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Wed, 01 May 2013 02:15:09 GMT
2013 NHL Stanley Cup Playoff Predictions

A series by series predictions for the 1st round of the Stanley Cup playoffs and a glimpse into the next 3 rounds. The NHL playoffs since the 2004-05 lockout has been a unpredictable beast. You make the playoffs on the last day of the regular season and you find your way to the Stanley Cup finals. What makes a good regular season team is clearly not what makes a good playoff team. Here's my sense of what might happen this playoff season.

Wild v Blackhawks

The Minnesota Wild have badly underperformed and scratched their way into a playoff spot. That said, a hot goalie and some timely scoring might give them a chance. But goaltending and scoring have not been their forte this season. They do have some grit with Cal Clutterbuck, but on the whole this team is soft. Not a recipe for winning the Lord Stanley's mug. An underdog to win a series and a longshot to win it all.

And the Wild are playing the recent Stanley Cup winning Chicago Blackhawks. The Hawks are loaded with talent; Jonathan Toews, Patrick Kane. Their was the question of goaltending at the start of the season, but Corey Crawford has been great. The consensus is that the Hawks are the team to beat in the West.

Winner: Blackhawks

Red Wings v Ducks

This isn't the Red Wings we knew in years past. There's no Nicklas Lidstrom. End of story. It's just not the same team.

The Ducks have been an off-and-on team for years with Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry. They even won a Stanley Cup a few years back. I don't think this team has the depth to make it far in the playoffs, but I do think they have enough to handle the Wings. Saku Koivu and Teemu Selanne are getting older by the day.

Winner: Ducks

Sharks v Canucks

For the 1st time in a long while, the Sharks aren't expected to do anything this playoff. They're suppose to boy out to the much better Canucks. And with perenial non-playoff performers like Joe Thornton, they have every excuse. But remember, they are very deep in talent and someday, if Joe is willing, they might surprise in the playoffs. And don't forget, that's a Cup winning goalie between the pipes; Anti Niemi.

The Canucks are very much like the Sharks of a few years ago. Some playoff success, but everybody expected so much more. And because of injury, they'll be starting the playoffs with long-time playoff disappointment Roberto Luongo in net. Whichever team loses this series, will cement their reputation as playoff losers.

Winner: Canucks

Kings v Blues

An extremely talented team that should have little problem taking care of the Blues. But I'm not sure a team led by the party boys (Jeff Carter and Mike Richards) can make it two years in a row. I'm thinking the hangover from last summer hasn't quite warn off yet.

The Blues are... well... a blue colar team. No stars and a lot of names even I don't recognize. Just a lot of hard work. Their goaltending load was split between three goalies. It's very rare that teams with no talent advance in the playoffs.

Winner: Kings

Islanders v Penguins

The worst run organization in the NHL made the playoffs on the back of their one superstar John Tavares. That's about as far as they'll get. I doubt they could handle an injury riddled Penguins lineup in a seven game series. And the Pens are getting healthy.

If Sidney Crosby returns to the form he displayed early this year, then we might see a 16 game winning streak. Unless... remember last year... total collapse of the flower.

Winner: Penguins

Senators v Canadiens

Senators played way over their heads all year. Now they have a healthy Erik Karlsson and Craig Anderson. They can steal a round, at most.

The Canadiens are looking back between the pipes and putting their faith in Carey Price. A career 8-15 playoff record. This might be Price's last chance. If he falters again, then the fans in Montreal might start calling for a change.

Winner: Canadiens

Rangers v Capitals

I really liked the makeup of the Rangers at the start of the season. Things didn't go as expect and the team was rebuilt mid-season. Mid-season of an already short season. Henrik Lundqvist could put the team on his back lead them thru a few playoff rounds, but I doubt it. Teams rebuilt mid-season rarely go anywhere in the playoffs.

Alex Ovechkin is on fire and we're heading into the playoffs. This team is gonna live and die on his stick. I don't see much problem dispensing the Rangers. Then... in the 2nd round, it's OV time or bust.

Winner: Capitals

Leafs v Bruins

As a long-time Leafs fan, what a relief. Playoff games. Everything sits on James Reimer's shoulders. They're a tough and fast team that can score. Can they keep the puck out of the net? Reimer did it all year.

The Bruins are either the toughest team in the playoffs or the 2nd toughest. And the Leafs are either the toughest or 2nd. Expect a lot of hitting. Fighting. Injuries. Whomever wins is likely gonna get beat the next round anyway. This is war.

Winner: Bruins

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

Wed, 15 Sep 2010 23:52:45 GMT
Marketa Linden, Talk-Sports Cyber-Bully
Marketa Linden is a bully who lives on the Sidney Crosby girlfriend forum. She claims to be a super model, singer and royalty. Nobody has any pictures of her modeling, nor has anybody been able to find a copy of her single “The Life in the Confidence.” She claims her title is Her Royal Highness Princess Marketa of Bohemia, Duchess of Windsor, but I highly doubt that’s true. She appears to have a Czech upbringing, which might explain why her written English is nearly incomprehensible and full of mispelt words.

She quite often send emails using fake names. But it’s obviously the same person as the messages contain the same nearly incomprehensible English and spelling mistakes.

She claims that Kathy Leutner, Sidney Crosby’s girlfriend is harassing her and making death threats. She has never been able to substantiate the death threats. She has provided screenshot of abusive comments left on her Blogspot blog. There’s no proof that the comments are actually from Kathy Leutner.
http://twitpic.com/2n1amj
http://twitpic.com/2n19b2

She began contacting me in April of this year with wild accusation and within a week was threatening to sue Talk-Sports for $1,000,000.
http://www.talk-sports.net/game/?guid=20100414162052
Lately, I was contact by Pittsburgh Penguins security. It appears she’s been sending the same threatening emails to Penguin staff.

Marketa’s Blogspot blog
http://whatmarketawears.blogspot.com/

Cache of her blog before she protected it
http://tinyurl.com/2vvyp5v

Marketa’s Czech blog
http://linden.blog.idnes.cz/

Pic of Marketa
http://i416.photobucket.com/albums/pp242/BRITANNY_album/Image013.jpg

Press releases about Marketa
http://marketalinden.134101.free-press-release.com/

Marketa’s Facebook
http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1172351270

Marketa’s Twitter
http://twitter.com/Piyoneer

Another of her blogs.
http://piyoneer.com/blog/index.php

Her corporate website.
http://www.communicatconsulting.co.uk/

Example of her Talk-Sports comments
http://www.talk-sports.net/ip/posts.aspx/86.9.112.110
Mon, 19 Oct 2009 17:31:54 GMT
NHL Eastern Conference Predictions
These are my predictions for the NHL Eastern Conference.

Rangers

The Rangers are off to a great start. Nothing new. Lunqvist does this every year. Don't credit anybody but Lunqvist and laugh at hockey analysis who make anything of the Rangers fast start. Lunqvist comes back to Earth as the season wears on him.

Senators

If Leclaire keeps it up, then expect the Sens near the top of the Northeast division.

Capitals and Penguins

The Pens and Caps will shoot it out again for the conference title.

Sabres

If Miller remains healthy, then the Sabres are playoff bound.

Thrashers

Great start. Maybe they can make the playoffs. Maybe. It's 50-50.

Devils

Still getting worse and relying on Brodeur more than ever. Brodeur will likely get them into the playoffs yet again. Someday he won't.

Flyers

Amazing team outside of management and goaltending. How do you put Randy Jones up for grabs? How do you gamble on the Emery headcase? If Emery doesn't implode the team, then they make the playoffs.

Bruins

Should easily make playoffs. GM is executive of the year for the Kessel trade. Last 12 months have put them into Stanley Cup contention for the next 10 years.

Lightning

They can't play defense. I feel sorry for their goaltenders.

Hurricane

Getting old. Need to surround Cam Ward with younger players. This is likely a good year for them to exit from the playoff picture and get a good draft pick. Ward may make that difficult.

Panthers

They suck again.

Canadians

Too much change in team personel, plus Andrei Markov not heathly, equals a lot of unfair doubt on Carey Price's skill and no playoff.

Islanders

The Isles will never make the playoffs until Garth Snow is fired.

Leafs

This franchise is turning into a joke. The Ducks cup win obviously had little to do with Brian Burke.
Fri, 05 Jun 2009 16:38:16 GMT
Bill McCreary Sucks
This years Pens-Wings series is IMO the worst reffed NHL Stanley Cup finals series that I've watch. And I've watched nearly every period of every finals game since the late 70s. Four major incidents come to mind and all five were in favor of the same team, the Detroit Red Wings. I've seen bad reffing before, but the calls went both ways. Let me start with the four incidents.
  • Game 1 - Zetterberg puts his hand on the puck in the crease. I gave the ref the benefit of the doubt here. This could've been called a penalty shot for the Penguins.
  • Game 2 - Zetterberg puts his hand on the puck in the crease on an apparent goal. Neither the goal was allowed, nor the obvious penalty shot. I cannot give the benefit of the doubt two games in a row. Again in favor of the Wings.
  • Game 2 - Winning goal is scored on a blatant non-call. Again in favor of the Wings.
  • Game 4 - Empty net clear breakaway situation is not called an automatic goal. Again in favor of the Wings.
  • Entire series the refs have ignored calling penalties while the Wings have struggled on both the power play and short handed. Again in favor of the Wings.
  • Sidebar. Bill McCreary was on the ice for three of the four bad calls and is primarily responsible for most of the non-calls both ways. I still remember this guy putting away the whistle while Canada won the World Cup (or maybe the Olympics, maybe both). He'll be in the Hall of Fame one day. An insult to every good ref, player and builder.
    Mon, 24 Nov 2008 14:47:15 GMT
    AHL Players Updated

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

    Albany River Rats
    Binghamton Senators
    Bridgeport Sound Tigers
    Chicago Wolves
    Grand Rapids Griffins
    Hamilton Bulldogs
    Hartford Wolf Pack
    Hershey Bears
    Houston Aeros
    Iowa Stars
    Lake Erie Monsters
    Lowell Devils
    Manchester Monarchs
    Manitoba Moose
    Milwaukee Admirals
    Norfolk Admirals
    Peoria Rivermen
    Philadelphia Phantoms
    Portland Pirates
    Providence Bruins
    Quad City Flames
    Rochester Americans
    Rockford IceHogs
    San Antonio Rampage
    Springfield Falcons
    Syracuse Crunch
    Toronto Marlies
    Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins
    Worcester Sharks
    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
    Thu, 25 Sep 2008 18:24:07 GMT
    Penguins look Great
    Watching the Leafs-Pens game last night, I realized the Pens got better. Satan. Cooke. These are great additions. Not to mention the AHL Scranton Pens add a lot of depth to this organization that is already plenty with talent.
    Mon, 11 Feb 2008 15:01:22 GMT
    William Ryan Malone
    Friday night, Abby Malone gave birth to a boy, named William Ryan Malone. Congrats to Abby and Ryan Malone.
    Thu, 04 Oct 2007 02:24:52 GMT
    Steve Downie 30 Games - Episode #7

    A new episode of the talk-sports.net podcast.

    Atlantic Preseason Preview

    http://recordings.talkshoe.com/TC-53113/TS-48178.mp3

    Mon, 24 Sep 2007 17:53:10 GMT
    Episode #3

    A great live broadcast today.

    http://recordings.talkshoe.com/TC-53113/TS-46551.mp3

    I talked about 5 teams.

    Thu, 20 Sep 2007 16:00:58 GMT
    Episode #1

    We just finished recording episode #1 of our broadcast-podcast. It went really well, so I will be doing this again.

    Show notes

    Wed, 25 Jul 2007 19:06:29 GMT
    Ryan Malone

    Ryan Malone of the Pittsburgh Penguins.


    Ryan Malone, originally uploaded by My Waters Edge.
    Mon, 16 Apr 2007 21:12:16 GMT
    NHL Quest for the Cup

    NHL Quest for the Cup promitional commercials for the NHL, Red Wings and Penguins.

    Wed, 11 Apr 2007 21:29:39 GMT
    2007 NHL Playoff Predictions Eastern Conference

    Sabres vs. Islanders

    This will likely be a walk, since the Sabres are healthy and had good playoff experience last season. With DiPietro coming back off injury and not having played in a couple weeks, he might be stale for the first game. He is the key to the series. If he doesn't play his best hockey for six games, then the Islanders will be in trouble. The Islander push for the playoff was impressive, but nobody expect them to win and I think they've already hit their goal, just getting into the playoffs.

    Goaltending: +Sabres
    Defense: +Sabres
    Offense: +Sabres
    Coaching: +Islanders
    Heart: +Sabres

    Devils vs. Lightning

    This series should prove what is more valuable. Great scorers or a great goalie. The Devils would not have made the playoffs without Brodeur and the Lightning would not have made the playoffs without Lecavalier and St. Louis. My money is on the Devils, mostly because of the massive goaltending advantage. Holmqvist is by far the worst starting goaltender in this year's playoff and Brodeur is the best. But, with the recent problems in the Devils organization, I wouldn't preclude an upset. The key to this series is behind the bench. Will the Devils play for Lamoriello after he fired their coach?

    Goaltending: +2 Devils
    Defense: +Devils
    Offense: +2 Lightning
    Coaching: +Devils
    Heart: +Lightning

    Thrasher vs. Rangers

    This is looking like an upset. The Thrashers are new the playoffs and that usually means bad things. On the other hand, the Trashers have a scary defense and great scoring. Even if the Rangers win, they'll get beat up. Avery is the wild card in this series. He could lose it with the stupidity he's known for or he could play rough but smart and even up the Thrasher's physical advantage.

    Goaltending: +Rangers
    Defense: +Thrashers
    Offense: +Thrashers
    Coaching: +Rangers
    Heart: +Rangers

    Senators vs. Penguins

    The Penguins are the team of the future, but the Senators could be the team of 2007. The Senators are prime for a good playoff. They've changed the team. Brought in players that have performed in big tournaments (Heatley). Like the Trasher series, 1st year playoff teams like Pittsburgh often don't play up to playoff speed. The key to this series will be Crosby. Duh!? He could just want to win now and it'll happen.

    Goaltending: +Penguins
    Defense: +Senators
    Offense: +Senators
    Coaching: even
    Heart: +Senators

    Fri, 27 Jan 2006 03:23:00 GMT
    Oilers Trade for D

    CP The Oilers first acquired Tarnstrom, who will help their power play, from the Pittsburgh Penguins in exchange for forward Jani Rita and defenceman Cory Cross. Then Lowe acquired Czech Olympian Spacek from the Chicago Blackhawks for forward Tony Salmelainen.

    http://www.nhl.com/news/2006/01/254316.html

    Randy: The Oilers may have the best D-men in the league; Pronger, Bergeron, Staios, Smith, Tarnstrom and Spacek. I don't like the Cross for Tarnstrom trade. Cross is a better 6th d-man than Tarnstrom. But Spacek for Salmelainen is a steal. The Leafs could've used some D, where's Ferguson?

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