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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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   101.   Posted: April 16, 2010 at 05:20 AM (#3504080)
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.


To be fair, there was another factor here. They traded Rask partially because of that, but also because they had another goalie prospect in Justin Pogge whom they thought would be better than Rask.

The Leafs are about as much of a mess as you can be. Really doesn't get much worse than last place with no 1st round pick ... and none next year either. Ouch.
   102. Russlan is fond of Dillon Gee Posted: April 16, 2010 at 05:54 AM (#3504087)
The Leafs are about as much of a mess as you can be. Really doesn't get much worse than last place with no 1st round pick ... and none next year either. Ouch.

I am actually pretty optimistic about them right now. Kessel is a legitimate star, a guy you hope a top-10 pick will become. Burke has signed a ton of players out of college so that has helped not having draft picks. Gustavsson, Brayden Irwin, Tyler Bozak, and Christian Hanson are all guys the Leafs have signed since Burke took over. Those are all guys the Leaf brass consider first round talent.

The Kessel trade turned out worse than expected but it's a deal I would want the Leafs again. Burke thought the team would be better but the goaltending was disappointing (Toskala was awful for them this year and Jonas had heart/groin problems). But they finished strong despite relying mostly on younger guys once they stabilized the goaltending.

Burke is a smart guy. I am not saying they'll win a Cup anytime soon but he'll turn the situation around sooner rather than later.
   103. Yardape Posted: April 16, 2010 at 06:10 AM (#3504089)
Burke is a smart guy. I am not saying they'll win a Cup anytime soon but he'll turn the situation around sooner rather than later.


I can't decide if I agree with this. On the one hand, he has a track record of success. On the other, he has a lousy team, and he got rid of the draft picks. He's stockpiling overpaid defencemen (hello, Mike Komisarek!) Maybe Burke thought they'd be better this year, but it's not as though the season was a complete surprise - Puck Prospectus had them tabbed as one of the league's worst teams. As a Habs fan, I fear that Burke is going to get them turned around soon, but so far I haven't seen how.
   104.   Posted: April 16, 2010 at 06:24 AM (#3504091)
Kessel is fine, but take a look at the players drafted top-3 the last few years. Basically all would be immediately better than Kessel and making substantially less money. That's the thing; there's a huge difference between a generic first round pick, and a top-3 pick. Top-3 picks get you an impact player pretty much immediately like 90% of the time. To give up one of those, and probably another one next year, for Phil Kessel and his $5M pricetag is insane. I honestly think that may have been the stupidest trade of the decade.

Bozak is a 24-year old that they bid high on out of college. He wouldn't even be able to make many of the playoff teams right now.

To have Kessel and Bozak for 9M/year together is pretty damned meh.
   105. Russlan is fond of Dillon Gee Posted: April 16, 2010 at 06:47 AM (#3504094)
That's the thing; there's a huge difference between a generic first round pick, and a top-3 pick. Top-3 picks get you an impact player pretty much immediately like 90% of the time. To give up one of those, and probably another one next year, for Phil Kessel and his $5M pricetag is insane. I honestly think that may have been the stupidest trade of the decade.

I honestly think that Kessel is a guy who can score 35-40 goals a year consistently. I can live with that although the trade was more expensive than I originally expected. The cap issue isn't that much of an issue to me because guys are cheap for only so long, 3 years. If you draft a guy as good as Stamkos, (significantly better than Kessel), who is going to be relatively cheap for three years before you have to pay him an arm of the league. And most of the time, the first yeat those guys are usually just mediocre.

I honestly think that may have been the stupidest trade of the decade.


The Rask trade is much, much, much worse.

I also love that Burke was able to dump Blake. If he can find a way to dump Finger, I will be amazed.
   106.   Posted: April 16, 2010 at 07:03 AM (#3504097)
The Rask trade has brought terrible results... but it could have gone the other way. Raycroft could have built off his rookie season, Pogge could have been the better prospect. It sucks that Rask wound up being the best of the three, but nobody knew that would happen.

With Kessel, there's almost no upside. Only way it works out is if he becomes a 40 goal scorer, and Hall/Seguin bust, AND the 2011 draft class does turn out especially weak. More likely the leafs are sitting in 2011 wondering why they missed out on that 21 year old superstar and that other top prospect who's almost ready to make an impact.

It wouldn't have been a bad trade if they were going to be mediocre this year, and they ended up trading the #15 pick or something. But nobody other than Burke thought that was going to happen. The leafs looked like a team that was going to be at the bottom and those are draft picks you really shouldn't trade away for just about anything. There just aren't too many top-3 picks over the last few years that I'd choose Kessel over...
   107. Russlan is fond of Dillon Gee Posted: April 16, 2010 at 07:11 AM (#3504100)
It wouldn't have been a bad trade if they were going to be mediocre this year, and they ended up trading the #15 pick or something. But nobody other than Burke thought that was going to happen. The leafs looked like a team that was going to be at the bottom and those are draft picks you really shouldn't trade away for just about anything. There just aren't too many top-3 picks over the last few years that I'd choose Kessel over...

I thought the Leafs had a shot at the playoffs but I really don't know that much about hockey. I do remember that Damien Cox, someone I think is a pretty neutral reporter, saying the Leafs would make the playoffs in 2010. I think at least some people thought that the first round picks where going to be in the 10-20 range rather than top-3.

Sorry, I know this is a playoff thread, not a Leafs thread.
   108. Greg K Posted: April 16, 2010 at 11:04 AM (#3504126)
Sorry, I know this is a playoff thread, not a Leafs thread.

It's ok, there hasn't been a lot to discuss so far. Every game has pretty much gone as expected.

EDIT: Just taking a look at random predictions on google, the consensus for the Leafs appeared to be anywhere from 8th to 10th.
   109. Moses Taylor World Re-Tour 2.0: Warszawa Posted: April 16, 2010 at 02:22 PM (#3504275)
It's ok, there hasn't been a lot to discuss so far. Every game has pretty much gone as expected.

Ha!

Montreal was really impressive last night. I doubt they play that well 3 more times though.

I really hate the Canucks, but if Luongo keeps his head on straight they very well may win the whole thing. They are the team that scares me most as a Hawks fan.
   110. scotto Posted: April 16, 2010 at 02:36 PM (#3504288)
Why do you hate the Canucks? That's probably the team I'm liking second best in the west. This is only because it hasn't won much, and it used to have a kick ass logo.
   111. scotto Posted: April 16, 2010 at 02:36 PM (#3504290)
And what I saw of the Habs was pretty impressive. The goal that Daniel Sedin scored in the next game was great.
   112. zack Posted: April 16, 2010 at 02:45 PM (#3504301)
The Canucks suck because everytime I see them play I think I'm watching the Whalers reborn. Bring back the skate!
   113. Dewey, Soupuss Not Doomed to Succeed Posted: April 16, 2010 at 02:49 PM (#3504305)
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.

Belfour was notoriously jealous of and prickly to his backups, and basically forced Hasek out of town. It sort of killed any leverage the 'Hawks might have had in trade talks.
   114. Cabbage Posted: April 16, 2010 at 02:54 PM (#3504314)
I really hate the Canucks, but if Luongo keeps his head on straight they very well may win the whole thing. They are the team that scares me most as a Hawks fan.

I have mixed feelings about the 'Nucks. In a dispassionate sense, they're the kinda team I'd generally sorta root for if the 'Hawks weren't really involved: pacific northwest, green men, etc. However, they're one of the 'Hawks' clear rivals in the West. Since the series last year, the games have all been pretty intense, and they're a clear obstacle in our Cup path.

Unrelated: Luongo's OT save was pretty nice, but it would have been hilarious if Vancouver hadn't been able to clear the puck. Then Kings could have scored because Luongo's stick got stuck in his pads and he couldn't get up <u>after</u> making a killer save.
   115. Moses Taylor World Re-Tour 2.0: Warszawa Posted: April 16, 2010 at 02:57 PM (#3504319)
Why do you hate the Canucks? That's probably the team I'm liking second best in the west. This is only because it hasn't won much, and it used to have a kick ass logo.

Last year's playoff series. This. This. Just the usual stuff that happens when two good teams keep matching up against each other. Maybe "hate" is too strong of a word. I do hate the Wings more, but still...

I have mixed feelings about the 'Nucks. In a dispassionate sense, they're the kinda team I'd generally sorta root for if the 'Hawks weren't really involved

Yeah, I guess this sums it up for me too.
   116. CWS Keith plans to boo your show at the Apollo Posted: April 16, 2010 at 03:26 PM (#3504356)
Yes -- what Moses said in 115. I despise the Canucks more than any team in the West. In fact, I know hating Detroit is the thing to do if you're a Hawks fan, but I feel absolutely no animosity towards their current team. I think I hate Vancouver because it sure seems like the Hawks players hate them -- I'd say it's easily the Hawks' biggest rival.

I think the main reason for my hate is Alexander Burrows. Does he ever stop chirping? The whole thing with Willie Mitchell stirred the pot too, although it was sweet sweet justice that Kane turned in such an epic performance last year to shut Mitchell TFU.

Kind of appropriate, actually, because the other team I really don't like is Nashville, and if everything holds serve the Hawks will get those two in the first two rounds. I should mention that it's not Nashville's team per se, but the obnoxiousness that is their home games (the country goal song, the high school-quality chants of their fans).
   117. scotto Posted: April 16, 2010 at 03:28 PM (#3504360)
I'd say it's easily the Hawks' biggest rival.

No wonder St. Louis's got the blues.
   118. The Original SJ Posted: April 16, 2010 at 03:31 PM (#3504364)
This is very, very exciting.

Go Sabres.
   119. Jimmy P Posted: April 16, 2010 at 03:33 PM (#3504368)
I'd say it's easily the Hawks' biggest rival

The Canucks?!? No way. It's the Dead Wings. #### them
   120. scotto Posted: April 16, 2010 at 03:37 PM (#3504376)
The Canucks?!? No way. It's the Dead Wings. #### them

Funny, as a Bruins fan I should by all rights hate the Canadiens. I don't, I have too much respect for the franchise and its players. The Flyers can go #### themselves though.
   121. CWS Keith plans to boo your show at the Apollo Posted: April 16, 2010 at 03:38 PM (#3504378)
Perhaps I shouldn't have left out the distinction of Vancouver being their biggest current rival. I wouldn't (and couldn't) make that case historically, but this year with these two teams? Definitely. When was the last time the Hawks/Wings had a heated game/series/moment -- the Kronwall hit on Havlat, probably? Even so, it doesn't seem like that carried over into this year, and there seems to be no general animosity on the ice between players*. It usually amounts to back-and-forth between the fans.

*That's why Vancouver versus the Hawks is so epic. You have Buff talking #### to Luongo, Kesler v Ladd, Kane/Toews and Mitchell, Burrows + Bieksa v everyone. I even seem to recall the Sedin twins getting involved at various times.
   122. The Original SJ Posted: April 16, 2010 at 03:40 PM (#3504381)
You know who I hate Zdeno Chara. F that guy.

As a Sabres fan of recent vintage (I used to be a whalers fan) I dislike only the Stars and the Senators. I don't care about anyone else.
   123. DA Baracus Posted: April 16, 2010 at 03:43 PM (#3504384)
You know who I hate Zdeno Chara. F that guy.


I saw him play in the AHL when he was still a prospect and thought "this guy can't skate. He'll never make it, he's just a freak show." Too bad that career as a scout never panned out for me.
   124. The Original SJ Posted: April 16, 2010 at 03:46 PM (#3504390)
He still can't skate all that well. It also drives me batty that Tyler Myers is constantly compared to him, but it is only because they are both very tall defenders.

Tyler Myers is fluid on the skates, for sure. He is nothing like Chara, who is a bag.
   125. JL Posted: April 16, 2010 at 03:46 PM (#3504394)
Montreal was really impressive last night. I doubt they play that well 3 more times though.

While I thought Montreal looked good, alot of it had to do with bad decisions and play by Washington. Reminded me a lot of the Sens/Pens game 1.
   126. DA Baracus Posted: April 16, 2010 at 04:03 PM (#3504416)
He still can't skate all that well.


Skating is certainly not his forte, but the dude can play.

------

Randy Jones blowing it for the Kings was just... perfect.
   127. Cabbage Posted: April 16, 2010 at 04:05 PM (#3504419)
Perhaps I shouldn't have left out the distinction of Vancouver being their biggest current rival.

Its sort of like that Avs/Wings nastiness from a few years ago. Given the state of the teams, its just not that important of a rivalry anymore.
   128. The Original SJ Posted: April 16, 2010 at 04:15 PM (#3504435)
Skating is certainly not his forte, but the dude can play.


He is a force back there, for sure.
   129. SUBJ is growing his playoff beard Posted: April 16, 2010 at 05:56 PM (#3504531)
First I was going to comment on Greg K.'s "every game has gone as expected so far" comment, but Moses took care of that.

Then I was going to note the comparison between the Canucks/Hawks temporary rivalry with the Avs temporarily taking the Hawks spot against the Red Wings, but Cabbage beat me to it.

So, I guess I've got nothing to say. :-)

Oh, yeah, actually I do; after watching the highlights of the games last night, my Kings over Canucks pick doesn't look that great, unless Doughty, Johnson, and anyone else on the ice with the Sedin line can find a way to legally strap rockets to their skates. Yes, it was one game, and yes, the Kings could have won if that one puck does trickle in behind Luongo...and yes, there are very few teams with answers to the Sedin line, but...every time that line was on the ice they were just skating circles around every white shirt and hammering Quick with shots from everywhere.

Not sure if L.A. has an answer, but they better come up with one, er, quick.
   130. Langer Monk Posted: April 16, 2010 at 06:15 PM (#3504543)
The Flyers can go #### themselves though.


Yes. Yes they can.
   131. Kurt Posted: April 16, 2010 at 06:55 PM (#3504578)
While I thought Montreal looked good, alot of it had to do with bad decisions and play by Washington.

Agreed. I thought the Caps looked lazy and sluggish, like they expected Montreal to just roll over for them.
   132. JL Posted: April 16, 2010 at 08:12 PM (#3504653)
Agreed. I thought the Caps looked lazy and sluggish, like they expected Montreal to just roll over for them.

Absolutely. Plus, Montreal played well. They were definitely up for the game. I don't see them doing it three more times, but the Caps can't continue to play like they did last night and expect to go far.
   133. Greg K Posted: April 16, 2010 at 08:30 PM (#3504683)
Funny, as a Bruins fan I should by all rights hate the Canadiens.

I usually have to keep this on the downlow, but the Leafs are my favourite team, and the Habs 2nd. Probably because in my entire lifetime they've only played one game with anything on the line...that crazy last game of the season a couple years back where they were battling for the last playoff spot, but then the Islanders beat NJ in a shootout to eliminate them both.
   134. zack Posted: April 16, 2010 at 08:30 PM (#3504685)
Montreal, like the Red Wings and the 2006 Cardinals aren't as bad as their record indicates, they improved over the course of the season. I laughed at all the sweep predictions around here (in DC), though the Caps will still win easily.

Not having Versus or the NHL network anymore is killing me. ESPN doesn't know that hockey exists, and the Western Conference might as well be the KHL in this town. I need a fix!
   135. SUBJ is growing his playoff beard Posted: April 16, 2010 at 09:02 PM (#3504720)
At the end of the Cubs game today on WGN Radio (the Cubs and Blackhawks are both on 'GN), Cubs announcer Pat Hughes mentioned that the entire Cubs team was going to the Hawks game tonight, and he wished the Hawks the best of luck on their playoff run.

Then, after a couple of seconds, he added, almost as an afterthought "and good luck to the Bulls as well". Talk about two teams who couldn't possibly be in more different positions....
   136. SUBJ is growing his playoff beard Posted: April 16, 2010 at 09:11 PM (#3504726)
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.


Latnam, if you're still here, I hope you return and keep posting throughout the series, no matter what happens. I think hearing the viewpoint from behind the enemy lines is always interesting.

I will admit I'm not afraid of the Preds, per se, but I do have a healthy respect for them. Why? Because they're currently the team that could knock the Hawks out. My view on the series, as I posted earlier in the thread:

I could see the Preds being disciplined, clogging the middle, successfully hounding Toews/Kane/Hossa, luring the Hawks into stupid penalties, scoring key PP goals, and Rinne outright stealing a game or two...I just don't find it likely.


So how is the view from Nashville? Is there a sense of, "oh, we're going to have to play perfect to win"? Or is it more of, "we're going to kick their pansy Northern asses"? :-)
   137.   Posted: April 16, 2010 at 09:14 PM (#3504727)
I think the main reason for my hate is Alexander Burrows. Does he ever stop chirping?


Every team has a player like Burrows.

For example, during the series last year I wanted to punch Dustin Buttfugly in the face.
   138. Dewey, Soupuss Not Doomed to Succeed Posted: April 16, 2010 at 09:20 PM (#3504731)
Then, after a couple of seconds, he added, almost as an afterthought "and good luck to the Bulls as well". Talk about two teams who couldn't possibly be in more different positions....

The Blackhawks have a real shot at the Cup this year. If they're lucky, the Bulls might steal a game from the Cavs.
   139. Cabbage Posted: April 16, 2010 at 09:29 PM (#3504739)
Then, after a couple of seconds, he added, almost as an afterthought "and good luck to the Bulls as well". Talk about two teams who couldn't possibly be in more different positions....

and Pat's a big basketball fan too. I caught him on some morning show a while back talking about the NBA draft.

But wrong thread really. Go Hawks!
   140. Langer Monk Posted: April 17, 2010 at 02:14 AM (#3504992)
My god this Devils-Flyers series may kill me.
   141. Cabbage Posted: April 17, 2010 at 04:31 PM (#3505196)
well, that Hawks series didn't start out too well. Niemi let in one soft one, but he still played well enough for them to win. The problem was that they couldn't stand up to Nashville's forechecking. Preds played a solid game, that's for sure.

that's why they play 7.
   142. Adam M Posted: April 17, 2010 at 04:48 PM (#3505211)
well, that Hawks series didn't start out too well.


Games like that are why being a Hawks fan is so frustrating. I know it's only one game, but losing 4-1 at home against the weakest team they will get to face in the playoffs? I hope they just took a night off and that spanking serves as a wake-up call.
   143. Chris Fluit Posted: April 18, 2010 at 01:51 PM (#3506412)
Bringing back the Leafs thread-jack for a moment...

The Rask trade has brought terrible results... but it could have gone the other way. Raycroft could have built off his rookie season, Pogge could have been the better prospect. It sucks that Rask wound up being the best of the three, but nobody knew that would happen.


Sorry, Shock, but that was a bad trade from the beginning. You have to consider Raycroft's whole career and not just his Calder-winning season. Raycroft may have taken home the trophy for Rookie of the Year but he did it in his fourth season with the team. In three previous seasons, he wasn't able to get into enough games to remove his rookie status. Then, after the lockout, Raycroft promptly loses his starting job. So you have a guy who took 4 years to win the starters job and then loses that job in his second season as a starter. Raycroft's Calder trophy was a fluke of timing more than it was a true indicator of success. He was always going to be what he is now.

As for Pogge- Pogge was a national hero in Canada for one of the Gold Medal-winning World Junior teams and that artificially inflated his stock, especially in Toronto. Rask was always the better prospect. That's why Rask was drafted in the first round and Pogge in the third. That's why Rask made it to the NHL two years ahead of Pogge despite being a year younger (Pogge was born in '86; Rask in '87). That's why Rask was able to wrest a starter's job away from a reigning Vezina champion at the age of 23 while Pogge was traded away by the Leafs at the same age without ever getting a look at the NHL level.

Even at the time of the trade, many observers were saying the Rask was not only going to be the best of the three but was already the best of the three. Plenty of people knew that would happen. It was a bad trade at the time, and it's indefensible now.
   144. CWS Keith plans to boo your show at the Apollo Posted: April 19, 2010 at 06:28 AM (#3507248)
Oh my goodness, San Jose. Doesn't get much more unlucky than that.
   145. Cabbage Posted: April 19, 2010 at 02:35 PM (#3507377)
Sucks to be the Sharks. There has to be some fan out there who roots for the Sharks and Cubs, and I pity that man.

Solid Hawks game. Niemi played great. I'm still worried about our lower pairings faltering under Nashville's very impressive forecheck -- Buff made an atrocious drop pass at the start of the game -- but the offense seemed to be properly clicking.

I'm still not sold on the power play. It was excellent, as strong as its been all season, for the first two periods, but they absolutely eased up on those PPs in the third. The first goal was really pretty though: Kane made a great play to keep possession after Keith's one-timer and made a nifty pass in to Toews. Toews' pass was pretty sweet too; he really threaded the needle. Finally, Bolland had to grab the puck on the backhand and flick it in without really getting a look at the goal. Great play all around.
   146. Moses Taylor World Re-Tour 2.0: Warszawa Posted: April 19, 2010 at 03:40 PM (#3507449)
For example, during the series last year I wanted to punch Dustin Buttfugly in the face.

As a Hawks fan, there's usually at least once or twice during each game where I'd like to punch him in the face. He's calmed down on that stuff now though, Eager and Burrish are the agitators.

I missed last night's game (on a flight), but it sounds a lot like game 1. Which sound like everything is going Nashville's way but the Hawks are still too talented for the Preds to win the series. I am sorry for the Sharks fans, but I'm enjoying that series. Anderson was a ####### god last night.

Games like that are why being a Hawks fan is so frustrating. I know it's only one game, but losing 4-1 at home against the weakest team they will get to face in the playoffs? I hope they just took a night off and that spanking serves as a wake-up call.

It was just one bad period, which has been the recurring theme the last month or so. It was frustrating, but every series had a game like that for every team. That's why the NHL playoffs are the best.
   147. scotto Posted: April 19, 2010 at 04:02 PM (#3507492)
Moses, too bad you missed the game. Another great performance by Nashville's goalie, a much better offensive game by the Hawks although not without some hiccups, and they did a decent job managing the break.

The one thing that I noticed is that they sometimes played it too cute in the offensive zone. They want to make that perfect pass, and so on. I was encouraged by the Kane goal, where he had the chance to pass and instead took the shot. He did a good job freezing the defenseman and goalie on that play too.

The Bolland goal was awesome.
   148. zack Posted: April 19, 2010 at 07:07 PM (#3507675)
I see this blurb about the Hawks signing Ben Smith. I know nothing about the particulars of the NHL draft, how is that a team is signing a player from the 2008 draft? Are players considered drafted for a period longer than a year, or was he 'on loan' to the college team?
   149. Dewey, Soupuss Not Doomed to Succeed Posted: April 19, 2010 at 07:57 PM (#3507707)
Are players considered drafted for a period longer than a year, or was he 'on loan' to the college team?

I believe that, as long as the player is North American, the drafting team has the rights to a drafted player until the player's 23rd birthday, at which point they become a free agent. They have strict draft slotting, though, so there's no reason for a drafted player to hold out from signing unless they want to finish school or something.

Players from Europe are also subject to the draft, but the rules are different for them.

EDIT: Drafted but unsigned players count against the total team roster, so a team can only carry so many unsigned players.
   150. Tulo's Fishy Mullet (mrams) Posted: April 19, 2010 at 08:17 PM (#3507730)
Not a big NHL fan at all (reg season), but do watch fair amount of SC Playoffs, and the first game I was able to consume in its entirety was Sharks/Avalanche. I was very much engaged, and watched a good 75% of the action, then I pop over to MLB's Quick Pitch flip back and miss the ##### kick-in goal.

1st round of Stanley Cup Playoffs >>>>>> NBA 1st round
   151. Esmailyn Gonzalez Sr. Posted: April 19, 2010 at 09:26 PM (#3507782)
Are players considered drafted for a period longer than a year, or was he 'on loan' to the college team?

Junior players have until draft day 2 years after they are drafted to be signed by their teams. If they are not signed by that time they go back into the draft. College players' rights stay with their drafting team until they graduate, I believe. European players are also exempt from the 2 year rule. Most Canadian players play 2 years of junior after being drafted (some 3), as they are not allowed to be sent to the AHL in that 2 year period. Their NHL team either has to keep them or return them to their junior team.
   152. Esmailyn Gonzalez Sr. Posted: April 19, 2010 at 09:28 PM (#3507785)
They have strict draft slotting, though, so there's no reason for a drafted player to hold out from signing unless they want to finish school or something.

It's not slotting per se, but there is a rookie salary cap that used to be $875,000 per year for 3 years. (Number may have changed since I remember). They are allowed performance bonuses on top of that though.
   153. Autobahn Posted: April 19, 2010 at 09:49 PM (#3507799)
They have strict draft slotting, though, so there's no reason for a drafted player to hold out from signing unless they want to finish school or something.


Eric Lindros held out against signing with the Quebec Nordiques for like a couple of years before they blinked and had to trade his rights, but that was mostly because he didn't want to speak French and wanted to play in a big market team.
   154. Justin T., Director of Somethin Posted: April 19, 2010 at 10:10 PM (#3507811)
Oh my goodness, San Jose. Doesn't get much more unlucky than that.

If they would have shown up for Game 1 and probably won that game, this would be a tough loss but not a real big impediment to winning the series. Unfortunately, they never learn that you can't just pick which games you feel like winning. It doesn't always happen.
   155. SUBJ is growing his playoff beard Posted: April 20, 2010 at 05:48 AM (#3508286)
Matt Ellis is going to wake up with Excedrin Headache #9 tomorrow. Holy crap, what a hit.

I'd say the Bruins are surprising me, but jeez...what hasn't been surprising so far? Every series starting 1-1 since the first round went to 7 games in '87, 3 actual regular-season-style one-on-one fights so far (when there's hardly ever much actual fighting in the playoffs), Brodeur, Rinne, and Luongo all making the "save of the playoffs" in the first week, the San Jose OT own goal, "Andy, Andy!", the crazy 5 goals in 3 minutes in Pheonix; this whole six days has had a whole playoff season worth of highlights on its own.

If non-hockey fans have decided to peek in on these games because of the Olympics, they're sure getting their money's worth. Every series is exciting and there wasn't one real "blowout" game until Washington/Montreal tonight.
   156. SUBJ is growing his playoff beard Posted: April 20, 2010 at 05:58 AM (#3508291)
Oh, and that answer to the Sedin line that I mentioned L.A. needed? "Screw it; we'll just score on every power play" is certainly a novel approach. :-)
   157. scotto Posted: April 20, 2010 at 11:19 AM (#3508318)
The hit that Boychuk laid on Ellis last night might be the biggest and best clean, open ice hit that I've seen in a couple of years. I've missed a bunch, I'm sure, but it scared the piss out of my cats when I leapt out of my chair yelling.

Good game by the B's. They managed to keep the pressure on the Sabres while still keeping pretty tight in their defensive zone. Wideman's goal came on a really nice play, and I loved the way that Recchi created some space to set up the second Boston goal.

Grier's goal was pretty awesome as well. No dicking around the puck, he let it rip and Rask had no chance at all. I missed the Kings/Canucks game, though.

I'm looking forward to the next one. I hope the Boston crowd stays as involved in the game as this past one. It was a big contrast to the last game that I saw,
   158. Latnam's first name is Bob Lemon's middle name Posted: April 20, 2010 at 02:16 PM (#3508390)
Latnam, if you're still here, I hope you return and keep posting throughout the series, no matter what happens. I think hearing the viewpoint from behind the enemy lines is always interesting.


Well, game one was great. I mean, we had a lucky goal to get on the board, then a hard working goal to get the lead, then we did something we never do: score on an empty net. That relaxed me for a bit before the Hawks almost scored again before we somehow got another empty netter. Seriously, I'm like the most nervous fan ever. It's from years of watching the Red Wings destroy us, I think.

Game 2 went the way I was afraid game one would go. Hawks getting through on the PP (the Pred's special teams are remarkably bad this year.. normally our PP is slightly below average, but our PK is top 5-10, this year they're both awful), which was eventual. And the Preds couldn't generate any sustained pressure. Also eventual.

Aside from a couple of shifts in game one, the Preds "top line" of Erat-Arnott-Wilson haven't looked very good. And they were one of our strongest lines down the stretch. That's not good. If the Preds don't score in the first period, I'd expect a shake up, maybe moving Dumont up and Erat down.

Apparently Trotz has decided he doesn't trust Cody Franson except on the PP, which means that Klein and Hamhuis have to be on the ice at the same time, which is a bad idea. They both play fine to great with other D partners, but together they both suck. It is so weird. They were both on the ice for the second goal in game 2.

I'm hoping home ice can turn things around for us. Rinne has been playing well, and I'm hoping Hornqvist isn't too injured. It's never good losing your leading goal scorer. I remember the first year the Preds made the playoffs, I was still living in Nashville, and I went to the first three home games in Preds Playoff history. The Preds lost two in Detroit, even after they probably should've won game one, and came back in to win games 3 and 4 at home. That Red Wings team was better than this Hawks team, and that Predators team was worse than this Preds team. (Except maybe in goal, we still had Tomas Vokoun back then...) So I think its possible the Preds win the next two.

Of course, I also remember a few years after that, Preds were 4th in the West, three points behind the Wings for 1st. I drove from Athens to Nashville right before my law school finals to games 1 and 2. The Preds won game one behind a four assist performance from Kariya, and solid goaltending of Chris Mason (Vokoun was out with a rare blood disorder), and then the Preds lost the next four.

What I'm saying is, anything can happen. The Preds are certainly the underdogs, we don't have any players as skilled as Toews, Kane or Hossa. Possibly even Sharp. Rinne is probably the best goalie in the series, but that won't matter if we can't put some kind of offense together ourselves. I'm pumped/nervous as hell for game 3 tonight.
   159. The Original SJ Posted: April 20, 2010 at 02:28 PM (#3508402)
The hit that Boychuk laid on Ellis last night might be the biggest and best clean, open ice hit that I've seen in a couple of years.

Ellis probably isn't on the ice at all if Boychuk doesn't take out Vanek with a dirty, dirty play in game 2.

Sabres played as bad as I have ever seen them play. They were a bad power play team all season.They had trouble scoring, but without Vanek and Hecht and a rusty Stafford and Connolly, I don't see how they can win another game short of Miller standing on his head. He is capable of doing that, but I don't see how he can shut the bruins out for three games.

This series is over.
   160. Cabbage Posted: April 20, 2010 at 02:35 PM (#3508417)
The Sedin no-goal should have been a goal, but I think we all knew Toronto was going to waive it off.
   161. scotto Posted: April 20, 2010 at 02:40 PM (#3508425)
Rinne has been playing well

This is a very remarkable understatement. He's been fan-#######-tastic.
   162. Latnam's first name is Bob Lemon's middle name Posted: April 20, 2010 at 03:14 PM (#3508453)
This is a very remarkable understatement. He's been fan-#######-tastic.

Well, I didn't want to sound like a homer. Since the Olympics he's been on fire, making saves one what I thought were sure goals multiple times.

In the Predators community, such as it is, there was actually a bit of an uproar that he got the extension/#1 position of Dan Ellis. I'm pretty sure that's been put to rest now.
   163. JL Posted: April 20, 2010 at 03:29 PM (#3508477)
Phoenix has looked much better than I thought. While I still think the Wings can win, I am starting to think they won't. Howard has been unspectacular to say the least. He needs to step it up.
   164. Latnam's first name is Bob Lemon's middle name Posted: April 20, 2010 at 06:54 PM (#3508676)
While I still think the Wings can win, I am starting to think they won't.


I've only every seen one Wings game(Let alone series) where I didn't think they'd win. That was one where Nashville got up 8-0. And it was only after the 5th goal I started to feel that way.
   165. CWS Keith plans to boo your show at the Apollo Posted: April 21, 2010 at 03:28 AM (#3509443)
Hawks would have been better off staying in the locker room tonight. Christ -- counting last year and this year, I can't recall a performance as poor as tonight. That was pathetic.
   166. CWS Keith plans to boo your show at the Apollo Posted: April 21, 2010 at 04:09 AM (#3509453)
Regarding Rinne, he's been good, but I wouldn't go much further than that. That's not really a slight against him either -- coming into the series my biggest fear was that he would absolutely stand on his head and give the Hawks lots of trouble. But the Hawks aren't even averaging 30 shots per game. I've been more impressed with Nashville's relentless forecheck -- look no further than the Hawks' breakout of their own zone, which has been absolutely piss poor. When the Hawks have been good this year, they control possession of the puck (and subsequently outshoot opponents by anywhere from 7-to-15 shots). That hasn't happened this series and -- truth be told -- it's been a long time (before the Olympics? before the new year?) since the Hawks have consistently (i.e. strung together several games in a row) dominated possession.
   167. scotto Posted: April 21, 2010 at 01:26 PM (#3509572)
Last night's performance was poor. I was watching the game while doing a couple of other things, but passes seemed to be more off the mark than usual, and they did have trouble getting out of the zone. Part of me was wondering if the ice was in bad shape. There looked to be a lot of pucks hopping over sticks and all that.

Some dumb penalties were taken by the Hawks too.
   168. Latnam's first name is Bob Lemon's middle name Posted: April 21, 2010 at 02:26 PM (#3509616)
I'm starting to get mildly optimistic for the Preds/Hawks series. The Preds always play well at home, and last night played one of their better games in a while. Man, their special teams are still horrendous. But overall, a good game. The refs seemed to swallow their whistles in the third, with the exception of the Penalty Shot, which I'm not sure actually should have been one. (At the time I really wanted a regular penalty just to take time off the clock, I had no faith in scoring a goal on that.)

It also looked to me, and people who have seen the Hawks play more than me can correct me if I'm wrong, but it looked to me like in the 3rd the Hawks were just resigned to a loss and kinda stopped playing. I've seen the Preds do that before, and it bugs the hell outta me.

Even if the Preds win tomorrow, I won't feel good about this series until its over. I'm a supreme pessimist when it comes to the Preds.
   169. Cabbage Posted: April 21, 2010 at 02:35 PM (#3509631)
Well, last night sucked.

I thought Niemi played fine, but most of the rest of the team played like garbage. I'm more worried about Q than anything else.

As far as the Hawks looking "resigned" in the 3rd, the actual problem was that the Coach Q Random Line Generator spat out the absolutely inane Kane-Toews-Kopecky line. Which, as the entire team realized, was a waste of talent.

I suppose I should defer to the guy who's been around the game forever, but his incessant line juggling seems to be shooting the team in the foot. First, it seems like a puck possession style game plan would benefit from line stability. A little familiarity would probably compliment the teams style of play. Second, there is no need to blow up lines that are playing like gangbusters! Sharp-Toews-Hossa were unstoppable, and that line needs to stay in place.

The ice sucked, but so what. Those boys need to amp it up. They were seriously outplayed tonight. I hope Captain Serious beats the crap out of a few people today, just because it needs to be done.
   170. Shredder Posted: April 21, 2010 at 02:56 PM (#3509661)
Why do you hate the Canucks? That's probably the team I'm liking second best in the west. This is only because it hasn't won much, and it used to have a kick ass logo.
I hate them because of Alex Burrows and their fans. Mostly their fans, who are a bunch ####### whiners. These are the same fans who still boo Jack Johnson because of Steve Downie's dive in the World Juniors from a few years ago. Steve freaking Downie! One of the dirtiest and most hate-worthy players in the league.

If you're a Vancouver fan, it's a penalty when Ryan Smyth follows through on a pass and catches someone with a high stick*, but not when Luongo does it*. If you're a Vancouver fan, it's a penalty when Jarret Stoll's clearing attempt goes off of a Sedin's stick and out of play, but not when Kevin Bieksa plays the puck with six guys on the ice. If you're a Vancouver fan, the Canucks should have won about eight Stanley Cups by now, but it's all a conspiracy by the NHL, who hates Vancouver, and will never let another Canadian team win the cup. They had two gifted opportunities to win game two after the Kings tied it up, but their crappy power play couldn't deliver.

So far the Kings have had the best goalie (Quick), the best forward (Handzus), and the two best defensemen (Doughty and Johnson). If not for Randy Jones' world-class suckitude, it could easily be 3-0 right now. The good news for the Canucks is that Jones is back in the lineup.

*Note: The correct answer is that neither of these were penalties, and the correct call was made both times.

Also, I have serious man love for Drew Doughty.
   171. JL Posted: April 21, 2010 at 04:20 PM (#3509742)
I've only every seen one Wings game(Let alone series) where I didn't think they'd win. That was one where Nashville got up 8-0. And it was only after the 5th goal I started to feel that way.

Glad you think so. I am not too sure. But Howard played very well last night. If that gets him back into the grove, the Wings should be able to win this one.
   172. CWS Keith plans to boo your show at the Apollo Posted: April 21, 2010 at 06:10 PM (#3509871)
As far as the Hawks looking "resigned" in the 3rd, the actual problem was that the Coach Q Random Line Generator spat out the absolutely inane Kane-Toews-Kopecky line. Which, as the entire team realized, was a waste of talent.

Yes. I was stunned when I saw Kane on a line with Madden (who has been terrible, BTW -- so much for "veteran presense" and all that) and Eager. Why, exactly, have Kane and Toews been separated when they've worked so well together for the better part of three years? "Spread out the scoring"? I don't buy that. The Hawks have gone from a team with one dominant line (Kane, Toews and whoever rode shotgun) to a team with no dominant lines. If I had my druthers, I'd go with:

Kane - Toews - Sharp/Brouwer
Hossa - Bolland - Ladd (Reunite the shutdown defensive line from last year, with Hossa taking Havlat's spot.)
Versteeg - Madden - Brouwer/Sharp
Kopecky - Fraser - Eager
   173. Yardape Posted: April 22, 2010 at 02:20 AM (#3510437)
Tonight`s game probably sealed the deal for Montreal, even though they actually played a pretty good game. This is what the crappy last week of the regular season brought them. If they`d played this well for four games against Buffalo or New Jersey, they`d at least have a split, maybe a 3-1 lead. Instead, they`re down 3-1, and their GM is going to have to figure out what to do about his goalies.
   174. The Original SJ Posted: April 22, 2010 at 02:47 AM (#3510484)
I am never going to see the Sabres win the cup. they are young, sure, they have a great backstop, but they just don't have enough firepower.
   175. Justin T., Director of Somethin Posted: April 22, 2010 at 03:03 AM (#3510514)
Must be tough to be Ryan Miller this year. Playing out of his mind but his teams keep coming up short.
   176. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: April 22, 2010 at 03:05 AM (#3510517)
I don't really follow the NHL anymore, but how have the Maple Leafs continued to suck since...well ever since I can remember? Shouldn't they be like the Yankees of the NHL? Or at least the Red Sox (Red Wings = Yankees)
   177. Papa Squid Posted: April 22, 2010 at 03:15 AM (#3510521)
How far back do you remember and what's your definition of suck? They've definitely sucked since the lockout, but they made Conference Finals in 1993, 1994, 1999, and 2002. In 2003-04, they had the 5th best record in the league. 2004's not THAT long ago...
   178. Russlan is fond of Dillon Gee Posted: April 22, 2010 at 06:44 AM (#3510573)
I don't really follow the NHL anymore, but how have the Maple Leafs continued to suck since...well ever since I can remember? Shouldn't they be like the Yankees of the NHL? Or at least the Red Sox (Red Wings = Yankees)

The Leafs had a horrible owner from 1970-1990, a guy who would make Peter Angelos seem like the best owner in the world. He was as meddlesome as Steinbrenner but he was very cheap. It never hurt him financially because Leaf fans always made sure that the team made a ton of money.

Since then, the Leafs have made 4 conference finals and probably have been a little unlucky not to have made the finals at least once as they were probably just as good if not better than their opponents every time. That said, they have not been a great franchise either and I think it comes down to two reasons. One, while they have spent money, they have never been willing to blow their competition out of the water in that regard. So, they spend enough money to be good but not great which means they've never been in the position to draft a Crosby or Ovechkin. Two, they are horrible at drafting players. The most accomplished players the Leaf have drafted in the first round in the last 15 years is probably Nik Antropov.

In some ways, the salary cap is the best thing that could have happened to them. The fans will demand that they spend near the cap and the Leafs have spent more money on acquiring executives and coaches who are highly regarded. In fact, part of the reason Gustavsson signed with the Leafs is to work with their goaltending coach. They just signed another goaltending prospect, Jussi Rynnäs, for perhaps the same reason.
   179. Latnam's first name is Bob Lemon's middle name Posted: April 22, 2010 at 05:13 PM (#3510869)
So, any predictions on tonight's Preds/Hawks game? I think tonight's game is going to come down to Rinne. If he can stand on his head, then the Preds have a chance. I know the Hawks are going to come out flying, and I fully expect them to dominate TOP and SOG. I think it'll either be a close Preds victory (like 2-1 or 1-0) or a 4+ goal blowout by the Hawks.
   180. Jimmy P Posted: April 22, 2010 at 05:25 PM (#3510884)
I don't really follow the NHL anymore, but how have the Maple Leafs continued to suck since...well ever since I can remember? Shouldn't they be like the Yankees of the NHL? Or at least the Red Sox (Red Wings = Yankees)

Should, but they always end up being more like the Cubs.

they are horrible at drafting players

This is huge. They don't get anything from anyone they draft.
   181. Cabbage Posted: April 22, 2010 at 06:03 PM (#3510929)
So, any predictions on tonight's Preds/Hawks game?

yeah, I'll be drinking.

I really hope the reported lines from practice were just decoys. If Q puts Bickell up with Daydream Nation (official nickname for a Toews/Kane pairing, via Second City Hockey), then he's officially off his rocker. They're also saying that Campbell will be a gametime decision. I understand this game is critical, but if he's not healed he's not healed. There is no point to sending him out just to see his collarbone re-broken mid-way through the first shift.
   182.   Posted: April 22, 2010 at 06:07 PM (#3510937)
The Canucks game last night almost killed me.
   183.   Posted: April 22, 2010 at 06:09 PM (#3510942)

Should, but they always end up being more like the Cubs.


They're kind of more like the Orioles in that they have really, really needed to rebuild for a long time and it's obvious to everyone except themselves. Now they are trying to rebuild without having a first round pick in the next two years which should be ... interesting.
   184. Jimmy P Posted: April 22, 2010 at 06:28 PM (#3510975)
I really hope the reported lines from practice were just decoys. If Q puts Bickell up with Daydream Nation

I hate the hockey coach mentality of taking two awesome forwards and putting them with a guy that just isn't good. It happens a lot, and it really is frustrating. Sometimes having one line that is way more talented than anything your opponents can match is the way to go.
   185. Jimmy P Posted: April 22, 2010 at 06:30 PM (#3510978)
They're kind of more like the Orioles in that they have really, really needed to rebuild for a long time and it's obvious to everyone except themselves.

Yeah, but no one gives a #### about the Orioles. The Leafs are one of the most storied franchises in the NHL. Plus, I believe they have the longest streak of Cuplessness (or is it my beloved Hawks?).
   186. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: April 22, 2010 at 06:33 PM (#3510982)
Leafs won last in 1967, Hawks in 1961
   187. Russlan is fond of Dillon Gee Posted: April 22, 2010 at 06:36 PM (#3510988)
Now they are trying to rebuild without having a first round pick in the next two years which should be ... interesting.

Well, they did use those two picks to get Kessel so it's not like they threw them away for nothing.
   188. Ron Johnson Posted: April 22, 2010 at 06:45 PM (#3511009)
needed to rebuild for a long time and it's obvious to everyone except themselves.


The ownership group blocked any logical rebuilding action. They were prepared to throw money at the problem but that only works with a solid core. And because of the known issues it was hard to get top quality senior management. In a very real sense I think John Ferguson Jr. shows us what (pick favorite bad GM) would look like with a basically unlimited budget and orders to win now.

They've now got a highly regarded GM who came in saying all of the right things. And in very short order made a deal that looks very much like something out of the Ferguson playbook. Not that Kessel is a terrible player, but I can't see giving up a real shot at a true franchise player for a forlorn hope at the playoffs. I believe he was put under a fair amount of pressure to made some short term moves.
   189. Russlan is fond of Dillon Gee Posted: April 22, 2010 at 06:50 PM (#3511013)
I'm pretty sure that Burke has complete control. That's just the vibe I get.
   190. Cabbage Posted: April 22, 2010 at 06:51 PM (#3511014)
Well, they did use those two picks to get Kessel so it's not like they threw them away for nothing.

But that's it. Will Phil Kessel be a star when they're ready to get good again? Its better to have the talent all at the same point on the development curve. By the time any decent group of skaters comes along, Kessel might very well start to slip.
   191. Papa Squid Posted: April 22, 2010 at 07:20 PM (#3511071)
Will Phil Kessel be a star when they're ready to get good again?


This is a league where Phoenix and Colorado went from crap to playoffs in a year; where Boston went from 2nd-overall to barely making it in the span of a year; where Montreal went from 8th to 1st and back to 8th again; where Pittsburgh went from out-of-the-playoffs in February to Stanley Cup in June; where Carolina went from crap to a Conference Final and back to crap in a year. It's a fine, fine line between good and crappy in the NHL.

I see what you're getting at. But unless you think the Leafs will be useless for 8 years (this was only Kessel's age-22 season) and they could be, absent a career-ending injury, I'm not too concerned that Kessel will decline by the next time the Leafs are relevant.
   192. Russlan is fond of Dillon Gee Posted: April 22, 2010 at 07:37 PM (#3511089)
It's a fine, fine line between good and crappy in the NHL.

Absolutely. The Leafs played pretty well post-Olympic break and a lot of that had to do with Giguere and Gustavvson stabilizing the goaltending position. Kessel is only 22. I'd be shocked if he doesn't play in some playoff games as a Leaf.
   193. Cabbage Posted: April 22, 2010 at 08:00 PM (#3511120)
The Leafs played pretty well post-Olympic break and a lot of that had to do with Giguere and Gustavvson stabilizing the goaltending position. Kessel is only 22. I'd be shocked if he doesn't play in some playoff games as a Leaf.

Those are two good points.

I knew Vesa sucked, but I didn't really grok how awful he was. Also, I'm a baseball fan first, so its hard to step away from the thinking about the development/talent/success cycle in a baseball sense. Career arcs are a lot different in the NHL.
   194. JL Posted: April 22, 2010 at 09:17 PM (#3511200)
Leafs won last in 1967, Hawks in 1961

I know you did not write it as a judgment, but as much as I hate to admit, this is not a fair comparison. The Wings and Hawks had the same owner for many years, resulting in Hawks getting the short end most of the time.

So, any predictions on tonight's Preds/Hawks game?

Chicago needs to score. Four goals in three games is not going to cut it.

While I still think the Wings can win, I am starting to think they won't.

So to respond to myself, I am back to thinking the Wings will win. Hope I did not jinx Howard.
   195. Random Transaction Generator Posted: April 22, 2010 at 10:06 PM (#3511239)
Leafs won last in 1967, Hawks in 1961

To be completely unfair and ridiculous, Ottawa hasn't won a Stanley Cup in 83 years.
   196. PJ Martinez Posted: April 22, 2010 at 10:07 PM (#3511240)
I don't follow hockey at all, so imagine my surprise when I came upon this headline yesterday:

Satan completes comeback for Bruins in 2OT, up 3-1 on Sabres


I'm sure it's old hat to NHL fans at this point, but it's still pretty awesome.
   197. Justin T., Director of Somethin Posted: April 22, 2010 at 10:18 PM (#3511248)
Sometimes having one line that is way more talented than anything your opponents can match is the way to go.

Unless two of the three players are Patrick Marleau and Joe Thornton in the playoffs.
   198.   Posted: April 22, 2010 at 10:37 PM (#3511260)

I'm sure it's old hat to NHL fans at this point, but it's still pretty awesome.


I still get a kick out of his player database ID, which cannot possibly be a coincidence.
   199. PJ Martinez Posted: April 22, 2010 at 10:44 PM (#3511266)
Oh man, he even looks satanic! At least in that photo. The eyebrows, the goatee... fantastic. And yeah, no way that database # is a coincidence.

I was reading a Bruins-centric thread at another board after last night's game, and it was (inadvertently) hilarious.
   200. Yardape Posted: April 23, 2010 at 12:26 AM (#3511415)
Absolutely. The Leafs played pretty well post-Olympic break and a lot of that had to do with Giguere and Gustavvson stabilizing the goaltending position. Kessel is only 22. I'd be shocked if he doesn't play in some playoff games as a Leaf.


I`d be shocked too, but I wonder if that will end up being as comforting for Leafs fans as it should be. Burke has indicated, both by trading away the picks for Kessel and through his statements at the trade deadline, that he`s not interested in a long rebuilding project; he thinks it will be done quickly. Though he`s got a good track record, I`d be worried that he makes a big push for mediocrity - just enough to make the playoffs, not enough to be a serious contender.
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