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Wed, 24 Apr 2013 02:11:32 GMT
NHL Awards

Here are my choices with a couple games left in the NHL season for the individual award winners. In a couple cases, my choice is partial based on the assumption that the team will or will not make the playoffs and if that changed, then my opinion would change. But I doubt it. You'll find my choices a little different that the conventional people who think they know hockey.

Hart

Had Craig Anderson not been injurred, his sneeking the Senators in the playoffs with a 1.71 GAA and .941 SV% would've won him the Hart, but I can't give it to a goalie that only played half the season? Can I? Without Anderson's heroics early in the season, this injury riddled team could very well be competing for the 1st overall pick in this summers entry draft instead of being in the playoff race. Still, I can't believe

How about a forward that played only 3 quarters of the season? Sidney Crosby was still leading the NHL in scoring and 2nd in assists with 3 games left in the season. His linemates are #1 and #2 in the plus-minus leaders (he's currently 4th) and he's in the top 15 in faceoff wins.

Can you give it to two forwards, Martin St Louis and Steve Stamkos, who may win the Art Ross for most points while leading their team to a lottery pick instead of a playoff spot? These two players rank last and 2nd last on their team in plus-minus for forwards. This isn't new territory for this pair. These are two players that I would absolutely not consider for the Hart. In fact, I doubt this team will ever make the playoffs until they break up their core group of offensive players who don't skate in their defensive zone.

Alex Ovechkin is by far the Hart winner in the 2nd half of the season, but is that enough to overcome a very bad start? Remember 2 months ago when everybody was saying OV was washed up? Now he's gonna win yet another Rocket Richard trophy and is a prime candidate for the Hart as well.

Other players I would consider voting for are Ryan Getzlaf, Jonathan Toews and John Tavares. All four elevated their teams to new heights this season, but none stood out as much as Crosby or Ovechkin.

Winner: Sidney Crosby

Vezina

Let me start by repeating the same argument that Craig Anderson would've won here too had he not been injured.

That said, people are starting to talk about Sergei Bobrovsky as the prime candidate for the Vezina. And I agree. Without Bobrovsky, the Blue Jackets would not be in the playoff picture.

I'm also gonna make a case for another goalie that took a team that hasn't made the playoffs in a decade into the playoffs this season; James Reimer. In the game that clinched the playoffs for the Leafs, they were outshot 50 to 22 by the Senators, yet won the game 4-1 on 49 saves by Reimer. Getting outshot isn't a rarity in Toronto these days (years).

You could also make a case for Tuukka Rask, Henrik Lundqvist, Cory Schneider, Antti Niemi and Corey Crawford, but Bobrovsky and Reimer were the best this season in my opinion.

Winner: Sergei Bobrovsky.

Norris

He's hated, just as much as he's loved, but this year he became a true all-star and Norris candidate; P.K. Subban. He hits hard, he leads all d-men in goals and points and has a nice plus-minus to boot.

How about Brooks Orpik? If he could only score. But how about 10th in hits and 6th in blocked shots? This guy is a true unsung warrior.

And then there's Dion Phaneuf. Twenty-sixth in blocked shots, 6th in hits, 6th in points, 3rd in goals, 5th in ice-time. Now those are some impressive numbers.

Ryan Suter is another possibility, but his team has under-performed even with Ryan playing his best season yet and they don't look playoff bound.

My finalist are Phaneuf and Subban.

Winner: P.K. Subban.

Calder

Jonathan Huberdeau leads all rookies in goals and points and he's nearly leading a bad Florida offense in both categories as well.

Justin Schultz leads all rookie defensemen in goals, assists and points, but he does have a lot of offensive help on a very talented Oilers team.

Cory Conacher is a nice story and does lead all rookies in assists and points. That said, he accumulated most of those points playing along side the offensive-minded Lightning.

I'm deciding between Huberdeau and Schultz.

Winner: Justin Schultz.

Lady Byng

I don't really care.

Selke

This is by far my favorite award. Mostly because I think it's histerical that the most recent winner of the award doesn't even play much on his teams short hand unit. Pavel Datsyuk may very well win this award again, but in my opinion he isn't even in the top 20 best defensive players in the NHL. If he's so good defensive, then how come he only ranks 3rd on his team in short-handed ice-time per game for forwards? And how can you even give the award to a player that isn't played much in defensive situations like power plays?

Let's look are real defensive players, not just great offensive players who are reasonable defensively. The real great defensive players are those that hog most of the short-handed ice-time and are on the ice in the last minute when your team is winning by a goal.

This guy should've won the Frank J Selke most every year he's been in the NHL. No other player even needs to be named. He leads the league in short-handed ice-time by a forward with 163 minutes. No other player has more than 131. In those 163 minutes, the power-play has only 11 goals. His new team joined this season had their penalty kill go from 24th last year to 3rd best this year. He plays every shift against the other teams best offensive players and maintained an even plus-minus. And does he play in the final minute in one goal games? He must. He has 3 empty net goals this season. No player since Michael Peca has scored such a high percentage of his games into empty nets (just saying, didn't double check that stat).

Winner: Jay McClement.

Adams

The Ottawa Senators have been devastated with key injuries, yet the team still managed to stay in the playoff hunt. Paul MacLean deserves consideration for the Adams for holding this team together all season.

John Capuano deserves a gold medal for managing to put the worst managed hockey organization in the NHL into the playoffs. His team has Tim Thomas, Alexei Yashin and Rick Dipietro accounting for $11-12 million of the cap space. Without these players, who aren't even on the team, they wouldn't meet the CBA team salary floor for 2012-13.

The Columbus Blue Jackets suck. If they make the playoffs then Todd Richards is another candidate for coach of the year. This team is made up almost entirely from players unwanted otherwhere in the NHL.

All three coaches have taken a bad team to the promised land.

Winner: Paul MacLean.

GM of the Year

The Penguins added Jarome Iginla, Jussi Jokinen, Douglas Murray and Brenden Morrow to an already stacked team. Ray Shero must be using a different math then the other General Managers in order to fit so many stars into the same salary cap every other team struggles with. Their backup goalie Tomas Vokoun is better than most NHL starting goalies and he signed him for next to nothing.

Not as impressive as the Penguins, but the Bruins added Jaromir Jagr and Wade Redden at the deadline. Peter Chiarelli also managed a very skillful trade to free up salary room by trading Tim Thomas to the Islanders. The trade was clearly made to circumvent the salary cap for both teams, as the Islanders were under the salary floor and the Bruins needed some room to work with.

I can't put my finger on a 3rd GM that stood out as much as these two.

Winner: Peter Chiarelli

Thu, 21 Oct 2010 15:13:36 GMT
OHL Rosters Updated

I updated all the OHL rosters on Talk-Sports.

Barrie Colts
Belleville Bulls
Brampton Battalion
Erie Otters
Guelph Storm
Kingston Frontenacs
Kitchener Rangers
London Knights
Mississauga Majors
Niagara IceDogs
Oshawa Generals
Ottawa 67's
Owen Sound Attack
Peterborough Petes
Plymouth Whalers
Saginaw Spirit
Sarnia Sting
Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds
Sudbury Wolves
Windsor Spitfires
Thu, 22 Apr 2010 13:47:48 GMT
2010 Playoffs Update

Review of the series to date.

Avalanche v Sharks

Sharks are looking at another early exit from the playoffs. I blame Joe Thornton. It's hard to believe that one of the largest players in the league, plays one of the softest games in the league. Can Craig Anderson do it two more times?

Kings v Canucks

The Sedin's took over in the 3rd period to tie the series. This series is gonna come down to Luongo and the Sedin's will. Once again the NHL looks stupid by screwing up the kicking the puck into the net rule.

Preds v Hawks

Preds are surprising. I thought they might have a chance if the Hawks goalies fail, but other than one bad goal, Niemi has been primed. The Hawks offense appears to be on empty.

Wings v Yotes

Can one goalie defeat an entire team? Only in hockey. Illya Bryzgalov is the series. If he plays awesome, then the Coyotes win. If he plays great, then the Coyotes lose.

Habs v Caps

Habs are completely outclassed. Don't blame the goalies here. OK, maybe Theodore for blowing game one and almost blowing game two. The Caps are going deep. Only a goalie can stop them now (or maybe a Kid).

Bruins v Sabres

And I thought the Bruins couldn't score. With Vanek, the Sabres appear to have no offense. Their season is done. They need to shop for scoring depth to support the franchise; Ryan Miller.

Flyers v Devils

Flyers stunk down the stretch. WTF!? This series looks like a couple AHL teams. Devils are done. Flyers are done next rounds.

Sens v Pens

If the Ottawa citizens are really lucky, then they will be able to catch the Sidney Crosby show one more time. I can't wait for the Pens v Caps semi-final. This'll be a classic.

Wed, 14 Apr 2010 13:29:49 GMT
Eastern 2010 NHL Playoff Predictions

Sens v Pens

Ottawa is using a rookie playoff goalie (Elliot). One of their stars (Kovalev) is hurt. They had the worst goal differential of any team that made the playoffs. They are playing the defending Cup champs. Pens in 5.

Flyers v Devils

Flyers made the playoffs by playing slightly less horrible than the Rangers. Remember, they only had to win one of their last two games and they almost blew that too. They are playing Boucher in net only because they don't have anybody else who is eligible to play. Devils in 5.

Bruins v Sabres

The Bruins can't score goals. They score even less goals when Marc Savard is injured. Yes, he's out for the series. They score even less goals when playing Vezina candidate Ryan Miller. I just can't see the Bruins scoring enough goals. Sabres in 5.

Caps v Habs

The Canadian, like the Bruins, can't score goals. The Caps can. I cannot see Halak being capable of keeping them in a 7 game series. Even if Theodore falters, the Caps have playoff proven Varlamov. Caps in 5.

Mon, 22 Jun 2009 17:09:05 GMT
NHL Fun
Here are one person's thoughts with regards to making the NHL more entertaining for him. There’s nothing in here that would be remotely appetizing to the 30 votes that matter.

 

  1.          Reduce the number of players dressed per game to 18. This effectively removes less skilled players.
  2.          Reduce the number of teams to 20. This effectively removes less skilled players.
  3.          Reduce the number of games played per week to 3. This effectively allows for better rested players, where games per week are currently 3.5.
  4.          Reduce the number of regular season games. I’m flexible with regards to the exact number of games. A minimum of 50 games would certainly let the cream rise to the top without bumping those quality teams that go on a 3 week swoon. The number, however, should not become so high that the outcome becomes too predictable for the majority of the teams. That just might make 70 games the maximum.
  5.          I prefer a balanced schedule, although I’m well aware that most enjoy playing local teams more often
  6.          Reduce the number of teams that qualify for the playoff to 8, with 3 7 game rounds. 5 games might be sufficient; however I can not get my mind to think of a playoff round being other than 7.
  7.          1st seed will play 8th seed, etc…
  8.          I prefer that these 8 seeds are the top 8 teams in the NHL with no preference being offered to division and conference. I am well aware that some may lose interest if no one from their region was competing in the playoffs. Perhaps my opinion is one from the east end of our continent.
  9.         I should be noted at this point that with a balanced schedule and no seeding preferences the concept of division and conference adds little to our world
  10.          No playoff round is to begin before the previous round is complete
  11.          Playoff games will be scheduled such that you are playing every 2nd day, where each team is to get at least 1 day off. This last point is important between rounds.
  12.          3 week training camp seems sufficient
  13.          Time off for Xmas, All-Star break, between regular season & playoffs, for Olympics & World Cup can easily be accommodated
  14.          Shut down 11 franchises Atlanta, Phoenix, Nashville, Columbus, Florida, Carolina, Tampa Bay, San Jose, Anaheim, Washington & New Jersey
  15.          Add a new and 2nd franchise in Toronto
  16.          No expansion to Winnipeg, Québec, Halifax. In the new 20 team NHL teams such as Edmonton & Calgary will be considered weak in many respects. Although I did intend on staying away from any reasoning of this sort.
    •          West division
      •          Vancouver
      •          Calgary
      •          Edmonton
      •          Los Angeles
      •          Colorado
    •          Midwest division
      •          Detroit
      •          Chicago
      •          Minnesota
      •          Saint Louis
      •          Dallas
    •          Southeast division
      •         Boston
      •          New York Rangers
      •          New York Islanders
      •          Philadelphia
      •          Pittsburgh
    •          Northeast
      •          Montréal
      •          Ottawa
      •          Toronto Maple Leafs
      •          Toronto 2nd
      •          Buffalo
 

What undermines everyone’s effort when entertaining any conversation that puts forth anything resembling the above is the idea that you can sell it. Don’t! You can’t! It’s purely entertainment!

Wed, 15 Apr 2009 01:43:27 GMT
NHL Playoff Predictions

Here's my 1st round predictions for the 2009 NHL Playoffs.

Mon, 24 Nov 2008 15:01:12 GMT
OHL Players Updated

We just updated all the OHL rosters for the 2008-09 season.

Barrie Colts
Belleville Bulls
Brampton Battalion
Erie Otters
Guelph Storm
Kingston Frontenacs
Kitchener Rangers
London Knights
Mississauga St. Michael's Majors
Niagara IceDogs
Oshawa Generals
Ottawa 67's
Owen Sound Attack
Peterborough Petes
Plymouth Whalers
Saginaw Spirit
Sarnia Sting
Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds
Sudbury Wolves
Windsor Spitfires
Thu, 30 Oct 2008 21:51:58 GMT
NHL Update

We just updated all the NHL rosters.

New Jersey Devils
Chicago Blackhawks
New York Islanders
Columbus Blue Jackets
New York Rangers
Detroit Red Wings
Philadelphia Flyers
Nashville Predators
Pittsburgh Penguins
St. Louis Blues
Boston Bruins
Calgary Flames
Buffalo Sabres
Colorado Avalanche
Montreal Canadiens
Edmonton Oilers
Ottawa Senators
Minnesota Wild
Toronto Maple Leafs
Vancouver Canucks
Atlanta Thrashers
Anaheim Ducks
Carolina Hurricanes
Dallas Stars
Florida Panthers
Los Angeles Kings
Tampa Bay Lightning
Phoenix Coyotes
Washington Capitals
San Jose Sharks
Sat, 05 Apr 2008 01:49:47 GMT
Bryan Murray is an Idiot

So, Ottawa GM Bryan Murray thinks the hit by Mark Bell on Daniel Alfredsson was dirty. Last year, he laughed at the thought that the exact same hit by Chris Neil on Chris Drury was not. Watch these two exactly similar hits. When it happens to his team, it's clean, but when it's against his team, it's dirty.

Mon, 11 Feb 2008 19:57:06 GMT
Sens Acquire Commodore, Stillman

The Ottawa Senators have acquired to of the pieces of the 2007 Hurricane Stanley Cup winning puzzle; Commodore and Stillman for Corvo and Eaves. Both Commodore and Stillman will be unrestricted free-agents and Corvo and Eaves have longer-term rights. This is a now for tomorrow trade and likely a good one for both teams. The Sens are trying to improve on last season's Cup final lost. The Canes have struggled since a quick start and are adding a bit of youth and talent for the longer-term.

http://canadianpress.google.com/article/ALeqM5jiurwNf1TtBIPiYm4UDw348szAkQ

Thu, 04 Oct 2007 19:08:20 GMT
Brian Burke and NHL Collusion - Episode #8

A new episode of the talk-sports.net podcast.  I cut off the show suddenly as I was interrupted while live and near the end of the show anyway.

Northeast Preseason Preview

http://recordings.talkshoe.com/TC-53113/TS-48179.mp3

Wed, 25 Jul 2007 19:10:14 GMT
Jason Spezza

Jason Spezza of the Ottawa Senators.


Jason Spezza, originally uploaded by jamesmaclennan.
Wed, 25 Jul 2007 19:08:42 GMT
Ray Emery

Ray Emery of the Ottawa Senators.


Ray Emery, originally uploaded by jamesmaclennan.
Sat, 14 Apr 2007 19:12:02 GMT
Schubert's Knee on Malkin
I just saw a replay of Christoph Schubert's knee on Evgeny Malkin in Game 1. That looked very blatant. No suspension!?
Fri, 17 Feb 2006 20:56:36 GMT
Clara Hughes, Kristina Groves, Christine Nesbitt win Silver
Clara Hughes of Winnipeg, Kristina Groves of Ottawa and Christine Nesbitt of London, Ont. won silver in women's team pursuit long track speedskating.
Thu, 05 Jan 2006 23:16:26 GMT
The Leafs January

This January will be tough for the Leafs. A lot of games on the road and out west.

That's a deadly schedule for both the players and fans. If the Leafs struggle in the first 6 of those games, then the Senators could easily turn this into a long losing streak with the final two in Ottawa. For the fans, 3 of the next 5 are on premium ($$$) TV. Yuck! Doesn't sound like a great January and like they say, as goes January, so goes the year.

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