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Monday, January 21, 2013

OT: NHL is finally back thread

Now that the season has finally started it’s time to break from the NFL thread.

odds are meatwad is drunk Posted: January 21, 2013 at 01:09 PM | 1685 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: hockey, nhl, ot

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   201. zack Posted: April 10, 2013 at 11:01 AM (#4409676)

I'm just glad to get a brief respite from the constant "What's Wrong With Ovechkin" columns, when the answer is just that goalscorers peak relatively young and the team got a fair bit worse/was coached by someone out of his depth.


I'm also sick of those, especially since he was still a good player. But his decline, whatever it is, preceded the things you're talking about. Except maybe Mike Green getting hurt.
   202. Russlan is fond of Dillon Gee Posted: April 10, 2013 at 10:59 PM (#4410392)
I am so glad that the Leafs are comfortably in the playoffs because their struggles to win shootouts would be really annoying me right now otherwise.
   203. odds are meatwad is drunk Posted: April 11, 2013 at 03:02 PM (#4410970)
This Hawks team looks ready to do some damage in the playoffs, just need to stay healthy now that sharp is back. They also prove you dont need a top dollar goalie to win, using emery and crawford they have had great results
   204. zack Posted: April 11, 2013 at 03:24 PM (#4410997)
Speaking of, Detroit have just signed Jimmy Howard to a 6-year extension worth $5.3 per. I would not want that contract on my team, especially going into the new cap.
   205. DA Baracus Posted: April 11, 2013 at 03:30 PM (#4411000)
Speaking of, Detroit have just signed Jimmy Howard to a 6-year extension worth $5.3 per. I would not want that contract on my team, especially going into the new cap.


LOL. That's essentially the remainder of Bryzgalov's contract.
   206. Russlan is fond of Dillon Gee Posted: April 13, 2013 at 12:00 AM (#4412770)
Speaking of, Detroit have just signed Jimmy Howard to a 6-year extension worth $5.3 per. I would not want that contract on my team, especially going into the new cap.

I'd give Ken Holland the benefit of the doubt.
   207. Russlan is fond of Dillon Gee Posted: April 15, 2013 at 10:45 PM (#4415318)
Phil Kessel is quietly having an excellent season. Averaging a point a game, playing better defensively. He doesn't get a lot of love but he's played very well this year. Reimer has been fantastic this season. 17-5-5, .925 save percentage. Toronto's been getting outshot a lot lately but have been winning. That's probably not a trade that can continue.
   208. BurlyBuehrle Posted: April 16, 2013 at 05:03 AM (#4415408)
Does anyone know (or know of a good source) the historic correlation between regular season success and playoff success?

In my (thoroughly unscientific) look at results from the 95-96 season to present (endpoint arbitrary save for fact it was a lockout-shortened campaign played to completion):

Cup winner averaged about 4th in overall regular season points. Cup winner finished outside top-4 in 5 of last 17 seasons (12 Kings, 11 Bruins, 09 Penguins, 97 Wings, 95 Devils). Cup winner won President's Trophy in 3 seasons (01 Avs, 02 Wings, 08 Wings).

I'd love to see something a bit more scientific...
   209. odds are meatwad is drunk Posted: April 18, 2013 at 04:32 AM (#4417663)
Hawks clinch the top seed in the west, 4 points and a game in hand on the top overal seed. so far 70 out of 84 possible points (96 for a perfect season)
   210. odds are meatwad is drunk Posted: April 18, 2013 at 04:33 AM (#4417664)
for a full nhl season the hawks would be on pace for 140 points!
   211. Russlan is fond of Dillon Gee Posted: April 20, 2013 at 09:51 PM (#4420840)
The Leafs have been playing really poorly over their last 4 games but Reimer has been spectacular in 2 of those games so they picked up two wins. Tonight, he made 49 saves to beat Ottawa 4-1.

Leafs clinched a playoff spot for the first time since the first lockout.
   212. Greg K Posted: April 21, 2013 at 03:18 AM (#4420948)
Leafs clinched a playoff spot for the first time since the first lockout.

Hmm, so I've heard that here, on my facebook feed, and on nhl.com. Independent confirmation from three or four other sources and I might start to believe it!
   213. Russlan is fond of Dillon Gee Posted: April 21, 2013 at 11:33 PM (#4421840)
Independent confirmation from three or four other sources and I might start to believe be-Leaf it!

Fixed that for you.
   214. steagles Posted: April 23, 2013 at 09:53 PM (#4424009)
oliver lauridsen scored his first NHL goal tonight against boston. he blew past chara, then deked the goalie out of his boots to slip the puck through the 5 hole. it was a hell of a way to score his first goal.
   215. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: April 23, 2013 at 09:57 PM (#4424020)
The Bruins have spent the last six weeks playing with their heads up their asses. Either they or the Canadiens are going to be the number two seed in the conference and neither team deserves it.
   216. The Yankee Clapper Posted: April 23, 2013 at 10:32 PM (#4424070)
The Capitals resurgence should be noted. #3 clinched.
   217. Kurt Posted: April 23, 2013 at 10:40 PM (#4424076)
It turned out to be a heck of a race in the SE. Caps had won 9 of 10 going into tonight, the Jets were 6-0-1 in their previous seven.
   218. Russlan is fond of Dillon Gee Posted: April 23, 2013 at 10:46 PM (#4424081)
The Bruins have spent the last six weeks playing with their heads up their asses. Either they or the Canadiens are going to be the number two seed in the conference and neither team deserves it.

I really hope that the Bruins end up second or that the Leafs end up sixth. They have no shot against the Bruins. That team owns them.
   219. Russlan is fond of Dillon Gee Posted: April 24, 2013 at 03:06 PM (#4424741)
Erik Karlsson had surgery to repair his torn Achilles tendon on Feb 13. He might play tomorrow. Hockey players are tough.
   220. PASTE Thinks This Trout Kid Might Be OK (Zeth) Posted: April 24, 2013 at 03:15 PM (#4424755)
I'm pretty sure either Boston or Washington is going to win the East. And then probably get spanked by Chicago in the Finals. That team is crazy good.

But then again it's the playoffs, and you never know who's going to show up with the hot goalie.
   221. steagles Posted: April 24, 2013 at 06:16 PM (#4425079)
oliver lauridsen scored his first NHL goal tonight against boston. he blew past chara, then deked the goalie out of his boots to slip the puck through the 5 hole. it was a hell of a way to score his first goal.
and here's the video
   222. odds are meatwad is drunk Posted: April 25, 2013 at 04:28 AM (#4425372)
Hawks clinch the presidents trophy, with 2 games to go they have 75 out of a max of 96 (could get to 79) that is crazy
   223. zack Posted: April 30, 2013 at 10:47 AM (#4429322)
PUUUHHHLLAAAAAAAAAAAAAYOOOOOOOOOFFFSSSSSS!

Funny that Ovi is finally back in the press' good graces and getting Hart talk when he's still pretty much the same reduced player. He just got lucky and scored a ridiculous half of his goals on the PP.
   224. odds are meatwad is drunk Posted: April 30, 2013 at 11:42 PM (#4430271)
Cue the Dagger

hell of a game, that goalie for the wild (harding) played out of this world
   225. Russlan is fond of Dillon Gee Posted: May 01, 2013 at 10:50 AM (#4430478)
The Bruins are the worst possible matchup for the Leafs. I'd be really surprised if the Leafs won more than one game in this series.
   226. zack Posted: May 01, 2013 at 11:06 AM (#4430492)
Is there anyone you think they'd be favorited against? Washington, maybe. The Isles, but the Leafs were never going to be more than a 4 seed, they're fortunate to be in the playoffs at all, they led the league in PDO.
   227. Russlan is fond of Dillon Gee Posted: May 01, 2013 at 11:21 AM (#4430508)
I am not saying that the Leafs would be favored against anyone but the Bruins OWN the Leafs. Last year, the average score was 6-1 Bruins in the six match-ups. The flow of play is usually entirely for the Bruins.

What is PDO? I think the Leafs were better than the numbers might say because they have an excellent goalie. I think Reimer proved last year's struggles were due to the effect of his concussion.
   228. SouthSideRyan Posted: May 01, 2013 at 12:26 PM (#4430570)
Hawks sleptwalk until OT. They can probably do that all series and not lose more than a game though.
   229. Moses Taylor, Moses Taylor Posted: May 01, 2013 at 12:46 PM (#4430596)
I don't think the Hawks sleptwalked. Harding did play a great game.
   230. Papa Squid Posted: May 01, 2013 at 12:49 PM (#4430602)
Ruslan: PDO is the sum of save percentage + shot percentage at even strength. Like all hockey advanced stats, PDO doesn't mean anything, yet it is named such. It's viewed primarily as a measure of luck, as teams tend to regress to the league average, which is 1000 by defintion. I suppose it's similar to BABIP. It's never been clear to me why these two unrelated measures are combined.
   231. Flynn Posted: May 01, 2013 at 01:29 PM (#4430669)
The Bruins and Leafs remind me of when the US plays England in soccer. Because both teams play pretty much the same style, it comes down to which team has better talent. There's no matchup problem for England because the US plays in an extremely familiar style. It's the same with the Leafs and Bruins, and the Bruins are the better team, hence why everybody seems to feel like the Bruins have got this.
   232. zonk Posted: May 01, 2013 at 01:48 PM (#4430700)
I'm with Moses -- Crawford came out jittery, but pulled himself together and played a hell of a game after that first shot. Harding just matched him and then some. Even the gamewinner took a pretty passing sequence to get another one by him. Sometimes the opposing goalie just stands on his head and there's not a whole lot you can do about it.... it was a well-earned win.
   233. WillYoung Posted: May 01, 2013 at 01:49 PM (#4430705)
Yesterday was the best shot the Wild are going to have this series. It's a shame they couldn't steal one with Zucker causing all sorts of havoc.
   234. zack Posted: May 01, 2013 at 02:37 PM (#4430783)
You could argue the 'hawks sleepwalked the 1st period, they were clearly all out of sorts, but I don't think it was lack of effort. They dominated the rest of the game.

Suter signed at 28 for big money for 13 years. Are the Wild just planning on writing off the last 6 or 7 years of that? And they had a teenager play 34 minutes. Contrast that with Quenville, where the ice time leader at the end of regulation was Toews, and none of the D-men had more than ~22 minutes.

   235. odds are meatwad is drunk Posted: May 01, 2013 at 03:28 PM (#4430854)
Hawks have crazy depth, beong able to roll that 4th line and have it be effective is huge for them
   236. Chris Fluit Posted: May 03, 2013 at 02:26 PM (#4433086)
I don't remember being this disappointed in a loss before. The Wings blow a 3-1 lead and then lose one of their better defenseman to a broken thumb (rookie Danny DeKeyser) in overtime because they couldn't close the game out when they had it in hand. They won the game but it's not a good sign going forward- not the coughed up lead, nor the loss of a key player.
   237. Chris Fluit Posted: May 03, 2013 at 02:42 PM (#4433110)
On another topic- I don't like the way that the Hart discussion has turned into a referendum on whose team made the playoffs by the smallest margin. Nobody wants to give it to Stamkos or St. Louis because they didn't make the playoffs. Nobody wants to give it to Crosby or Kane because their teams were so good, they would have made the playoffs without them (and in Crosby's case, Pittsburgh wrapped up the #1 seed while he was out with a broken jaw). So it seems to be narrowed down to Ovechkin or Tavares because their teams might have missed the playoffs without them- as if the only line that counts is the one between 57 or 55 points and 51 (the difference between the playoff bound Capitals and Islanders and the 9th place Jets). That's how you end up with some truly ridiculous selections in retrospect. Maybe Tavares actually deserves the Hart- he was 3rd in goals after all. I didn't see enough Islanders games this year to know for sure. But I'd rather give it to "the best player having the best year" (NBA reporter David Aldridge's definition for his sport's MVP). In my mind, that was Patrick Kane even if Chicago had an 11 point cushion over the #2 seed. And I say this as a Wings fan who hates the Blackhawks.
   238. steagles Posted: May 04, 2013 at 12:47 AM (#4433720)
On another topic- I don't like the way that the Hart discussion has turned into a referendum on whose team made the playoffs by the smallest margin. Nobody wants to give it to Stamkos or St. Louis because they didn't make the playoffs. Nobody wants to give it to Crosby or Kane because their teams were so good, they would have made the playoffs without them (and in Crosby's case, Pittsburgh wrapped up the #1 seed while he was out with a broken jaw). So it seems to be narrowed down to Ovechkin or Tavares because their teams might have missed the playoffs without them- as if the only line that counts is the one between 57 or 55 points and 51 (the difference between the playoff bound Capitals and Islanders and the 9th place Jets). That's how you end up with some truly ridiculous selections in retrospect. Maybe Tavares actually deserves the Hart- he was 3rd in goals after all. I didn't see enough Islanders games this year to know for sure. But I'd rather give it to "the best player having the best year" (NBA reporter David Aldridge's definition for his sport's MVP). In my mind, that was Patrick Kane even if Chicago had an 11 point cushion over the #2 seed. And I say this as a Wings fan who hates the Blackhawks.
i'd take toews over kane. he puts up a PPG, plus he's better defensively, he's great on faceoffs, he plays the PP and PK.


but i think that's mostly a moot point anyway. neither toews nor kane is in the discussion if stamkos played for a better team or if crosby wasn't a steaming ##### or if ovechkin didn't take most of the last 3 years off.
   239. odds are meatwad is drunk Posted: May 04, 2013 at 11:58 PM (#4434300)
Tows deserves it i think, led the league in faceoffs great on defense amd plenty of points
   240. steagles Posted: May 05, 2013 at 03:13 AM (#4434361)
i only caught a couple of minutes of the boston-toronto game, but in that time i heard some toronto announcer call brad marchand "drako malfoy".


   241. Russlan is fond of Dillon Gee Posted: May 05, 2013 at 12:27 PM (#4434484)
I can't be the only one who didn't get that reference in 240. I am really glad that the Leafs won a game in Boston. The atmosphere in Toronto for Game 3 is going to be crazy. It would have been more subdued had the leafs lost both games.
   242. steagles Posted: May 06, 2013 at 07:35 AM (#4434927)
I can't be the only one who didn't get that reference in 240.
i actually hope it sticks, because if it does it would be my 2nd favorite reference to a harry potter character, behind only malcolm tucker's repeated references to ollie reeder as "ron weasley".
   243. Greg K Posted: May 06, 2013 at 07:57 AM (#4434933)
i actually hope it sticks, because if it does it would be my 2nd favorite reference to a harry potter character, behind only malcolm tucker's repeated references to ollie reeder as "ron weasley".

It's amazing how Tucker can drop cultural references of all sorts into his day-to-day conversation, but struggles so mightily to remember the name of the biggest pop culture movie of all time.
   244. Yardape Posted: May 08, 2013 at 01:44 PM (#4437515)
I was thinking this morning about how the Canucks have yanked their goalies around in the last two playoffs, even though their problem has really been scoring. Meanwhile the Penguins have stuck with Fleury despite his less-than-stellar play. Then I read that they are going to bench Fleury for Vokoun in Game 5. I guess we'll see how that goes.
   245. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: May 08, 2013 at 01:49 PM (#4437522)
I'm a Bruin fan and I love the Marchand/Malfoy reference.
   246. zack Posted: May 08, 2013 at 04:35 PM (#4437746)
Then I read that they are going to bench Fleury for Vokoun in Game 5. I guess we'll see how that goes.

Fluery sucks, but I don't think he's the root of the problem. The problem seems to me to be the same that Vancouver has had, they lose their ####### minds in the playoffs.
   247. Yardape Posted: May 08, 2013 at 04:52 PM (#4437772)
Fluery sucks, but I don't think he's the root of the problem. The problem seems to me to be the same that Vancouver has had, they lose their ####### minds in the playoffs.


I don't think he is either, at least not this year. I just thought it was funny that he seemed to get a much longer leash than Luongo, even though Luongo has generally played fine.
   248. PASTE Thinks This Trout Kid Might Be OK (Zeth) Posted: May 08, 2013 at 07:45 PM (#4437914)
I slag Fleury all the time because he's vastly overrated and in fact merely average, but the Penguins' defensive meltdown isn't his fault.

Fleury's the Mark Reynolds of goalies. He's being roasted right now because he's been giving up one or two soft goals a game and the Penguins have been getting lit up like a movie marquee. But the thing is that Fleury gives up one or two soft goals almost every game. He also makes one or two genuinely spectacular saves every game. As long as only two or three goals are allowed and the team wins, everyone thinks he's great. When the team plays lazy, sloppy hockey in the neutral zone and just plain bad in their own end and they give up five or six goals, everyone remembers the couple of softies Fleury allowed and blame it all on him. Fleury's the same average goalie he's always been. The Penguins are on the brink of losing the series because they've been playing lazy, sloppy hockey--you know, exactly the same as they played in the playoffs the last two years.

Now that said, it is very obvious that Fleury needs to be benched the rest of the series. He really kind of had a meltdown late in Game 4 and no one has any faith in him right now--including, most troublingly, Fleury himself. They have to go to Vokoun now. If they don't put Vokoun in now, you have to wonder why the hell they paid him $2 million to be on the roster.

If the Penguins do blow this series, or for that matter even if they survive the Islanders and then lose to Ottawa in round 2... that makes three straight years they got a high seed and embarrassed themselves in the playoffs in extremely similar fashion (playing sloppy as hell and getting into shootouts.) To me that signals that their entire team building philosophy isn't working and won't win a title. If that's how it turns out this year, I would seriously consider drastically retooling the team--firing Bylsma and trading Malkin this offseason, most notably. They've been trying to build around slow scoring forwards around their two star centers and it's been failing miserably in the playoffs. I would suggest retooling and building around forwards that can skate and defensemen that can, you know, play sound defense. Trading Malkin, who imo is a mere luxury on a team that already has Crosby, would likely bring back two such players that will together cost as much as or less than Malkin does.

(It also bears mentioning here that their struggles with the Islanders are half their own sloppiness and half the fact the team, for all its scoring prowess, is just slow. The Islanders are beating them partly through the Penguins turning the puck over and partly because the Islanders have fast skaters that are just skating past the Penguins' slow skaters.)

And I would definitely buy Fleury out--no team is gong to touch his contract now, and that's a pretty good rule of thumb for when you should buy a guy out in a league that has a tight salary cap.
   249. Random Transaction Generator Posted: May 08, 2013 at 07:57 PM (#4437920)
Fleury's biggest problem seems to be pucks that come from behind the goalline.
Either shots that miss and then bounce back, or passes/shots from behind the line to the front.
He has absolutely no idea what to do with them, and more often than not seems to put them into his own net.

He's going down that Jim Carey road to irrelevance...
   250. Random Transaction Generator Posted: May 08, 2013 at 07:58 PM (#4437922)
Who's more likely to be a starting goaltender (somewhere) next year: Fleury or Luongo?
   251. PASTE Thinks This Trout Kid Might Be OK (Zeth) Posted: May 08, 2013 at 08:51 PM (#4437959)
Fleury's biggest problem is ADD. He's just prone to not pay attention. He's also one of those guys that should never, ever be allowed to leave the crease under any circumstances.

That said, both Fleury and Luongo will definitely be starting goaltenders next year. Fleury in Pittsburgh, Luongo somewhere other than Vancouver. No chance Fleury leaves Pittsburgh--everyone there loves him, so they won't just buy him out, and no other team will want to touch his contract with a 40 foot pole even if they did want to move him.

Fleury is not the problem in Pittsburgh, but the amount of cap space an average goaltender's contract eats up is a problem. But at this point it's just something they have to work with.
   252. Greg K Posted: May 09, 2013 at 08:10 AM (#4438239)
I'm assuming this was after Phaneuf's giveaway and the subsequent goal, but this gif is quite popular among my facebook friends in Toronto.

Reimer's wife giving Elisha Cuthbert (Phaneuf's girlfriend) a bit of an unfriendly look.
   253. zack Posted: May 09, 2013 at 11:14 AM (#4438435)
That was the Phaneuf I know and hate. You sure are tough Dion, so tough and gritty and mediocre.

Greg, Mrs. Reimer claims she was glaring at the ####### sitting next to Cuthbert that was chirping her, and if you watch the video that appears to be true.

I think Luongo will be starting in net for the Canucks honestly, I've said all along he has negative trade value, but maybe they will move him for nothing. The Penguins should seriously consider buying out Fleury, but as Zeth says they likely won't. The Blackhawks will have to seriously think about buying out Hossa, but he is still a vital cog in the machine and I'm not sure they can live without him (I'm assuming you can't resign your buyouts). They should have damn listened to me and bout out Olesz two years ago.

   254. PASTE Thinks This Trout Kid Might Be OK (Zeth) Posted: May 09, 2013 at 04:29 PM (#4438837)
Bylsma is scratching Beau Bennett and Jussi Jokinen and dressing Joe Vitale and Tyler Kennedy tonight. Because for sure, if there's one thing the Penguins need right now it's to get even slower. I guess.
   255. steagles Posted: May 09, 2013 at 10:45 PM (#4439176)
The Blackhawks will have to seriously think about buying out Hossa, but he is still a vital cog in the machine and I'm not sure they can live without him (I'm assuming you can't resign your buyouts). They should have damn listened to me and bout out Olesz two years ago.
jesus. he's 34 years old and he has 8 years left on his contract with a cap hit of 5+ million.

for a lot of those years, he's getting paid absolute pennies, but you can't carry that contract if you're a team that goes anywhere near the upper limit.


on the other hand, if you're phoenix or nashville or columbus, that contract is manna from heaven. getting a good player with a $5 million cap hit, who's only being paid 750K is a gift from god if your team is constantly losing money.
   256. odds are meatwad is drunk Posted: May 09, 2013 at 10:49 PM (#4439180)
Im sure the hawks will be able to afford him for at least 2 more years. He is still a very productive player and well really a damn good one
   257. zonk Posted: May 09, 2013 at 11:57 PM (#4439235)
Damn the hawks are deep... This is really the first game the top line has done much and it still wasn't much of a series. I know the wild aren't much, but its hard for me to see how anyone wins 2-3 games in 7 against them, much less 4. If Crawford plays even half as well the rest of the playoffs then geez.... What do you do?
   258. zack Posted: May 10, 2013 at 12:26 AM (#4439252)
Damn the hawks are deep... This is really the first game the top line has done much and it still wasn't much of a series. I know the wild aren't much, but its hard for me to see how anyone wins 2-3 games in 7 against them, much less 4. If Crawford plays even half as well the rest of the playoffs then geez.... What do you do?

Crawford was by far the best player for the 'hawks in the series, and really they allowed Minnesota way too much into games 3, 4 and 5. If they don't play better in the future, they won't make it to the conference finals. If I was giving out player of the series for them, it'd be Crawford, then Hossa, then Frolik. Fortunately, the can tighten down and are the best scoring 5v5 team in the game, but LA/Stl still scare me. Hopefully the beat the crap out of each other. Detroit and San Jose could very well beat the 'hawks, but they don't scare me. Unless the Sharks Raffi someone.
   259. zack Posted: May 10, 2013 at 01:15 PM (#4439624)
I was thinking about the 2014 Olympics, and tried coming up with a roster for the US. The limit is 20+3, but these are who I can come up with for a preliminary roster.

FORWARDS
Zach Parise          Joe Pavelski      Patrick Kane   
Dustin Brown         Ryan Callahan     Phil Kessel   
Max Pacioretty       David Backes      Jason Pominville   
James Van Riemsdyk   Ryan Kesler       Bobby Ryan   
Lee Stempniak        Derek Stepan      Kyle Okposo   
Alex Galchenyuk      David Legwand     T
.JOshie   

DEFENSEMEN
Ryan Suter      Kevin Shattenkirk 
Keith Yandle    Ryan McDonagh   
Brooks Orpik    Mark Fayne   
Rob Scuderi     Dustin Byfuglien   
Nick Leddy      Justin Faulk   

GOALTENDERS
Jonathan Quick   
Cory Schneider   
Ryan Miller 


What do you guys think? Seems like the US is kind of in a transitional period, since most of the old guys have retired. So this mock-up might skew young. Also kind of devoid of real centers (especially if Kesler remains injury prone / injured), and more scorers than playmakers. Some of the LW/RW and LD/RD might be screwed up because it's impossible to find reliable information on that. The top 6 forwards and top 4 D will most likely be included in some form, but the others are way up in the air to me. The goalies are mostly interchangeable, Howard and Anderson are just as likely.
   260. Famous Original Joe C Posted: May 10, 2013 at 01:58 PM (#4439670)
its hard for me to see how anyone wins 2-3 games in 7 against them, much less 4. If Crawford plays even half as well the rest of the playoffs then geez.... What do you do?


I strongly disagree with this. Obviously the Hawks are the favorites, and it would be no surprise if they won the cup, or even if they cruised to it. Still, of the top 10 teams of the past 30 years (other than these Hawks) in points percentage, only 2 won the cup. NHL history is littered with great regular season teams who didn't make it all the way: '93 Penguins, '95 or '96 Red Wings (131 points!), '09 Sharks, '86 Oilers, '06 Wings, '10 Capitals, or '11 Canucks...going back further, the 1971 Bruins outscored their opponents by an average of 2.5 goals per game...and didn't make it out of the 1st round. The 1993 Penguins had three of the top eight scorers in NHL history, Scotty Bowman coaching, were coming off back-to-back cups, and were on a 21-1-1 streak entering round 2....and they lost to an Islanders team that finished three games over .500. The NBA it ain't.
   261. Ron J2 Posted: May 10, 2013 at 02:10 PM (#4439689)
#260 The 1971 series is the best illustration of what a hot goaltender can do.

We know now know the rookie (6 NHL games under his belt) would go on to have a HOF career, but at that point he was best known for Phil Esposito calling him a "thieving giraffe" (in disbelief after being robbed yet again) in this series.
   262. Ron J2 Posted: May 10, 2013 at 03:52 PM (#4439814)
Since the 1972 Summit series comes up from time to time, I've done a little analysis (piggybacking on work done of others)

It's an interesting story of both sides feeding on the lesser players of the other side.

Of note, the Soviets out-scored Canada by 1 goal during the series, but Canada was +8 at even strength. They were a rather remarkable -1 on the powerplay (only 2 goals for, 3 against), while the Soviets were +8 on the powerplay (9 for, 1 short-handed goal allowed).

Canada was +11 when their top 4 defencemen (White +7, Stapleton +6, Bergman +5 , Park +4. Typically paired together that way) were on the ice and -6 when the other defensemen were on the ice. With Rod Seiling "leading" the way at -6 (Seiling only played 3 games).

Ron Ellis had a fairly remarkable series. In a largely defensive role and playing all 8 games he had no goals, 3 assists and was +3 (3rd best among forwards behind Henderson's +6 and Dennis Hull's +4)

For the Soviets, Shadrin was +7 in spite of their generally poor results at even strength. Yakushev (his line mate) was +5. Vikulov was -8. Mishakov -7, Petrov and Maltsev -6 and Tsygankov -5.

Ken Dryden had a .838 save percentage (backing my sense that he'd played poorly, though of course save percentage never tells the full story). Tony Esposito had a .882 (quite good for the day, particularly considering the opposition) as did Tretiak.
   263. The Kentucky Gentleman, Mark Edward Posted: May 10, 2013 at 05:09 PM (#4439912)
What do you guys think?


Jack Johnson will probably be there, regardless of his actual ability. He suits up almost anytime the US plays, I was very surprised he wasn't playing in this year's WHC (I'm assuming he's hurt).

McBain, Erik Johnson, & Matt Carle all probably have decent shots of making the team.

Paul Stastny should be there. IIRC he's a center and he's probably the best player on this year's WHC team.

The US still doesn't have a good amount of depth unfortunately (actually, very similar to the US men's soccer team), and some of their bigger prospects over the last few seasons haven't really become stars (Jack & Erik Johnson, Peter Mueller). Still, that's a solid team you've listed and they've got as good a shot as any to medal next February.
   264. zack Posted: May 10, 2013 at 06:57 PM (#4440015)
I have a very low opinion of both of the Johnsons, that's why they were excluded. Jack has always been a great soldier, as you say, so he should be the water boy. The way people talk about Carle makes him sound like the Worst Defender Ever.

Stastny is a good addition, he's so wildly overpaid that it colored my memory. This brings up another point, all of the mentioned players are on terrible teams. It seems like 3/4 of the US players are on bad teams, although a lot of them managed to get into the playoffs this year.
   265. DA Baracus Posted: May 10, 2013 at 07:36 PM (#4440043)
Matt Carle has absolutely no business being on the Olympic roster.
   266. APNY Posted: May 10, 2013 at 07:43 PM (#4440050)
John Carlson
   267. Russlan is fond of Dillon Gee Posted: May 10, 2013 at 11:26 PM (#4440237)
The Leafs have generally not embarrassed themselves against the Bruins but the Bruins seem clearly better to me. It seems when the Bruins really want to, they can stay in the Leafs zone indefinitely.

Have to give the Leafs credit. I didn't think they'd win two games against Boston.
   268. Random Transaction Generator Posted: May 10, 2013 at 11:42 PM (#4440250)
It seems when the Bruins really want to, they can stay in the Leafs zone indefinitely.


That seems to correlate quite closely with Phaneuf ice time.

I cringe every time he gets the puck now. He either passes it to his partner's skates, weakly flips it to the blue line so the Boston player can keep it in, or gets a brain freeze and holds on to it in the corner until a Boston player dislodges him from the puck.

I was a huge fan of his when he came to the Leafs (big hits! tough attitude!) but I want him gone. Now, preferably.
He's simply a bigger liability in the defensive zone than anyone else on the team. It says something when I breathe easier when Gunnarsson handles the puck instead of Phaneuf.

Have to give the Leafs credit. I didn't think they'd win two games against Boston.


I thought they could steal two games if Reimer did his crazy human wall trick at least once, and Lupul would carry them for a second win.
Now that they are at this point, hell, why not push the series to a game 7!

I was VERY disappointed when Toronto didn't get Montreal in the first round. I think they would have handled them quite easily AND it would have been a nice series for every single person in Canada to watch.
Seriously, it would have broken the non-Olympic-gold-medal-game record for television ratings in Canada.
   269. Russlan is fond of Dillon Gee Posted: May 10, 2013 at 11:54 PM (#4440256)
I was VERY disappointed when Toronto didn't get Montreal in the first round.

They only have themselves to blame. If they had beaten the Canadiens at home in the last game of the season, they would have drawn Montreal in the first round. Montreal wasn't very good down the stretch at all and I am not surprised Ottawa handled them easily.

I don't Phaneuf is as bad as all that but he's definitely not a star defenseman. I have a hard time judging how good he actually is because the Leafs do ask him to do a lot.

Kadri has largely been invisible this series.
   270. steagles Posted: May 11, 2013 at 12:17 AM (#4440263)
I was a huge fan of his when he came to the Leafs (big hits! tough attitude!) but I want him gone. Now, preferably.
i'm pretty sure the flyers would give up a lightly-used chris pronger to get him.
   271. Flynn Posted: May 11, 2013 at 08:35 AM (#4440346)
The Habs were laughably banged up but Ottawa healthy is a better team than the Leafs. They not only failed to beat the Habs in the last game of the season, they got their asses handed to them.
   272. zack Posted: May 11, 2013 at 02:29 PM (#4440607)
but Ottawa healthy is a better team than the Leafs

I think every team in the playoffs other than maybe Minnesota and Washington are probably better than the leafs. I am impressed they have fought this well against the Bruins. At least Phaneuf has only 1 year left on his contract. I don't think the Leafs can move him before that since more than half the team needs new contracts this season. He is wildly overrated and overpaid, but the Leafs need all the D they can get.
   273. PASTE Thinks This Trout Kid Might Be OK (Zeth) Posted: May 11, 2013 at 02:39 PM (#4440617)
If Phaneuf is really as bad as I've heard--I haven't seen the Leafs enough the past couple years to know for myself--they probably should at least consider buying him out and signing someone else for less money to fill the spot. But then again, if he has any above-replacement-level usefulness at all and the last year of his contract won't prevent the team from signing someone who needs signed, he does know the system and they probably should just live with him for another year.
   274. odds are meatwad is drunk Posted: May 11, 2013 at 02:45 PM (#4440619)
I hope the Wings pull it off tomorrow against the ducks. Don't want to miss the last chance to see them in the playoffs as a divsional foe. Also I hope crosby and ovechkin both lose the Hart trophey.
   275. PASTE Thinks This Trout Kid Might Be OK (Zeth) Posted: May 11, 2013 at 02:49 PM (#4440626)
Ovechkin will be given the Hart.
   276. Papa Squid Posted: May 11, 2013 at 05:09 PM (#4440693)
I'd actually say Dion's improved quite a bit the past two years. Who overrates him? Everyone but a subset of Leafs fans and some fancystat bloggers thinks Phaneuf sucks. No one is pimping him for the Norris. I'd say if anything Dion is underrated. As Russlan notes, he's asked to do a ton. He plays huge minutes, against the league's top lines, in all situations, and spent half this year carrying borderline guys like Kostka and Holzer, playing the wrong side. If he's overpaid, I'm guessing it's by no more than a million.

As for the Boston series itself, Leafs have more than held their own, and could just as easily be up 3-2. Boston is the better team, sure, but apart from Game 1, the Leafs have held their own. They've pretty much played them to a draw at even-strength, exceeding my modest expectations: like most everyone in Toronto, we thought it would be Boston in 4 or 5.
   277. Random Transaction Generator Posted: May 11, 2013 at 07:04 PM (#4440753)
Everyone but a subset of Leafs fans and some fancystat bloggers thinks Phaneuf sucks.


Those bloggers need to get out of their mom's igloos and watch a real game.

In just this last game that the Leafs won, he passed the puck into Gunnarsson's skates twice, coughed it up behind the net twice, and at least three times blindly threw it around the boards to the Bruins defenseman/forward waiting there.

I understand that he plays against the top lines, but thankfully Carlyle has noticed he isn't doing a great job recently and let a different defensive pair (Gardiner and Franson) end up playing more this last game.

They not only failed to beat the Habs in the last game of the season, they got their asses handed to them.


If 4-1 is getting their asses handed to them, then what do you call what the Leafs did to the healthier Habs earlier in the season (6-0 in Montreal, and 5-1 in Toronto) when their most dangerous player (Lupul) wasn't even available?

   278. PASTE Thinks This Trout Kid Might Be OK (Zeth) Posted: May 11, 2013 at 09:52 PM (#4440813)
The ignorance of people--media monkeys mostly--that say stupid #### like "the Penguins just can't handle the Islanders' energy and enthusiasm!" really annoys me. It's the ####### Stanley Cup playoffs. The Penguins aren't struggling with the Islanders because the Islanders want it more than they do. They're struggling because the Penguins are old and slow and the Islanders are young and fast.

OT about to begin. The Penguins really need to win this now; I don't like their chances in a Game 7 tomorrow. They're about out of gas.
   279. Russlan is fond of Dillon Gee Posted: May 12, 2013 at 02:04 AM (#4440848)
I think every team in the playoffs other than maybe Minnesota and Washington are probably better than the leafs.

I am not going to comment on the Western conference because I didn't watch that conference much this year but I don't think the Islanders, Capitals, or Canadiens are better than the Leafs. I don't really think the Senators are a better team either but they might be. They got great goaltending this year from guys who haven't proven that they are great goalies but they also had a ton of injuries to good players.
   280. Papa Squid Posted: May 12, 2013 at 10:35 AM (#4440918)
Random: Yeah, Phaneuf's not had a strong Game 4 and 5. The Globe's Mirtle on Twitter has been hinting that he thinks Phaneuf is hurt -- he was 4th in minutes in Game 5. His partner Gunnar's been battling a bum hip all year long, and he's a good defenseman, but he's guilty of the same behaviour. On the lone Boston goal, Gunn Show had the puck twice along the boards with opportunity to clear/ice the puck, and held it too long and coughed it up twice.

Russlan: The underlying metrics aren't kind to the Leafs. I have them pegged as a borderline playoff team over a full season, and playing in the weaker conference, they might well be the worst playoff team this year. They're viewed kind of like the 2012 Orioles. But here's the thing: the playoff Leafs are better than the regular season Leafs. Gardiner is playing and getting significant minutes. Only one goon is dressing and he's getting fewer minutes. Grabovski seems to be no longer restricted to checking line duties. If they upgrade Bozak and add a top-four defenseman (Gardiner perhaps, he barely played this year) and Reimer is the real deal (.915 with 3000+ shots, he seems like it), it smells like a playoff team going forward even absent good puck luck.
   281. Russlan is fond of Dillon Gee Posted: May 12, 2013 at 04:47 PM (#4441154)
The underlying metrics aren't kind to the Leafs.

What I need is the equivalent of Rob Neyer to explain this stuff to me. I understand that the metrics don't love the Leafs because they give up more shots than they generate but I don't know how these metrics adjust for quality of scoring chances and how they measure a goalie's effect on the game.

Gardiner could see an expanded role next season and Morgan Reilly could be ready at some point next year.
   282. zack Posted: May 12, 2013 at 05:12 PM (#4441171)
I swear I've never seen someone lose a blade in a game before this season, and now I've seen at least four. Do we have inferior rivets or something? Given how pathetic the players look when trying to scramble off the ice, maybe they should start practicing a technique.
   283. Random Transaction Generator Posted: May 12, 2013 at 07:14 PM (#4441281)
I swear I've never seen someone lose a blade in a game before this season, and now I've seen at least four. Do we have inferior rivets or something? Given how pathetic the players look when trying to scramble off the ice, maybe they should start practicing a technique.


If they come from northern Ontario, there is a good chance they'll know how to push off and glide properly as if they were sweepers for curling.

It is, however, hilarious to see them crawling to the bench like that.
   284. Russlan is fond of Dillon Gee Posted: May 13, 2013 at 12:04 AM (#4441407)
Well, the Leafs are going to make the Bruins work for it. Game 7 in Boston on Monday night. The Leafs played really well tonight.

If the Bruins do end up losing the series, still unlikely, I am sure there are going to be some whispers about Rask. Fairly or unfairly, he's going to have a 3-0 series lead and a 3-1 series lead blown as the only things on his playoff resume.
   285. PASTE Thinks This Trout Kid Might Be OK (Zeth) Posted: May 13, 2013 at 12:14 AM (#4441408)
Unfairly, in this case. Rask has done nothing wrong.
   286. Russlan is fond of Dillon Gee Posted: May 13, 2013 at 12:41 AM (#4441417)
I agree with you about Rask up to this point. The reason I said "fairly or unfairly" is because I might put some blame on him if he plays poorly in Game 7.
   287. odds are meatwad is drunk Posted: May 13, 2013 at 01:06 AM (#4441421)
Now I may be crazy but how was the team with the best record in the nhl only have one player as a finalist for the big awards? and its for ROY at that which saad wont win. and thinking more there seems to be an overall slant to the eastern conference which I think is much weaker then the west.
   288. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: May 13, 2013 at 06:55 AM (#4441449)
Rask isn't getting any real heat in Boston. Deservedly so far the criticism has been for Bergeron, Seguin and Marchand who just aren't generating anything right now. Rask has been very good this series, he stole game four I thought (the Leafs swarmed in OT). The problem, as it has been all year is painful I consistency by the 18 skaters.
   289. PASTE Thinks This Trout Kid Might Be OK (Zeth) Posted: May 13, 2013 at 08:01 AM (#4441453)
Meatwad (287): Stars in a decidedly weaker conference being overrated is nothing new. Toews should have been a Hart finalist over Ovechkin--actually I think Toews probably deserved to win the Hart--or over Crosby, who played as well this year as any hockey player ever has, but only over two-thirds of a season. I feel like they made Crosby a finalist to acknowledge that fact even though there is no chance he will actually win the trophy, and the media continues to have a raging hard-on for Ovechkin even though he has to score 50 goals (in a full length season) just to be an above-average player because of how terrible he is at everything that isn't shooting. But Ovechkin will be given the trophy and it's whatever. Like in baseball, I see little reason to pay more than the most passing attention to the awards.

And Duncan Keith played better this year than the year he actually was given the Norris, so I don't know what's up with that.
   290. Flynn Posted: May 13, 2013 at 08:31 AM (#4441461)
If 4-1 is getting their asses handed to them, then what do you call what the Leafs did to the healthier Habs earlier in the season (6-0 in Montreal, and 5-1 in Toronto) when their most dangerous player (Lupul) wasn't even available?


I didn't say they weren't bad results, but I am not buying the team with 57 points and a +12 goal differential being better than the team with 63 points and a +22 goal differential. The Habs also won 5-2 in the ACC earlier in the season, so basically you're arguing that winning a season series 3-2 with two slightly bigger blowouts makes the Leafs awesome.

Also, considering how Leafs fans were blowing out their chests about how they'd boss the Habs in the playoffs, to blow a really important game like that at home doesn't do much for the notion that Taranna was sooooo awesome. They didn't want to go near the Bruins and then laid an egg against Peter ####### Budaj.

   291. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: May 13, 2013 at 08:34 AM (#4441464)
I don't see nearly enough of the west but how big is the difference between the two conferences? Certainly looking at the Eastern teams in the playoffs it's a pretty underwhelming group. I don't think much of Ottawa, Toronto or the Isles though given that at least one and possibly two of them will advance that probably says more about my evaluative skills than how good those teams are. If pressed to rank the 16 playoff teams when the post-season started I probably would have had that group 14-15-16.

The Bruins are killing me. If they lose tonight it's going to make for a terribly disappointing season. This was a team that really never played consistently well but had the talent for it. On top of that while it's hard to be critical of a coach who brought us a Stanley Cup (and he was GREAT in that run) the B's will have blown a 3-0 lead (2010) and lost three Game Sevens at home in the last four years despite being pretty clearly the more talented team in two of those three years.

I think they need a shake up of some kind. A good friend insists to let it ride, the short season is weird and he's probably right but I feel like something needs to be done. Either a trade of some supposedly important parts (Milan Lucic, Brad Marchand I'm looking at you) or a change at the top. I'd really hate to see Julien go though.
   292. PASTE Thinks This Trout Kid Might Be OK (Zeth) Posted: May 13, 2013 at 08:42 AM (#4441465)
Ottawa's not really that good, but they had the good fortune to draw a Montreal team that had pretty much already imploded, and they may make the conference finals--Pittsburgh really struggled with the Islanders' youth and speed, and Ottawa if anything may have even more speed than the Islanders (and much better goaltending; Nabokov was the main reason the Islanders lost to the Penguins). It would not be shocking if they beat Pittsburgh. I think they'd likely be easy pickings for whoever draws them in the conference finals, though.

I can't put a finger on what's up with the Bruins, unless several of their good players are playing hurt (always a possibility). They seem like they're skating underwater for extended periods, and then they snap out of it for a while, and so on. I'm not sure why.

Rest assured Washington and New York fans are definitely rooting for Toronto tonight, though.
   293. zack Posted: May 13, 2013 at 09:50 AM (#4441494)
It is literally impossible to say the relative strengths of the conferences this year since there is no inter-conference play. But I think all the signs point to the Western, which has been the stronger for the last decade (the gap had been closing in recent years). I have thought all year that Pittsburgh and Boston were the class of the East, and they both were nearly beaten by teams that are little improved from a decade of failures. And not in the usual obstruction+hot goaltending way that upsets happen, but by being dominated at times. Is there a single team in the east that inspires confidence right now? I will give props to both the Isles and Leafs for manning up in the playoffs, even if the Leafs lose tonight (and I think the Leafs being godawful is good for hockey).

And Duncan Keith played better this year than the year he actually was given the Norris, so I don't know what's up with that.

I think he was top-5 easily but not sure if Norris worthy. More worthy than some of the actual candidates though. I don't think he reached the heights of 09-10 just because that was the last season he could successfully get a shot past the first defender's shinpads. But I'm constantly arguing about Keith with fellow 'hawks fans, who try to tell me that Hjalmarsson is their best d-man. Keith has been the Blackhawks best d-man, by far, since the day he entered the league. His gap control is other-worldly. I will say that Super Nintendo Hjarlmarsson has been a revelation though, he finally remembered how to play hockey after two seasons as a space cadet. I wonder if he had a concussion no one ever heard about (it's hard to tell the difference between bork bork bork and bork bork bjork, you see). Either that or the improvement comes from tearing up the Italian league. Between Keith and I'm not typing out his name again, right there, is why two goalies with .900 SV% last year suddenly both have .920 SV% this year.

Excited for a last dance with the Red Wings. That should be a fun series.

   294. Famous Original Joe C Posted: May 13, 2013 at 10:02 AM (#4441504)
They seem like they're skating underwater for extended periods, and then they snap out of it for a while, and so on. I'm not sure why.


It's been this way the whole season, as others have mentioned. They'll go through periods or whole games where they get nothing going on offense and are generally lacksadaisical. Then they turn it on and look like the team that won the cup two years ago. Round and round we go. It's more trouble in a playoff series when you get a motivated opponent. I'd still pick them to win tonight, but it wouldn't shock me if they take half the game off and lose 3-2, either.
   295. PASTE Thinks This Trout Kid Might Be OK (Zeth) Posted: May 13, 2013 at 10:08 AM (#4441513)
Had their goalie not gone cold the Islanders absolutely would have beaten Pittsburgh. The Islanders dominated most of the series. And it wasn't Fleury's fault, either; the Penguins were sloppy and turned the puck over a ghastly number of times, but they also had serious problems with the Islanders being much faster than they were. The whole series was littered with instances where there would be a loose puck and a Penguin would be closest to it, but an Islander would just skate around him and get there first.

I've been saying all year that while the Penguins are extremely skilled, they are also very slow, one of the slowest teams in the league, and vulnerable to being beaten in a playoff series by a fast team above all. Then of course they draw two of the fastest teams in the NHL the first two playoff rounds. So it goes sometimes.

As for Duncan Keith, I think his defense has dramatically improved since 2009.
   296. Random Transaction Generator Posted: May 13, 2013 at 10:38 AM (#4441532)
even if the Leafs lose tonight (and I think the Leafs being godawful is good for hockey).


/drops gloves

Let's go!
   297. PASTE Thinks This Trout Kid Might Be OK (Zeth) Posted: May 13, 2013 at 10:46 AM (#4441540)
I'm glad the Maple Leafs sucked for a long time, if only because it provoked somebody to make this. Never fails to crack me up.
   298. Ron J2 Posted: May 13, 2013 at 11:09 AM (#4441562)
#292 Ottawa has a goalie who's probably been over his head. And they don't have a real #1 center (and won't even if Spezza comes back -- he's skating now but there's no way he'll be truly ready any time soon), but now that Karlson and Cowan are back they have a very talented (if -- with the exception of Gonchar of course -- very young) group of defensemen.

Their 3rd and 4th lines are above average. A nice blend of speed and grit that they can mix and match at will.

Their top lines suffer from the lack of offensive talent at center, but their wingers are OK.

Their powerplay has been shambolic. Not unrelated to the fact that Kyle Turris isn't a #1 center.

I don't like their chances if they turtle, and if they try to play it wide open Anderson had better continue to play as well as he has or they'll get blown out.
   299. The Kentucky Gentleman, Mark Edward Posted: May 13, 2013 at 11:21 AM (#4441567)
I am a little worried about this Hawks/Wings series, even though the Hawks handled them pretty well in the regular season. The Hawks tend to struggle against teams with actual skill, but I'm not sure if they'll be able to keep up with the Hawks speed.

This series is gonna make me nervous as hell either way. Hate the Wings.
   300. PASTE Thinks This Trout Kid Might Be OK (Zeth) Posted: May 13, 2013 at 11:45 AM (#4441591)
I think the Red Wings will stretch it to 6 games because they are the Red Wings, but the Blackhawks are in little danger of losing this series. Probably won't happen unless their goalie(s) go(es) cold.
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