Embellishment Hockey, The Bonino Case: Pittsburgh Penguins’ Nick Bonino reminds everyone about hockey’s dirty little secret of embellishment. Not like in the NBA, and not like in soccer, where diving is used effectively at the highest levels while being ridiculed and (occasionally) penalised. Enhancement is a reality in hockey, even though the NHL has tried to stop it for more than a generation.
Embellishment Hockey, The Bonino Case
Replays | Embellishment Hockey
Last week, Bonino sold a high-sticking penalty against T.J. Oshie when replays showed the Pittsburgh forward was never hit in the face. The Penguins got a power play, which helped them win.
Former NHL forward-turned-analyst Mike Johnson wished there was a way to suspend a player. For deliberately and clearly fooling the referees.
There are times when everyone steps over the line and it isn’t called. According to Nashville Predators defenseman Ryan Ellis. “It’s in the game.”
Embellishment goes against hockey’s core values of toughness and pain tolerance. It seems out of place to fake it.
“This time of year, everyone says they’ll do anything to win,” says Capitals defenseman Brooks Orpik. “If you think it’s necessary, I guess you do it. My guess is that most players in the league aren’t.”
Reduce The Number Incidents
But the league keeps track of them and a panel votes on them weekly, with repeat offenders made public. The NHL has reduced the number of incidents reviewed.
By the league office from 35-40 per week in 2014-15 to just 20-25 this season. According to director of hockey operations Colin Campbell.
In June 2014, Campbell said embellishment was “out of control” in plays like Bonino’s. According to NHL officials’ tracking website Scouting the Refs.
Four embellishment penalties has call on the ice in the playoffs after 18 in the regular season (the NHL does not release the statistic).
P.K. Subban is fine twice in 2014-15, along with eight other players, and Toronto Maple Leafs centre Nazem Kadri is fine twice last season.
Along with 11 others. Only three players are fine this season, Evgeny Kuznetsov, Keith Yandle, and Oliver Ekman-Larsson of the Capitals.
Blacklash | Embellishment Hockey
Bonino has never cited, and Campbell says he wasn’t on the list. Seeing Oshie’s stick push the plastic part of his shoulder pad into his jaw. He insist he has hit on the face.
“He watch the replay and was like, ‘Wow, there’s some backlash on this,'” Bonino said. “You don’t expect to be hit in the face by anything. Sorry. He put the ref in a tough spot, and that’s never good.”
But centre Lars Eller says the only way to prevent these situations is to make embellishment and diving subject to video review.
“He has to make a rapture-second decision and can’t see,” Eller said. “I think there should be a review and a punishment for the other team. Because they got away with it and it’s too important to screw up.”
A video review for offside and goaltender interference challenges is unlikely. Because the issue is minor and the league is concerned about slowing down games too much.
Former NHL referee Paul Stewart proposed allowing the two linesmen to call embellishment along with the two referees. Just like they can for too many men on the ice or puck over the glass.
Stewart Wants Coaches To Bear The Brunt Of Responsibility
“They go back to the bench and get these laurels and kisses as well as all of this affection from their teammates. Also subconsciously they say, Oh that worked.