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Friedman: Referees will be looking for “headsnaps”

Alex Burrows, Roberto Luongo

Vancouver Canucks left wing Alex Burrows (14) celebrates with goalie Roberto Luongo after the Canucks beat the Nashville Predators in overtime of Game 3 in a second-round NHL Stanley Cup playoff hockey series on Tuesday, May 3, 2011, in Nashville, Tenn. The Canucks won 3-2 to take a 2-1 lead in the series. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)


The Vancouver Canucks should probably take note of thought No. 23 in Elliotte Friedman’s latest “30 thoughts” column.

23. Referees were also told to look for “headsnaps” -- basically, players faking head contact to draw a penalty.

To illustrate what Friedman’s referring to, here’s video of Roberto Luongo snapping his head back against the Predators in last year’s playoffs. Nashville’s Jerred Smithson received a high-sticking minor on the play and Vancouver scored with the resultant man advantage.

Alex Burrows might have pulled that move a few times as well. Although in fairness, he could be one of those guys that doesn’t like anything getting close to his eyes. Gets all flinchy and stuff. Can’t blame him for that. It’s a psychological condition.