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Mon, 29 Sep 2014 06:18:25 GMT
MLB Exit
The Blue Jays, I believe, are the only MLB team not to make the playoffs this century.

There was 3 scenarios today of game results that would've required a game 163, but none of them materialized. That would've been weird having 3 game 163s.

The 1st place Orioles, having already made the playoffs, threw Derek Jeter (right-handed batter) an outside batting practice fastball while playing their 2nd baseman directly behind 2nd to hold the runner. WTF!? This resulted in Jeter getting his 7th walk off hit of his career, his last game at Yankee stadium. It was the only walk off hit of his career where the other team won the division (obviously not a stupid team) while playing a hall of fame slap hitter to pull the ball. Unrelated, it's really easy for a hall of fame slap hitter to hit a batting practice outside fastball to where the 2nd baseman should be standing.

Toronto sports teams should be embarrassed. The ownership group mostly includes Bell, Rogers, Bell and Rogers. Go Leafs Go!

Tue, 01 Oct 2013 02:18:32 GMT
NHL Western Rankings

1. Chicago Blackhawks (Cup Contender)

When you win the Stanley Cup, you often lose a lot of players to free-agency and have to retool. Stan Bowman appears to be great with tools, cause I don't see why this team isn't still the bet to win the Cup again. This team still has Patrick Kane, Jonathan Toews, Patrick Sharp, Marian Hossa, Brent Seabrook, Duncan Keith and Corey Crawford.

2. Los Angeles Kings  (Cup Contender)

This team is loaded with talent. They'll finish near the top of the conference. Supreme goaltending; Jonathan Quick. The real key on this team is the party boys; Mike Richards and Jeff Carter. Hang out at the clubs in on Los Angeles next playoff to find out if this team is gonna challenge for the Stanley Cup. If Richards and Carter show up at the clubs, then they won't show up on the ice.

3. Vancouver Canucks (Cup Contender)

Daniel Sedin, Henrik Sedin and Roberto Luongo. I don't see this team missing the playoffs. When Roberto starts slow this season, there's nobody to take the reigns. He'll struggle thru the first month, then catch fire and this team will move up to the top of the conference. Add a solid top 4 defenseman set (Alexander Edler, Kevin Bieksa, Jason Garrison and Dan Hamhuis) and you have a really good team.

4. San Jose Sharks (Playoff Team)

Years after year, the Sharks have one of the best teams on paper, but always fall short in the playoffs. This might be the last year you see Joe Thornton, Patrick Marleau and Dan Boyle leading this team. They're all UFAs at season end. All three are likely looking at pay cuts going forward unless they return to their all-star statuses or produce in the playoffs. Not sure what else can be said, except SAME OLD.

5. St Louis Blues (Playoff Team)

Ken Hitchcock doesn't score a lot of goals and neither does he block a lot of shots, but the Blues' coach doesn't like missing the playoffs. I don't expect anything different. The key to this team competing for more than a playoff spot is Jaroslav Halak. If he returns to form and their scoring by committee continues to work, then this team could move up. Unfortunately, their lack of big scorers makes a Stanley Cup a pipe dream.

6. Anaheim Ducks (Playoff Team)

The Ducks look like a playoff team, but a couple key injuries could easily put them out. They are already missing Sheldon Souray for the 1st half and their 2nd line may require geriatric care; Teemu Selanne and Saku Koivu. That said, I don't really see this team competing for the President's Trophy or the Stanley Cup.

7. Edmonton Oilers (Playoff Contender)

Loaded with talent at forward and defense. If they can just convince these superstars to play a team game, then we might be looking at the next NHL dynasty. It's really up to their top 4; Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Taylor Hall, Nail Yakupov and Jordan Eberle. They will define where this season takes them. They could win the President's trophy or miss the playoffs.

8. Nashville Predators (Playoff Contender)

Pekka Rinne is everything for this team. He's good enough, he can steal games to put this team in the playoffs. He's also good enough to steal some playoff games. Outside of Shea Webber, the skaters on this team are very weak. Don't expect a lot of goals. I wouldn't qualify any forwards on this team as NHL quality power play material. If Rinne gets injured or struggles, this team could be looking at a high draft pick.

9. Dallas Stars (Playoff Contender)

The forwards are mostly refabs from other teams, but the Stars have a premier top 4 d-man lineup; Sergei Gonchar, Alex Goligoski, Stephane Robidas and Trevor Daley. Keri Lehtonen is no all-star goalie, but he's good enough that with their defensemen, they might be able to sneak into the playoffs.

10. Winnipeg Jets

There's enough good pieces here for this team to compete for a playoff spot. Some good years from Blake Wheeler, Andrew Ladd and Evander Kane could actually put them into the playoffs, but I'm guessing they'll be on the outside of the playoffs when all is said and done.

11. Phoenix Coyotes

The Coyotes will finally have stable ownership this season, or at least we hope. This could turn around the franchise, but it could take a few years before they contend for anything. Mike Ribeiro and Shane Doan are quality leaders, but they are both in their mid-30s. Their experienced defense (Keith Yandle, Zbynek Mahalek, Rostislav Klesla {concussion} and Derek Morris) is what could save this team. And Oliver Ekman-Larsson is an up and coming potential all-star on their defense.

12. Minnesota Wild

Ryan Suter is a great defenseman, but they don't have too much on defense beyond him. They are gonna need big improvement from their 2 thru 4 defensemen (Jared Spurgeon, Keith Ballard and who) to make the playoffs. They surely aren't gonna have a hard time scoring goals with Zach Parise, Dany Heatley, Mikko Koivu and Jason Pominville. Might be a struggle just to make the playoffs.

13. Colorado Rockies (Lottery Team)

Upfront, the Rockies have a lot of good forwards. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said between the pipes and on defense. The defense is led by Erik Johnson, whom many thought would be an all-star defenseman. He's still a good d-man, but he's no power play quarterback, nor is he a shutdown d-man. He's a good 3-4 d-man on most teams in the NHL. The rest of the Rockie defense is stop gap at best and Semyon Varlamov and J.S. Giguere are not gonna steal many games for this team. I suspect they'll have fall short of the playoffs once again.

14. Calgary Flames (Bad Team)

A bad start to the season could quickly degrade. Karri Ramo is an extremely good goalie, but unproven in the NHL. If he doesn't win a few games early for the Flames, his own performance might start to suffer, especially with the weakest lineup in the NHL standing in front of him. Then it becomes all too possible their 1st line (Mike Cammalleri, Matt Stajan, Lee Stempniak are all UFAs) gets traded for prospects. Even if Ramo performs like an all-star, this team has no chance of making the playoffs.

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, 05 Oct 2011 17:02:24 GMT
Best Defensive Forward?

The NHL award that I have the biggest problem with is the Frank J Selke trophy. This trophy is awarded to the best defensive forward.

What would qualify you as a great defensive forward? I would suspect that's for players who play great defensively, like penalty killers or players that are used to mark the better scorers on the other team. Add solid play in your own zone, which would result in your team not being scored on much while your line is on the ice. Scrambling defensive zone faceoffs would be another asset I could see in this player.

Some criteria I wouldn't ascribe to a Selke candidate is goals, assists, points and making the all-star game, except in the extreme rare case where a forwards make the all-star team based on his defensive work. Rare.

Now, let's examine Pat Datsyuk. This guy has won the Frank J Selke award three times. He doesn't play on Detroit's short handed lines. In the playoffs last year, Zetterberg, not Datsyuk was used to mark the other team's top center (Thornton). Is Pat Datsyuk good on faceoffs? He's good, but hardly exceptional. The only thing he has going for him is that he leads the league in takeaways.

How does a player who doesn't play short-handed, isn't a defensive marker win the Frank J Selke three times? Well, he does score a lot of goals off those turnovers. And he does get a lot of assists off those turnovers. The problem is those people that vote, don't vote for the best defensive forward. They vote for the best defensive forward in the NHL scoring leaders. The last truly defensive player to win the Frank J Selke was Kris Draper, 7 years ago. I dare the voters next year to vote for a real defensive player, like Jay McClement.

Sun, 24 Apr 2011 18:28:30 GMT
Vezina Nominees
Quite a battle for the Vezina this year. And who do I think should win? All of them and more.

Luongo simply had an amazing season. But so did most of the Canuck players. They dominated the NHL. Any other year and he'd be a lock. Already considered one of the best, he posted he's career best GAA and SV Pct. Still might not be enough.

Thomas, like Luongo, posted his career best numbers and even better than Luongo's. I can't see Luongo winning over Thomas. The Bruins struggle offensively and rely on Luongo a lot more than Vancouver. If it were not for Thomas, the Bruins may not have made the playoffs.

Rinne had a break out season. He plays for a bad team and single handledly put his team in the playoffs. Without Rinne, the Preds would've been in contention for a high draft pick.

Lundqvist didn't get nominated and won 11 games for the Rangers via shutout. Rangers, like the Preds, could easily have been fighting for a high draft pick had their goaltending had yet another great season. I understand why Lundqvist was left out, but I'm gonna mention him anyway.

All said, Thomas' .938 save percentage is what convinces me to award my vote to him as the Vezina winner. Not to mention his GAA was in fact below 2 (1.998), but rounded up to 2.00 in the stats.

Sun, 17 Apr 2011 06:50:45 GMT
Post Game 2 Roundup

Bruins v Habs (0-2)

The biggest surprise of the playoffs is the Bruins complete lack of offense; one goal in two games. This is due to three reasons; solid play from the Canadians defense (Gill, Subban, Sopel, Spacek, Hamrlik, Wisniewski and forwards Moen, Plekanec), good goaltending from Carey Price and weak shoots from the Bruins. As much as Carey Price has made the saves, the shot difficult is making Price look even better. Down 2-0 and going to Montreal, this series could be over quickly.

Pens v Lightning (1-1)

Not a surprise, without Crosby and Malkin, the Pens will be hard pressed to win this series. One great goaltending performance by Fleury has kept this team in the series. Interesting side note; Craig Adams has 6 goals in the last 3 regular seasons (207 games) and 6 goals in the last 3 playoffs (39 games). If Crosby comes back, then they still have a chance, but I see the Lightning taking this now that they have home ice advantage.

Caps v Rangers (2-0)

I didn't expect the Rangers to be able to keep up with the Capitals and they haven't. Only Matt Gilroy has scored for the Rangers. Lundqvist is gonna have to steal a game or two to get this team back in the series. Looks like a Capitals sweep is possible.

Flyers v Sabres (1-1)

Miller stole game one but the Flyers offense was too much in game two. With Miller injured, I didn't think the Sabres had much of a chance, but stole home ice advantage. The biggest difference in this series may turn out to be the lack of Chris Pronger. Normally, Pronger would be wearing down the Sabres forwards. Add something redundant about Flyers goaltending here. This looks like a 7 gamer. Then flip a coin.

Wings v Yotes (2-0)

It's called the Pavel Datsyuk show. Even without Henrik Zetterberg, the Wings are simply too much for the Yotes. Bryzgalov hasn't been at his best. He really needs to step it up at home and steal both games for his team or it's over. I doubt the Wings will sweep and that's all I got for the Coyotes' fans.

Sharks v Kings (1-1)

There's no reason the Kopitar-less Kings should be in this series. Well, except that Joe Thornton is up to his playoff disappearing act once again. In game 2 on the power play, Big Joe was fed the puck in the slot. He didn't even try to shoot. He skated behind the net, then out to the half boards and shot from there. Going the other way, Drew Doughty scored 4 pts giving him 11 points in 8 career playoff games. I see this going 7 games.

Canucks v Hawks (2-0)

Kane, Toews, Sharp and Hossa have combined for 1 assist in the 1st two games of this series. It might simply be fatigue. All four players have played an enormous amounts of hockey over the last 2-3 yrs. The Canucks look like he team to beat. Three lines are contributing and six d-men. And they have a pretty good goalie. Unless the Hawks win both at home, they could be done in 5.

Ducks v Preds (1-1)

Mike Fisher stole game 1 for the Preds and now they have home ice advantage in this series. The Ducks Big 4 (Selanne, Ryan, Perry and Getzlaf) showed up big time in game 2, each scoring a goal. This series is gonna be a showdown between the big 4 and Pekka Rinne. The series should go 6 or 7 games.

Tue, 12 Apr 2011 13:33:52 GMT
2011 Western Round #1 NHL Playoff Predictions
These are my, Randy Charles Morin's 2011 western conference round 1 NHL playoff predictions.

Canucks v Hawks

This is just a crazy match-up. This time, Hawks can't move Byfuglien up to forward on the PP. But its still gonna be a major mental challenge for Luongo. Can he beat the team that has always beat him.

The Hawks are a lot better than their 8th placing. They are defending Stanley Cup champs. They may have lost a lot of parts, but the core is still intact.

I've gotta believe the Canucks will finally pull it out. They are simply that good. Most goals. Least against. Olympic gold netminder. Hart and 2 Art Rosses.

Canucks in 7

Sharks v Kings

This is a no-brainer. After a great start, the Kings held onto a playoff spot. No Kopitar.

But wait, this is the playoff no-showing Sharks led by the playoff disappearing show himself; Joe Thornton.

Still, its the injured Kings.

Sharks in 5

Wings v Yotes

One question. Can you name a skater on the Coyotes? I betcha many of you can't. Lidstrom, Zetter, Datsyuk, Holmstrom, Rafalski.

If you look at the skaters only, then you wonder the Yotes made the playoffs and how they might steal one game in this series.

The answer is the Bryz. In goal, this series is just as much a landslide against the Wings. How many games can Bryzgalov steal? Four? Maybe not.

Wings in 6

Ducks v Preds

The Ducks are the hottest team in the NHL and Corrie Perry, the hottest player. And the core of this team still won a Cup together a few yrs back.

The Preds are a consistent team, that made the playoffs on team effort and great goaltending. Now we find out if Pekka can do this in the playoffs. Unfortunate he ran into the hottest team and goal scorer. Maybe next year.

Ducks in 6.

Tue, 01 Mar 2011 17:01:41 GMT
Who won the Trade War?

Who won? Lot's of team. Forget all the small trades, let's go thru the big ones. I'm only going to discuss those made on trade day.

Otherall winner is Florida. Picking up Evan Oberg, Samsonov, Hauswirth, Bergfors, Rissmiller, Kennedy and three 3rds. No blue chip prospects, but a lot of them. Unloaded salary and they are gonna suck for the next 20 games. Sign players in the off-season and start all over. I  like it. Fans aren't gonna like the remainder of the season. But this is how you build. Brian Burke?

Fri, 30 Apr 2010 01:42:29 GMT
Stanley Cup Predictions Round 2

Wings v Sharks

Thornton, Marleau and Heatley combined for 1 goal, a combined -7 plus/minus and somehow they beat the Avalanche. Unless there big line wakes up and this isn't the 1st year the Thornton line sleeps thru the playoffs, then expect the Red Wings to win. Wings in 7.

Habs v Pens

OK, the Habs won the series, but solely on goaltending. As much as I think goaltending is the most important part of the game, you cannot win games consistantly when you are getting outshot 45 to 15 every night. Not to mention, they are playoff Sidney's Pens. Pens in 6.

Flyers v Bruins

The Flyers made the playoffs because the Rangers played worse. The flyers defeated the Devils because the Devils played worse. This isn't even a playoff worthy team. Marc Savard is returning to the Bruinds lineup that won round 1 without him. Bruins in 4.

Canucks v Blackhawks

A redo from last year. This series will likely produce the best hockey. I expect the winner to be in the Stanley Cup finals. I'm picking Luongo over Niemi, but it's pretty much a pick'em. Will Luongo and the Sedin's show up all series? Canucks in 7.

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 13:43:19 GMT
Western 2010 NHL Playoff Predictions

Sharks v Avs

This series comes down to one player, Joe Thornton. Joe rarely shows up to big games and usually gets pushed around, which is odd considering he's one of the biggest players on the ice. I doubt Joe will show and the Avs are good enough to beat the playoff-hapless Sharks. Avs in 7.

Hawks v Preds

The Hawks have the Preds beat in every facet of the game, except goaltending. But neither team is impressive in net. The Hawks could lose on goaltending, but otherwise, they far outclass the Preds. Hawks in 5.

Canucks v Kings

The Kings have no playoff experience to draw on. Most teams with little playoff experience simply don't know that they have to play better and harder in the playoffs. They'll know next year. Canucks in 5.

Coyotes v Wings

The Wing were the best team down the stretch. They are back. Contending for the Cup. The Yotes are happy they actually made the playoffs. Bryzgalov might steal a game or two. Not enough to beat the Wings. Wings in 6.

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, 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.
Mon, 19 Oct 2009 16:19:33 GMT
The Leaf Laughers
Here's my eval of the Leafs this season. Brian Burke has turned out to be an idiot. Toskala sucks! Kulemin sucks! Primeau sucks! Stempniak really sucks! Mayers sucks! Blake really sucks! When your GM, starting goalie and 5 of your forwards suck or really suck, then you will lose a lot of games. Kulemin, Stempniak and Blake are three of our best scoring forwards and have three points combined over 18 games played. Somehow, Wilson benches Stajan and Hagman, our top and goal scorers and point producers. Wilson, have you watched Stempniak and Blake? Both play so far from the oppositions net that they might as well be in the pressbox. Oh wait, I forgot, Ron Wilson sucks too! He won't get fired because his friend is the GM. I'm guessing this off-season has set the Leafs Laughs back another two years. Maybe we'll make the playoffs in 2012.
Tue, 23 Jun 2009 20:49:46 GMT
My NHL Fun
Here's what I'd do to improve the NHL game. These thoughts are feasible, although I doubt everyody will agree with them or their feasibility.
  1. Reduce game roster to 19 from 20. This will reduce the ability for teams to put goons who otherwise can't play on the 4th line. NHLPA might not like this as it could be suggested this may remove 30 players from the NHL. Since we haven't reduced the 23 man roster, this isn't exactly true. Either way, the next item will more than compensate.
  2. Add more expansion teams; Quebec City, Kitchener/London, Kansas City, Las Vegas, Seattle. This will add new spots for the NHLPA. Kitchener is out of range for all of Buffalo, Toronto and Detroit and brings a new team to southern Ontario (sorry Hamilton). Quebec City should never have lost a team. Teams in Kansas City, Las Vegas and Seattle will increase US TV coverage.
  3. As expansion teams are added, consider reducing game rosters to 18.
  4. Every team plays every other team at home and away every 2 years. That's 29+ games accounted for. The rest of the games would be divisional or tournament (see tournaments below), no extra out of division conference games.
  5. All divisional winners plus the next teams to 6 teams in each conference receive a 1st round buy. The next 4 teams play a two out of three playoff to advance. Teams are reseated every round with no account to divisional placement. Conference winners meet in the finals.
  6. Refs call the same game in the playoffs as the regular season. The playoffs is not a testiment of your ability to play with a broken foot or torn ACL. Kunitz and Cooke were the real Conn Smythe winners this last playoff. Just ask the Red Wings defense who were afraid to go into the corner in game 7.
  7. Follow up to Cooke and Kunitz, hitting a d-man on a shoot-in is called charging. No rule change required, just call it.
  8. Investigate 4 on 4 hockey. Let's start with a handful of AHL games. I'm almost positive this will create a better game.
  9. Suspend obvious dives one game to start. Repeat offenders get increasing larger suspensions.
  10. Fighting major is an automatic misconduct. Repeat offenses are one game suspensions. Third offense are multi-game suspensions.
  11. No touch icing when iced from behind the blueline.
  12. Missed passes are not icing. It's already a rule that missed two line passes are not icing, it's just not called. Intentional misses remains an icing, as are difficult to hand passes. Defensive deflections do not obviate icings either.
  13. Shooting the puck from the defensive zone over the boards in the offensive zone is not a penalty. This applies only when the player is shooting it from behind his blueline and the puck crosses out-of-play inside the other teams blueline.
  14. On an icing shot from inside the blueline and not a missed pass, the defensive player centerman stands outside the faceoff circle.
  15. Clearing the puck out of play and icing from inside the blueline should have the same rules. Either both are penalties (rather not) or both are uncontended faceoffs (see previous) and defensive team may not change players.
  16. Any delay on a faceoff where the defensive team may not change is called a timeout on the defensive team. Subsequent delays are a penalty, even if legitimate. Absolute rules are required or refs will be complacent.
  17. Examine breakaway situations instead of timed penalties. When a penalty occurs, the offended player is given the puck at centre ice and all other players must be behind the far blueline. Ref blows his whistle to resume play. Powerplays are so boring. On a major penalty, a player still sits for the duration of his timed penalty, but the team remains at full strength.
  18. Assuming breakaway situations, the offending team is not aloud to change players. The offended player may not change either unless obviously injured, ref's discretion.
  19. Start the NHL season AT LEAST one month earlier. I still like the June finish. NHLPA might not like this.
  20. The NHL pre-season is reorganized into an elimination style tournament. Each team plays 5-7 games with winners playing winners and losers playing losers. The result of this tournament determines all tie-breakers in the regular season. These games do not count in the standings.
  21. Mid-season elimination style tournament occurs between late November and early February. These games count in the standings. The location of the games are played in a neutral city.
  22. Every team is required to play at least one neutral site game and specifically not in an existing NHL city. For example, the Flames and Oilers might play in Red Deer. This might start as an exhibition game, but the intent is to make this game count.
  23. New NHL arenas should be required to have at least 20,000 seats.
  24. Three stars of the game are formulized into an award.
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