Tagged with "Canadiens"
***Aster Risky***
Category: Daily Blog 2.0
Tags: Montreal Canadiens Los Angeles Kings Yvan Cournoyer Marty McSorley

 

 

Yvan Cournoyer...

 

He was my first favorite hockey player...

 

I just loved saying his name...

 

eee-VONN...

 

Corn...

 

Y...

 

A...

 

It just rolls off the tongue...

 

He was speedy...

 

They called him...

 

The Roadrunner...

 

And because of...

 

eee-VONN...

 

Corn...

 

Y...

 

A...

 

The Montreal Canadiens were my favorite...

 

This was pre-Kings, mind you...

 

Just six teams from which to choose...

 

They were the Yankees of the NHL...

 

But I liked ‘em anyway...

 

Thanks to...

 

eee-VONN...

 

Corn...

 

Y...

 

A...

 

Say it again, dvt...

 

eee-VONN...

 

Corn...

 

Y...

 

A...

 

I could say it a million times...

 

However...

 

You have to be very careful...

 

When you Google...

 

eee-VONN...

 

Corn...

 

Y...

 

A...

 

There is an asterisk, I think...

 

Because you might get this....

 

eee-VONN...

 

Corn...

 

Y...

 

A...

 

When you mean to get this...

 

eee-VONN...

 

Corn...

 

Y...

 

A...

 

 

So be careful...

 

You might see sumthin’...

 

You didn’t intend to see...

 

If you get my drift...

 

Anyways...

 

I loved, loved, loved the Montreal Canadiens...

 

So it was kinda challenging...

 

Back in ‘93...

 

When the Kings met them...

 

In the Stanley Cup Final...

 

But I was a full-fledged Kings fan by then...

 

Parents had season tix...

 

I got to go to Game 3...

 

Cool...

 

Except for the outcome...

 

But the game that turned the series...

 

Was infamous Game Two...

 

The “Stick” game...

 

McSorley...

 

The momentum moment...

 

Kings had a one game lead...

 

And winning late in Game Two...

 

But like The Supremes used to sing...

 

 

“And then it happened...”

 

McSorley’s stick was declared illegal...

 

The Kings get a penalty...

 

The Canadiens get a power play goal...

 

And then another to win the game...

 

And never looked back...

 

Winning the Cup...

 

Four games to one...

 

Now it’s hard to write this...

 

Without sounding like sour grapes...

 

But...

 

If Roger Maris is worthy of an asterisk...

 

So are the Canadiens in this instance...

 

It’s one thing to see the suspicious stick on the ice...

 

But completely another to hijack the Kings’ sticks...

 

And measure them...

 

During the intermission...

 

That’s right...

 

The truth is out...

 

 

According to Curtis Zupke at nhl.com, “McSorley said that the Canadiens knew he had an illegal stick because they wheeled the Kings' stick rack into their locker room.

 

" ‘I think that [former Kings coach] Barry Melrose, [former player] Luc Robitaille, [former trainer] Peter Demers, different guys, have basically said what happened: We all know that they pulled the stick rack into their locker room,’ McSorley said.

 

" ’That's honest and that's frank. Am I sitting here complaining? No. But that is what happened.’ " (http://www.nhl.com/ice/news.htm?id=632920)

 

 

Canadiens???

 

You’re a bunch of vacuum cleaners...

 

You sssssuhhh....

 

Well...

 

You know what I mean...

 

You do what vacuum cleaners do...

 

That’s dirty, Montreal...

 

I thought you were better than that...

 

Apparently not...

 

And...

 

In an interview on KSPN 710 in Los Angeles...

 

McSorley revealed...

 

That the Canadiens' staff...

 

Shooed away a Montreal police officer...

 

 

In order to perform the heist...

 

The officer said he had a tough time sleeping that night...

 

'Cus he knew what they did was wrong...

 

True that Montreal still had to win that game...

 

And three more...

 

Which had nothing to do with the stick...

 

But now they had the momentum...

 

Are you proud of yourselves, Montreal???

 

So...

 

 

I’m still an...

 

eee-VONN...

 

Corn...

 

Y...

 

A...

 

fan...

 

 

 

But as far as I'm concerned, Montreal...

 

You’re a classless organization...

 

And...

 

I am done with you...

 

 

 

dvt

 

 

 

 

 

http://www.heritagehockey.com/Portals/0/Players/Yvan%20Cournoyer/YvanCournoyer.jpg

http://yvancournoyer.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/09/cournoyer_crw_model_shots_252.jpg

​http://www.playerschoicesports.com/images/web/2006-06-21-yvon-cournoyer-the-roadrunner-4030.jpg

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DrajELQjXpA

​http://bestvacuumcleanerreview.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/04/vacuum-cleaners.jpg

http://us.123rf.com/400wm/400/400/lisafx/lisafx0809/lisafx080900084/3611735-police-officer-sitting-in-his-squad-car-with-a-box-of-donuts.jpg

How about
Category: Daily Blog 2.0
Tags: NHL Canadiens Rangers Detroit

Man oh man.  What an interesting week it has been.  For those of you that weren’t aware, I bought a house in September.  It was a private sale, and the person that I was buying from was very helpful.  He bought my house as a bank repo, and was in the process of “flipping” it.  When I initially viewed the house and property, I was early enough in the process to decide what colours I would like the rooms painted.  Once again, this person was very helpful and accommodating.  When it the day came for possession of the house, everything went smoothly.  He even brought in some fresh fill and leveled out the back yard for me.  What a nice guy.  Then, I read Wednesday’s local paper with the headline “2 arrests made in bold kidnapping.”  Intrigued, I read on.  As it turns out, 2 gentlemen grabbed a person from the Greyhound bus terminal and dragged him out to a waiting truck with a third person driving.  Eventually, the person that was kidnapped fled from the vehicle and began banging on doors until someone phoned the police.  The police eventually arrested 2 males and were still seeking the third.  The two males were charged with kidnapping, assault, and possession of a controlled substance amongst other things.  As I read the two names, one stuck out in my head.  Yup…the guy I bought my house from, the guy that was very accommodating and helpful was being charged with what some people refer to as “surprise adoption.”  I’m starting to question those extra loads of “fill” in my back yard.  Lets see what aromas the spring thaw brings…


Did anyone see this happening?  With a win on Sunday against the Sharks, Detroit can set a new record for consecutive home wins.  Bostons record lasted over two seasons, and Detroit can match that number in one season.  Will it happen?  San Jose is a challenging team, and I am pretty sure they are motivated not to become that sort of statistic.  But then again, the Sharks have had some difficulty getting up for highly important playoff games, so I am curious to see how this pans out for Detroit.  They are definitely playing some solid hockey right now, and have to be considered a threat to come out of the Western Conference.  What is my pick for the Eastern Conference?  It pains me to say this, but I really like the New York Rangers.  Boston is strong, but they are playing a little too inconsistent for my liking.  The Rangers are basically steamrolling everyone they play as of late, with the exception of a shaky game by Biron.  If New York is planning on a deep playoff push, they need to have a well rested King Henrik in the nets.  Why do I think the Rangers are playing so well?  It could very well have everything to do with Torts.  Tortorella has always been a passionate coach that holds his players responsible.  The Rangers have a fairly young team, and their solid d-core is locked up for a couple more seasons.  Once a decade, Slats will put together a solid team.


Where is Nash going to end up?  Who knows?  There are a few teams that want to think they are on the short list, because at the end of the day, Nash will have to waive his NMC.  Most likely, the team that Nash chooses should have enough assests to help Columbus with the rebuild.  That would include a young goalie prospect and a couple of skaters and draft picks.  As well, the winning team would also need to have the cap room to squeeze in Nash’s contract.  That little item right there takes many of the teams off of the list.  Toronto would like to think that they are in the running, but remember…a key factor is a young goalie prospect.  Toronto doesn’t even fucking know who their number one goalie is right now.  That takes Philly out of the mix as well, but Philly should be more concerned about the hole on their blue line with Pronger out.  St Louis has some of the assets to swing a deal, but I think the front runner would have to be a team like the Los Angeles Kings.  LA has some draft picks and prospects, as well as a goalie (Bernier) that they could move.  If LA can land Nash, it would greatly improve their chances of a deep playoff run this year.


Just when I think Montreal fans couldn’t get any more classless, they go and do something like this.  It only goes to add to their status as possibly the most classless fans in the NHL.  Yup…I think they may have usurped Philly from the top spot.  Let’s go through the checklist.  They rioted back in 1955 when Richard was suspended for the remainder of the playoffs for punching a referee.  Sounds fair to me; the suspension, not the ensuing riot.  Then we have the repeated booing of the US National Anthem. 

And how did Boston react and respond?  Very admirably.

In the past, Kevin Weekes has had bananas thrown at him while he was leaving the ice in Montreal.  Then, a couple of seasons ago, we had this…

That is just fucking racist.  No class whatsoever.  And then the GM of the team makes a public announcement to apologize for hiring an Anglo coach.  Go fuck yourself Molson.  So go ahead Montreal, riot when your pathetic fucking team tanks out of the playoffs, if they even make it there.  Go ahead and insult your own players, go ahead and insult your players national anthem.  You are, and always will be, a class of douchebag that the sporting world will hopefully never, ever see again.  You want to fucking separate from Canada?  Go ahead you ignorant fucks.  I just wish I pissed on the Molson Center when I was in Montreal last summer.

Fight of the week!

Kevin Westgarth vs Paul Bissonnette

Thanks for stopping by.

Have a great week.

Hotch

Eastern Conference Preview
Category: Daily Blog 2.0
Tags: Sabres Bruins Senators Leafs Canadiens Islanders Devils Rangers Flyers Penguins Capitals Panthers Hurricanes LIghtning

Eastern Conference

 

Final Standings:

  1. Washington Capitals
  2. Pittsburgh Penguins
  3. Buffalo Sabres
  4. Boston Bruins
  5. Philadelphia Flyers
  6. New York Rangers
  7. Tampa Bay Lightning
  8. Carolina Hurricanes
  9. Montreal Canadiens
  10. New Jersey Devils
  11. Toronto Maple Leafs
  12. Florida Panthers
  13. Winnipeg Jets
  14. New York Islanders
  15. Ottawa Senators 

Atlantic Division:

  

1.     Pittsburgh Penguins

One question that has been beat into our heads and has remained unanswered this offseason is how long will Crosby be out?  Pens fans shouldn’t really be that concerned in looking for an answer to that question.  The Pens played the last 41 games of the season without Crosby, and still managed a 4thplace finish in the conference.  It would be smart to allow Crosby to take his time and make sure that when he returns to the game, he will be 100%.  Ray Shero made a smart move in the off season, bringing in C Steve Sullivan.  Sullivan should be good for about 45 points on the season.  As well, if Malkin can come back healthy, the Penguins are going to be one of the strongest teams in the Eastern Conference.  Backup goalie Brent Johnson will not be a liability when he has the chance to give Fleury a rest.  The Pens also stacked up a couple of key players on their back end, adding Martin and Michalek.  Pittsburgh could be frightfully good on their back end this season.  However, one question that may haunt the Penguins this year is depth.  In the event of a couple key injuries, do the Pens have enough scoring to carry them through?  That is where the late season trade for James Neal comes in.  6 points in 20 games isn’t going to cut it, especially after scoring 39 in 59 games for Dallas.  Neal is a good young player, and he will be the player to watch for the Pens this season.

2.     Philadelphia Flyers

Ever since the departure of Hextall, the Flyers haven’t had a solid number one goaltender.  The net has been a constant carousel of goalies, each trying to earn the job full time.  Names such as Cechmanek, Snow, Vanbiesbrouk, Boucher, Emery, Hackett, Froese, Soderstrom…I could go on forever.  However, this year, as well as every other year, the Flyers believe that they have found their guy.  Bryzgalov will be a consistent performer for the Flyers this season, but we will see how he can deal with the legendary Flyer fan animosity if he starts a string of bad games.  We’ll see how he deals with getting his first trailer hitch thrown at him.  Fans in Philly are a little more “passionate” than the average fan in Phoenix.  Philly had to move some important stock in order to land Bryzgalov, and that involved moving key players such as Carter and Richards.  That is going to be a lot of points that will need to be spread out amongst the rest of the team.  Players such as Giroux, Van Riemsdyk and Simmonds are going to be leaned on heavily this season.  However, the addition of Jagr will help them out, but one shouldn’t expect record setting numbers from Jagr.  Voracek will be a helpful addition as well, and even though the Flyers lost 2 of their top 4 scorers, they won’t feel the pinch.  Their back end is as solid as ever, with grey bushes Pronger and Timonen leading the show; that is, if Pronger can remain healthy.  The Flyers have one of the better D-Cores in the Eastern Conference this season, and with no major changes, more will be expected.  Were the GAA last year indicative of average goaltending or because of inconsistency on the back end?  This year will tell us.

3.     New York Rangers

The Rangers are well on their way of developing their younger players and moving forward.  The addition of Brad Richards will help the Rangers see that they are not blowing as many third period leads this season.  More responsibility is being placed on the Rangers younger players, and forwards such as Dubinsky and Callahan are going to asked to shoulder the majority of the workload this season.  Gaborik is always consistent, but that is only when he is healthy.  Gaborik missed 20 games last season, but this season he will need to be much better.  Support from Stepan and Boyle will help the Rangers take the next step, but they are still a fairly young team.  On their back end, players such as Staal, Girardi and McDonagh will be playing together for a few more years yet, and they will continue to improve as the season develops.  If only Del Zotto can shake off a forgettable sophomore year, he will emerge and help round out one of the best top 4’s in the East.  How are the Rangers going to be in the nets this year?  One word…Lundqvist.  Quite simply, one of the best in the game and he can carry this team through many games this season, just like he has in the past.  With Biron as a backup, he is capable of playing huge minutes in relief of Hank, but honestly, can anyone see him taking a stretch of games off?  Henrik played over 4000 minutes last season, and was just shy of the numbers that would qualify a Vezina nomination.  The player to watch this season on the Rangers will be newcomer Mats Zuccarello.  Zuccarello will be seeing more ice time this season, and lets see what kind of numbers he can put up in a full NHL season.  Bottom line for the Rangers is this…getting knocked out by the Caps in the playoffs could be the best thing to happen to this young team.

4.     New Jersey Devils

Entering this season, there are 2 major questions that need to be answered; can the Devils rebound from a simply horrific start to the 2010-2011 season, and is it time for the Devils to start thinking about life without Brodeur?  There were lots of factors that could be blamed for the Devils poor start.  How much of the blame can be placed on the injuries to Parise and Brodeur?  How much can be placed on the teams lack of response to head coach John MacLean?  And finally, if Kovalchuk stumbles out of the gate once again, will the same pattern be repeated?  However, in light of all of these occurrences, the Devils still turned it around and were in playoff contention in mid March.  What the Devils accomplished in the second half was pretty remarkable, and that deserves some accolades.  However, one fact remains true; the Devils have only won 1 playoff round in the last 5 seasons.  Unlike Brodeur, Kovalchuk is going to be around for much longer.  Why Jersey would allow a player such as Parise to go to arbitration is beyond me.  Parise is one of their premier players and Lamoriello needs to ensure that he is around long term.  Hopefully the arbitration process didn’t shake Parise’s faith in the organization too dramatically.  Unlike the division rival Rangers, the Devils are an aging group and time is running out on this group to win it all together.  The Devils will need to score more than 174 goals this season, which was the lowest goal scored total in the league last season.  Elias can still be counted on to be a regular contributor, but players such as Zubrus and Zajac will have to do better than their 44 and 30 point seasons respectively.  A healthy Parise will add to the goals scored total, but at the same time, they will need to improve on a 14.4% power play goals as well, which garnered them 28thplace in the league last season.  Aside from a solid top 2 d-men in Tallinder and Volchenkov, there isn’t much depth on their back end as they need.  Sure they only allowed 209 goals last season, but this may be the opportunity that Adam Larsson needs to crack the lineup and be a full time Devil

5.     New York Islanders

Believe it or not, things are starting to shape up on the Island.  The Islanders will be better this season, and GM Snow has slowly and quietly been putting together a solid core of young players.  Sure, drafting a player of Tavares’ talent makes it much easier to build a team, but Snow has done a fairly remarkable job.  For the Isles, the tough part of the rebuild may be completed.  Now, it is time to build on last year and show steady gains year to year.  Players such as Grabner, Moulson and Tavares may be three of the most talented young players on one team.  There, I said it.  Throw in players such as Parenteau, Nielson, Bailey and Comeau, and the future is starting to look bright on the Island.  The Isles have also quietly built up their farm system, and have drafted some prospects that could make the Islanders forwards an elite group within 5 or 6 years.  If Snow can keep this current group of forwards together, they may be reminiscent of another group of young forwards that remained together in the 80’s until Bruce McNall got involved.  And no, I am not alluding that any member of the Islanders is close to being of 99 status.  It is just a reference to an extremely talented young group.  One thing that has plagued the Isles year after year is the health of DiPietro.  However, when DiPietro does get injured (and he will), it will be up to Al Montoya to carry the bulk of the workload.  Once upon a time, there were two amazing US Born Goalie Prospects named Montoya and Dipietro.  Montoya worked hard every day and even did his evil step-brothers chores, but no matter how hard he worked, he always remained in the shadows of his charismatic and fragile step-brother.  Sounds like a fairy tale, but the whole concept of an oft-injured DiPietro is a nightmare for the majority of the Isles fans.  One thing that the fans can count on though, is that Montoya will be a more than suitable replacement for DiPietro.  Throw in the possibility of Nabakov being in the mix, and an injury to DiPietro may be the best thing to happen for the Islanders goalies.  On the back end, they were hit with numerous injuries that allowed quite a few depth players to see some ice.  For such a young team, dealing with the news that they would miss Streit for last season, was quite the blow.  If Streit can return at 100%, there is still a hodgepodge of d men back there.  Players such as Hamonic, Eaton and Mottau are going to be counted on to provide some much needed stability and security.  The Islanders are moving forward ever so slightly, but they have a number of shining stars in their future.

 

Northeast Division:

  1. Buffalo Sabres

With a new ownership that has loosened off the purse strings, the Sabres have to be considered a legitimate threat this season.  The Sabres were the hottest team going into the playoffs this past spring, winning 16 of its final 24 games to enter the playoffs with the number 7 seed.  The Sabres were always a piece or two short of completing the puzzle, and after trading for Regehr and signing Ehrhoff long term, the Sabres have one of the strongest blue lines in the Conference.  Tyler Myers is going to be counted on to improve on last years numbers, and he will have lots of opportunity to see the ice this season.  Finally, the Sabres have an ownership that is willing to go out and spend money on players.  Last season, Stafford and Ennis made strides in becoming pivotal pieces in the future of the Sabres.  In 2010-11, only three teams in the Eastern Conference scored more goals than the Sabres, and let’s remember that they did that even while missing Derek Roy for the majority of the season.  With a healthy core group of forwards, the Sabres have a balanced and legitimate attack with skaters such as Hecht, Pominville, Boyes, Vanek and others.  In nets, Ryan Miller is capable of stealing multiple games this season.  Remember, Miller is only one season removed from a Vezina winning campaign.  Jhonas Enroth will get a chance to start some games, but not very many.  With Miller starting in 65 games last year, Enroth still found time to win 9 games for Buffalo.  With Lindy Ruff at the helm again this year, this Sabres team is going to be one of the most entertaining teams to watch this season.  Count on Ruff to ensure that the Sabres do not underachieve.

2.     Boston Bruins

One can only watch in amazement when Thomas is working between the pipes.  Thomas has been oft-criticized for being an unorthodox goalie by numerous analysts, but he has done what many of them couldn’t; win a Stanley Cup and multiple Vezinas.  The Bruins managed to maintain their core group of young players, and aside from Recchi retiring and Ryder renting a U-Haul bound for Texas, the Bruins are still the same team.  With Savard regrettably on the shelf for the duration of this season, it puts a hole in the Bruins that can easily be filled.  Last season, Krejci and Bergeron filled in admirably in his absence, and Krejci will be leaned upon lots this year.  Seguin will continue to develop, and playing on this Bruins team will help him immensely.  Just remember, that head coach Claude Julien will continue to expose Seguin to different situations slowly.  There will be some questions about Horton after his concussion in the post season, but if he can come back healthy, he will be relied on to provide some additional scoring to help plug the hole left by Recchi.  Big things are going to be expected from the little sparkplug that is Brad Marchand.  Marchand was pivotal in the Bruins championship run last spring, and he will be expected to pick up where he left off.  On their back end, any d-core that is led by Chara is going to be strong and steady.  Other d-men such as McQuaid, Boychuk, Ference, Corvo and Seidenberg will round out a very strong back end.  For being the best goalie in the world right now, Thomas reminds me of someone you’d bump into in line for a beer.  Thomas posted record numbers last season, and he isn’t showing any intention of slowing down.  Rask will get the opportunity to play in plenty of games this season, and head coach Claude Julien has already stated that the Bruins are entering the season with 2 number 1 goalies.  Adam McQuaid finished a remarkable +30 last season, and with an increase in ice time possible, he will improve on last seasons numbers.

3.     Montreal Canadiens

The Habs definitely have some speed to burn up front, but it’ll take more than speed to make this a contending team.  One would have a hard time stomaching the high priced contracts handed out to the likes of Gionta, Gomez, and Cammalleri.  The Habs did not get their moneys worth from their highest paid players. The addition of Erik Cole will help with secondary scoring, but the majority of the Habs wins this season are going to come from low scoring games.  Last season, Montreal finished with 44 wins, but they only scored 216 goals.  Players such as Gomez need to score more, simply put.  Young players such as Lars Eller is ready to be the offensive contributor that Gauthier thought he was trading for when Halak was moved.  On the back end, the Habs felt the pinch when Gorges and Markov both went down with injuries.  Subban was able to step up and fill in when needed, and now that the Habs have seen what he may be capable of; the expectations will be considerably higher this year.  Montréal’s d-core should be fairly solid this year, with Weber and Yemelin chomping at the bit for more ice time.  If Montreal can make it through this season relatively injury free, they may be in the position to move some assets to help their scoring, or lack of as it will be.  In the nets, Price will be a workhorse once again.  After starting in 70 games last season, he set career numbers in GAA and SV%.  Peter Budaj will continue to be the reliable backup that he has been throughout his career, but realistically he shouldn’t be expecting to get a lot of work.

4.     Toronto Maple Leafs

Toronto is developing and acquiring some talented young players.  Grabovski is coming off career highs in every important category, but will he improve again this year?  There has been a fair bit of pressure placed on youngsters Bozak and Kadri to develop and produce right away, but the emergence of MacArthur and Kulemin provided the Leafs the chance to ease off on Kadri and Bozak.  The Leafs hope that Connolly will be the center that Kessel needs, but as always, his health is an issue.  On defense, Phaneuf will be the workhorse on the blue line, with Schenn and Aulie slowly emerging as a legitimate threats.  The bottom line is that the d-core needs to be better and improve on their 251 goals allowed last season.  The acquisitions of Liles and Franson will help them on their back end, but their goals against would have been much worse if it wasn’t for the emergence of James Reimer.  Reimer is going into this season as the number one goalie for the Leafs.  After starting in 35 games last season, Reimer is going to shoulder the workload this year.  However, if he starts to slip, the Leafs will not have much of a choice but to turn to Gustavsson, who has been hampered by a heart condition the last couple of seasons.  If Gustavsson is unable to go or performs subpar, the Leafs are going to have to go to the well that is the Marlies for a call up.

5.     Ottawa Senators

As an outsider looking in, I watch in amazement and wonder how Bryan Murray has been able to keep his job.  Numerous quality coaches have been sent down the river in years past, and the next man in the breach is Paul MacLean.  MacLean will have a fairly young team to work with this year, with players such as Fisher, Kelly, Ruutu, Kovalev and Elliot gone.  After using 6 goalies (Brodeur, McElhinney, Leclaire, Elliot, Lehner, and Anderson) during the 2010-11 season, the Sens are hoping that they finally have their man in Craig Anderson.  As well, the only players that can tell people that they had a good year and keep a straight face were Karlsson and Spezza.  The Sens have a fairly young team this season, and Paul MacLean is hopefully the right man for the job.  Alfredsson needs to come back at 100% after his injury, and prove his worth to the Sens this year.  A young team will need his veteran presence in the locker room.  Young players such as Bobby Butler and Nick Foligno need to improve on last seasons numbers, and they are going to have plenty of opportunity to do just that.  Last year, the Senators allowed 250 goals against.  That is simply horrific, and the Senators only had 2 of the d-men that they used all season finish on the right side of the +/- category.  Defensemen such as Phillips (-35) and Kuba (-26) simply need to be better.  This is going to be a long season for the Sens, but if certain players continue to develop and improve on seasons past, many Senator players will reach career highs. 

 

Southeast Division

1.     Washington Capitals

Life is good in Washington.  They have a great team, a supportive and rabid fan base, and a couple of the most exciting players in the game today.  Regardless of regular season achievements, until the Capitals do something, they are on the same page as the Sharks; playoff pretenders.  Washington has drafted extremely well over the years, and they are going to continue to reap the benefits for quite a few years.  Players such as John Carlson (yes, I’m still upset over his amazing goal in the WJHC), Marcus Johansson and Mathieu Perrault are going to continue to develop at the NHL level.  McPhee made a couple of moves in the off season, bringing in Joel Ward and Troy Brouwer.  The Capitals will recover from a low scoring 224 goal (by their standards) season and will continue to improve defensively.  Players such as Backstrom and Semin (especially after he was criticized in the press for his unambitious play) need to increase their offensive production.  With Green missing significant time last season, Carlson emerged as a player capable of handling the minutes.  Washington further bolstered their blue line by adding Wideman and signing Hamrlik to a d-core that already had Green, Poti, Alzner, Erskine and Schultz.  With the off season moves that the Caps made in their nets, Vokoun will handle the workload nicely and should be expected to play between 50 and 60 games this year.  If Vokoun begins to struggle, Neuvirth has shown that he is more than capable of stepping in.

2.     Tampa Bay Lightning

By making it into the third round of the playoffs last season, the Lightning grew in leaps and bounds.  Key younger players such as Stamkos and Purcell had an extra long drink at the post season fountain.  Let’s remember that this was the team that came back against the Crosby-less Penguins and then sweep the Capitals last season.  Guy Boucher had his team motivated and ready for success last season and new GM Steve Yzerman put some key elements in place.  Any team that can put players of the caliber of Lecavalier, St Louis and Stamkos together has to be considered a serious threat.  Throw in some secondary scoring support from Moore, Downie, Purcell and Thompson, and the Lightning can be extremely offensive.  If Gilroy can become the type of player that Yzerman thought he was when he went after him as a free agent and if Hedman continues to develop, the Lightning can have a very strong defensive team as well.  Throw in Brewer, Kubina, Ohlund and Clark, it would appear that the Lightning are very deep in their own end.  Roloson enters the season as the number one goalie, but if he starts to show his age, look for Garon to start to take the majority of the starts away.  The Lightning have many of the pieces in place to compete in the playoffs.

3.     Carolina Hurricanes

Eric Staal is arguably one of the best centers in the league, and he is barely 27 years old.  After missing out on the post season in their last game of the season, the Hurricanes should be expected to make the cut this year.  One thing that may have hurt the Hurricanes last year was depth.  Carolina simply lacked secondary scoring that was effective enough to guarantee a post season berth.  Staal and Skinner are a very competent combination, and Skinner has developed faster than many thought he was going to.  Players such as Boychuk, Jokinen, Larose, Ponikarovsky and Sutter are going to have to pick up the slack and provide some much needed secondary scoring this season.  As well, the current group of forwards on the Hurricanes needs to be more active in their own end, and they need to be more efficient back checkers.  The d-core will be anchored by Gleason and Pitkanen, and the additions of Allen and Kaberle will help out dramatically.  Going into this season, Cam Ward will continue to eat up starts for the Canes, and Brian Boucher will be relegated to opening the gate for the majority of this season.  Boucher can expect to get about 10 starts this season, barring any injury to Ward. 

4.     Florida Panthers

Heading into this season with a new head coach in Kevin Dineen, the learning curve is going to be quick in Florida this season.  During the regular season, GM Dale Tallon was active (as usual) and was ready to make moves to improve his club.  Tallon moved the majority of the veteran talent out of town, and quickly stocked up on draft picks and young prospects.  As a result, Dineen is taking over a younger team, and essentially, a chunk of clay for him to mold.  Last season, Florida’s leading goal scorer only had 23, and the team leader for points was 49, you would think that there is a lot of room for improvement.  Players such as Santorelli and Bradley will be leaned upon to produce, and the addition of Bergenheim should help.  On the back end, it doesn’t look much better for Florida.  Kulikov, Campbell, Weaver and Jovonovski (yup…he’s still playing) on their back end, there is a lot of opportunity for Gudbranson and Ellerby to eat up some minutes.  In the nets this season, Jose Theodore may emerge as the number one tender going into this season.  His leash may be a little shorter this season, and if he starts to struggle, Kevin Dineen may give Markstrom an extra long look.  Markstrom will be the Panthers tender of the future, but they need to be careful that they don’t burn him out early in his career.

5.     Winnipeg Jets

A new home is not enough to improve the Atlanta Thrashers.  Sure, the players will get to experience a circus like atmosphere with their games, which may be a new feeling for many of them that have been in Atlanta long term.  Even though the Jets are a fairly young team, they are still a very talented team.  Offensively, the team has Ladd, Kane, Antropov, Little, and Wheeler.  Forwards such as Burmistrov, Cormier and Glass are going to be expected to contribute more offensively, while players such as Byfuglien and Enstrom will add to their offensive totals.  On the back end, Byfuglien and Enstrom will be anchoring the d-core with Bogosian and Oduya providing additional support.  However, last season the Thrashers finished 29thin the NHL with 269 goals against.  That number is going to have to decrease dramatically before the Jets can be considered a legitimate threat for the playoffs.  The Thrashers were also 20thin the league for goals scored, another stat that is going to have to improve before they can be taken seriously as a playoff threat.  In the nets, the combination of Pavelec and Mason will provide to be an adequate goaltending tandem, but their numbers will have to be better.

As always, these types of prognostications always come with opinions of varying degree.  Let me have it if I am right the fuck out to lunch.  

And now, your hockey fight of the week.  A great fight between Brian McGratton and Cam Janssen.  Two great competitors.

Thanks for stopping by.

Hotchnuts

Monday Moaning 4-25-11
Category: FEATURED
Tags: NHL New York Rangers Boston Bruins Little Beeze Chicago Blackhawks Ignorance The Beeze Easter Royal Wedding Montreal Canadiens

 
I hope all had a happy Easter...Or if that isn't your thing, I hope you had a good weekend...Mine was alright...But before I get to that...Let me pimp something I started Friday...The first of a series that I call IGNORANCE_WAS_BLISS...

So let me hang my head first...My New York Rangers lost their series to the Washington Capitals Saturday...They played hard...They gave the Capitals every thing thy had...But sadly, they didn't have much scoring...Goalie Henrik Lundqvist did all he could, as he has all year...Oh, and he got snubbed for a Vezina nomination...But I like the Rangers' future...They have stopped bying big-name players, and started drafting well, and developing well...Their blue line is stocked with talent...And guys like Dubinsky, Callahan, and Anisimov give them a nice core...Plus guys like Boyle and Prust, 4th liners before, have show they can play like second and on special teams...I have high hopes for next season...

Right now I'm rooting hard for the Chicago Blackhawks, after the crap CANUCKS fans pulled...It's a must win for the 'Hawks...I'll let you know what happens...(2-2 in second itermission) If the 'Hawks don't win it, then I'm pulling for whoever is playing the Canucks, and there overrated goalie Roberto Luongo...

Canucks fans weren't the only people talking trash lately...The Habs and Bruins have been going at it hard...Canadiens fans weren't happy about Andrew Ference flipping them the bird...




Then Saturday night injured Canadiens player Max Pacioretty talked some smack via Twitter about Brad Marchand, which got the Bruins fans talking shit about Pacioretty's broken neck and concussion...WOW! All this social media has made us all so much more classy!

But enough Hockey for now...Sunday morning I was awakened by the sound of two kids searching for Easter baskets...Oh the joy of kids finding candy, and toys...Yes, we give them a couple of small toys, and less candy...After the dental hell we went through with our oldest, fuck the candy, go play!

In the afternoon, the Little Beeze and I were heading to the Cleveland Museum of Natural History...He loves that joint...Before we left he dropped a deuce...To everyone's surprise, his shit was totally, and completely blue...Seriously blue...He didn't feel sick...Nothing hurt...Just some blue logs...Then I saw that the wife had left a couple of the tablets for coloring eggs, out on the table...She said one was missing...How much you want to bet it was blue, and the little dolt thought it was candy!?!

So to the Museum we went....Here's a tip...Go on Easter! Place was almost empty...Hell, they didn't even charge us for the parking...Here he is with Triceratops...



('Hawks and Canucks are tied at 3 now)

Last week I wrote about my disgust over how the American media has been gushing over the upcoming Royal Wedding...It's gotten worse...All the morning shows are talking about it...The Nightly News is spending at least 10 minutes on it...Every network is sending shit-tons of staff to cover it...My Mother-in-law showed up today to visit for the week, and said she was getting up at 4:00AM Friday to watch this horse shit...

Seriously America, what is wrong with you? Why? Why? are you so obsessed with powerless, figureheads, from the country that or forefathers fled from? ANSWER ME!?!

Before I go, I thought I'd give you a quality, Easter Hockey Fight...Evgeny Artuykhin ain't taking anyone's shit apparently...




And the Blackhawks just won 4-3 in overtime, on a goal by Ben Smith...Vancouver you just lost 3 in a row to Chicago...How does that feel?  Folks, take my word for it, Tuesday night around 9 PM you want to tune into Versus...The Blackhawks will be looking to win 4 straight against the Canucks and that hack Luongo!

Have a Week...

Later, The Beeze.

 

Hoser Hut - Rumble edition
Category: Daily Blog 2.0
Tags: Islanders Penguins Bruins Canadiens


Who is Micheal Haley? 

Micheal Haley recently made a name for himself, and at the same time, endeared himself to the hundreds thousands of Islanders fans in attendance.  In the span of 5:31 TOI, Haley earned 39 PIM’s.  On a team that currently has Trevor Gillies and Zenon Konopka on their lineup, the Islanders sent a message that they are not going to be pushed around or bullied anymore.  Throw in a player like Jeremy Yablonski, and the Islanders still have more tough guys waiting in Bridgeport.  However, I do agree with some people that are saying that the game got out of control.  The incident that triggered all the action, was kind of a weak move by Matt Martin on Max Talbot.  If he wanted a piece of him, go face to face like a man.  That being said, I fully agree with Godard leaving the bench to protect his goalie from Haley.  You can’t let your goalie stand on his own to fight a tough guy, unless your goalie happens to be Ray Emery.  All of this action probably had Gary Bettman and Colin Campbell spooning a little closer than normal.  Speaking of Bettman, what would an entry by me be without one slanderous reference to him. 

 

  

  

Do the Montreal Canadiens need to toughen up?  That is a tough call to make.  They have been doing fairly well as a team utilizing their speed and finesse, but the majority of us saw what happened if they run into a tougher team.  You need players to stand up and protect their smaller players like Gomez, Gionta and Cammalleri.  But at the same time, you have to make sure that the players you bring in aren’t going to be a liability every time they are on the ice.  Sure, the Habs were team tough, sticking up for each other, but does that help if you are losing the majority of the battles?  If the Habs keep playing good hockey and make the playoffs, it is curious to see what may happen if they happen to draw a team like Philadelphia or Boston in the opening round.  Will those teams rely on their toughness to take the wind out of Montreal’s sails?  With the trade deadline fast approaching, I expect that the Habs won’t tinker with their chemistry too much and throw things off by bringing in a tougher player.  The trick is, you have to get a tougher player that isn’t going to be a liability when they are on the ice.  Come playoffs, that player will only be a healthy scratch most of the time anyways.  Tough and effective players like a Shawn Thornton don’t come along all the time. 

    

In my humble opinion, and I was talking to Sully about this the other day, I think that Shawn Thornton is one of the most underrated enforcers in the game today.  As of Saturday night, Thornton has 8 and 6 for 14 points, along with 103 PIM’s.  Players like the Colton Orrs and Matt Carkner are a dime a dozen.  If one of those types of players gets injured, there is always someone in the minors just as tough.  However, Thornton is a very responsible player and Claude Julien is using him in many different situations.  I’m not trying to be a homer fan here, just stating the obvious.  What I am trying to say is that Thornton is not your run of the mill enforcer.

I thought that the Bruins/Habs game on Wednesday night was the best game of the year so far.  Lots of scoring, lots of hitting, and lots of fights.  In case you haven’t noticed, I’m a big fan of fighting in hockey.  So I thought about it, and I think it may be time to present some of the highlights of this storied rivalry.  First up, we have the legendary Jay Miller and John Kordic rivalry.  Kordic and Miller fought 7 times while Kordic was a Hab and Miller was a Bruin.  Great fight, and these two guys just didn’t like each other very much.  But then again, I don’t think Kordic liked very many people either. 

        

Then we have the famous bout between Stan Jonathon and Pierre Bouchard.  Stan Jonathon gave up inches and pounds to everyone he fought as he was only 5’8” and 175 lbs.  Pierre Bouchard stood 6’2” and weighed 205 lbs.  Great tilt, and the one thing that stands out with this clip is the fact that Cherry always wore awful suits. 

      

Next, we have a little clip with Chris Nilan.  Now, Chris Nilan received some negative media attention a couple of summers ago when he was brought down by two mall cops while he was caught stealing a pair of Tommy Bahama swim trunks.  How the mighty have fallen.  This is possibly Chris Nilan’s best night of his career. 

      

Bottom line is this…this rivalry has been going on for a very long time, and I could be here forever reminiscing about it all.  It all boils down to extremely entertaining hockey, no ifs ands or buts.  Great stuff.  Lets all watch for the rematch on March 8th.

Fight of the week.

This one, ladies and gentlemen, is too close to call.  So I’ll just show you both.  Obviously, we are talking about the Islanders/Pens game and the Bruins/Habs game.  If you haven’t seen the highlights yet, enjoy. 

Thanks for stopping by.

Happy Valentines Day to everyone.  Enjoy a little Steel Panther.

Hotchnuts  

RSS
Blog Categories

This website is powered by Spruz