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Thursday, April 15, 2010

OT: NHL Playoff Thread

I estimate that only 10-12 Primates care about the NHL Playoffs, but with our own thread, we won’t detract from what this site is really about: the NBA playoffs and Pavement’s discography.

Cabbage Posted: April 15, 2010 at 03:44 PM | 1758 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. Cabbage Posted: April 15, 2010 at 05:39 PM (#3503470)
To begin:

Really fun night of hockey yesterday. Upsets abounded, and all of the games I caught were really intense. I doubt Phoenix can hang with a finally-healthy Detroit, but that should be a very fun series if Byzg keeps standing on his head.
   2. Tim Wallach was my Hero Posted: April 15, 2010 at 05:40 PM (#3503472)
Go Habs Go!
   3. JL Posted: April 15, 2010 at 05:42 PM (#3503475)
I doubt Phoenix can hang with a finally-healthy Detroit, but that should be a very fun series if Byzg keeps standing on his head.

I hope you are correct. By the same token, as much as I want it to happen, there is no way I see the Sens beating the Penguins three more times. The Pens were really sloppy on defense and I think they will tighten that up a lot.
   4. Moses Taylor, Moses Taylor Posted: April 15, 2010 at 05:44 PM (#3503478)
Thanks, good stuff, Cabbage.

Should we do predictions?
   5. DA Baracus Posted: April 15, 2010 at 05:45 PM (#3503481)
The Flyers were 5-1 against the Devils this year. I wouldn't call last night an upset.
   6. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: April 15, 2010 at 05:49 PM (#3503488)
What is the problem with the Penguins? There defense the last month just looks lost.
   7. Cabbage Posted: April 15, 2010 at 05:56 PM (#3503499)
Should we do predictions?

- Detroit goes out in the 2nd round. There is some admittedly crappy officiating against the Red Wings, but their fans will not shut up about it until at least 2014.
- Antti Niemi has an outstanding playoff run, and the Hawks at least make the finals. He is benched by next December, and is never heard from again.
- The next Star Wars role playing game features a cantina owner named Tuukka Rask
- Don Cherry continues to make even Primates look good


Hawks over Caps in 7
   8. zack Posted: April 15, 2010 at 05:57 PM (#3503500)
Fiiiiinally.

I feel a bit bad for the Sharks, despite the fact that their losing would be a huge boon to the Blackhawks. Probably due to my natural hatred of media proclaiming otherwise dominant teams as useless when they fail in the playoffs, but also because they're a mid-90's Teal team with a stupid logo that is actually good and didn't abandon their awful 90's-ness the second they became good.

Not happy that the hawks don't play till friggin' Friday, or that directtv put versus in a higher package when they finally picked it back up.
   9. SUBJ is growing his playoff beard Posted: April 15, 2010 at 05:58 PM (#3503502)
I think this thread could get 10,000 posts as well...by 2027.

Should we do predictions?


Sure, why not?

San Jose over Colorado in 5 (these were all BEFORE game 1 predictions)
Chicago over Nashville in 6
Los Angeles over Vancouver in 7
Phoenix over Detroit in 6

Washington over Montreal in 4
New Jersey over Philadelphia in 6
Buffalo over Boston in 5
Pittsburgh over Ottawa in 6

San Jose over Los Angeles in 5
Chicago over Phoenix in 7

Washington over Pittsburgh in 6
Buffalo over New Jersey in 5

San Jose over Chicago in 7

Buffalo over Washington in 6

Buffalo over San Jose in 6


Goaltending means more in playoff hockey than any other single position in any other playoff sport. I'll take my chances with Ryan Miller.
   10. SUBJ is growing his playoff beard Posted: April 15, 2010 at 06:04 PM (#3503513)
I feel a bit bad for the Sharks, despite the fact that their losing would be a huge boon to the Blackhawks. Probably due to my natural hatred of media proclaiming otherwise dominant teams as useless when they fail in the playoffs, but also because they're a mid-90's Teal team with a stupid logo that is actually good and didn't abandon their awful 90's-ness the second they became good.


The Sharks have absolutely been my second-favorite team since their debut, simply because of their colors and logo. As an aside, I actually miss the Coyotes' original goofy Picasso-style logo; though I'm probably the only person in the world, besides the designer (who very well may have created it on a drunken dare), who liked it.

Linky
   11. TerpNats Posted: April 15, 2010 at 06:06 PM (#3503520)
If Theodore can be consistent in goal and the PK unit holds its own, the Capitals have a legit chance at the Cup.
   12. Cabbage Posted: April 15, 2010 at 06:07 PM (#3503522)
If Theodore can be consistent in goal and the PK unit holds its own, the Capitals have a legit chance at the Cup.

Absolutely, offenses like that don't grow on trees.
   13. Jimmy P Posted: April 15, 2010 at 06:08 PM (#3503524)
I actually miss the Coyotes' original goofy Picasso-style logo; though I'm probably the only person in the world, besides the designer (who very well may have created it on a drunken dare), who liked it.

Nope, I like it. I have a jersey from that era, and I still like it more than their current ones.

Antti Niemi has an outstanding playoff run, and the Hawks at least make the finals. He is benched by next December, and is never heard from again.

Are they actually going to play Niemi? I don't think my blood pressure can handle Huet in net.
   14. Moses Taylor, Moses Taylor Posted: April 15, 2010 at 06:10 PM (#3503528)
We've got a pretty strong Blackhawks contingent here I see. I would like to say they'll win, but I think the blue line injuries are a bigger deal than the goaltending. Niemi can have his moments here and there, both good and bad, but the Hawks will win if they limit shot attempts. That's not going to happen with the current healthy group. Campbell is practicing, so he might be back sooner than we thought, but I still am seeing nothing about Johnnson anywhere. Sopel/Hendry is not a good combo, and Buff is going to be exposed bigtime soon enough.

That being said:

SJ over Colorado in 7
Chicago over Nashville in 6
Vancouver over LA in 6
Detroit over Phoenix in 7

Washington over Montreal in 5
New Jersey over Philadelphia in 7
Buffalo over Boston in 5
Pittsburgh over Ottawa in 6

Detroit over SJ in 6
Chicago over Vancouver in 7

Washington over Pittsburgh in 7
Buffalo over New Jersey in 7

Chicago over Detroit in 7

Washington over Buffalo in 6

Washington over Chicago in 6
   15. SoSH U at work Posted: April 15, 2010 at 06:11 PM (#3503530)
Are they actually going to play Niemi? I don't think my blood pressure can handle Huet in net.


Niemi erased whatever doubt might have existed in the last two weeks. He's clearly the No. 1 guy.

Go Hawks.

Campbell is practicing, so he might be back sooner than we thought,


He's definitely out for the first two games, but I heard this morning he might be back before the end of the series.
   16. Moses Taylor, Moses Taylor Posted: April 15, 2010 at 06:12 PM (#3503531)
Are they actually going to play Niemi?

Yes. He's started the last 7. I think Huet has started less than a handful since the Olympics (and has been terrible in all of them). Niemi has been really good in those 7 games (6-0-1).
   17. zack Posted: April 15, 2010 at 06:13 PM (#3503532)
Quenville will play Niemi. Huet hasn't started a game since March 25th, and hasn't started back-to-back since just after the Olympics.
   18. odds are meatwad is drunk Posted: April 15, 2010 at 06:15 PM (#3503535)
the whole cubs team is going to the hawks game tomorrow. hawks will take the cup
   19. SUBJ is growing his playoff beard Posted: April 15, 2010 at 06:18 PM (#3503544)
Are they actually going to play Niemi?


Absolutely. I think Q's mind was made up during the 8-3 debacle in Columbus. Huet's butt will not leave bench as long as Niemi can walk.

Chicago over Detroit in 7


I am one Hawks' fan who wants NO part of Detroit. When Detroit and Anaheim were playing game 7 last year and the Hawks would face the winner, I was incredulous at all of the "we want Detroit" I heard from the fans. Hmmm...better team, no home-ice advantage, and rival that we always lose to vs. worse team and home ice? Hmmm....

Be careful what you wish for. I'd be quite happy to bypass Hockeytown this year, thanks.
   20. SUBJ is growing his playoff beard Posted: April 15, 2010 at 06:20 PM (#3503546)
the whole cubs team is going to the hawks game tomorrow.


No! Keep them away!

BAD TOUCH, BAD TOUCH, DO NOT WANT!!
   21. Cabbage Posted: April 15, 2010 at 06:20 PM (#3503547)
Campbell is skating as of yesterday. I'd expect to see him in the second round. Buff has done an admirable job switching back to the blue line, but he's still a bit of a liability. All 4 lines have been playing very well as of late, so it might be worthwhile to put him on the third pairing when Campbell or Johnson comes back.

Of course, Kim Johhnson is straight up MIA. who knows when he'll be back, if at all.
   22. Moses Taylor, Moses Taylor Posted: April 15, 2010 at 06:22 PM (#3503550)
the whole cubs team is going to the hawks game tomorrow. hawks will take the cup

Come on, that's a reason why the Hawks won't win!

Be careful what you wish for. I'd be quite happy to bypass Hockeytown this year, thanks.

I'm not wishing for it, I just think that's how it's going to play out. Then again, wouldn't it be great to beat them on the way? Reminds me of the Bulls beating the Pistons in 91.
   23. SUBJ is growing his playoff beard Posted: April 15, 2010 at 06:23 PM (#3503552)
Hendry's not bad; seems talented, if raw. Sopel is flat-out terrible; no puck-handling skills or instincts. Buff has the speed to cover a lot of his little mistakes.

A few of my fan friends really hate Campbell. They think he's overpaid and bad. I agree with the first but not the second. Thoughts?
   24. SUBJ is growing his playoff beard Posted: April 15, 2010 at 06:28 PM (#3503561)
I'm not wishing for it, I just think that's how it's going to play out. Then again, wouldn't it be great to beat them on the way? Reminds me of the Bulls beating the Pistons in 91.


Playing Detroit this year in the conference finals, with this team, with home-ice advantage, with the Finals on the line...it's the ultimate high-risk, high-reward situation. Winning, finally beating those ####ers, would be ecstasy, while losing would be beyond distastrous. It's sort of like the Cubs meeting the White Sox in the World Series. Pass.
   25. rr Posted: April 15, 2010 at 06:39 PM (#3503580)
Nice work, Cabbage, but I'd update that to, "the NBA Playoffs and race relations."

Have fun guys. Maybe someone can explain to me what the blue line is for if there is a break in the action.
   26. Moses Taylor, Moses Taylor Posted: April 15, 2010 at 06:40 PM (#3503581)
Hendry's not bad; seems talented, if raw. Sopel is flat-out terrible; no puck-handling skills or instincts. Buff has the speed to cover a lot of his little mistakes.

I agree on Hendry, but pairing him with Sopel isn't helping him. I think he can eventually be a pretty good player, I just don't expect too much out of him this year. Buff makes more mistakes than you appear to be crediting him with, and Keith covers for a lot of them. It was nice having a total shut down pair, which we don't right now.

A few of my fan friends really hate Campbell. They think he's overpaid and bad. I agree with the first but not the second. Thoughts?

There's no question he's overpaid. But he is very good, and a great fit on this team. They need him for the PP and to help break traps. None of the other D can handle the puck as well. He seems to be underrated by most fans because Tallon overrated him.
   27. Cabbage Posted: April 15, 2010 at 06:43 PM (#3503588)
A few of my fan friends really hate Campbell. They think he's overpaid and bad. I agree with the first but not the second. Thoughts?

He wasn't so hot last year, but he's been quite good this year. His backchecking and positioning has always been very competent, and he's done a great job of trap-busting this year. Its really something when a team's top two defensive pairings are not only defensively strong but can bring a solid transition game and play puck possession.
   28. scotto Posted: April 15, 2010 at 06:46 PM (#3503596)
Boston's also got some blue line problems, but it may help to have some relatively fresh if inexperienced legs for the playoffs. Lucic has looked much better the last couple of games, too.

Of course no one seems to know how to put the puck in the net, the power play is an embarrassment, and they'll be riding the rookie while Thomas rides the pine.

It's going to go 7, there won't be a lot of scoring, and Boston will win the upset and go on the Cup finals where they'll play the Hawks.

More Kool-Aid, please!
   29. Daunte Vicknabbit! Posted: April 15, 2010 at 06:50 PM (#3503600)
rr,

The blue line exists to delineate where a player crosses into offsides. In order to eliminate cherry picking (I don't know, was there some era pre-blue line where this happened a lot) an offensive player cannot be past the line when the puck crosses over.

Or do you understand the rule and not understand why they bothered?
   30. SUBJ is growing his playoff beard Posted: April 15, 2010 at 06:57 PM (#3503608)
Have fun guys. Maybe someone can explain to me what the blue line is for if there is a break in the action.


So, Kings fever not running high in your household? C'mon; give 'em a shot. The Lakers don't play every night. :-)
   31. rr Posted: April 15, 2010 at 06:57 PM (#3503610)
Or do you understand the rule and not understand why they bothered


No, I really didn't know. I know even less about hockey and soccer than Jay Mariotti knows about interpersonal skills. Thanks.
   32. SUBJ is growing his playoff beard Posted: April 15, 2010 at 06:59 PM (#3503612)
Scotto- I wouldn't want to watch that Sabres-Bruins series for anything. It's going to be UG-ly. If I recall correctly, the B's had the same problem against Brodeur and the Devils in '95.

Edit: Looked it up. Shut out 3 times, scored 5 goals in 5 games. Yikes. New rules now and all, so it probably won't be that bad, but still...good luck against Miller.
   33. CWS Keith plans to boo your show at the Apollo Posted: April 15, 2010 at 07:00 PM (#3503613)
We've got a pretty strong Blackhawks contingent here I see. I would like to say they'll win, but I think the blue line injuries are a bigger deal than the goaltending.

This. The Hawks are essentially starting two replacement level defensemen in Hendry and Sopel, and Byfuglien ain't a defensive stalwart either. At least with Byfuglien, though, he brings a pretty legit offensive game (compared to other defensemen).

A few of my fan friends really hate Campbell. They think he's overpaid and bad. I agree with the first but not the second. Thoughts?

I never really appreciated Campbell's puck carrying ability until he was gone. It's a really valuable asset that Campbell can essentially carry the puck through the neutral zone and into the other team's zone. I don't think he has any other "great" assets -- his shooting is very wild, his passing is just okay and his defensive positioning isn't elite. But his ability to skate makes up for a lot of deficiencies.

That being said, the contract is pretty terrible, and it (along with Huet's) will force the Hawks' hand this summer (it already has, actually -- I doubt Barker would've been dealt if not for the cap issues).

As an anecdote, my brother and I were at one of the Red Wings/Hawks games in Detroit last year. It was the game where Campbell made that behind-the-back, no look pass at the blueline that led to Detroit's OT winner. That image is firmly singed into my memory, so while I don't mind Campbell, I don't think I'll ever be particularly fond of him.

Maybe someone can explain to me what the blue line is for if there is a break in the action.

Okay -- so the puck has to be the first 'thing' to enter the zone. I guess the big thing is that this prevents cherry-picking. It also used to have some importance with the two-line pass, but that's been scrapped. Someone else can probably add to that or do a better job of explaining.

EDIT: Argh -- coke to #29.
   34. Tike Redman's Shattered Dreams Posted: April 15, 2010 at 07:02 PM (#3503614)
What is the problem with the Penguins? There defense the last month just looks lost.

Yeah, they'll need to tighten that up a bunch to get any further. I'm still optimistic about this series, though -- the defense was awful, Fleury was completely off his game, and they still lost by only one goal. Elliott looks very bad. If they can get more shots on goal (and Ottawa's whole team philosophy seems to be to prevent them) they should be fine.
   35. Cabbage Posted: April 15, 2010 at 07:04 PM (#3503616)
Maybe someone can explain to me what the blue line is for if there is a break in the action.

Okay -- so the puck has to be the first 'thing' to enter the zone. I guess the big thing is that this prevents cherry-picking. It also used to have some importance with the two-line pass, but that's been scrapped. Someone else can probably add to that or do a better job of explaining.



That's really it. Once you understand offsides, most of the strategy starts to make sense. Defensemen are also referred to as "blue liners" or the team's "blue line" because that's typically where they are positioned when the team is attacking. By being just inside the blue line, they can contribute to the attack while still being in position to retreat when possession changes.
   36. CWS Keith plans to boo your show at the Apollo Posted: April 15, 2010 at 07:15 PM (#3503636)
In further discussion of the Hawks' blue-line -- I would not go into the playoffs with expectations of Kim Johnsson contributing anything. Everything about his injury has been very mysterious -- "upper body injury" -- but IIRC, he's had an injury history worse than Ken Griffey Jr's (okay, perhaps nothing so severe, but he's had a ton of nicks that have kept him out for small period of time, I seem to recall reading).

What would you guys say is the most likely first-round upset? San Jose doesn't have a great recent playoff history, but even with the loss yesterday I'd be shocked to see them bow out in round one. Detroit over Phoenix probably would only be considered a "technical" upset, so I'm not sure...
   37. Russ Posted: April 15, 2010 at 07:17 PM (#3503638)

Yeah, they'll need to tighten that up a bunch to get any further. I'm still optimistic about this series, though -- the defense was awful, Fleury was completely off his game, and they still lost by only one goal.


I was shocked that the Penguins were still in the game taking into account how badly they were playing. The Pens defense looked really slow out there and the Penguins have historically struggled against disciplined teams, so the last night should have basically been a blow out. Elliott looks really weak and if his glove hand is as weak as Malkin showed last night on his two goals, the Sens are going to be in trouble unless Fleury completely melts down.
   38. Karl from NY Posted: April 15, 2010 at 07:18 PM (#3503640)
The Sharks have absolutely been my second-favorite team since their debut, simply because of their colors and logo.


The Sharks logo is an example of what started going wrong with pro sports in the 90's. They started the trend where every franchise identity must be Aggressive and Edgy and Hip and XXZTREME!. And because it worked - lots of suckers like you bought up Sharks merchandise - now every image and color in team sports is analyzed by committee for maximum marketing impact. Pro sports will not have any new simple elegant logos like the Cubs (just to pick one.) The Sharks weren't alone in the trend - the Orlando Magic is another offender, and several teams like the Marlins picked their colors to stick out for marketing purposes - but they were on the vanguard of it.
   39. Gaelan Posted: April 15, 2010 at 07:24 PM (#3503651)
There is a sense in which predictions are impossible since whomever wins the Cup will do so on the backs of the unpredictable star performance of a role player (see Maxime Talbot). That said (I thought all of these things before last night):

Ottawa over Pittsburg

Pittsburg is ripe for a fall and Ottawa has a great coach, star talent up front, and an emergin star in Karlson.

Philadelphia over New Jersey

Kovalchuk has cost himself millions of dollars with his play with Devils. The Flyers are better everyone but in net. It won't matter.

Buffalo over Boston

Boston sucks.

Washington over Montreal

Obvious

Detroit over Phoenix

Phoenix won't score enough over the course of the series

San Jose over Colorado

Colorado's presence in the playoffs are fluke. San Jose is done in the second round but thye can get by here

Vancouver over Los Angeles

Easy pick.

Chicago over Nashville

Likewise

Ottawa over Washington

Obviously I don't think Ottawa is better. However Ovechkin hasn't been the same since the Olympics and they look shaky to me. I'll take Ottawa

Philadelphia over Buffalo

Same as the Jersey series. Goaltending is overated.

Detroit over San Jose

San Jose isn't that good. Thorton is a bum.

Chicago over Vancouver

Best series of the playoffs. Stanley Cup winner comes from this series

Ottawa over Philadelphia

Chicago over Detroit

Chicago over Ottawa
   40. scotto Posted: April 15, 2010 at 07:25 PM (#3503652)
Looked it up. Shut out 3 times, scored 5 goals in 5 games. Yikes. New rules now and all, so it probably won't be that bad, but still...good luck against Miller.

More to the point, with the youngsters on D and Buffalo crashing the zone with 4 forecheckers the Bruins are going to have to figure out quickly how to keep the puck, break down the forecheck, find some seams to break it out and hopefully create some odd man rushes. THEN they have to get it by Miller.

So yeah, I think this scenario playing out and a quart or so of unicorn blood and the Bruins will advance.
   41. Harmon "Thread Killer" Microbrew Posted: April 15, 2010 at 07:39 PM (#3503671)
Stanley Cup Finals: Capitals in six.

That is all.
   42. zack Posted: April 15, 2010 at 07:41 PM (#3503673)
RE: Brian Campbell. He has that ridiculous contract, but he's also one of the fastest skaters in the league. He was brought in specifically to help the power play, right? So...

PP%

Overall: 17.7%
March: 14.3%
April: 10.0%

Fun with stats!

I seriously think most of the hate directed at Campbell is due to him being a ginger. Milton Bradley ain't know the half of it.
   43. Ron Johnson Posted: April 15, 2010 at 07:44 PM (#3503680)
I'm still optimistic about this series, though -- the defense was awful, Fleury was completely off his game, and they still lost by only one goal.


On balance justice was served in game 1. Several soft goals by both teams. Both goalkeepers are capable of better.

One of the things that speaks to game 1 being a fluke is that Ottawa's third line did an exceptional job of burying their chances. They generally generate a lot of chances but lack the skills to reliably finish them.
   44. JL Posted: April 15, 2010 at 07:46 PM (#3503681)
I echo Moses in 14 on the predictions. I am a Wings fan through and through, and I can not stand Quenville, but I think Chicago is too good to not make it to the finals this year.
   45. SUBJ is growing his playoff beard Posted: April 15, 2010 at 07:51 PM (#3503689)
The Sharks logo is an example of what started going wrong with pro sports in the 90's. They started the trend where every franchise identity must be Aggressive and Edgy and Hip and XXZTREME!


Yeah; damn those awful lime-green and purple abominations that are the Washington Nationals. No, wait, I meant the Columbus Blue Jackets. Um, Houston Texans? Oklahoma City Thunder? Ottawa Senators?

lots of suckers like you bought up Sharks merchandise


I just got called a sucker by some guy on the Internet! Yes! Today I am a MAN!
   46. Random Transaction Generator Posted: April 15, 2010 at 07:52 PM (#3503691)
My predictions (posted on another site before yesterday):

Washington in 5
NJ in 6
Buffalo in 6
Pittsburgh in 5

San Jose in 6
Vancouver in 6
Chicago in 5
Detroit in 5
   47. zack Posted: April 15, 2010 at 07:54 PM (#3503696)
Actually I think the Charlotte Hornets started the awful purple and teal trend.

Anyway, he's missing the point. What is awesome about the Sharks is that they kept those awful 90's-isms alive for two Decades, whereas the Rays, Diamondbacks, Coyotes, Ducks et. al all abandoned them for 'classic' colors and 'respectful' logos. Shows heart.
   48. Dewey, Soupuss Not Doomed to Succeed Posted: April 15, 2010 at 07:58 PM (#3503701)
At least with Byfuglien, though, he brings a pretty legit offensive game (compared to other defensemen).

Isn't he actually a winger pressed into service as a defenseman?

The 'Hawks seem to have regained their balance in the last couple of weeks, as have the Sharks. The Olympic break really screwed up both teams.
   49. Davo's Favorite Tacos Are Moose Tacos Posted: April 15, 2010 at 07:59 PM (#3503704)
I'm going to interrupt here:

I'm a 24 year old male. I love baseball (obviously; I'm on this site). I really like basketball (I always know which teams are good and who plays on what team, etc; I'm excited for the playoffs and will watch most of the games). I get football--I don't really know which teams are good anymore, and the players seem to switch teams all the time, but I can watch a game and know what's going on and not feel bored.

Put a soccer or golf or curling or boxing or whatever game on the tv, and even though I won't really know anyone involved, I can appreciate the competition. I'll know what the players/teams are trying to do, and what their opponents are trying to do to stop them.

And....I just don't get hockey at all. Never have, never will. I turn it on, and everything just seems completely random. I can't tell the difference between a good player and a bad player, because the goals just seem completely random...some guy takes a long shot, and a player closer to the net tries to deflect it with his stick.

So, I think that's the point at which I can't watch a sporting event. Until I can spot actual differences in the level of skill (as opposed to pure randomness), I just can't watch.

My two cents. Have fun! :)
   50. SUBJ is growing his playoff beard Posted: April 15, 2010 at 08:04 PM (#3503715)
What would you guys say is the most likely first-round upset?


The collars are probably getting tight in San Jose, but I can't see the Sharks choking again.

Montreal and Boston have no chance.

I'd put Nashville in this category but don't want to jinx anything, so I'll say I could see the Preds being disciplined, clogging the middle, successfully hounding Toews/Kane/Hossa, scoring key PP goals, and Rinne outright stealing a game or two...but I don't find it likely.

#5 beating #4's aren't "true" upsets; though like you, I would say Detroit is the favorite in this series.

I have a strange feeling about L.A. vs. Vancouver. I don't know why; the talented, battle-tested Canucks should run over the inexperienced Kings. But then, that's why it's an upset. :-)

The most "obvious" is Philadelphia over New Jersey, what with the Flyers owning the Devils so far this year. I'd say that's the series most are looking at for a shocker.
   51. Styles P. Deadball Posted: April 15, 2010 at 08:07 PM (#3503720)
Actually I think the Charlotte Hornets started the awful purple and teal trend.


Rex Chapman & JR Reid were in teal years before Neil Wilkinson and Craig Coxe.
   52. Dewey, Soupuss Not Doomed to Succeed Posted: April 15, 2010 at 08:07 PM (#3503722)
I turn it on, and everything just seems completely random. I can't tell the difference between a good player and a bad player, because the goals just seem completely random

Funny, this is how I feel about basketball.

I think hockey is the one sport that, when played right, allows star players to really shine. My rooting interest is no more than casual, but you can really tell the difference between a fast player and a slow player, a player who knows how to handle the puck and one who doesn't.

And you can really tell when there's a mismatch in terms of team talent. A good team can almost literally skate circles around a bad team in the NHL.
   53. Dewey, Soupuss Not Doomed to Succeed Posted: April 15, 2010 at 08:08 PM (#3503725)
I have a strange feeling about L.A. vs. Vancouver. I don't know why; the talented, battle-tested Canucks should run over the inexperienced Kings. But then, that's why it's an upset. :-)

I like the Kings' goalie, and in the playoffs, a hot goalie can take you a long way.
   54. Latnam's first name is Bob Lemon's middle name Posted: April 15, 2010 at 08:11 PM (#3503732)
Let's go Predators?

Seriously, I'm a huge fan, and feel like I'm in a lions' den with all you Blackhawks people.

I think the series between the 'Hawks and the Preds could go seven, but if it does the 'Hawks are gonna win. The Preds need Rinne to play like he did in March, and for Hornqvist to keep scoring, and Arnott to not get concussed, and Weber to keep being awesome.

Anyway, here are my predictions, made after last night:

SJ over Colorado in 5
Chicago over Nashville in 7
Vancouver over LA in 5
Phoenix over Detroit in 7

Washington over Montreal in 4
Philadelphia over Jersey in 6
Buffalo over Boston in 6
Pittsburgh over Ottawa in 7

Phoenix over SJ in 6
Chicago over Vancouver in 5

Washington over Philadelphia in 5
Pittsburgh over Buffalo in 7

Chicago over Phoenix in 5
Washington over Pittsburgh in 7

Washington over Chicago in 6

Hmm, looking at it, I have the Pens going to 7 games each round. Weird. Anyway, good hockey all.
   55. SUBJ is growing his playoff beard Posted: April 15, 2010 at 08:13 PM (#3503735)
Anyway, he's missing the point. What is awesome about the Sharks is that they kept those awful 90's-isms alive for two Decades, whereas the Rays, Diamondbacks, Coyotes, Ducks et. al all abandoned them for 'classic' colors and 'respectful' logos. Shows heart.


Another '90's uniform change/now rechanged that I miss? The Washington Capitals eagle. I also hate the "Buffaslug" and miss their 90's uni as well.

That being said, I think the Rays, D-Backs and Ducks all changed for the better. And I don't think anyone misses the Islanders "Gorton's Fisherman"; probably the most laughably stupid logo I've ever seen: Linky
   56. zack Posted: April 15, 2010 at 08:13 PM (#3503738)
So what explains why the West being so much better than the East, when all the traditional powerhouses (save Detroit) are in the East?
   57. zack Posted: April 15, 2010 at 08:17 PM (#3503740)
And I don't think anyone misses the Islanders "Gorton's Fisherman"; probably the most laughably stupid logo I've ever seen: Linky


I would like to introduce you to the Wild Wing.
   58. SoSH U at work Posted: April 15, 2010 at 08:25 PM (#3503750)
I also hate the "Buffaslug" and miss their 90's uni as well.


The heck with that. Go back to their crossed-swords under the buffalo logo fulltime.

That being said, I think the Rays, D-Backs and Ducks all changed for the better.


The problem with Arizona is incorporating the awful "D-Backs" into their logo/nickname. A beautiful (if long) sports nickname did not need to be given the tiresome A-Rod treatment.
   59. Langer Monk Posted: April 15, 2010 at 08:31 PM (#3503768)
So I'm real late, but so be it:

I'd have to double check, but since the restructuring of the Divisions, each 1st round, 2 division winners have lost. So my predictions:

Washington in 4
NJ in 7
Boston in 7 (yeah, Boston mostly sucks, but just a gut feeling on this one)
Pittsburgh in 6

San Jose in 7 (I'll even guess a Game 7 OT)
Chicago in 5
LA in 6
Detroit in 7

Washington in 5
NJ in 7
LA in 7
Chicago in a great 7 game series over Detroit

NJ in 6 vs Chicago in 5 and then to my dismay, the Blackhawks in 6. Which was my pick way back in October.

It is a great set of series though, and I think the only 'locks' are Washington in the first round, and Chicago in the first round. Beyond that, 6 tough series that will be all close games. You know, like last night.
   60. Jorge Luis Bourjos (Walewander) Posted: April 15, 2010 at 08:35 PM (#3503772)
As a Leafs fan, I object to this thread.
   61. Cabbage Posted: April 15, 2010 at 08:38 PM (#3503778)
Let's go Predators?

Seriously, I'm a huge fan, and feel like I'm in a lions' den with all you Blackhawks people.


The city is really taking to the team, so there is a lot of energy and interest in the team. There was sort of a perfect storm of the team getting good, Wirtz dying, HDTV getting into a lot of homes and bars, and the games generally being back on TV that let the interest in the blackhawks explode.

Take me for instance. I never thought about hockey growing up because the 'hawks were never on TV and my dad was more into the Cubs and Bears. When I went to school in st. louis, I actually got to see the 'hawks from time to time, so I rather got into the whole thing. I came back to Chicago after graduation, and forgot about hockey until Wirtz died and they went back on TV. Sense a theme? So maybe this is just my own interest in not seeing myself as a bandwagoner, but I think the rebirth of interest is a lot different here in Chicago than the one-time interest sparked in places like Carolina.

Which is a very long way of saying, "sorry you've wandered into 'Hawks Therapy"
   62. SUBJ is growing his playoff beard Posted: April 15, 2010 at 08:40 PM (#3503783)
So what explains why the West being so much better than the East, when all the traditional powerhouses (save Detroit) are in the East?


Cyclical talent movement. From '95 to about 2004, except for Detroit, Colorado, and Dallas, the West was a vast wasteland of uselessness.

Meanwhile, the East had the same top-end talent in Jersey, Philly, Pittsburgh, and Buffalo, whereas Toronto, Ottawa, Boston, Carolina, Washington, Florida, Montreal, and Tampa Bay would all fluctuate between the elite and the mid-card. Only the Rangers, Islanders, and (when they came around) Thrashers were habitually inept.
   63. Dylan B Posted: April 15, 2010 at 08:45 PM (#3503789)
And I don't think anyone misses the Islanders "Gorton's Fisherman"; probably the most laughably stupid logo I've ever seen:


I would like to introduce you to the Wild Wing.


More then the "banned" one the Blues were going to unveil?
http://i22.photobucket.com/albums/b319/beanballinc/StLouisBlues96.jpg


As for picks,

SJ in 6
Chi in 6
LA in 7
Pho in 7

Wash in 5
NJ in 6
Bos in 7
Pens in 5(yeah that was before the first game, still think it will happen)
   64. Robert in Manhattan Beach Posted: April 15, 2010 at 08:48 PM (#3503795)
Very excited about the Kings game tonight. I've cleared by schedule. It's been so long I've forgotten how great playoff hockey is when you have an actual rooting interest.
   65. Moses Taylor, Moses Taylor Posted: April 15, 2010 at 08:53 PM (#3503806)
So maybe this is just my own interest in not seeing myself as a bandwagoner, but I think the rebirth of interest is a lot different here in Chicago than the one-time interest sparked in places like Carolina.

Just look at ticket sales and attendance. In less than a year, they went from less than 2,000 season ticket holders to a waiting list. You cannot scalp tickets for less than double face - that was for the regular season, I haven't looked at the playoff prices yet.
   66. Dewey, Soupuss Not Doomed to Succeed Posted: April 15, 2010 at 08:54 PM (#3503812)
Take me for instance. I never thought about hockey growing up because the 'hawks were never on TV and my dad was more into the Cubs and Bears. When I went to school in st. louis, I actually got to see the 'hawks from time to time, so I rather got into the whole thing. I came back to Chicago after graduation, and forgot about hockey until Wirtz died and they went back on TV. Sense a theme? So maybe this is just my own interest in not seeing myself as a bandwagoner, but I think the rebirth of interest is a lot different here in Chicago than the one-time interest sparked in places like Carolina.

I followed the team pretty closely in the late'80s, early '90s, when the team was good and I was in high school. I well remember the season where Ed Belfour and Dominick Hasek were both on the team.

In the years following, however, Bill Wirtz really made one feel like a sucker for being a Blackhawks fan, so I drifted away. Wirtz really was like Mr. Burns, in almost every way.
   67. Charlie O Posted: April 15, 2010 at 08:58 PM (#3503821)
The Sharks logo is an example of what started going wrong with pro sports in the 90's. They started the trend where every franchise identity must be Aggressive and Edgy and Hip and XXZTREME!

I don't understand this. The Sharks' logo is just an adaptation of the Pittsburgh Penquins' logo. And it's not as if the Sharks were the Sharxx or Sharkz. Are you saying predetory animals and war-like humans weren't commonly used as mascots before the Sharks arrived? In the same metro area they already had the Spartans, Raiders, Bears, Invaders, and Warriors. If it was a trend, the Sharks were on the tail end of it.
   68. SUBJ is growing his playoff beard Posted: April 15, 2010 at 09:04 PM (#3503835)
Take me for instance. I never thought about hockey growing up because the 'hawks were never on TV and my dad was more into the Cubs and Bears. When I went to school in st. louis, I actually got to see the 'hawks from time to time, so I rather got into the whole thing. I came back to Chicago after graduation, and forgot about hockey until Wirtz died and they went back on TV. Sense a theme? So maybe this is just my own interest in not seeing myself as a bandwagoner, but I think the rebirth of interest is a lot different here in Chicago than the one-time interest sparked in places like Carolina.


I still enjoy telling new ("bandwagon" sounds so mean) fans about The Dark Ages of: Hackett, "superstar" Alex Zhamnov, missing the '98 playoffs when THAT didn't happen, Thibault, the ABC line, the '02 playoff fluke, a critical playoff game started by Steve F. Passmore, Drunk Theo Fleury, trading Steve Sullivan for nothing, the Michael Leighton/Craig Anderson Goaltender of the Future "duel", Tallon's slow-ass '05-'06 "I didn't understand the rules changes" team, Adrian Aucoin, a new coach every season, and other bullshit I've managed to block from my memory.

In other words: no one missed much.
   69. scotto Posted: April 15, 2010 at 09:05 PM (#3503837)
I'd say hockey might be the sport best suited for HiDef watching. Unless it pulls an ESPN Frozen Four and you spend half the game cursing the director and cameramen because you're missing the game.
   70. scotto Posted: April 15, 2010 at 09:07 PM (#3503839)
In other words: no one missed much.

Bob Probert!
   71. Cabbage Posted: April 15, 2010 at 09:10 PM (#3503846)
I still enjoy telling new ("bandwagon" sounds so mean) fans about The Dark Ages of: ...

The '02 playoffs were kinda painful really. I knew they weren't going anywhere, and the Blues fans I was surrounded by were not too polite about the whole thing.
   72. Moses Taylor, Moses Taylor Posted: April 15, 2010 at 09:36 PM (#3503885)
scotto, do you mean Blackhawks Legend Bob Probert?
   73. scotto Posted: April 15, 2010 at 09:39 PM (#3503891)
scotto, do you mean Blackhawks Legend Bob Probert?


That's hilarious.
   74. Greg K Posted: April 15, 2010 at 09:44 PM (#3503897)
Not to rub salt in any wounds
But how exactly did Hasek find his way from Chicago to Buffalo?

And to demonstrate my lack of snark, I will share my one memory of the Blackhawks of the past 15 years, which is when they embarassed the Leafs in the last game at the Gardens.

Plus, you do not have to live with alone with memories of Karpovtsev. We here in Toronto have those too.
   75. CWS Keith plans to boo your show at the Apollo Posted: April 15, 2010 at 09:49 PM (#3503903)
There is a sense in which predictions are impossible since whomever wins the Cup will do so on the backs of the unpredictable star performance of a role player (see Maxime Talbot).

Max Talbot -- role player? Max Talbot is a superstar.
   76. Langer Monk Posted: April 15, 2010 at 09:55 PM (#3503908)
When Hasek was traded to Buffalo, he was 28 or so, and had played a grand total of 25 games in the NHL. He was in Europe prior.
   77. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: April 15, 2010 at 09:59 PM (#3503912)
Sidney Crosby is a wizard.

His ability to make a pass just so in traffic is just amazing.
   78. zack Posted: April 15, 2010 at 10:00 PM (#3503913)
But how exactly did Hasek find his way from Chicago to Buffalo?


He was traded for [a pick that eventually became] the immortal Eric (put me in a) Daze!

In their defense, when you have an established, relatively-prime Ed Belfour it makes sense to trade a talented backup. You'd prefer a bit more return, though.
   79. Hack Wilson Posted: April 15, 2010 at 10:05 PM (#3503916)
Finally field hockey gets recognized on BTF. Amy Tran you rule.
   80. SUBJ is growing his playoff beard Posted: April 15, 2010 at 10:07 PM (#3503920)
scotto, do you mean Blackhawks Legend Bob Probert?


I got nothing. Even the Probert/Twist fights were all sound and little fury.

Not to rub salt in any wounds
But how exactly did Hasek find his way from Chicago to Buffalo?


To be fair:

A. Ed Belfour led the Hawks to the finals the season they traded Hasek.
B. Hasek was good-but-not-great his first year in Buffalo. He didn't become DOMINIK HASEK until the next season, when he was already 28.
C. Um...the Hawks did get Eric (Baby Lindros) Daze out of the trade. :-)

Edit: dammit Zack! :-)
   81. CWS Keith plans to boo your show at the Apollo Posted: April 15, 2010 at 10:17 PM (#3503931)
I still enjoy telling new ("bandwagon" sounds so mean) fans about The Dark Ages of: Hackett, "superstar" Alex Zhamnov, missing the '98 playoffs when THAT didn't happen, Thibault, the ABC line, the '02 playoff fluke, a critical playoff game started by Steve F. Passmore, Drunk Theo Fleury, trading Steve Sullivan for nothing, the Michael Leighton/Craig Anderson Goaltender of the Future "duel", Tallon's slow-ass '05-'06 "I didn't understand the rules changes" team, Adrian Aucoin, a new coach every season, and other ######## I've managed to block from my memory.

I remember the days when the ABC line was the future. In fact, I still wear my Ruutu jersey with pride. And I have to admit that I do take a sense of pleasure knowing that I didn't just "hop on" when they got good.

The '02 playoffs were kinda painful really. I knew they weren't going anywhere, and the Blues fans I was surrounded by were not too polite about the whole thing.

The only thing I remember from that series (I was 13 or so) was walking out into the concourse of the 300 level and seeing a fist fight between a Hawks and a Blues fan. There was some legit hatred going on in the stands that night.

I can't tell the difference between a good player and a bad player, because the goals just seem completely random...some guy takes a long shot, and a player closer to the net tries to deflect it with his stick.

I could see this being true for someone who doesn't watch much in the short-run. During the course of a season, though, if you can't tell the difference in skill between Patrick Kane and Adam Burish*, I'd have to question your judgment.

*Adam Burish is definitely the Hawks' "crappy player who somehow sells a lot of player T's and jerseys". Probably the best baseball comparisons are Podsednik from the Sox and Theriot of the Cubs (although that's an insult to the latter two, as they both have their uses. Burish just eats punches and gives face washes.).
   82. Greg K Posted: April 15, 2010 at 10:26 PM (#3503935)
Thanks to the NHL's liberal attitudes towards youtube, I certainy hope this thread turns into a "remember when X beat the #### out of Y" thread.

Since there's no way to connect the current line of conversation with my all time favourite fight, I'll start wtih Porbert introducing a young Tie Domi to the NHL.

Link
   83. mex4173 Posted: April 15, 2010 at 10:29 PM (#3503939)
I'm really conflicted this year. Should I, once a 8 year old Jets fan, put off hockey for years after they left, being cheering for or against the Coyotes?
   84. Latnam's first name is Bob Lemon's middle name Posted: April 15, 2010 at 10:41 PM (#3503948)
"remember when X beat the #### out of Y"


This is my favorite hockey fight ever: Right here. I was actually watching the game when it happened, and was disgusted with the Flames coach for putting out a bunch of goons with 3 seconds left or whatever it was.
   85. Drew (Primakov, Gungho Iguanas) Posted: April 15, 2010 at 10:44 PM (#3503949)
Let's see how quickly the Bruins can dash my hopes THIS year.
   86. deb Posted: April 15, 2010 at 10:44 PM (#3503950)
as a duckie fan I am being pushed to root for sharks and kings, but my soul weeps from that kind of evilness
   87. Neal Traven Posted: April 15, 2010 at 10:50 PM (#3503951)
I thought part of the Pens' problem was that they didn't know how to play when Malkin can actually score goals. The silver lining, as has been noted, is that Fleury was positively awful last night, yet they still lost by just one goal.
   88. Greg K Posted: April 15, 2010 at 10:54 PM (#3503954)
This is my favorite hockey fight ever: Right here.

Ooooh Goalie fights!
You can't go wrong with those...I'd also add some others to that discussion

like...
Roy
and maybe
Roy
and, just to change things up with a Chicago connection, some verbal sparring between Roenick and
Roy
   89. Guapo Posted: April 15, 2010 at 11:00 PM (#3503956)
Not much of a fight, but I've always found this entertaining.

and this.
   90. Yardape Posted: April 16, 2010 at 12:09 AM (#3503984)
As a Montreal fan, the last week of the season really hurt. Three games against non-playoff teams with nothing to play for, they lose all three and slide to the eighth seed. I would have felt pretty good about a matchup against New Jersey, Buffalo or Pittsburgh. None would be easy, but a healthy Montreal could play with any of those teams. But Washington? Plekanec is right, the Canadiens have better goaltending, but it will have to be spectacular to pull of this upset.

Washington over Montreal in 5
Philadelphia over New Jersey in six - the Flyers goal differential isn`t as bad as their seeding
Buffalo over Boston in 5
Pittsburgh over Ottawa in 5 - Obviously, I know what happened in Game 1, but I think Ottawa is just not that good

San Jose over Colorado in 5 - Again, Game 1 happened, but I think the Sharks are too much.
Hawks over Predators in 5
Canucks over Kings in 7
Coyotes over Red Wings in 7

Finals: Caps over Canucks in 6
   91. Greg K Posted: April 16, 2010 at 12:28 AM (#3503992)
Montreal's putting up a brave fight so far
   92. John DiFool2 Posted: April 16, 2010 at 12:37 AM (#3503996)
Red Wings fan: it all depends on which team shows up, the one which stumbled through the regular season until the Olympics hiatus, or the one which then got some injured players back post-Olympics and started kicking A. Jimmy Howard may win Rookie of the Year but who was the last rookie netminder to win the Cup? Roy in 1985?
   93. Greg K Posted: April 16, 2010 at 12:41 AM (#3503998)
who was the last rookie netminder to win the Cup? Roy in 1985?

Cam Ward did it in 2006
   94. JL Posted: April 16, 2010 at 12:58 AM (#3504000)
Ooooh Goalie fights!
You can't go wrong with those...I'd also add some others to that discussion

like...
Roy
and maybe
Roy


Roy is a real ass. Plus he gets it kicked all the time.
   95. Cabbage Posted: April 16, 2010 at 02:35 AM (#3504024)
Good for Montreal.
   96. Russlan is fond of Dillon Gee Posted: April 16, 2010 at 02:42 AM (#3504028)
I just want to say something about Rask. As a Leaf fan, this is basically the NHL version of the Kazmir-Zambrano deal. It's probably worse. The Leafs traded for Rask for Raycroft despite the fact that everyone thought that Rask was a superb prospect. It was supposed to be a trading some future for the present except that Rask was better than Raycroft when the trade was made. Raycroft played so poorly for the Leafs that they had to trade another first round pick for Vesa Toskala to be competitive who sucked as a Leaf.

If the Leafs had just kept Rask, the better goalie, they'd have been able to save picks and money.

I don't think Rask is quite as good as his numbers indicate this year but he's definitely an elite goalie.
   97. Greg K Posted: April 16, 2010 at 02:48 AM (#3504031)
I just want to say something about Rask. As a Leaf fan, this is basically the NHL version of the Kazmir-Zambrano deal.

But you're forgetting that the Leafs already had their goalie of the future in Justin Pogge!
So
all's well that ends well.

EDIT: Also...Leafs and Mets fan? Ouch. (Says the Leafs and Jays fan)
   98. Russlan is fond of Dillon Gee Posted: April 16, 2010 at 03:57 AM (#3504052)
I actually think the Leafs goaltending is could be pretty good. I like the way Gustavsson ended the season after getting healthy and they have a prospect in the minors, James Reimer, who had an excellent year. Hopefully, one of those guys can stabilize the position.

EDIT: Also...Leafs and Mets fan? Ouch. (Says the Leafs and Jays fan)

I'm a masochist.
   99. SUBJ is growing his playoff beard Posted: April 16, 2010 at 04:17 AM (#3504061)
Sure hope the Hawks are seeing all of these upsets.

and, just to change things up with a Chicago connection, some verbal sparring between Roenick and Roy


It should have been a penalty shot. That was a phenomenal series, but that play still pisses me off.

Ooooh Goalie fights!
You can't go wrong with those...I'd also add some others to that discussion


Ahem
   100. Backlasher Posted: April 16, 2010 at 04:21 AM (#3504062)
If the Leafs had just kept Rask,

If you kept Rask, then you wouldn't need to find an opponent for a goalie fight. Rask would just fight the actual arena. Link
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