play however was an accident waiting to happen. Play continued for one minute and 30 seconds after Brooks Orpiks stick was slashed hard by RJ Umberger and broken in half below the goal line at the side of the net which allowed Columbus to gain puck possession (no penalty call but deserved). On the other side of the net the remnants of Sidney Crosbys broken stick eventually provided additional obstacles for players to maneuver around. The Blue Jackets applied puck pressure for 10 seconds before the Pens safely dumped the puck into the Columbus end zone. This would have been a prime opportunity for the referee on the Pittsburgh goal line to safely swoop in and collect the trash. Until the play was finally stopped when the same referee called a tripping penalty to Matt Niskanen, the Penguins had sustained puck possession throughout the neutral zone and into the Blue Jackets end for extended periods. Another primary missed opportunity for the ref to play pick up the sticks took place when a Blue Jackets dump-in was retrieved by Niskanen. Matt set up behind the Pens goal and led an uncontested breakout after contacting one broken shaft with his skate and avoiding the others as he carried the puck out of Jackets end zone. The ref could have easily followed behind Niskanen, bent down while looking at the play with his head up and quickly gathered the sticks but obviously wasnt comfortable in doing so. Twenty seconds later the Blue Jackets attacked and play forced the referee to skate backwards behind the Penguins net. The ref maneuvered through the obstacle field bumping into and stepping over portions of broken sticks, as did the players, until Niskanen tripped Brandon Dubinsky to stop play. While it makes good sense for a referee not to forsake his primary duties by going out of his way to become a trash collector, I believe that "common sense" should be applied to remove obstacles when the opportunity is safely presented. Cheap Air Max 95 Wholesale . -- During Kansas shootaround on Wednesday before the Jayhawks faced Oklahoma, coach Bill Self told Wayne Selden Jr. Cheap Air Max 95 Uk . - Christophe Lalancette scored a third-period goal and added the shootout winner to lead the Drummondville Voltigeurs to a 5-4 win over the Quebec Remparts in Quebec Major Junior Hockey League play on Sunday. http://www.cheapairmax95uk.com/ . - Vince Wilfork has played only two career games in Kansas City.SAN ANTONIO - The San Antonio Spurs continued rolling against the elite teams they struggled against early in the season, using a balanced attack to beat the Portland Trail Blazers for their eighth straight victory. Patty Mills scored 15 points, Tim Duncan had 10 points and 11 rebounds in limited minutes, and San Antonio trailed for only 11 seconds late in the first quarter of a 103-90 victory over Portland on Wednesday night. Since the All-Star break, the Spurs (48-16) have beaten the Trail Blazers twice and also defeated the Los Angeles Clippers, Chicago and Miami. They were 1-11 in the seasons first half against the Easts top two teams and remaining top five in the West. "Were getting a rhythm," San Antonio point guard Tony Parker said. "You dont want to peak too early, but were playing good basketball. Hopefully we can keep it going and stay healthy. The most important, like everybody knows, is the playoffs." Damian Lillard had 23 points for Portland (42-23), which lost LaMarcus Aldridge to a bruised back early in the second half. Aldridges status is unknown after X-rays on his back were negative. He was taken to the locker room and X-ray room in a wheelchair. San Antonios bench outscored Portlands 46-23, enabling coach Gregg Popovich to limit Duncan, Parker and Manu Ginobili to less than 30 minutes. The Spurs Big 3 tied Magic Johnson, Michael Cooper and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar of the Los Angeles Lakers for second all-time as a trio in total victories (490) and games played (663) as a trio. "Its remarkable," Ginobili said. "We were not thinking about that in the game and I guess were going to win a few more. But even if you didnt tell me that stat, we know were in a very unique position and situation. Having played together for 12 seasons with the same coach; it doesnt happen very often in the league and with that stat you can tell. Very proud of what weve accomplished; what were accomplishing." The trio achieved the feat using the same formula San Antonio has employed this season — aggressive defence and ball movement. Danny Green added 14 points for the Spurs, Ginobili scored 13, Kawhi Leonard had 12, and Tiago Splitter had 12 points and 10 rebounds. San Antonio had 21 assists and only 12 turnovers. The Spurs held the Trail Blazers to 38.6 shooting and was 4 for 21 on 3s. "I thought defence was good," Popovich said. "Obviously they missed LaMarcus in thhe second half. Air Max 95 Wholesale Uk. So that was a really tough break for them. I hope hes going to come back quickly. Hes a hell of player and nobody wants to see that." Portland opened the third quarter on an 8-0 run after trailing by as many as 17 in the first half, but lost Aldridge 43 seconds into the quarter. Aldridge drove the lane and rose for a running, 6-foot jumper, but tumbled backward after having his right knee hit Aron Baynes side. Unable to brace himself, Aldridge took the brunt of the fall on his left hip. He remained on the court for 3 minutes, grabbing his lower back before being helped off the court by teammates. "When a guy takes a tough fall like that, when youre airborne, you just dont know what can happen when you land," Portland coach Terry Stotts said. "The longer he stayed down, you just dont know." With Aldridge unable to continue, Thomas Robinson replaced him and made the ensuing free throw. Aldridge finished with 14 points and four rebounds in 21 minutes. With Aldridge out, fellow All-Star Lillard took over in the third. The speedy point guard scored 10 points, hitting a pair of 3s and throwing down a hard dunk while shooting 4 for 9 in the quarter. His second 3 pulled Portland within 61-55 with 5:45 left in third, but the Trail Blazers got no closer. "We played small," Stotts said. "There were a couple of points in the half that I thought we were climbing back in, but San Antonio, in beginning of the fourth, hits two 3s right when were in the thick of it. It was tough to get over the hump." 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