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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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   701. odds are meatwad is drunk Posted: June 07, 2013 at 12:27 AM (#4463180)
Looks like it will be over in 5, I hope the Pens can take a game or 2 to give the Hawks more rest.
   702. Robert in Manhattan Beach Posted: June 07, 2013 at 02:55 AM (#4463209)
I guess that's it then. The softie Quick let in early killed any momentum and from there it was pretty inevitable. Chicago is just better, they deserve to win.

I surely hope that Kopitar and Brown are very hurt because if this is the best they got, we've got a problem.

Edit: And I should add I'm not nearly as bitter as Shredder seems to be. This was an honorable title defense. They ran out of gas and ran into a really good team. No shame in that. Getting beaten by St. Louis or San Jose would have been a little embarrassing but this is just how it goes. It's really hard to repeat.
   703. Snowboy Posted: June 07, 2013 at 07:19 AM (#4463223)
Pretty good win for the Hawks. A mistake by Brookbank on his first shift led to the first goal (and it was early in the game, just what LA needed.) Quick flubbed that knuckler from Bickell, that was a bad goal to let them tie it. That was a "oh, I'm in alone, 1-on-4, I guess we're changing, I'll just dump it on net and ...oh! I meant to do that!" moment.) LA victimized Brookbank again when Carter (again, a good game outta him) was able to spin and get the puck over to Penner - now Penner is a big dude, but it didn't look like Brookbank was trying hard enough to cover him. You gotta be physical there, even if you are outsized. Same as Phaneuf letting Chara stand in front of the net unmolested in the decider of that series (I think Phaneuf was injured and unable to put pressure on one leg, so I give him a bit of a pass) even if you are not gonna win the battle you still gotta have the battle; you can't let the guy stand around watching the play develop, and think about whether he's gonna go high-blocker or five-hole if he gets it, and about what he's gonna say in his interviews, and about the tattoo on the ash of that blonde he was with on that roadtrip to Minnesota, etc. You gotta get in his kitchen, put your stick over his, and lean into him and try to push him away from the crease.

So it's 2-1, and the Hawks defense was a mess, in my opinion. Losing Keith and replacing him with Brookbank was obviously going to be a step down, but it started off looking like a massive one. The pairings were all messed up. The coaches had Hjalmarsson playing on his opposite side, which led to him being out of position a few times (you get used to seeing the ice a certain way? Like a corner OF switching to the other corner?) and he's LH shot so now everything along the boards was coming to him the wrong way. But the Hawks seemed prepared for all of this, and their forwards were back-checking hard to help out. And Toews was leading again like a captain, in the first period he stole two pucks in the offensive zone just be being physical: he pushed Doughty off the puck one-on-one and passed it off for a chance, and later he recognized that it was a Kings forward that had the puck in the corner, so him and another forward (might have been Kane?) charged him, and while Toews hit him off the puck, the other Hawk skated away with it behind the net for an offensive chance.

LA should have been able to take advantage of the mess Chicago was in with their blueline, but they didn't. Crawford was good, but like he said afterwards LA didn't really have a lot of great scoring chances and "we mostly kept them to the outside." LA's strategy was to chip it in, then chase it, hit the defenseman and take possession. And they did that pretty successfully. But once they got the puck, they didn't do enough with it. Chicago was effective in blocking the puck coming to the points along the boards, and they didn't allow a clear lane to the middle. So I thought LA should then have tried to keep the puck low and cycle it, and try to exploit the mismatched pairings of the defense and get a guy out of position, but they didn't really do that.

Chicago's offensive strategy was kinda the same, chip it in. But by only sending one or two guys in to chase it, I think in the end LA just got worn down, having to turn it around and bring it back another 200 feet. "Ran out of gas" might be what's happening in this series overall, and that's what happened in the third period of this game. When Chicago scored 1:10 into the third, the air just kinda went out of the balloon. It was too bad, too, because first of all I didn't agree that Regehr's hit on Kane was an interference penalty, I thought the puck was close enough to them for that not to be a penalty in the playoffs, especially one that would stretch across two periods. Secondly although LA did technically kill the penalty, the Hossa goal came just 10 seconds after it ended, so LA was trying to do a change, but it was only a magnificent pass from Oduya to Handzus that led to it. That pass was fantastic (and so was Handzus to receive it, then set up Hossa so well.) So it was an incredible play coming after they had just killed a penalty: you have two choices there, you can hang your head and mope about it, or you can forget it and maintain your focus on tieing the series while playing at home with Keith in the pressbox. (We know which way it went.)

Patrick Kane: He showed some life tonight. Not a lot, but a little? He registered a goal, but that was really Bickell's second of the game, it was going over the line anyway, on a tip from a Hjalmarsson shot (he was eventually moved back to his true defensive spot, and played much better.) And earlier in the play on that goal, Kane backed off of challenging the LA player who had the puck, but it somehow bounced back to him, he fed it to the point, which led to a shot, deflection, and his buzzarding a goal. His problem is not (as mentioned earlier in the thread) that he's been paired with Handzus and is thus getting double-teamed. He was playing with Sharp and Toews most recently, and doing nothing. His problem is confidence, and lack of back-checking. He needs to spend more time and energy in the defensive zone, fighting (as much as he can, he's little, but sometimes it goes your way) for the puck, and then if he gets it, skating up hard. He's faster than most defensemen, so he can get them on their heels or turned around, and he has more ice to be creative in a rush that starts a long way back. He did a bit more of that tonight, and he got an offically creditted goal, so we'll see if that helps his confidence? Or if that ridiculous robbery by Quick later in the game gets into his head. (Kane actually took his time, looked, knew to go top shelf, then fired. 75% of the NHL these days just fires that low, right into the pads or the crest. I don't get it sometimes; it seems like some guys could take your eye out from fifteen feet with just a lunge and quick flick, but the others seem unable to raise their wrist shot except for one-in-ten attempts?) Kane did get his shot up where it needed to be, but Quick was better. We'll see if Kane gains confidence with his goal, or if he goes back into the dark place.

A lot is being made of LA not getting a shot on net during a third period powerplay, but it's not like they just skated in circles (like Pittsburgh does sometimes?) waiting for the perfect setup. There were some shots fired, but they never got to the net because they kept going off Chicago skaters. And Chicago is not known for shot-blocking. Sometimes it's not your night.

Speaking of Pittsburgh, they were the better team the other night. Bylsma didn't juggle the lines enough, but he did a little, and they played well. They win if they don't hit the iron so many times. I thought Boston played a bit of a dirty game, constantly cross-checking after the whistle (and it wasn't just one or two guys trying to be a pest or energize, it was everyone after lots of whistles.) Penalties for boarding, and kneeing. That hook by Jagr to steal the puck from Malkin and start the winning goal. Lucic ran Orpik's face into the glass (the play went back the other way, so the camera panned with it, but Orpik stood there staring down at the ice without moving for about eight seconds; I started to get afraid that something had ruptured inside of him, and that they were going to say that he had dropped to the ice without moving. Yeesh.)

There were also two (2!) penalties for too-many-men. And the gift penalty on Douglas Murray in the third period for a pair of one-handed taps to the kneepad (I don't blame Peverley in any way, he didn't embellish or try to draw anything, that was just an embarrassing call by the ref, probably the same ref who was coming up behind the Jagr mugging and didn't call anything.) I would have a hard time being proud of a win in a game like that. But to some people a win is a win, and now just one more away from the Cup finals.

Letang is playing scared. He is afraid to get hit, and in his own end if he has to go into the corner he is shovelling the puck up the boards without even looking.

Hey, if the Bruins sweep the Penguins, does Tortorella get his job back in New York?
   704. PASTE Thinks This Trout Kid Might Be OK (Zeth) Posted: June 07, 2013 at 08:24 AM (#4463242)
If the Bruins sweep the Penguins Tortorella might get a job in Pittsburgh.
   705. Shredder Posted: June 07, 2013 at 08:58 AM (#4463261)
Getting beaten by St. Louis or San Jose would have been a little embarrassing but this is just how it goes. It's really hard to repeat.
I kind of disagree with this. Losing to St, Louis or San Jose would have been disappointing, but not embarrassing, because at least they showed up for those series. Those two series were widely considered by the pundits to be the two most exciting series of their respective rounds. Tons of hitting, intensity, and inspired play. They just didn't show up for this series. They sleepwalked though game one, they would have been better off forfeiting game two and catching an earlier flight, and last night they folded the tent the instant Hossa scored. They had two freaking shots in a period they trailed almost the whole way. I don't mind losing to a good team if, but they're either all bound for the operating room after the playoffs or over, or they've just quit.
   706. Moses Taylor World Re-Tour 2.0: Warszawa Posted: June 07, 2013 at 10:05 AM (#4463306)
Looks like it will be over in 5, I hope the Pens can take a game or 2 to give the Hawks more rest.

If both series end in less than 5 games, game 1 of the Final is 6/12. If either series goes longer, game 1 is 6/15.

They just didn't show up for this series.

They might be hurt, like you said. Or the Blackhawks have just done a great job defensively. Same thing I said about the Hawks/Wings series; getting beat doesn't mean you've quit. There's no shame in being outplayed or being on the wrong end of the lucky spectrum.

Patrick Kane: He showed some life tonight. Not a lot, but a little?

He led the team with 7 SOG (they had 28 total, Bickell was 2nd with 4). I'd say that more than a little.

His problem is not (as mentioned earlier in the thread) that he's been paired with Handzus and is thus getting double-teamed. He was playing with Sharp and Toews most recently, and doing nothing.

Facts, smacts. He played 6:30 with both Toews and Handzus last night, and 7:15 with Sharp. In game 3, he played 26 seconds with Toews, and 12:59 with Sharp and 12:10 with Handzus. Pretty much the same thing for game 2 (10:52 with Handzus and 1:21 with Toews) and game 1 (12:15 with Handzus and 0:05! with Toews). So I think you're just not paying attention.
   707. The Kentucky Gentleman, Mark Edward Posted: June 07, 2013 at 04:08 PM (#4463760)
Considering Bickell's torrid postseason it's looking like he's going to get upwards of $3 million per season, whether it be with the Hawks or another team. For the Hawks' fans here, what's the most you would give him? I've haven't really studied the cap implications much, but if he's looking for more than, say, $2.75 million per year I'd let him walk. The Hawks do a decent job of finding power forward-types, and I'd focus this off-season on getting Leddy locked up and figuring out what to do with Dave Bolland.
   708. zack Posted: June 07, 2013 at 04:53 PM (#4463803)
I think the priority for the off-season is clearly Leddy, Kruger, Bickell, 6th D-man (Rosival or similar replacement), Stalberg. That means Stalberg won't be re-signed, and is assuming that Raanta (the finish free agent they just signed) is going to be the backup goalie. That would entail call-ups like Ben Smith, Morin, Hayes and maybe Leblanc moving up to the team. I don't know if they're willing to play a rookie on D, which could decide if Bickell stays or not.

I don't have a great read on how the free agent class will look considering the cap changes and buyouts, but like you I think Bickell is worth around $2.5 - $3 in the upcoming environment. If anyone is dumb enough to offer more than that he'll walk. The good thing about Bickell is that he's a good player even without the incredible scoring fluke he's on right now since he's a good defender. Given that and the fact that he took one for the team on his last contract, I'd like to keep him at up to $4 per, but they just don't have the cap space and they need more roster flexibility than that.

Bolland should be traded to a team below the floor, he's probably brained. His next contract will have to be a prove-you're-recovered type short-term.

Holy hell I wish they hadn't ever signed Carcillo, and then to give him a 2 year deal was awful.
   709. PASTE Thinks This Trout Kid Might Be OK (Zeth) Posted: June 07, 2013 at 07:33 PM (#4463915)
I think the Penguins have to get the first goal tonight to have a chance.
   710. Snowboy Posted: June 07, 2013 at 07:45 PM (#4463927)
Facts, smacts.
How many minutes did Kane play with Crawford on the ice, maybe he's the problem?
I think you missed my point, or chose to ignore it. It didn't matter who Kane was playing with. He was as silent against Detroit while playing with Toews and Sharpe as he was playing with Handzus or whomever, and I don't think it was because he was being double-teamed. He had no confidence. Before last night's game he watched some videos of his better days, and had a little talk with himself (see Cam Cole's column from before the game.) Then on the ice he skated back harder than he had been doing, and when he got the puck in the offensive zone, he shot it. Good point made, he led the team in shots in the game. I thought some of them were easy, taken from way outside, but at least he was shooting. I said he improved his game a little, you think it was by more than a little. I don't think he was a monster out there, but okay, I'll let you have it, let's say he improved a lot last night (but let's face it he had no where to go but up, and the Hawks will take it either way.)
   711. Snowboy Posted: June 07, 2013 at 07:50 PM (#4463931)
I'm thinking the Pens might come out tentative, like in the first OT the other night, afraid of making a mistake.
Whoever scores first will decide the way this game goes.
   712. Snowboy Posted: June 07, 2013 at 08:13 PM (#4463947)
Oh-HO! Shot of Bobby Orr in a suite at TD Gardens! Oh Bobby...

You said you didn't give a #### about hockey
And I never saw someone say that before
You held my hand and we walked home the long way
You were loosening my grip on Bobby Orr
   713. Snowboy Posted: June 07, 2013 at 08:48 PM (#4463957)
Jagr plays the puck with a broken stick, right in front of the ref. (edit: no whistle)
I'm not a fan of ticky-tac penalties or whistle-happy refereeing. But you have to call something that is a clear penalty, even in the playoffs.
I don't like the automatic penalty if the puck goes over the boards from the defensive end, but it's here to stay and we can somewhat blame bad reffing for the fact that they took away that discretionary call.
   714. Snowboy Posted: June 07, 2013 at 10:18 PM (#4463997)
Bo Bennett with a little tappy-tap-tap with his stick, then skating on by instead of competing for the puck; allows Marchand to not only gain the blue line, but then look around, put on the brakes, and twirl to find a trailer coming off the bench. Lazy line change by Malkin and Neil means Iginla can't get into the play in time to stop the shot. McQuaid scores on a long one. 1-0, finally a goal halfway through the third.

Too many on Pittsburgh have not been playing with any sense of urgency in this game. Maybe down 3-0 they are just hoping to not get hurt before they hit the links?
   715. DA Baracus Posted: June 07, 2013 at 10:36 PM (#4464021)
The world is a better place when the Penguins are out of the playoffs.
   716. zack Posted: June 07, 2013 at 10:39 PM (#4464024)
That was a tremendously boring game until the last minute. The Penguins should have played the whole game with the goalie pulled.
   717. The Clarence Thomas of BBTF (scott) Posted: June 07, 2013 at 10:44 PM (#4464028)
That last minute was pretty intense. No clue how the Bruins kept it out of the net there. Still, bring on the battle for Lord Stanley's Cup!
   718. SteveF Posted: June 07, 2013 at 11:01 PM (#4464048)
They'll be killing Malkin, Crosby, and Bylsma for the next week. How do you only score 2 goals in 4 games with all that talent?
   719. PASTE Thinks This Trout Kid Might Be OK (Zeth) Posted: June 07, 2013 at 11:29 PM (#4464097)
I thought the proposition was preposterous as recently as a few days ago, but I now suspect, as many Penguins followers do, that that embarrassment is going to cost Bylsma his job.

As for Crosby, I'd bet my last dollar we'll find out within a few days that he pulled a groin or tore up a knee or somesuch in Game 1, or late in the Ottawa series. He had no energy the entire series and that's very weird for him. He was playing injured.
   720. steagles Posted: June 08, 2013 at 03:27 AM (#4464200)
639. you got a STEAGLES? you're gonna need a STEAGLES. Posted: June 05, 2013 at 02:36 PM (#4461287)
i don't know how anyone else is feeling about it, but i am looking forward to tonight's pittsburgh-boston game more than i have any non-flyers NHL game since giguere's playoff run back in (2003?).
and.....now i really couldn't care less about the rest of the playoffs. i don't hate any of the leftover teams near as much as i hated pittsburgh, and i don't really like any of them enough to care about whether they win a 2nd cup in 3 years.
   721. E., Hinske Posted: June 08, 2013 at 09:32 AM (#4464237)
Those two series were widely considered by the pundits to be the two most exciting series of their respective rounds.

Uhhh...that St. Louis/LA series was a total dog. Technically great hockey? Sure. Boring as #### to watch? Yep. Neither Hitchcock nor Sutter like to open things up and there were not a lot of chances in those games. With the size of both teams, it was like watching two short yardage units on a football team going head to head. Yech.

I enjoyed the San Jose series but again, in Canada anyway, there was tons of criticism of it as boring hockey. LA aren't a particularly entertaining team to watch.
   722. odds are meatwad is drunk Posted: June 08, 2013 at 02:24 PM (#4464339)
Hawks really need to win tonight. With boston now resting and waiting you need to finish it quick to mitigate that advantage.
   723. Snowboy Posted: June 08, 2013 at 08:27 PM (#4464625)
Probably true, Meatwad. And Chicago had LA down and pinned with their arms over their head at the end of the third period of the last game. Trailing in the game but LA only got two shots through to Crawford in that period. You don't want to lose tonight in front of your home crowd, and have to go out to LA again, where the Kings have been so good. Los Angeles has had a few Hollywood moments this year (and last) and you don't want to give them another life. It's not "must win" for Chicago, but it would be best for them. There is an awful lot riding on the shoulders of Johnny Quick tonight, he has to be perfect.

Richards is back in the lineup, the Kings are deep at centre. Toffoli stays in. Chicago gets Keith back, and young Brookbank is out.

Triv: Colin Fraser (LA) and Brent Seabrook (CHI) played minor league hockey together (atom peewee and bantam). Jonathan Toews already has an arena named after him in Winnipeg.
   724. odds are meatwad is drunk Posted: June 08, 2013 at 08:27 PM (#4464626)
Since when is crawford playing for la
   725. odds are meatwad is drunk Posted: June 08, 2013 at 08:30 PM (#4464630)
La is done if this counts
   726. steagles Posted: June 08, 2013 at 08:30 PM (#4464631)
that may be it.

chicago-boston in the finals.
   727. zack Posted: June 08, 2013 at 08:34 PM (#4464633)
Well that's not how I expected this to start.

(Sheldon Brookbank is 32. Or did you mean young as opposed to his brother?)
   728. odds are meatwad is drunk Posted: June 08, 2013 at 08:37 PM (#4464634)
LA looks like a beaten team right now but its still early
   729. Snowboy Posted: June 08, 2013 at 08:43 PM (#4464636)
Sorry, Canadian sarcasm never plays well on the internet. (We need to get off our asses and invent a sign for that? I guess I could have inserted a sideways smiley or something?)

I saw Brookbank play a few times for Humboldt in the SJHL.

He's from Lanigan, also the home of Bobby Baun, who once scored an OT winner in the Stanley Cup playoffs on a broken ankle. I hope Gregory Campbell is okay, did you hear the Boston crowd chanted his name as he limped off? Chilling.

EDIT: He played in Humboldt back in 1999 or 2001 or something; he's not young.
   730. odds are meatwad is drunk Posted: June 08, 2013 at 10:11 PM (#4464671)
Kings finally showed signs of life in that 2nd period. At least they arnt going out like the pens.
   731. odds are meatwad is drunk Posted: June 08, 2013 at 10:14 PM (#4464673)
####
   732. Snowboy Posted: June 08, 2013 at 10:14 PM (#4464674)
Chicago is up 2-1, and holding a 3-1 series lead.
But Crawford has not been good tonight (rebounds, bad stick plays, etc), and the Hawks are getting lazy about how they move the puck up the ice. LA has been very formulaic so far, but if they try to find a second gear and commit to winning the puck, they might still have a glimmer of hope.
   733. Snowboy Posted: June 08, 2013 at 10:18 PM (#4464678)
Well! Not exactly a real penalty, but it was called, and there we are!
PP goal. Now tied 2-2 in the game.
   734. odds are meatwad is drunk Posted: June 08, 2013 at 10:28 PM (#4464682)
I must say great hit on kane there. Perfect hip check to send him flying
   735. odds are meatwad is drunk Posted: June 08, 2013 at 10:30 PM (#4464684)
Snowboy that was a really odd time to call that penelty on towes seemed too ticmytack for how they called it to that point. Cant complain awhole lot on the bickell penelty
   736. Snowboy Posted: June 08, 2013 at 10:33 PM (#4464686)
Grenne deserved a pnealty for that check (even if it was on Andrew Shaw), but the Hawks do not take advantage on the PP.
Halfway though the third, still tied.
Hawks need to figure it out.
   737. zack Posted: June 08, 2013 at 10:37 PM (#4464690)
Hawks have had like 6 grade A scoring chances since they scored the 2nd one, it's not like they're getting whupped out there.

And there's the goal.
   738. odds are meatwad is drunk Posted: June 08, 2013 at 10:38 PM (#4464691)
Ill take that goal...
   739. zack Posted: June 08, 2013 at 10:41 PM (#4464692)
And I can't see a trip anywhere, I don't know what the commentators are talking about. I can't tell if it was before the clip started or if Williams just lost an edge.
   740. zack Posted: June 08, 2013 at 10:43 PM (#4464693)
Wow. Quick couldn't even leave the net for almost a minute-15. Great defensive effort by Saad then Bolland.
   741. zack Posted: June 08, 2013 at 10:45 PM (#4464697)
Oh holy ####.
   742. Snowboy Posted: June 08, 2013 at 10:45 PM (#4464698)
LA tied the game on a questionable call, and then some lucky play.
That woke Chicago up, and they showed that second gear ain't nothing when you have a third gear. Etc.
Chicago is the better team, they just need to figure it out, as I said.
   743. zack Posted: June 08, 2013 at 10:47 PM (#4464701)
And I said they have it figured out, they just need the bounce. There have been all of five minutes in this game where they weren't controlling the run of play.
   744. Bull Pain Posted: June 08, 2013 at 10:48 PM (#4464703)
Hawks really didn't need to ice it there either.

Yahoo Hockey page has a headline saying Hawks won!

Edit: Toews picked a real bad time to get beat clean on a faceoff. He was 10-4 for the game before then.
   745. Snowboy Posted: June 08, 2013 at 11:09 PM (#4464712)
End to end to start the OT.
The players love it, but the coaches are probably freaking!
   746. Bull Pain Posted: June 08, 2013 at 11:13 PM (#4464716)
Blackhawks look very tired.
   747. odds are meatwad is drunk Posted: June 08, 2013 at 11:13 PM (#4464717)
Thos is how i exlected la to play all series
   748. Snowboy Posted: June 08, 2013 at 11:23 PM (#4464722)
I think Kings look more tired.
They have lost their hitting game. Back to relying on Quick. We'll see how long they can last.
   749. odds are meatwad is drunk Posted: June 08, 2013 at 11:28 PM (#4464728)
Saad is having one hell of a game. I think he will be a great player, not a super star but a well rounded solid player
   750. zack Posted: June 08, 2013 at 11:54 PM (#4464736)
not a super star but a well rounded solid player


Already is, even if he isn't scoring at all right now.
   751. zack Posted: June 09, 2013 at 12:03 AM (#4464742)
######' RIPPER EH
   752. odds are meatwad is drunk Posted: June 09, 2013 at 12:04 AM (#4464743)
Kane with thr hat trick....called it on facebook
   753. Bull Pain Posted: June 09, 2013 at 12:11 AM (#4464749)
That was a goal worthy of the moment (wish Kane's cup winning goal was that sweet)
   754. Shredder Posted: June 09, 2013 at 12:15 AM (#4464752)
Go Bruins.
   755. Robert in Manhattan Beach Posted: June 09, 2013 at 12:43 AM (#4464764)
Good series Hawks. You kicked our asses. Quick sure gave away a bunch of goals this post season. The last one wasn't his fault obviously, Scuderi needs to take the pass away there but didn't.

Should be a good final.
   756. Steve Treder Posted: June 09, 2013 at 01:50 AM (#4464782)
Great season, Kings! Tip o' the hat.

Now, Blackhawks: go kick some Eastern Conference butt.
   757. odds are meatwad is drunk Posted: June 09, 2013 at 01:32 PM (#4464912)
Injuries are starting to come in for the kings, Brown had a torn PCL
   758. PASTE Thinks This Trout Kid Might Be OK (Zeth) Posted: June 09, 2013 at 06:15 PM (#4465162)
In humorous news today, the Rangers apparently want Dan Bylsma bad enough that their New York Post reporter is writing articles headlined Lemieux May Want Bylsma Out, quoting vague sources. (No one I know in Pittsburgh has heard the slightest inkling that Lemieux or Shero is unhappy with Bylsma and in all probability Bylsma is safe.)
   759. Moses Taylor World Re-Tour 2.0: Warszawa Posted: June 10, 2013 at 03:03 PM (#4466010)
I think you missed my point, or chose to ignore it. It didn't matter who Kane was playing with. He was as silent against Detroit while playing with Toews and Sharpe as he was playing with Handzus or whomever, and I don't think it was because he was being double-teamed. He had no confidence. Before last night's game he watched some videos of his better days, and had a little talk with himself (see Cam Cole's column from before the game.) Then on the ice he skated back harder than he had been doing, and when he got the puck in the offensive zone, he shot it. Good point made, he led the team in shots in the game. I thought some of them were easy, taken from way outside, but at least he was shooting. I said he improved his game a little, you think it was by more than a little.

Hawks won, which I think we're both happy about it, so I'll be diplomatic here. I think your point got lost somewhere between that lazy narrative* and reality. I think it does matter who he plays with, and while only 1.5 games isn't exactly a significant sample size, he's sure looked better since he moved to Toews's line. For some reason, he barely played with Toews at all this year 5 on 5 (he played more time with Jimmy Hayes than Toews, and Hayes was around for like a week). Also, take a look at the game logs - he didn't play with Toews the first half of the Wings series or the Minnesota one (except for parts of game 4), in case you're wondering. My point, in case you missed it, is that Handzus was given away for a playoff team for a reason (old and slow) and while he's been a pleasant surprise at times, he really seemed to impact Kane negatively. Hopefully Q has recognized this (and that Handzus and Hossa do seem to have some bit of chemistry).

*I'm not doubting he could have been inside his head some, it happens. But the game isn't all mental, especially at this level. And there were legitimate reasons he had less space to make plays. And plenty of evidence that he wasn't playing as poorly as you, or a lot of other people around here said just cause he wasn't scoring goals.

Go Bruins.

Go back to SoCal to be with the rest of the Boston supporters. :)
   760. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: June 10, 2013 at 04:05 PM (#4466082)
Go back to SoCal to be with the rest of the Boston supporters. :)


I wish I was in SoCal.

I'm looking forward to this series. I think both teams can play in pretty much any style so when things open up it will be great and when things get physical it will be great. I don't think there is an "if the series plays out this way" situation where the style will dictate who wins, it will just come down to execution.
   761. zack Posted: June 10, 2013 at 04:48 PM (#4466153)
The Preds locked up Roman Josi for 7 years with a $4 million cap hit. It somehow seems to be a bad deal for everyone involved, which means it's probably a pretty good one.
   762. Moses Taylor World Re-Tour 2.0: Warszawa Posted: June 11, 2013 at 03:16 PM (#4467022)
Coach Q is not exactly inspiring confidence in me before this series. Totally swapping Toews's and Handuz's lines? Bollig playing? Not that Stalberg has been that good, but Bollig is utterly useless. Bolland back to 3rd line (gosh, I'd love to see him be that good again, but he's been worthless this whole season). Ugh.
   763. Moses Taylor World Re-Tour 2.0: Warszawa Posted: June 11, 2013 at 03:20 PM (#4467032)
Also, virtually every preview I'm seeing is picking the Bruins to win. One great series by the B's against a paper tiger, and all of a sudden everyone forgets the Hawks were pretty highly favored going into the playoffs.
   764. odds are meatwad is drunk Posted: June 11, 2013 at 03:24 PM (#4467039)
Im not sure why everyone is picking the Bruins but I saw the other day vegas had the hawks with better kdds to win
   765. PASTE Thinks This Trout Kid Might Be OK (Zeth) Posted: June 11, 2013 at 03:33 PM (#4467051)
The winner of the Cup will be determined by whether or not Rask stays hot. The Blackhawks are the better team.
   766. Robert in Manhattan Beach Posted: June 11, 2013 at 03:35 PM (#4467052)
The Hawks will win. The West is better in general, the Bruins rolling through New York and Pittsburgh just shows me the lack of quality teams over there.
   767. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: June 11, 2013 at 03:40 PM (#4467061)
Also, virtually every preview I'm seeing is picking the Bruins to win. One great series by the B's against a paper tiger, and all of a sudden everyone forgets the Hawks were pretty highly favored going into the playoffs.


Yeah I'm not thrilled about that. The same people telling me how unbeatable the Bruins are were the ones telling me how unbeatable the Penguins were ten days ago.
   768. The Kentucky Gentleman, Mark Edward Posted: June 11, 2013 at 03:48 PM (#4467067)
Coach Q is not exactly inspiring confidence in me before this series. Totally swapping Toews's and Handuz's lines? Bollig playing? Not that Stalberg has been that good, but Bollig is utterly useless. Bolland back to 3rd line (gosh, I'd love to see him be that good again, but he's been worthless this whole season). Ugh.


Lame. I don't see any point in Bollig playing. Handzus has his uses but tends to slow down quicker players like Kane.
   769. Moses Taylor World Re-Tour 2.0: Warszawa Posted: June 11, 2013 at 03:54 PM (#4467070)
The winner of the Cup will be determined by whether or not Rask stays hot.

As great as his series was against Pitt, Crawford's right there with him. The degree of difficulty on the saves might be higher for Rask, but that's not a point in the Bruins' favor, IMO. And the Hawks already got by a hot Howard and a even hotter Quick.

I don't see any point in Bollig playing.

Trying to get Chara in the box for fighting with him?
   770. odds are meatwad is drunk Posted: June 11, 2013 at 04:05 PM (#4467078)
Either that or to deal with marchand.
   771. The Kentucky Gentleman, Mark Edward Posted: June 11, 2013 at 04:23 PM (#4467096)
Trying to get Chara in the box for fighting with him?


Chara has 14 PIMs in 16 post-season games so far. Is he prone to fighting outbursts? Because his post-season penalty minutes don't seem to bear that.*

*- I haven't paid much attention to the Eastern Conference playoffs.
   772. SteveF Posted: June 11, 2013 at 04:34 PM (#4467102)
Chara has 14 PIMs in 16 post-season games so far. Is he prone to fighting outbursts? Because his post-season penalty minutes don't seem to bear that.


Not many people are willing to fight Chara. The only time Chara fights is when another player does something suspension worthy to one of the Bruins players. Chicago really doesn't have any of those kinds of guys.
   773. Moses Taylor World Re-Tour 2.0: Warszawa Posted: June 11, 2013 at 04:42 PM (#4467107)
I'm not saying Chara is, but that's the only "use" one can possibly imagine Bollig having.

The only time Chara fights is when another player does something suspension worthy to one of the Bruins players. Chicago really doesn't have any of those kinds of guys.

Well, Keith did get suspended last round. Some argued Bolland could have been for his hit on Richards. We talked a bit about Shaw's slewfoot on Filpula in game 7 of the Wings series. I'd trade any of those guys for Chara, but in no means am I insinuating I hope any of that shenanigans happens.
   774. Shredder Posted: June 11, 2013 at 04:47 PM (#4467112)
The only time Chara fights is when another player does something suspension worthy to one of the Bruins players. Chicago really doesn't have any of those kinds of guys.
Or when he lines up out of position for the sole purpose of picking on an innocent opponent for no reason, one who rarely fights and is in no way a heavyweight, in a game his team is leading by four goals with only a few minutes to play. Chara is no angel.
   775. SteveF Posted: June 11, 2013 at 04:54 PM (#4467120)
Or when he lines up out of position for the sole purpose of picking on an innocent opponent for no reason, one who rarely fights and is in no way a heavyweight, in a game his team is leading by four goals with only a few minutes to play. Chara is no angel.


Fair enough. I guess my memory doesn't go back far enough. I'm just basing it off what I've seen from Chara over the past 5 years or so. Personally I ascribe no moral value to fighting/not fighting, so I wasn't trying to assert any moral superiority on the part of Chara for choosing to fight when he does. It's just hockey. I was simply pointing out it's generally not easy to get him off the ice by getting under his skin (at least lately).
   776. zack Posted: June 11, 2013 at 05:04 PM (#4467125)
Didn't the Penguins (and the rank stupidity of Buffalo building their off-season around Steve Ott and John Scott) just teach us that trying to out-physical the Bruins is not the way to go?

Just play your own game, dammit. You're in the finals after a historically successful season!
   777. SteveF Posted: June 11, 2013 at 05:18 PM (#4467130)
Didn't the Penguins (and the rank stupidity of Buffalo building their off-season around Steve Ott and John Scott) just teach us that trying to out-physical the Bruins is not the way to go?


It depends on what you mean by physicality. Boston doesn't really run around cranking people, they just have a higher willingness to take hits to move the puck/get between the dots in the offensive zone than most teams. That's the kind of physicality Chicago is going to need to match.

Yes, you need to hit players to apply that pressure and put some doubt/hesitancy in the mind of the opponent. That's only effective to the extent your opponent proves unwilling to pay the physical price you need to pay to win hockey games in the playoffs. Based on what I've seen, Chicago has been quite willing to pay that price.

The two areas I'd be watching are Bruins breakout vs. Chicago forecheck and Bruins neutral zone vs. Chicago's entry. Can the Bruins transition from defense to offense without giving the puck away to Chicago's excellent forecheck? This is where Chicago's speed advantage needs to assert itself. Can the Bruins neutralize Chicago's speed advantage by slowing things down in the neutral zone and forcing Chicago to chip and chase. (This is where the Bruins size and strength on defense needs to give them an advantage.)
   778. zack Posted: June 11, 2013 at 05:24 PM (#4467134)
It depends on what you mean by physicality


The kind that Brandon Bollig (supposedly) brings, i.e. running out of position to finish a check during your five minutes of ice time, and challenging Bruins to fights which they will all decline.

That way lies madness, but Q certainly has a type. At least these days it's mostly limited to certain teams (the Blues).
   779. SteveF Posted: June 11, 2013 at 05:33 PM (#4467146)

The kind that Brandon Bollig (supposedly) brings, i.e. running out of position to finish a check during your five minutes of ice time, and challenging Bruins to fights which they will all decline.

It's hard to imagine a coach with Q's experience getting caught up in that. I think the whole 'punk test' thing with the Bruins has been greatly overstated.

Buffalo sucked this year because they were a horror show in their own end. Same deal with Pittsburgh in games 1 and 2. Those things happen to teams without a defensive culture. Players will revert to pond hockey if you let them because those are the habits most deeply ingrained. There's not much emphasis on backchecking/positional defense out on the pond.

That will not happen to Chicago.
   780. Moses Taylor World Re-Tour 2.0: Warszawa Posted: June 11, 2013 at 05:50 PM (#4467152)
Whether or not Bollig does something stupid that negatively impacts the Hawks, the fact that's he's active and is going to only get a handful of shifts is going to effect the Hawks at least a little because it means more time on ice for everyone else (also, there's virtually zero chance he does anything positive). Because It's the Cup (tm) that's probably fine, but it could maybe start taking a toll. I'd obviously rather Stalberg got that time, for many reasons, and switching from Carcillo to Stalberg was a positive move for the Hawks during the Wings series it's mind boggling why Q is taking this backwards step now. Stalberg's speed and forechecking are things that would definitely come in handy against a team like the Bruins.
   781. SteveF Posted: June 11, 2013 at 05:55 PM (#4467155)
Stalberg's speed and forechecking are things that would definitely come in handy against a team like the Bruins.


You aren't wrong. Stalberg is the kind of player the Bruins have had trouble with in the past. I've heard all sorts of reasons why he may be out from injury, to attitude, to ineffectiveness. The bottom line is that he wasn't going to be playing much anyway. Maybe a message gets sent and he comes back with fire in his belly later in the series.
   782. Moses Taylor World Re-Tour 2.0: Warszawa Posted: June 11, 2013 at 06:01 PM (#4467157)
Well, he's already been benched once in the playoffs. So I dunno.
   783. steagles Posted: June 11, 2013 at 06:04 PM (#4467161)
being a fan of a team that has lost to both boston and chicago in recent years, i think this should be a really evenly matched series. the two teams are actually kind of matched up perfectly. chicago has 1 great line, but boston has 1 great defensemen to match up against them. boston is really deep at forward, but chicago is really deep on the blueline.

both teams are great on the PK and below average on the PP, so the series should be decided at even strength.

and because of that, i'd say that boston's depth of scoring will give them an advantage over the 7 games.
   784. zack Posted: June 11, 2013 at 06:17 PM (#4467165)
Bollig playing also means that Kruger+Frolik won't be getting any checking duties, which I was hoping for. Now it'll be just 4th vs 4th.

I've heard all sorts of reasons why he may be out from injury, to attitude, to ineffectiveness.

I'd guess that it's about inserting Bollig and not about removing Stalberg. If the goal was just to remove Stalberg, Smith or Morin or Hayes or Mayers or Carcillo would be playing.
   785. odds are meatwad is drunk Posted: June 11, 2013 at 07:44 PM (#4467194)
Does Boston really have more scoring depth? Hell chicagos top 4 are all stars how many teams can boast that?
   786. steagles Posted: June 12, 2013 at 02:22 AM (#4467538)
Does Boston really have more scoring depth? Hell chicagos top 4 are all stars how many teams can boast that?
i'd take chicago's top line of kane-toews-hossa over bostons, but beyond that, i think boston's 2nd and 3rd lines are much more capable of putting points on the board.
The West is better in general
do people actually think this?

the lack of interconference games makes the comparison kind of difficult, but my impression was that 3/4 of the western conference can't score. maybe i'm underestimating the defensive prowess of the columbus bluejackets, but it seems like the east has a whole hell of a lot more offensive firepower.
   787. SteveF Posted: June 12, 2013 at 03:35 AM (#4467540)
do people actually think this?

In terms of cup wins, it's been pretty even over the last 20 years or so. The west probably was stronger top to bottom several years ago. In 2011-2012 the conferences were pretty even head to head.
Does Boston really have more scoring depth? Hell Chicago's top 4 are all stars how many teams can boast that?

I would say the scoring depth has been reasonably even over the past three years, with the Bruins having a small advantage. In 2011-2012, the Bruins scored 19 more goals than the Hawks. How many 'All Stars' did the Bruins have? Less than 4, right? (Their top 4 scorers were Seguin, Bergeron, Krejci, Lucic -- I assume you think (correctly) that those players are collectively less potent offensively than Hossa, Sharp, Kane and Toews.) By that logic, the scoring would almost have to be more spread out.
   788. PASTE Thinks This Trout Kid Might Be OK (Zeth) Posted: June 12, 2013 at 08:29 AM (#4467580)
the lack of interconference games makes the comparison kind of difficult, but my impression was that 3/4 of the western conference can't score. maybe i'm underestimating the defensive prowess of the columbus bluejackets, but it seems like the east has a whole hell of a lot more offensive firepower.


Almost the entire Eastern Conference (everyone except Boston, New York and Ottawa, basically) can't play defense. The Western Conference has been significantly better for years and that hasn't changed.

The Eastern Conference wins the Finals about as often, though; it's just a seven game series, goalie play always has a large impact on a short series, and the talent gap between the conference champions is never THAT large. (See also: American League, National League.)
   789. squatoh Posted: June 12, 2013 at 09:52 AM (#4467649)
The two areas I'd be watching are Bruins breakout vs. Chicago forecheck and Bruins neutral zone vs. Chicago's entry. Can the Bruins transition from defense to offense without giving the puck away to Chicago's excellent forecheck? This is where Chicago's speed advantage needs to assert itself. Can the Bruins neutralize Chicago's speed advantage by slowing things down in the neutral zone and forcing Chicago to chip and chase. (This is where the Bruins size and strength on defense needs to give them an advantage.)

This is an astute assessment. For what it's worth, The Hockey News (or maybe just their lead columnist, Ken Campbell) is predicting Chicago in 6.

Regarding depth, both teams roll a 4th line that most other teams would be happy to have as their third. Losing the center of that line is a blow for Boston. It's going to be a great series. As a colleague said, if you want a 4 or 5 game series then you're simply a fan of the Bruins or Blackhawks. If you're a hockey fan, you want 7 games.
   790. Moses Taylor World Re-Tour 2.0: Warszawa Posted: June 12, 2013 at 11:08 AM (#4467739)
In 2011-2012, the Bruins scored 19 more goals than the Hawks.

And this season, the Hawks scored 24 more than Boston (in a shortened season (in the "better defensive conference")). In the playoffs, the Bruins have 3 more goals in 1 fewer game. So who has the better scoring depth depends on how you define it (and I definitely don't think all stars is the way to go).

i'd take chicago's top line of kane-toews-hossa over bostons, but beyond that, i think boston's 2nd and 3rd lines are much more capable of putting points on the board.

The Hawks really haven't used this line combo. In this upcoming series, the top line is Sharp/Toews/Hossa and the 2nd line is Kane/Handzus/Bickell. There's definitely not a huge gap in favor of Boston there. Now, the way the 3rd and 4th lines are going to look tonight, I'd say the Hawks don't have a whole lot of scoring there (unless Saad suddenly busts out).
   791. Ron J2 Posted: June 12, 2013 at 03:35 PM (#4468032)
Bylsma extended through 2016.

   792. Moses Taylor World Re-Tour 2.0: Warszawa Posted: June 12, 2013 at 03:45 PM (#4468043)
Crazy storm is expected to blow through Chicago this evening. Probably during the game. Might impact my ability to watch it with my dish. That will suck.
   793. The Clarence Thomas of BBTF (scott) Posted: June 12, 2013 at 04:02 PM (#4468069)
Really looking forward to tonight. Gonna have to find me a local bar to watch from if the Bruins get to a potential cup clinching game.
   794. SteveF Posted: June 12, 2013 at 04:22 PM (#4468093)
And this season, the Hawks scored 24 more than Boston


Yes. Chicago was a notably better team during the regular season. That's partly why you have to think of them as the favorites in this series (and why Vegas has them at -140). In terms of scoring depth, if you run through the stats since 2010-2011, you'd have to say the Bruins scoring is more spread out. Of course, Chicago has probably been the more potent offense over that time period. Scoring depth is overrated if you've got 1 or 2 lines really filling up the score sheet.

...and I definitely don't think all stars is the way to go...


I'd agree, but when responding to people I try and give their premises the benefit of the doubt. It's impossible to persuade someone when all you do is negate their premises.
   795. steagles Posted: June 12, 2013 at 04:32 PM (#4468103)
Almost the entire Eastern Conference (everyone except Boston, New York and Ottawa, basically) can't play defense. The Western Conference has been significantly better for years and that hasn't changed.
it's a lot harder to play defense when even the worst teams in the conference have elite scorers. carolina has staal and semin; tampa has stamkos and stlouis; new jersey has kovalchuk and elias; buffalo has vanek.

who does nashville have?
who does columbus have?
who does minnesota and calgary and colorado and phoenix have?
dallas? st louis?


maybe i'm not giving the west enough credit, but i do think it's a lot easier to play shutdown defense when you're playing against teams that run out 4 checking lines.
   796. steagles Posted: June 12, 2013 at 04:36 PM (#4468109)
oh, and the flyers have traded for the rights to mark streit. it gives them about 3 weeks to work out an extension for him before anyone else can talk to him.
   797. The Kentucky Gentleman, Mark Edward Posted: June 12, 2013 at 04:39 PM (#4468117)

Crazy storm is expected to blow through Chicago this evening. Probably during the game. Might impact my ability to watch it with my dish. That will suck.


Damn it. We just got a dish & I haven't found a worthwhile bar in my new neighborhood yet. Oh well, Wiedeman & Murray are a great radio duo, might be giving them a listen tonight.

So with Shawn Thornton playing against the Hawks, I decided to take a look at some of the Hawks' rosters during the dark years. A sad trip down memory lane. I completely forgot some of these guys played for the Hawks at some point: Curtis Brown, Bryan Smolinski, Denis Arkhipov, Sergei Samsonov.

And remember when Michael Blunden was supposed to be the best of the Brouwer/Bickell/Bertram/Bolland/Berti/Blunden/Brophey Killer B prospects of the 2004-2005 drafts?
   798. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: June 12, 2013 at 04:42 PM (#4468118)
Sergei Samsonov


Didn't realize he'd been a Hawk, one of my all time favorite Bruins. His first few years he was something else to watch. I've never seen a Bruin player move like he did and his patience was amazing. Sometimes it cost him but he would hold the puck and let the goalies get down and out.
   799. zack Posted: June 12, 2013 at 04:45 PM (#4468126)
oh, and the flyers have traded for the rights to mark streit. it gives them about 3 weeks to work out an extension for him before anyone else can talk to him.

I see that P-Holms hasn't gotten any less insanse. Their going to buyout Bryzgalov or Briere and roll most of that money back into a un-divestible (35+) contract for Mark Streit? Really?
   800. DA Baracus Posted: June 12, 2013 at 04:49 PM (#4468131)
oh, and the flyers have traded for the rights to mark streit. it gives them about 3 weeks to work out an extension for him before anyone else can talk to him.


Holmgren is so ####### stupid.
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