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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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   501. zack Posted: May 30, 2013 at 12:15 PM (#4455795)
I am hopeful that the youngsters on Detroit learn and grow from this.

I swear to god I'm not trolling, and this is an honest question. I heard many times through this series about how these Wings are a transitional team and bringing in the young players, but when I look through the lineup I only see three young players, and they're not that young: Nyquist, Andersson and Smith. Now I understand that the Wings are unusually conservative about developing players, so their "young" is more like "baseball young" than "hockey young", but I see a mostly older team. What am I missing there?

I will say that I like Nyquist a whole lot and I think he's going to be a beast. I think he deserved more playing time than he got. I'm not impressed by B. Smith, but that may be biased because of his incident with our B. Smith last year.

Except that it's a bad directive. A game can be decided by a non-call as much as by a call


Of course, anyone who's thinks for even a second (...) understands this, and I think everyone here is saying it is not a good thing. A sport is literally nothing but a set of rules. (Also, Zetterberg wasn't tripped).
   502. JL Posted: May 30, 2013 at 12:48 PM (#4455832)
I swear to god I'm not trolling, and this is an honest question. I heard many times through this series about how these Wings are a transitional team and bringing in the young players, but when I look through the lineup I only see three young players, and they're not that young: Nyquist, Andersson and Smith. Now I understand that the Wings are unusually conservative about developing players, so their "young" is more like "baseball young" than "hockey young", but I see a mostly older team. What am I missing there?


They are young in terms of NHL experience. Four players have less than 50 games played in the NHL (the three you named, plus Brunner (26 years old)) and they are very high on DeKyser, who has only played 11 games. Also, I think some of that age will be leaving, such as Cleary and Bertuzzi, to be replaced by some other younger guys like Tatar (22 years old). So while they are not a truly young team (poor wording on my part), they have room to gain confidence and improve.

I will say that I like Nyquist a whole lot and I think he's going to be a beast. I think he deserved more playing time than he got. I'm not impressed by B. Smith, but that may be biased because of his incident with our B. Smith last year.


Smith has some real talent, but makes up for it with some really brain cramps during his decision making. His ability to fix that will mean the difference between being a top 2 or three defenseman and being a journey man who everyone thinks they can fix.
   503. Chris Fluit Posted: May 30, 2013 at 01:21 PM (#4455879)
Of course, anyone who's thinks for even a second (...) understands this, and I think everyone here is saying it is not a good thing. A sport is literally nothing but a set of rules.


Then, obviously, Zeth wasn't thinking when he posted #493.
   504. Chris Fluit Posted: May 30, 2013 at 01:28 PM (#4455889)
They are young in terms of NHL experience. Four players have less than 50 games played in the NHL (the three you named, plus Brunner (26 years old)) and they are very high on DeKyser, who has only played 11 games. Also, I think some of that age will be leaving, such as Cleary and Bertuzzi, to be replaced by some other younger guys like Tatar (22 years old). So while they are not a truly young team (poor wording on my part), they have room to gain confidence and improve.


You left out 26-year-old sophomore defenseman Jakub Kindl, 24-year-old Corey Emmerton who played on the fourth line with Miller and Eaves, and 22-year-old Brian Lashoff who got into 3 games in the Anaheim series.

That's three relatively young defensemen (DeKeyser, Kindl and Smith) and four first-year players playing regularly as forwards (Andersson, Bruner, Emmerton and Nyquist).
   505. zack Posted: May 30, 2013 at 01:54 PM (#4455923)
The narrative around the series, from the Red Wings side, seems to be that they weren't ready to get this far. For example, I just read this rather good article from the freep, and look how many times it came up:
"and this was a mostly young Red Wings group", "younger classmates", "the young defensemen or the rookie forwards", "Our young 'D'", "growing pains", "Kids"
.

I think JDLK's reframing as 'inexperienced' rather than 'young' makes a lot more sense. If you're grasping at a 25 year-old who has played 150 NHL games, I think you're really reaching. And adding players who didn't even play in the series. If we go with under-25, as Chris seems to (which in the NHL is really not young anymore, it's 3 years from guaranteed UFA), I don't see how the Red Wings are any different from anybody else. The Hawks had 7 such players, the Kings 7 or 8, the (generally regarded as old) Sharks 4, the Ducks 6, and for those teams the young players often had more central roles.

The Wings do have an uncommonly large number of old rookies, but it's not so many that it's the defining characteristic of the team, as the media narritive is trying to sell. Granted, if you're a Wings fan then you're used to having over-40 guys playing key roles, so maybe it's relative.

And again, really not trying to troll even if end up doing so. I just think the way that narratives, often counter-factual ones, grow up almost collectively is so weird.
   506. Robert in Manhattan Beach Posted: May 30, 2013 at 02:06 PM (#4455937)
I only define a team as "young" if their best players are young. The Kings best players are Kopitar (25), Doughty (23), Brown (28), Voynov (23) and Quick (27). That's a young core of a young team. The Wings best players are still Datsyuk, Zetterburg, Kronwall, Howard, not young at all. The Wings have some young players but not much of a team without those other guys.
   507. HMS Moses Taylor Posted: May 30, 2013 at 02:35 PM (#4455968)
I see it the same way as Robert, which is why I had the same thought at zack. How could is someone like Brunner expected to be, given that he's just playing now?

Maybe we're just spoiled as fans of the Hawks and Kings, where the young players have both tons of experience and success [on the Hawks, you have Toews (25), Kane (24), Keith (29), Seabrook (28), Hjalmarsson (25) and are supplementing that with Saad (20), Leddy (22), Kruger (23), Crawford (28), etc].
   508. Shredder Posted: May 30, 2013 at 02:48 PM (#4455985)
Your useless stat for the day: Teams that comeback from a 3-1 deficit to win a series are 7-16 in the next series. Also, reports are that Jarret Stoll is back in full practice for the Kings. That's huge if he's able to come back from the first game on.
   509. PASTE Thinks This Trout Kid Might Be OK (Zeth) Posted: May 30, 2013 at 02:49 PM (#4455986)
Chris: Did you not read #499? At what point did I suggest I liked the way the officials swallow their whistles in decisive games/situations?
   510. Brian C Posted: May 30, 2013 at 02:56 PM (#4455992)
[on the Hawks, you have Toews (25), Kane (24), Keith (29), Seabrook (28), Hjalmarsson (25) and are supplementing that with Saad (20), Leddy (22), Kruger (23), Crawford (28), etc].

That last "etc." is actually a meaningful "etc.", also, because the Hawks also have Bickell (26), Bolland (26), Shaw (21), Frolik (24), and Stalberg (27), all of whom are lineup regulars (despite Stalberg's recent brief benching). Bickell and Stalberg are UFAs after this season, but still, Detroit's roster looks nothing like that. The Wings are an excellent organization and I do not doubt that they'll continue to find success even after it stops seeming likely (they're the NHL's equivalent to the Cardinals of MLB). But I also think some fans are overestimating their future prospects a tad based on their alleged youth. Whatever youth Detroit has, their rivals have, too, and then some. And that's just as true in the East with Pittsburgh and Boston.
   511. zack Posted: May 30, 2013 at 03:02 PM (#4456002)
I don't remember any studies on the topic, but the prime age for hockey has to be a lot younger than people commonly pretend, right? I'd guess it's something like 25 for F, and 27 for D and G. Anyone know?

Duncan Keith being 30 makes me feel old.
   512. PASTE Thinks This Trout Kid Might Be OK (Zeth) Posted: May 30, 2013 at 03:06 PM (#4456007)
Complete list of Penguins players who played at least 20 games this season and are under 26:

James Neal (25)
Sidney Crosby (25)
Kris Letang (25)
Dustin Jeffrey (24)
Brandon Sutter (23)
Beau Bennett (21)
Simon Despres (21)

Jeffrey's just fourth line fodder and next year is Letang's last in Pittsburgh. They are not a young team anymore; they have lots of guys over or approaching 30: Craig Adams is 35, Matt Cooke is 34, Chris Kunitz is 33, Brooks Orpik is 32, Paul Martin is 31, Deryk Engelland is 30, Jussi Jokinen is 29. This is Dupuis's last season in Pittsburgh, but he's 33 so probably better if someone else overpays him.

At least two, probably all three, of Iginla, Morrow and Murray will be gone next year as well, and Pittsburgh doesn't have a ton of cap space, so they're probably going to be a young team next year and their ability to grow talent from within will be put to the test.

zack (511): I think your estimates are about right. Hockey players peak earlier than people think, especially forwards.
   513. The Kentucky Gentleman, Mark Edward Posted: May 30, 2013 at 03:12 PM (#4456015)
Wow, I did not realize Datsyuk was 34. I would've guessed 28, 30 at the oldest.
   514. PASTE Thinks This Trout Kid Might Be OK (Zeth) Posted: May 30, 2013 at 03:24 PM (#4456031)
Nah, I remember Datsyuk as a young hotshot on the 2002 Red Wings--one of the all-time great hockey teams, by the way. Largely forgotten, probably because (a) it was their only Cup in a ten year span and (b) they crushed Carolina in a forgettable Finals. Packed to the gills with old Hall of Famers, they of course spent the next few years retooling into the dominant team that won the Cup in 2008 and really should have won it in 2009.

But Datsyuk's definitely been around a while. And last I heard he was making noise about going home to Russia to finish his hockey career; I presume that's just his way of kindly informing Ken Holland "I will require $8.7 million per season on my next contract, thank you".
   515. Shredder Posted: May 30, 2013 at 03:31 PM (#4456041)
Complete list of Penguins players who played at least 20 games this season and are under 26:
May as well do this for the Kings as well:

Forwards:
Kyle Clifford (22)
Dwight King (23)
Jordan Nolan (23)
Anze Kopitar (25)
Trevor Lewis (26)

Defense:
Drew Doughty (23)
Slava Voynov (23)
Jake Muzzin (24)
Keaton Ellerby (24)
Alec Martinez (25)

Tyler Toffoli is 21 and will probably be up the whole season next year. Jonathan Quick just misses the list at age 27. Dustin Brown, Mike Richards, and Jeff Carter are all 28. Johnathan Bernier played in 14 games as the backup goalie and is only 24, though he'll almost certainly be dealt this off-season, as he's far too valuable to have on the bench (9-3-2, 1.88 GAA, .922 Sv Pctg). Honestly, I'd test the market for Quick if he brought a much bigger return than Bernier, but based on their contracts, that probably wouldn't be the case, as Quick has nine years left. Say what you will about Dean Lombardi, but he built a team that should be pretty damn good for the foreseeable future.
   516. The Kentucky Gentleman, Mark Edward Posted: May 30, 2013 at 03:34 PM (#4456044)
But Datsyuk's definitely been around a while.


I guess I thought he started his NHL career at a younger age. He first came over to the US at age 23.
   517. HMS Moses Taylor Posted: May 30, 2013 at 03:52 PM (#4456069)
Say what you will about Dean Lombardi, but he built a team that should be pretty damn good for the foreseeable future.

The Kings and Hawks really do look like they're going to be the class of the conference for some time. This will not be the last time they meet in the playoffs.
   518. zack Posted: May 30, 2013 at 04:00 PM (#4456080)

I guess I thought he started his NHL career at a younger age. He first came over to the US at age 23.

The Red Wings don't play people any younger than that. The last time someone that could not drink legally played 15 games for Detroit was in 2000. A full season (70 games), was 1986.

Though unlike Zetterberg or Lidstrom, who arguably were ready earlier, Datsyuk didn't do anything to distinguish himself overseas until he was 22.


The Kings and Hawks really do look like they're going to be the class of the conference for some time

Will there be 2 or 4 conferences, did they decide? The Blues, Wild and Oil could also spring up quickly with some breaks.
   519. zack Posted: May 30, 2013 at 04:16 PM (#4456104)
I was also thinking Colorado could also be a contender with some luck, but that reminded me that they traded Filip Forsberg (essentially) for Varlymov. Yeesh. And also their management structure is now retarded. And then Forsberg was traded for Martin Erat, since he apparently has ebola or something.
   520. PASTE Thinks This Trout Kid Might Be OK (Zeth) Posted: May 30, 2013 at 04:18 PM (#4456105)
It's two conferences, four divisions, but the playoffs are now strictly intra-divisional until the Final Four.
   521. Famous Original Joe C Posted: May 30, 2013 at 04:35 PM (#4456118)
Same under 26 list for the Bruins (guys who will play significantly in this series but didn't hit 20 games in the season in parentheses):

Forwards:
Lucic (24)
Marchand (24)
Seguin (21)
Krejci (26)

Horton and Bergeron are 27 - that's six of the top seven forwards (Jagr, who is 73). The 3rd/4th line guys are all older.

Defense:
Hamilton (19)
(Krug) (21)
(Bartkowski) (24)
McQuaid (26)

The D depends heavily on Seidenberg (31) and Chara (36) - though there's still some promise on that list.

Rask is 25 - how much I prefer giving him a long term deal to seeing what they have in Khudobin depends on how much that long term deal is going to cost. Rask is very good but I'm not yet convinced he's in that small elite tier of goalies who *really* make a difference.
   522. JL Posted: May 30, 2013 at 05:22 PM (#4456144)
Maybe we're just spoiled as fans of the Hawks and Kings, where the young players have both tons of experience and success [on the Hawks, you have Toews (25), Kane (24), Keith (29), Seabrook (28), Hjalmarsson (25) and are supplementing that with Saad (20), Leddy (22), Kruger (23), Crawford (28), etc].


I think a good chunk of that is the position of the respective franchises. The Hawks have had some high draft picks more recently, and have had roster spots to move these folks up. The Wings have not. Remember, the year prior to Kane, Toews and Hjalmarsson coming up, the Hawks were fifth in the Central, so playing those guys much earlier made sense (even beyond the pure talent they had).

Add to it an organizational approach of maturing guys in the AHL as opposed to bringing them too early, and you have the current Detroit team. As the Hawks move forward, I would not be surprised to see them leaving guys down a bit longer than they did in the past.
   523. JL Posted: May 30, 2013 at 05:34 PM (#4456153)
I only define a team as "young" if their best players are young. The Kings best players are Kopitar (25), Doughty (23), Brown (28), Voynov (23) and Quick (27). That's a young core of a young team. The Wings best players are still Datsyuk, Zetterburg, Kronwall, Howard, not young at all. The Wings have some young players but not much of a team without those other guys.


To be clear, I don't think I have called them a young team (if I did, I take it back), but rather that they have some young guys with talent who have an opportunity to step up and fill some spots. Guys like Kindl, Andersson, Smith and Nyquist (and DeKeyser) could play a large role for the team next year. How they progress will make a huge difference on whether they can continue to succeed.

Also, Howard is 28, so I am not sure how he is not young but Quick and Brown are.
   524. HMS Moses Taylor Posted: May 30, 2013 at 05:46 PM (#4456162)
Add to it an organizational approach of maturing guys in the AHL as opposed to bringing them too early, and you have the current Detroit team. As the Hawks move forward, I would not be surprised to see them leaving guys down a bit longer than they did in the past.

Oh, it's already started. Ben Smith (24), Jeremy Morin (22), Drew LeBlanc (23) and Jimmy Hayes (23) all could have provided at least as much value as Bollig and Carcillo did in their (limited) appearances in the playoffs. Guys like Stalberg, Bickell, Frolik will be replaced soon by them; and that's not mentioning other prospects further away.
   525. JL Posted: May 30, 2013 at 05:59 PM (#4456170)
Oh, it's already started. Ben Smith (24), Jeremy Morin (22), Drew LeBlanc (23) and Jimmy Hayes (23) all could have provided at least as much value as Bollig and Carcillo did in their (limited) appearances in the playoffs. Guys like Stalberg, Bickell, Frolik will be replaced soon by them; and that's not mentioning other prospects further away.


Not surprising, both because of where the Hawks are, as well as the Bowman influence, which I imagine has rubbed off.

One difficult part is keeping a good pipeline of those cheap role players as the previous ones move on in free agency.
   526. zack Posted: May 30, 2013 at 06:27 PM (#4456191)
On the other hand, Saad and Shaw are still the only players outside of top-15 2011 draft to play in the NHL, and Leddy was one of the rareish teenage defencemen. I'm pretty sure the Hawks handle promotions on a strict need basis, it's just that the last spot's need is defined as someone to get punched in the face. (And LeBlanc was ineligible for the playoffs). We're not that far removed from "the plan all along".
   527. odds are meatwad is drunk Posted: May 30, 2013 at 06:55 PM (#4456210)
A lot of the depth they have in the minors is a result of the trades they made teaeing down the 2010 cup winning team.
   528. Chris Fluit Posted: May 30, 2013 at 10:44 PM (#4456464)
Chris: Did you not read #499? At what point did I suggest I liked the way the officials swallow their whistles in decisive games/situations?


I read your comments as advocating rather than observing. My mistake.
   529. Snowboy Posted: May 30, 2013 at 11:08 PM (#4456492)
A lot of heads exploded last night when the Hawks winning goal in game seven (with less than 2 minutes to go) was waved off because of a whistle at centre ice. (#### second referee, who asked for him to be on the ice anyway?) Quincey was definately deserving of a penalty for what he was doing, and maybe Saad was too (I haven't seen any good video of anything Saad did wrong, but from Quincey's quotes he says they were "going back and forth" and "it was getting to the point where he had to call a penalty" so the trailing ref was watching them and probably yelling at them to cut it out.) The problem (obviously) is that the 2nd ref in this case was too focused on some rough-housing away from the puck: meanwhile Chicago had gained the zone and was setting up a ... well, you know... a beautiful one-timer that beat Howard clean, without a screen, and won the series. Or not.

It was worse than the play in 1995 when Alexei Kovalev went down like he'd been shot after receiving a tap from a one-handed stick; the Nordiques charged up the ice and Sakic scored but it was waved off because of some behind-the-play whistle that nobody heard. Well, it wasn't worse in the sense that nobody heard the whistle last night - the ref clearly blew the whistle, and immediately waved off the Hjalmarsson goal, and you can see all of that on the replay. Nobody up ice heard the whistle or stopped playing, but it was heard on the benches and nobody really protested afterwards, and the replays show that it had been blown down. However it was worse in the sense that it never should have been blown, considering the time remaining and game situation. If the puck was in the area - yes. If Detroit had control of it, down in a corner - yes maybe. But with the Hawks in possession in the offensive zone? You'd better have a darn good reason to blow a penalty on Saad there, and I'm not sure that the ref didn't just lose focus on the game/time situation.

Unlike 1995 the Hawks still won after having that goal waved off. The Blackhawks are overall the better team, but holy cow Detroit played well in the series. They play as a "team" all the time, they are rarely out of position or lacking in discipline. But it wasn't over, even with three wins in a row and 3-1 series lead, because Detroit's wins were more about playing on Chicago's mistakes than their own production (if that makes any sense?) I said (elsewhere) that I thought Chicago's forwards could exploit Detroit's weaker defense corps, and they eventually did, wearing them down a bit and finding an opening or drawing a penalty. But wow did it take a long time. Chicago had to play three games of solid, 100% focus, just to get to the point of winning in the last two minutes of the third game - that is a test you won't soon forget.

Zetterberg only scored one goal in the series, but I sure hope nobody tries to go down the road of blaming him for anything, because he was good in every game. Overall he was the better "captain" in this series, although Toews seems to have righted his ship.

I hear that this was the first "game seven overtime win" in Blackhawks history.

Switching gears slightly, I stick by my previous comments that Chicago's problem was that they were not hitting and not backchecking. One response here was "The Blackhawks have not hit anyone in 3 years, that is a ludicrous complaint." To which I thought...hmm...3 years...that kinda coincides with the last year that the Hawks won the Cup, doesn't it? Same players, but no wins? Same players, but no HITTING? SAME PLAYERS, BUT NO CUPS? (Big Bucks, No Whammies?)

You need to hit in the playoffs. Even little Martin St. Louis (tries to) hit(s) in the playoffs, in the few times his team has made it. After so thoroughly dominating game one, I think a few too many Hawks shut it down, and tried to save themselves for the next series. Well, guess what? Detroit didn't go away as easily as you thought they would. Detroit won one game, and then another, and Chicago was taking big easy strides and taking shots from the outside, and then people started saying Jimmy Howard was great, and then Detroit won another while Toews took three (stupid?) penalties in a game, and suddenly it was time to start playing again for Chi-town.

And I stick by my comment that Hossa was a prime example of someone that needed to change his play. I said that he was "a fearsome player but only good over the blue line" and I was called "absurd" for saying that. It was my mistake to not explicitly say that I meant it only in the context of this series, not overall as a player, but that's what I meant - Hossa is a good two-way player, but in my opinion he spent a couple of games only skating really hard in one direction, and he was one of many who were coasting back. He deserved to be dropped to the second line, and that worked out great for both him and Quenneville: Hossa woke up, started playing both ways again, and his line was a huge part of game six, and they played well in game seven.

I don't mean to disrespect Detroit in any way; like I said, they played very well.

Chicago had better stay committed to hitting and backchecking, because they'll need to be doing plenty of it against LA. And they better get ready for a strong dose of the same from their opponent: I have rarely seen a harder clean hitting series than LA against St. Louis this year, and the series against San Jose was also very physical at times. The Kings have a lot of skill, but they are also very big and they use their size.
   530. Snowboy Posted: May 30, 2013 at 11:37 PM (#4456535)
On handedness, I don't think there is any advantage/disadvantage to shooting left or right (which may have been the root of Harveys original question, as in baseball.)

My stick is left-handed, and I do everything else in life right-handed. I agree with previous comments that it is a control vs power thing. Every time I flub a one-timer, or watch a guy like Slava Voynov launch a beautiful slapshot, I think about switching to right-handed. But I spend so much time skating with only one hand on the stick, it feels better to have it in my strong hand, my right hand. Canadians as a population have the same percentage of RH/LH people, but we have a higher percentage of LH hockey players because we are taught stick control.

(I'm sure Canadian Tire stocked RH sticks when I was a kid, so I wasn't forced to LH, poor Ron J2. And they also stocked "straight" sticks, sticks with no curve. I used a straight stick for a couple of seasons as a kid, I think it was a Steve Shutt model. I thought that was wierd, because Shutt had such a great slapshot; I figured he had to be playing with a curved stick? It must have been marketing. Anyway, with a straight stick, you could switch hands in front of the net or for a faceoff.)

If you ever see a golfer turn his driver upside-down and hit one off the tee left-handed, he's probably a hockey player.
   531. PASTE Thinks This Trout Kid Might Be OK (Zeth) Posted: May 31, 2013 at 01:23 AM (#4456581)
I would imagine poke checking is a lot easier if you have your dominant hand at the top of the stick. That's a good point.
   532. HMS Moses Taylor Posted: May 31, 2013 at 11:41 AM (#4456839)
Switching gears slightly, I stick by my previous comments that Chicago's problem was that they were not hitting and not backchecking. One response here was "The Blackhawks have not hit anyone in 3 years, that is a ludicrous complaint." To which I thought...hmm...3 years...that kinda coincides with the last year that the Hawks won the Cup, doesn't it? Same players, but no wins? Same players, but no HITTING? SAME PLAYERS, BUT NO CUPS? (Big Bucks, No Whammies?)

That poster could have said 5 years, because the Hawks got that same criticism in 2010 and since Q got here. Going into the playoffs in 2010, the main criticism was that they didn't hit enough. They've been called a finesse team for years, and it suited them just fine then. Of course, backchecking and hitting aren't the same thing, so while not backchecking enough might be a legitimate point (I just disagree they weren't doing it in all the games they lost - it wasn't happening in game 2 for sure) I think not hitting enough isn't. I also disagree with any implications that have to do with effort (shutting it down, saving themselves, etc), and think the advanced stats agree with me.

Quincey was definately deserving of a penalty for what he was doing, and maybe Saad was too (I haven't seen any good video of anything Saad did wrong, but from Quincey's quotes he says they were "going back and forth" and "it was getting to the point where he had to call a penalty" so the trailing ref was watching them and probably yelling at them to cut it out.)

I think the one long shot shows enough of the play to contradict Quincey's quotes - unless he was talking about more than just that sequence - and I sure as hell don't consider the self-defense swipe Saad took while prone on the ice with Quincey on top of him retaliation or anything; dead play, two guys standing, perhaps. But there, no way. Calling it a "swipe" probably even overstates it. Nonetheless, it's done, it worked out, and maybe because of the play it got it might lead to some change or discussion (probably not though).
   533. Shredder Posted: May 31, 2013 at 03:07 PM (#4457074)
I sure as hell don't consider the self-defense swipe Saad took while prone on the ice with Quincey on top of him retaliation or anything
I think he pretty clearly threw a retaliatory jab at Quincey. Again, I don't think either player was necessarily deserving of a penalty in their own right, but refs do the "even it up" crap all the time. But I think refs need to remind themselves that unless guys are just whacking at each others' heads behind the play, if it's the final ten minutes of a tie game, save the "even it up" message sending coincidentals for things that happen after a whistle has been blown.
   534. PASTE Thinks This Trout Kid Might Be OK (Zeth) Posted: May 31, 2013 at 03:25 PM (#4457095)
#532: Agree on all points, pretty much. I mean, I don't want to sound like a broken record but I saw every game in the series and I think the Blackhawks no-showed game 2 and outplayed the Red Wings, by varying margins, in every other game. Jimmy Howard stole games 3 and 4 and that's why the series went seven games rather than five.
   535. HMS Moses Taylor Posted: May 31, 2013 at 03:40 PM (#4457115)
I think you could argue the Wings also outplayed the Hawks in game 6, outside of the 3 goal outburst, which also contradicts the effort narrative (not that I'm accusing Snowboy of buying into it, but it's been beaten to death locally - to the point that you'd think "effort" is the only thing between winning and losing).

I think he pretty clearly threw a retaliatory jab at Quincey.

While he was on his back and Quincy is on top of him. He's really not in position to retaliate as much as he's just trying to stop the pummeling and prevent future kicks to the head.
   536. Shredder Posted: May 31, 2013 at 04:13 PM (#4457154)
he's just trying to stop the pummeling and prevent future kicks to the head.
Neither of which were happening at that point. Quincey was just on top of him there, not really doing anything, but not trying to get up. I wouldn't really call anything that happened in that scrum "pummeling". It could be that Walkom was willing to be less tolerant after a minor scrum aside the benches resulted in a non-called slew foot and Valteri Filpula in crutches earlier in the game.
   537. JL Posted: May 31, 2013 at 05:13 PM (#4457217)
Neither of which were happening at that point. Quincey was just on top of him there, not really doing anything, but not trying to get up. I wouldn't really call anything that happened in that scrum "pummeling". It could be that Walkom was willing to be less tolerant after a minor scrum aside the benches resulted in a non-called slew foot and Valteri Filpula in crutches earlier in the game.


That slew foot was pretty bad. Might have effected the game, though that is a woulda, coulda, shoulda sort of guessing. Frankly, that is the call to get technical about, as opposed to the matching minors with 2 minutes left.
   538. HMS Moses Taylor Posted: May 31, 2013 at 05:22 PM (#4457224)
This is a dead, and severely rotting, horse at this point, so I might as well stop. But the entire thing took, what, 10, 15 seconds? Considering that Quincey is still on him on not getting up, I still have a hard time seeing Saad at any fault here.

As for the slew-foot, that play had more than one aggressor, if you will. Shaw is clearly the instigator (and a dick) and the guiltiest party, if you will. He gave and took a couple shots, then made the dirty play. Were Shaw to be the only one given a penalty there, I think it would have be just (there's also an argument if could have been offsetting). The key of course, to me, is that everyone's on their feet and any of them could have just skated away at any point. Saad didn't have that option. There was also plenty of other stuff, on both teams, that happened between the early injury and the end if the refs felt like settling things down or making a point.

If a similar play were to happen in the next series and it's a Hawk on top of someone - regardless of the time of game - and it was an offsetting penalty call, I'd say the Hawks got a break.
   539. JL Posted: May 31, 2013 at 05:39 PM (#4457236)
As for the slew-foot, that play had more than one aggressor, if you will. Shaw is clearly the instigator (and a dick) and the guiltiest party, if you will. He gave and took a couple shots, then made the dirty play. Were Shaw to be the only one given a penalty there, I think it would have be just (there's also an argument if could have been offsetting). The key of course, to me, is that everyone's on their feet and any of them could have just skated away at any point. Saad didn't have that option. There was also plenty of other stuff, on both teams, that happened between the early injury and the end if the refs felt like settling things down or making a point.


Except slew-footing is a match penalty and Shaw should be out of the rest of the game. To me, a call that really involves player safety is where the refs should get technical. I would have let the Qunicy-Saad stuff go, but not the Shaw penalty.

I should be surprised that Shaw was not penalized in today's results-orientated NHL, but sadly I am not.
   540. HMS Moses Taylor Posted: May 31, 2013 at 05:59 PM (#4457249)
Fair enough.

That did make me go back to watch the video again, and somehow I missed Zetterberg hitting Shaw in the groin with his stick twice, right before the slew foot (not that I'm trying to excuse it). Or maybe that 2nd tap was more of a hook/trip attempt (the same time Cleary is holding Shaw from behind on the bench). Shaw's a douche, regardless.
   541. odds are meatwad is drunk Posted: June 01, 2013 at 03:56 PM (#4457814)
Cant wait for this series to begin. Thlugh back to back games seems weird considering how time off they have had between games the first 2 rounds
   542. PASTE Thinks This Trout Kid Might Be OK (Zeth) Posted: June 01, 2013 at 04:09 PM (#4457832)
I'll record my picks here because picking and pretending to be confident is more fun than saying "Well, I think the Kings are about 55% to win this series...", especially when they turn out to be hilariously wrong: Bruins in 6 and Blackhawks in 6.
   543. zack Posted: June 01, 2013 at 05:16 PM (#4457876)
Man, when did Crawford become so good at playing the puck?
   544. zack Posted: June 01, 2013 at 05:45 PM (#4457900)
Chicago has played way better than I could ever expect for the 1st period, denying LA pretty much any zone time. And, of course, they're down 1-0 on LAs 2nd shot.
   545. zack Posted: June 01, 2013 at 07:15 PM (#4457947)
If Chicago could get the puck out of their own zone as easily as they did for the first two periods for the entire series, then it would be in hand for them. The third period so far is much more like what I expected and what I expect the majority of the series will be like.

Heh, Brown is such a friggin' diver. At least he's good at, unlike most of those so inclined. That was a clear penalty, of course, so a good time to go down.
   546. Robert in Manhattan Beach Posted: June 01, 2013 at 08:15 PM (#4457972)
Wow, that wasn't even a game. Chicago killed them. Now without Richards, the Kings are in deep trouble.
   547. zack Posted: June 01, 2013 at 09:08 PM (#4458005)
Is Richards seriously injured? I can't tell if his head hit the boards when he came down, and I didn't hear anything about it.

Regardless, I don't think any of the remaining games will play like this one. The Kings will respond much like they did in the 3rd and start pounding on the forecheck. And Chicago has dominated possession the first game of each series so far only for the rest of the games to be much more even.
   548. Random Transaction Generator Posted: June 01, 2013 at 09:19 PM (#4458013)
Colour me surprised...Matt Cooke gets tossed from the game for a dangerous check from behind.
It's about time the NHL simply asks him to stay home for the rest of his life.
   549. PASTE Thinks This Trout Kid Might Be OK (Zeth) Posted: June 01, 2013 at 09:21 PM (#4458014)
That was some masterful embellishment by McQuaid, who wasn't injured at all, to end Matt Cooke's playoffs and probably his Penguins tenure.
   550. Random Transaction Generator Posted: June 01, 2013 at 09:24 PM (#4458017)
Embellishment or not, he saw the numbers and still hit them.
   551. Robert in Manhattan Beach Posted: June 01, 2013 at 09:25 PM (#4458018)
We'll see I guess, it certainly looked line a concussion. He's had concussion problems before, I don't expect to see him for a while.

I certainly understand what Sutter is trying to do, but dressing all of Regher, Scuderi and Greene (three absolute zeroes on offense) plus the constant deer-in-the-headlights play he's getting from Muzzin just doesn't allow them to sustain much offensive pressure. I would love to see him break out Alec Martinez and maybe even Ellerby moving forward. Although I'm sure he'll never try it on the road where he can't control matchups. And for God sake get Toffoli back out there, I think we can live without Fraser or Richardson. You're not going to be able to beat Chicago 2-1, you've got to score.
   552. PASTE Thinks This Trout Kid Might Be OK (Zeth) Posted: June 01, 2013 at 09:27 PM (#4458020)
Tanner Glass, who unlike Matt Cooke cannot play hockey, will certainly take Cooke's place the rest of the series. Cooke's just a replacement level guy at this point; it's Bylsma's insistence on having a Tough Guy in there and playing Glass that will make losing Cooke a serious blow to the Penguins.
   553. zack Posted: June 01, 2013 at 09:43 PM (#4458031)
I don't get why that was a game misconduct. The rulebook says a major + head injury = game misconduct, but by what standard did McQuaid get a head injury?
   554. PASTE Thinks This Trout Kid Might Be OK (Zeth) Posted: June 01, 2013 at 09:48 PM (#4458032)
Because he faked one.

People just won't shut up about what a horribly dirty hit that was, but it would be a non-issue if (a) it wasn't Matt Cooke and (b) McQuaid hadn't practically thrown his own head into the glass like a WWE wrestler selling his opponent's move.

Like I said, smart play and great sell by McQuaid. Cooke will certainly be suspended for the rest of the playoffs, at least, for a hit that was a pretty standard two minute minor had it been committed by Brenden Morrow and McQuaid hadn't embellished it quite so well.
   555. zack Posted: June 01, 2013 at 09:54 PM (#4458037)
Now Marchand does the same thing and gets the minor call, which I agree with.

Watching these games makes my back hurt.
   556. PASTE Thinks This Trout Kid Might Be OK (Zeth) Posted: June 01, 2013 at 09:55 PM (#4458039)
It's because Neal didn't fake an injury and Brad Marchand isn't Matt Cooke.
   557. zack Posted: June 01, 2013 at 09:55 PM (#4458040)
Ooh star fight! Star fight! Crosby really needs to be above this crap.
   558. PASTE Thinks This Trout Kid Might Be OK (Zeth) Posted: June 01, 2013 at 09:58 PM (#4458042)
I'd kill to see Crosby throw down with Sasquatch. That would be the highlight of the year.
   559. steagles Posted: June 01, 2013 at 10:05 PM (#4458050)
393. you got a STEAGLES? you're gonna need a STEAGLES. Posted: May 27, 2013 at 12:32 AM (#4452829)
I have absolutely no idea how that series is going to go. I could believe a sweep by Boston or a sweep by Pittsburgh or anything in between.
being a fan of a team that has gotten the best of both boston and pittsburgh in the playoffs over the last few years, i'd say that boston has the advantage. pittsburgh is, and always will be, mentally weak, so my money would be on boston finding a way to exploit that over a 7 game series.
example #A of this was at the end of the 2nd period, with crosby going up to tukka rask and elbowing him in the pads, creating a conflict that resulted in evgeni malkin getting a fighting major and kris letang having to get in front of chara to keep crosby in the realm of the living.

and i agree about mcquade putting himself in a bad position when cooke hit him, but cooke does not ever deserve the benefit of the doubt, so i have no problem with a ref assuming he did the worst.
   560. steagles Posted: June 01, 2013 at 10:10 PM (#4458057)
It's because Neal didn't fake an injury and Brad Marchand isn't Matt Cooke.
yeah, he actually really kind of is, but the difference between the hits, if you actually want to parse the difference, was that marchand's momentum didn't follow neal into the boards, whereas all of cooke's momentum was behind mcquade putting him in the glass.

if marchand hit neal with the same force that cooke hit mcquade, it would have taken a stretcher for neal to get off the ice.

   561. Robert in Manhattan Beach Posted: June 01, 2013 at 10:13 PM (#4458059)
Allow me to register a vote that I didn't think Marchand's hit was as bad as Cooke's.
   562. PASTE Thinks This Trout Kid Might Be OK (Zeth) Posted: June 01, 2013 at 10:34 PM (#4458088)
This looks like the Flyers series last year all over again--Boston seems to have really done their homework and knows exactly how to beat Pittsburgh (get in their faces, stay in their faces, never let up, and watch them falter and melt down). I don't expect it'll take them more than five games to end this series.
   563. steagles Posted: June 01, 2013 at 11:30 PM (#4458133)
This looks like the Flyers series last year all over again--Boston seems to have really done their homework and knows exactly how to beat Pittsburgh (get in their faces, stay in their faces, never let up, and watch them falter and melt down). I don't expect it'll take them more than five games to end this series.
i'm not sure how much of a difference it will make, but i think it will make some kind of a difference that they have vokoun in net now, instead of fleury.
   564. PASTE Thinks This Trout Kid Might Be OK (Zeth) Posted: June 02, 2013 at 12:45 AM (#4458156)
Except that in all likelihood if the Penguins go down 2-0 Fleury will be back in for Game 3 (which imo would make a Boston sweep likely).
   565. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: June 02, 2013 at 01:49 AM (#4458167)
As a Bruin fan I thought Cooke getting tossed was the right call but I thought Marchand also deserved to get tossed. As someone noted above you see the numbers and the boards are right there you don't hit the guy.

And it's shocking that Marchand didn't go because, again reiterating what was said above, Marchand ain't no choir boy. I love the guy but he's got a nasty streak that takes him across the line sometimes.

All in all thrilled with the performance. The Penguins gotta gt some bodies at Rask, he was entirely too comfortable. If they let him stand there unmolested they are going to have a tough time scoring. I also felt the Penguins let the need to be physical get in the way . There were a few times where they made bad plays going for hits that weren't necessary. A couple penalties (Cooke, Crosby) and a couple just took the puck away.
   566. PASTE Thinks This Trout Kid Might Be OK (Zeth) Posted: June 02, 2013 at 02:53 PM (#4458409)
The Penguins are not a crash-the-net team, so they will not be molesting Rask. They like to set up behind the net and look for sharp-angle passes to somebody in front. It's unlikely they're going to change their entire offensive strategy now.
   567. Shredder Posted: June 02, 2013 at 08:57 PM (#4458701)
I didn't realize how cheap and dirty the Hawks are. Three cheap hits, three injured Kings, and only one minor penalty? If this goes to the third with the Hawks up by more than one, someone will need to pay a very heavy physical price. If the Kings don't respond in kind,, they deserve to lose the series.
   568. odds are meatwad is drunk Posted: June 02, 2013 at 09:22 PM (#4458714)
Hawks are just killing them right now
   569. odds are meatwad is drunk Posted: June 02, 2013 at 09:23 PM (#4458716)
And quick is out of the game after giving up 4 goals at the halfway point.
   570. Snowboy Posted: June 02, 2013 at 10:15 PM (#4458749)
I wouldn't go so far as to call Chicago "cheap & dirty" but they know they are up against a very big and tough opponent, and some of them are showing a willingness to try and draw a penalty or chirp a little after the whistle. In the first period Bolland got in to a jawing match with Clifford, and it continued back to the benches. Clifford kept it up by actually moving down to the end of the bench, and of course Bolland was more than happy to oblige him by doing the same. (There are two reporters stashed in that space between the benches, and I don't know what Engblom on NBC said about it, but Ferraro on TSN said some of the sniping was about "do you even know how to read?" FYI that's a pretty big insult between two Canadians, we sometimes get real nasty like that!). Some other Kings seemed to be loving it, but LA shouldn't be falling into that trap.

Quick got beat by a couple shots that show he is human. Main problem so far is LA has not been hitting, and only part of it is that Chicago is too fast to hit - they have had chances, but LA is laying off, and that's not what I expected from them. Secondly LA is playing everything along the boards (kinda like Chicago vs Detroit games 2-3-4) everything is from the outside, they need to get to the middle, take higher % shots, have a man in front. Crawford hasn't been giving up rebounds, but you still gotta have a guy there just in case.
   571. Snowboy Posted: June 02, 2013 at 11:22 PM (#4458778)
Robert in Manhattan Beach Posted: June 01, 2013 at 09:25 PM (#4458018)

We'll see I guess, it certainly looked line a concussion. He's had concussion problems before, I don't expect to see him for a while.

I certainly understand what Sutter is trying to do, but dressing all of Regher, Scuderi and Greene (three absolute zeroes on offense) plus the constant deer-in-the-headlights play he's getting from Muzzin just doesn't allow them to sustain much offensive pressure. I would love to see him break out Alec Martinez and maybe even Ellerby moving forward. Although I'm sure he'll never try it on the road where he can't control matchups. And for God sake get Toffoli back out there, I think we can live without Fraser or Richardson. You're not going to be able to beat Chicago 2-1, you've got to score.


Brilliant call on asking to get Toffoli back in there. Him and Carter were the best line out there tonight for LA. Was Penner the 3rd fwd on that line? He had a few really good chances, but he is gripping the stick too tight.

I wasn't so sure about your call on Martinez, and although Sutter did make that move I'm not sure it worked out too well. Not that he lost them the game, but I didn't think he was very good out there, and was on the ice for a couple goals I think. Quick should have made the save, but I think it was Martinez in the middle of that 2-on-1 that Hossa scored, and he didn't do much of anything. Scuderi is a reliable player who never makes a mistake, and the same for Regher except that he also has a pretty good shot if he has time to set it up. Greene I don't have an opinion on either way, but I could lace 'em up Tuesday and play as well as Muzzin.

Going back, I thought the hit on Richards was clean, and it looked like a shoulder injury more than concussion. They didn't confirm anything on TSN during tonight's game, other than to say he dressed and skated during the warmup, but then told the Kings that he couldn't go. And I guess that was when they tapped Toffoli? (Again: great call. I know this is small solace after a loss, and down 2-0.)

re: other posts I don't think Shaw is a d-bag, he's just a hard-nosed player. Of course, it is still early in his career, he could go down the wrong road.

Which brings me to a guy who took the wrong road a long time ago: Matt Cooke...I hate to write anything that might be even slightly construed as defending that piece of crap...but his hit on McQuaid was not the worst thing in the world. McQuaid knew it was coming, and he made it look good; he let it happen far enough from the boards that he had wasn't going to get 100% creamed. But (another "but" I know) this is Cooke we're talking about, and it was a textbook example of checking a guy *from behind* with full view of his numbers, and putting him face-first into the boards. I don't think the hit deserves a supplemental review or suspension, but then again (yes, another "again") we are talking about Matt Cooke. If they want to burn that hit onto a DVD and mail it to every minor hockey association on the planet, along with a copy of the suspension note that keeps him off the ice for the next 5/10/20/41/etc games, you won't hear a pip of complaint from anyone except maybe his mother. Because, again, we're talking about Cooke (yes, another "again" but also another mention of "Cooke" we're probably going to be doing this all day & night as long as he is...)

They thought the ice was bad in Chicago this weekend, now let's see what kind of bounces come in Los Angeles in June?
   572. Snowboy Posted: June 03, 2013 at 12:05 AM (#4458795)
It was Handzus that scored the 2-on-1 tonight, not Hossa, sorry.
After checking, I see Martinez was -2 tonight.
The Kings need to start laying the body.
And Chicago needs to keep carrying the puck over the blue line with four guys at a time. I don't mean to leave them out of the conversation: it's not that LA is losing this series, Chicago is winning it, and they are up 2-0. And now it shifts to Staples Center, and I hear the Kings like home cooking? Not over yet.
   573. zack Posted: June 03, 2013 at 12:36 AM (#4458805)
I didn't realize how cheap and dirty the Hawks are. Three cheap hits, three injured Kings, and only one minor penalty?

The Hawks don't play dirty at all, haven't since they got rid of Eager and Burish. The Bolland hit was a classic missed-hit turned dirty (which I hate), and not nearly as bad as people make out to be. The Doughty hit wasn't even a hit, wasn't knee on knee, and was caused by Doughty dekeing Bickell out of his skates. What else are you calling out? If we're gonna put on our colored shades than we can talk about someone who does have a history of making dirty runs at people, namely Cap'n Elbows.

Edit: Ah, Shaw slashing Richardson? I didn't even notice it during the game, and can't even tell if it was a real slash from the replay. Shaw's a ####, yeah. But let's not pretend that there haven't been plenty of slashes from the Kings as well.

Your prediction for the 3rd did come true, as the Kings brought out the can openers. I'd be willing to be that had more to do with the score and would have happened regardless, though. That's just how teams respond to being out of the game.
   574. Robert in Manhattan Beach Posted: June 03, 2013 at 02:57 AM (#4458834)
After checking, I see Martinez was -2 tonight.

Yeah, he'll make some mistakes. If Quick's not going to stop anything, it's a problem. Still, he's replacing Muzzin who's been pretty useless. I hope we've seen the last of Jake. And yeah, I underestimated Regher's offensive prowess. He fired that puck right by Quick, no one saw that coming.

Brilliant call on asking to get Toffoli back in there. Him and Carter were the best line out there tonight for LA. Was Penner the 3rd fwd on that line? He had a few really good chances, but he is gripping the stick too tight.

Toffoli leads whatever league he's assigned to in points. He can obviously score, I have no idea why he sits so much while guys like Dwight King get a pass. King could be on a line with Gretzky and Lemieux in their prime and put up a ten game pointless streak.

it's not that LA is losing this series, Chicago is winning it, and they are up 2-0.

Oh yeah, Chicago is killing them. The scores of these games have not indicated how one sided it's been. Maybe the Kings can put together something on home ice to make this a series but at this point it's pretty obvious that the Hawks are better and deserve to advance. It's barely been competitive.


   575. Shredder Posted: June 03, 2013 at 09:01 AM (#4458867)
and can't even tell if it was a real slash from the replay.
So you're saying Richardson was just faking it as he barely made it off the ice? Or was it just a strong breeze that messed up his ankle?
   576. zack Posted: June 03, 2013 at 09:24 AM (#4458883)
No, I'm saying I can't tell if it's a "real" (violent) slash, or one of the 1,000's of taps that players give each other a game that happened to hit a nerve. Or if Richardson's leg hits the goal post.

And his ankle was so destroyed, that like Doughty he didn't miss a shift.

I won't deny that there have been borderline and dirty plays made by Blackhawks, I just deny that they are a "cheap and dirty" team. Earlier I forgot to mention Carcillo, who definitely is, but I forgot about him because he fortunately never plays.
   577. CWS Keith plans to boo your show at the Apollo Posted: June 03, 2013 at 10:28 AM (#4458930)
The arguments that any one team is appreciably more "cheap and dirty" than another usually aren't all that convincing. For chrissakes the Kings employ Colin Fraser, who to my eye has been able to stay in the league solely because he's good at being a turd.

Having said that, Andrew Shaw is also a (slightly-more-skilled) turd, and Bolland is obviously skilled in the dark arts. I'm just saying the Hawks don't seem notably more dirty than your average team.
   578. Joe Bivens, Minor Genius Posted: June 03, 2013 at 10:38 AM (#4458939)
Rask is 25 - how much I prefer giving him a long term deal to seeing what they have in Khudobin

Khudobin is likely gone next year. I think he's an UFA.
   579. HMS Moses Taylor Posted: June 03, 2013 at 11:12 AM (#4458983)
Let's not forget Clifford's stick chop to the back of Rozival's neck. I definitely initially thought the Bolland hit on Richards was dirty - he does leave his feet - but it is crazy that Bolland's back is actually what hit Richards. But yes, Brown's elbows are making their presence felt.

Can someone explain to me how the Hawks ended up with the extra penalty in that whole Clifford/Rozival thing, by the way?
   580. PASTE Thinks This Trout Kid Might Be OK (Zeth) Posted: June 03, 2013 at 12:59 PM (#4459115)
Cooke didn't get a review, much less a suspension, which pretty much confirms the league office agrees with the general consensus that the hit wasn't worth a game misconduct, to say nothing of a suspension, and McQuaid was obviously faking an injury like a soccer player.
   581. Shredder Posted: June 03, 2013 at 02:17 PM (#4459221)
Can someone explain to me how the Hawks ended up with the extra penalty in that whole Clifford/Rozival thing, by the way?
The extra two were to Roszival for the intial cross-check. Toews shouldn't have gotten anything there, but they should have given those two minutes to Crawford.
And his ankle was so destroyed, that like Doughty he didn't miss a shift.
Well, that settles then, because as everyone knows, NHL players absolutely refuse to take the ice if they're suffering from injury, so clearly the fact that he continued to play is indisputable evidence that a reckless play by Bolland in no way limited Doughty's effectiveness.
Your prediction for the 3rd did come true, as the Kings brought out the can openers.
We must not have watched the same third period.
   582. Cabbage Posted: June 03, 2013 at 07:32 PM (#4459461)
Minor item of interest: Hawks sign goalie Antti Raanta, Sweedish league MVP
   583. PASTE Thinks This Trout Kid Might Be OK (Zeth) Posted: June 03, 2013 at 08:26 PM (#4459490)
The Bruins are going to sweep. The Penguins are in one of their patented funks where they just can't stop doing stupid #### with the puck. And Fleury will be in the net for Game 3.
   584. steagles Posted: June 03, 2013 at 08:39 PM (#4459499)
fleury is in net.


this series is over.
   585. zack Posted: June 03, 2013 at 09:48 PM (#4459573)
Minor item of interest: Hawks sign goalie Antti Raanta, Sweedish league MVP

Suomish, not Sweedish.
   586. zack Posted: June 03, 2013 at 10:40 PM (#4459632)
You know, the media talks about Dan Bylsma like he's the platonic ideal of a coach, and yet this is the second year in a row where his team has completely broken down in a playoff series and forgotten how to play hockey.
   587. PASTE Thinks This Trout Kid Might Be OK (Zeth) Posted: June 03, 2013 at 11:29 PM (#4459664)
Third year in a row, but who's counting.

I don't honestly think there's very much Bylsma brings to the table, but then I think that's true of most coaches. There's little sense firing him unless you want to completely reverse direction with a new coach who's basically the opposite of Bylsma. So given the current available coach crop, unless you're planning to hire John Tortorella you might as well keep Bylsma on. And if you are planning on hiring John Tortorella you might as well get on the horn and find out what you can get for Evgeni Malkin, before he becomes the Russian Latrell Sprewell by the end of September.

Letang gave up three straight goals tonight, followed by Fleury entering the game and immediately surrendering a fourth. It would likely have been sort of a close game had Letang been scratched. He's been bad in the playoffs and growing increasingly terrible with each passing game and honestly probably should be scratched for Game 3.
   588. steagles Posted: June 04, 2013 at 04:42 AM (#4459744)
You know, the media talks about Dan Bylsma like he's the platonic ideal of a coach, and yet this is the second year in a row where his team has completely broken down in a playoff series and forgotten how to play hockey.
i'm nothing close to an expert, not on the penguins and not really on hockey in general, but if i was coaching pittsburgh, i'd lean on morrow and iginla as heavily as their bodies would allow. with how many shitheels you have up front at forward (from crosby, malkin and neal to adams, vitale and cooke), those two are really the only guys on that roster that i would trust to not do something colossally stupid.

they have a ton of talent, no doubt, but when your best players do #### like this and this and this it epitomizes the alarming lack of discipline that has really become endemic to this pittsburgh team over the last few years.

i wouldn't compare boston to last year's philly team because boston is so much better in net and on the blueline, but the way they scored their 6 goals tonight was a carbon copy of the way the flyers scored on pittsburgh last year. they don't backcheck. watch the krejci goal and tell me where malkin and neal are. iginla got deked out of his skates, but he was at least within 50 feet of the puck at the time. i don't think neal even crossed the red line, and malkin's effort to get back in the play was almost equally pathetic.


and now you're gonna put fleury back out there? good luck with that.
   589. Random Transaction Generator Posted: June 04, 2013 at 08:27 AM (#4459769)
[Letang]'s been bad in the playoffs and growing increasingly terrible with each passing game and honestly probably should be scratched for Game 3.


He's fourth in playoff points, and he has a positive +/- rating.
I'm not sure how that can be considered "bad".
   590. zack Posted: June 04, 2013 at 09:07 AM (#4459800)
I'm not sure how that can be considered "bad".

That's Norris Trophy Candidate Kris Letang. I've really liked Letang's play in the past, but in all 3 series so far he's shown an alarming lack of defensive ability. I'm not sure how much is him and how much is his forwards leaving him out to dry though.

Do the Penguins practice a trap? If you want to turn this series around I think you have to go all-in on defensive responsibility.
   591. PASTE Thinks This Trout Kid Might Be OK (Zeth) Posted: June 04, 2013 at 09:54 AM (#4459853)
Letang's the Defensive Ovechkin: He scores a lot of points but gives back at least as many. He's been on ice for more goals allowed than anyone else in the playoffs this year, by far--and probably most of them have been directly his fault because of how careless he's been with the puck and how quick he is to abandon his assignment.

During the occasional stretches when he's on and hitting all the crazy passes he tries he can really dominate--but at times like now his defensive positioning is abominable and every time he handles the puck in his own end he does something stupid with it.

His head is not in the game at all and he should be scratched.

The Penguins do not trap and, as #588 said, half the time they can't even be bothered to backcheck.

I'd reiterate that I'm not really sure a lot of superior alternatives are available and to a large extent the players are the problem (chiefly Letang and Malkin, who are both lazy and don't like to play defense), but you have to assume by this point that keeping Bylsma means accepting the Crosby Era being basically the same as the Jagr Era--always good in the regular season, always high scoring and entertaining, always underachieving in the playoffs.
   592. zack Posted: June 04, 2013 at 10:02 AM (#4459860)
I meant as a secondary tactic. For example, the Blackhawks don't normally trap, but they do practice a 1-2-2 and will use it occasionally in prevent situations or if #### goes banaynay.

The Pens actually remind me a lot of Chicago in the previous 2 years, in terms of defensive lapses. The causes are different, Chicago didn't lose their heads, it was based on trying to get their flying transition started too early and flying the zone without secure possession, but the results are very similar. But a year of focus on breakouts and defensive assignments for forwards turned things around with pretty much the same personnel. The same two goalies who had SV% of .903 and .900 last year ended up with .926 and .922 this year.
   593. zack Posted: June 04, 2013 at 10:05 AM (#4459864)
What do you guys think the over/under on hits for the Kings in the first 10 minutes tonight will be? 15? 20? I'm guessing they are going to come out like a hurricane. Hoping that CHI can get out of the 1st down by only 1.
   594. PASTE Thinks This Trout Kid Might Be OK (Zeth) Posted: June 04, 2013 at 10:19 AM (#4459878)
What do you guys think the over/under on hits for the Kings in the first 10 minutes tonight will be? 15? 20? I'm guessing they are going to come out like a hurricane. Hoping that CHI can get out of the 1st down by only 1.


Pittsburgh outhit Boston 2-to-1 last night. Hitting to gain the puck is one thing, hitting just to hit is another. It seems like Pittsburgh's strategy--I don't know whether it came from the coach or it's more the players collectively deciding \"#### those guys, we're hitting them into oblivion" and the coach failing to step in--has been to prove they can be more physical than Boston.

Meanwhile Boston's strategy has focused on scoring more goals than Pittsburgh. I'm going to go ahead and call that a more successful strategy.
   595. zack Posted: June 04, 2013 at 10:44 AM (#4459903)
Oh I absolutely agree, and that's why I think Snowboy's analyses above are ridiculous. That's why I said first 10 minutes and not the game. It's pretty much expected that a team down 0-2 and coming home is going to come out of the gate with everything they've got. Combined with the fact that LA has been criticized for not using their physicality and I expect blitzkrieg.

Back to Letang, your description is probably true, you've seen much more of him than I have, and I certainly have a type when it comes to offensive defensemen. The only thing that rings hollow is that the exact same thing is said about nearly every offensive d-man, in much the same way that all offensive catchers are inevitably described as weak defensively.
   596. PASTE Thinks This Trout Kid Might Be OK (Zeth) Posted: June 04, 2013 at 01:04 PM (#4460027)
There are defensemen that are very good both ways. Letang isn't one of them, and he seems to be getting worse about it--he's devolved into an only slightly better version of Mike Green, who I wouldn't want on my team if he played for free.

Gonchar was another example of a defenseman who wasn't great defensively, but he was adequate defensively and very good offensively.
   597. Shredder Posted: June 04, 2013 at 01:16 PM (#4460044)
What do you guys think the over/under on hits for the Kings in the first 10 minutes tonight will be? 15? 20? I'm guessing they are going to come out like a hurricane. Hoping that CHI can get out of the 1st down by only 1.
The way they score hits in LA, probably 50. But they don't score hits in LA very well.

They will come out with everything they've got, but I have a feeling everything they've got is not very much. I'm assuming that Kopitar and Brown are nursing pretty significant injuries (or at least I hope they are, otherwise there are much larger issues). For some reason they're really struggling at that 3rd defensive pairing. And they're almost certainly without their most inspirational playoff performer. It's not over, but it's about as close as it can get.
   598. Brian C Posted: June 04, 2013 at 01:31 PM (#4460075)
That's why I said first 10 minutes and not the game. It's pretty much expected that a team down 0-2 and coming home is going to come out of the gate with everything they've got. Combined with the fact that LA has been criticized for not using their physicality and I expect blitzkrieg.

I expect so, too, but at the same time this pretty much plays into the Blackhawks' hands, doesn't it? There's a reason the Kings haven't been going balls-out thus far.

The situation the Kings are staring straight in the face is that they're heavily reliant on Quick being superhuman in order to beat the Hawks and always were. Trying to throw their weight around more doesn't really do much to address this situation, and in fact probably exacerbates it to some extent. The first two games, the Hawks have practically been begging for the Kings to overcommit to a physical game, to the point where it seems they've been actively trying to agitate.

Unless LA executes that blitzkrieg to absolute perfection, the Hawks can and will skate right through it. This Hawks team can be beat, but I don't think they can be bullied into submission.
   599. Robert in Manhattan Beach Posted: June 04, 2013 at 07:20 PM (#4460406)
Well, off to Staples. NBC can go #### itself with these 6 PM start times.

Obviously they need to win here. There's no shame in losing to this Chicago team, but getting swept sure would suck. Losing Richards to the Game 1 head shot combined with whatever is wrong with Kopitar, it's going to be tough. The Toffoli-Carter-Penner line and somehow getting more out of Doughty and Voynov is the only hope.

   600. zack Posted: June 04, 2013 at 09:38 PM (#4460570)
WTF, I don't know if I've ever seen Sharp throw off the gloves.
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