Archive for April, 2008



11
Apr
08

Martin Done As Panthers Coach

The Florida Panthers have announced some much needed changes. Jacques Martin who has been the GM/Coach for the past two seasons of the team was relieved of his coaching duties. No word yet on if he will be brought back as GM.

In my mind, I doubt that he will. The Panthers have been swirling in mediocrity for much of the past decade, and don’t seem like they are on any kind of upswing, or downswing. Something needs to be done with this team, and the first thing in my opinion… is that it needs to be relocated.

Yup, RELOCATED. The fact that there are two NHL teams in the state of Florida and only 3 in both ends of Canada is beyond me. In fact, this has nothing to do with Canada period. Just move them to a place that actually has a hockey market! According to SI, just before the end of the season the Panthers averaged just over 15,000 fans, yet they report that there have been occasions in which the Panthers played in front of less than 10,000 people! Hell, last season, the Calgary Hitmen, a WHL team averaged 9,062 fans per game. A bunch of 16-19 year old kids have had a bigger audience then the Panthers at time!

Anyways! Next thing they need to do is just get rid of Martin. I willing to bet that the only reason he hasn’t been fired yet, is because ownership hasn’t found someone to take his place yet… but you can bet that they are looking. Besides Keenan, I think Martin has been the worse thing to happen to the Panthers since their inception. Under Martin’s direction, there hasn’t been many steps in the right direction, Vokoun and acquiring Matthias being the only exceptions that immediately comes to mind.

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10
Apr
08

Night Two of ’08 Playoffs

Montreal vs. Boston

Initially, I thought this was going to be a blow-out. Two minutes in and the Habs are up 2-0 already, they were on pace to win 60-0! Obviously that would never happen but still. Boston eventually comes within one before the end of the period after the Habs kinda slowed up. Smolinski’s goal was a bit of a questionable one, but the Bruin’s defenseman was clearly pushing his guy right into Thomas. Lastly, I don’t know how bloody stupid Canadien fans must be, but when they start chanting, “Na Na Na, Na Na Na, Hey Hey Hey, Good-bye” in the third period of game one, of the first round… they are ‘effing stupid. You guys should be ashamed, and I hope the B’s blow the hell out of the Habs in Game 2. Canadiens win 4-1 and lead series 1-0.

Detroit vs. Nashville

Again, I didn’t watch much of this game, but I was shocked when I flipping to it and realized how quiet it was in the Joe. Seriously, the Red Wings, another Original 6, President Trophy winners and the fans didn’t even seem to be into it. The only other thing I saw, was the empty netter, and why the hell the Preds decided to keep Ellis on the bench when the draw was on their blue line is beyond me. Red Wings win 3-1 and lead series 1-0.

San Jose vs. Calgary
Wow, night of the goaltenders eh? Nabokov bounces back and posts a shut-out while making awesome, unbelievable saves on Sarich in the first, and Nolan in the third. Kipper stood on his head, especially in the second period when the Flames took 7 consecutive penalties and only allowing 2 goal on 27 shots. That’s nice work for an entire game, let alone one period. Kipper ends up making 41 of 43 saves. Meanwhile, I just feel that I have to say, that the Sharks did embellish a few of those hooks and slashes in the second. Talking about you Big Joe and Mclaren. Sharks win 2-0 and series tied 1-1.
Anaheim vs. Dallas
Well, no surprise… other than the score. Anaheim comes out trying to intimidate the Stars and just take a shitload of penalties. The Stars power-play took over from there, scoring on 4 of their 7 chances. I didn’t watch this game, but I did see some highlights of Bertuzzi. First he takes a 3rd man in penalty late in the first and then they should him apparently slashing away at Morrow while he was down. Sounds like vintage Ducks and Bertuzzi. Stars win 4-0 and lead series 1-0.
09
Apr
08

Night One Of ’08 Playoffs

Oh yes, the day that many of us have been waiting for has essentially come to an end (essentially because the Flames/Sharks is still in play). So here is the wrap-up of the festivities.

Penguins vs. Ottawa

I say versus Ottawa, but what I really mean is nobody. Ottawa never really showed up for this one and the Penguins were all over the Sens. Gary Roberts potted two goals, and continued his dominance over the Sens during playoffs. Marc-Andre Fleury may have shushed some of his critics for a little while, by shutting out the high-powered Senators (can we still call them that?) Volchekov, staying true to his style of play, was blocking shots like an offensive lineman, until he took a shot in the face. He tripped over the foot of a Penguins in front of the net and was smoked in the face with a hard Malkin shot. The game ended with some fiestiness as Roberts was kicked out after a questionable hit, and he then appeared as though he challenged every Senator on the ice to a fight… I bet those Sens are still really wishing they had this guy last year. Penguins win 4-0 and lead the series 1-0.

New Jersey vs. New York Rangers

I believe this game was a lot closer than the score indicates. I didn’t catch the majority of this game as I was watching the Pens/Sens, but I did see the two goalies putting up a duel in the first part of the game. There should be much more of that to come as this series carries on though, so we should expect no less. Gomez stuck it to his former team, and fans as they booed him every time he touched the puck. There was also some intensity to this game, and the fans sounded like they really into it until the Rangers took over. I might have to start watching this series unless the Senators actually show up. Rangers win 4-1 and lead series 1-0.

Minnesota vs. Colorado

Again, I didn’t watch this game, at all really because I was half-assed working on a paper and half-assed watching the Flames/Sharks game. Of the highlights that I saw though, it appeared as though it was a physical game, with a goal disallowed due to a kick, and that was a kick, so good call. The game went into overtime and Mr. Clutch Joe Sakic scores his record 8th career playoff overtime goal. Avs win 3-2 and lead series 1-0.

San Jose vs. Calgary

So the newly mohawked Flames, trying to be less uptight this year than last came into the Shark Tank and did not waste any time. They came out flying and scored a quick one that had to be reviewed. Yelle’s stick was well under the cross bar and it counted and they never really looked back from there. Yelle’s second goal also had to be reviewed because the net came off the pegs just after he slid it across the goal line. San Jose did make it interesting though, scoring a last minute goal with their goalie pulled, and then they were buzzing all around the Flames end while Kipper flipped around like a shark out of water (see what I did there? Genius!) Flames win 3-2 and lead series 1-0.

08
Apr
08

NHL Award Predictions

With nothing really going on in the NHL until tomorrow I thought I would make my predictions at who is going to win some hardware this season.

  • William M. Jennings Trophy – Goalie(s) With the Fewest Goals Scored Against: Dominek Hasek/Chris Osgood (Detroit Red Wings). Ok, not much of a prediction, more so a little research. Detriot allowed 184 Goals beating out Anaheim (191) and San Jose (193).

  • Vezina Trophy – Top Goalie in the NHL: This being a little tougher to predict because the winner is chosen by votes, and the votes are made by NHL GMs. If I were voting my vote would go to Evgeni Nabokov (San Jose). Nabokov carried the Sharks, posting 46 wins, 1 behind Brodeur’s NHL record. He also posted a 2.14 GAA and a .910 SV% while appearing in 77 games.

  • Maurice Richard Trophy – Top Goal Scorer in the NHL: Alexander Ovechkin (Washington Capitals). OV ran away with this one, potting 65 goals, cruising past Ilya Kovalchuk (52) and Jarome Iginla (50).

  • Lester B. Pearson Award – Most Outstanding Player as Selected by the NHLPA: Congratulations Mr. Alexander Ovechkin (Washington Capitals), hope that while you spent all the time learning English, you also learned to build a nice, massive trophy case, you’ll need it.

  • Lady Byng Memorial Award – Player who Displays Gentlemanly Conduct: Ahh, the trophy every player strives for in the NHL. Mike York (Phoenix Coyotes). This guy racked up 4 PIM while appearing in 63 games. In today’s NHL that is impressive, you would think some would step on your stick more than twice a season.

  • King Clancy Memorial Award – Leadership and Humanitarian Contribution: Alright, I really have no idea who should get this, but personally I think it should go to Mats Sundin (Toronto Maple Leafs). This guy has been one of the best, if not the best, captain of the storied franchise, and it is possible that he has worn the Blue and White for the last night, and it may be possible that he will be retiring at season’s end.

  • James Norris Memorial Trophy – Top Defenseman in the NHL: It always seems like this one is between two or three players, and that hasn’t changed. Zdeno Chara (Boston Bruins), after having a terrible -21 last season, he rebounded nicely posting a +14, 17 Goals, 34 Assists, and 114 PIM.

  • Jack Adams Award – Coach of the Year: I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, Guy Carbonneau (Montreal Canadiens). The Canadiens were not expected to even make play-offs, yet he led to the top of the Eastern Conference.

  • Hart Memorial Trophy – NHL Most Valuable Player: I’ll gladly eat my words and say that Alexander Ovechkin (Washington Capitals) does deserve the MVP. He single-handedly carried the Caps into the post-season, riding an impressive winning record down the stretch.

  • Frank J. Selke Trophy – Top Defensive Forward in the NHL: Again, this is another that I can’t honestly say that there is a run away favourite, but I am going to go with little known David Perron (St. Louis Blues) Perron in his first season is a late bloomer that has shown up almost out of nowhere. While playing most of the season on the Blues’ low lines, he has posted a +16, 14 Goals and 27 Points in his rookie season on an underachieving team.

  • Calder Memorial Trophy – Rookie of the Year: While it seemed as though Patrick Kane was going to run away with this award, I believe that with a good play-off run, Carey Price (Montreal Canadiens) is should run away with this award. The Habs should go deep into the play-offs and it will be entirely because of this kid.

  • Bill Masterson Memorial Trophy – Qualities of Perseverance and Sportsmanship: Jason Blake (Toronto Maple Leafs) played the entire season even after being diagnosed with a rare leukemia and he tried to never complain about it, even though it was brought up time and time again.

  • Art Ross Memorial Trophy – Top Point Scorer in the NHL: Alexander Ovechkin (Washington Capitals) runs away with it again 112 Points surpassing Malkin (106) and Iginla (98).

So there you have it, the others will slowly work themselves out, other than the President, which the Wings already locked up with the conclusion of the season.

07
Apr
08

What’s Pissin’ Me Off Today (07-04-08)

Steven Stamkos

Mostly, what is pissin’ me off today, is that there really isn’t any hockey to watch until Wednesday, so until then, any hockey news being read, is essentially regurgitated crap.

The other thing that pisses me off today, is that I have a night class tonight, and won’t be able to watch the draft lottery show. Not that I wanted to see it that badly

anyways, because I have this sneaky feeling that Atlanta will win it. Then my thoughts of the NHL being corrupt and fixed will once again bounce into my head.

Steven Stamkos, a pretty electrifying player, and certainly one hell of a franchise player, has over a 50% chance of landing in hockey-hot bed Tampa Bay. But if thats not enough the other two teams following up the Lighting with the best shot of landing Stamkos, are hockey-hot beds too. Los Angeles and Atlanta. I really wish, that a coveted young player, would wind up in a city where people actually give two shits about hockey and the game.

The only other teams with a chance at him are the St. Louis Blues, and the New York Islanders. At least they are a little better when it comes to the sport, but still. Barring a trade, Stamkos is going to wind up in the fascinating Southern Belt of Hockey. Whoop-di-do!

06
Apr
08

Play-off Match-ups Decided & Predictions

Ok, so with my extended absence over, the NHL season is also over and the match-ups have been decided.

Eastern Conference

  • (1) Montreal Canadiens vs. (8) Boston Bruins – Montreal is going to take this without too much effort. Sorry Boston, but I don’t think you have a shot. Montreal in 5.
  • (2) Pittsburgh Penguins vs. (7) Ottawa Senators – First of all, could anyone have imagined that the Sens would be seventh in the conference at the end of the season? Because the Senators are the biggest chokers I’ve seen in the NHL, Penguins in 6.
  • (3) Washington Capitals vs. (6) Philadelphia Flyers – I think this is going the best series in the first round. Ovechkin just won’t be happy enough with just making the post-season, he is going to to carry this team through. Washington in 7.
  • (4) New Jersey Devils vs. (5) New York Rangers – Brodeur is going to single-handedly win these series. Sorry Pries, but the Rangers are ‘effed. Jersey in 6.

Western Conference

  • (1) Detroit Red Wings vs. (8) Nashville Predators – The grizzled and experienced Red Wings continue to be the top team in the league, it is unreal. The Red Wings are gonna waltz through the Predators. Wings sweep.
  • (2) San Jose Sharks vs. (7) Calgary Flames – Sorry Flame fans… But the Sharks are going to take this one. It won’t be easy though, the Flames are one of the grittiest teams in the league. Sharks in 7.
  • (3) Minnesota Wild vs. (6) Colorado Avalanche – This is a tough one… I realistically have no idea who is gonna win this one, so I am just gonna pick the Avs because they are my Dad’s team, and they used to be the Nordiques! Avalanche in 6.
  • (4) Anaheim Ducks vs. (5) Dallas Stars – Just because the Ducks finished 4th, doesn’t mean they can’t repeat. They are a better team than they were last year so they have a legit shot. Ducks win in 5.

There… now I just hope that I am right on half of them, because I could see myself screwing it up.

03
Apr
08

Leafs With Chance To Spoil!! (yawn)

leafssens_.jpg

Bye Bye… I heard the Country Club serves a killer cheeseburger! 

I was hoping to write a deep, meaningful post today… but there is nothing to really write about. The only thing that seems to really be going on today in the hockey world is that the Leafs could nearly spoil the Senators play-off hopes… but hell. I’m a Leaf fan… and I could care less!

Even if the Sens make it into the post-season, they aren’t making it out of the first round, so who cares. The Leafs should be on the golf course already, and letting the Marlies play against the Sens and Habs this week.

So that is all I am going to say today, because I just don’t care about what is going to transpire in the hockey world today!