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Monday, February 24, 2014

OT: The NHL is finally back thread, part 2

Now that the Olympics are over it’s time for the important Hockey to restart.

Mess with the Meat, you get the Wad! Posted: February 24, 2014 at 05:54 PM | 967 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: hockey, nhl, off topic, only thing canada is good at

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   101. HMS Moses Taylor Posted: April 04, 2014 at 11:26 AM (#4679214)
I am slightly more concerned about not having home ice than usual, thanks to the Avs playing a mile high, but I'm happy they are playing it the way they are.

The Hawks *should* beat the Avs. But the Avs have been so f'in lucky all year. And Varlomov has been so f'in good against the Hawks. The Hawks also haven't looked consistently like the Hawks pretty much since the start of 2014. I am also not happy with how Q is doling out PT right now (the unbenchableness of Bollig is beyond infuriating). I just don't have a good feeling about that series, and I don't know if it matters which team has home ice.
   102. Mess with the Meat, you get the Wad! Posted: April 07, 2014 at 04:31 PM (#4681306)
Hawks last game is saturday, the play off push is interesting to watch with kane and towes out. Currently on a 3 game winning streak and only 2 pts behind the avs
   103. zack Posted: April 07, 2014 at 06:45 PM (#4681470)
Here's a question. The Islanders will almost certainly end up with a top-5 pick in this year's draft. Thanks to the (first) Vanek trade, they have a choice whether to give that pick to the Sabres, or their 2015 1st (in the McDavid / Eichel draft).

If you're Garth Snow, which pick do you give up? The '15 and pray that there is some improvement with Tavares back (and maybe an actual goaltender for once)?
   104. PASTE Thinks This Trout Kid Might Be OK (Zeth) Posted: April 07, 2014 at 07:18 PM (#4681490)
Chances are the Islanders won't be quite so bad next year, and there's no generational (Lemieux/Lindros/Crosby level) talent expected, so I would be inclined to keep the top-5 pick this year and let them have next year's first.

Then again this is the Islanders' front office we're talking about, so they'll waste the pick either way. You could argue that given their spectacular incompetence, if they don't land the #1 pick this year they may as well give up the pick and hope to go #1 next year, where it's hard for even Garth Snow and Friends to #### it up.
   105. zack Posted: April 07, 2014 at 11:07 PM (#4681596)
I don't know how you define "generational" personally, but Connor McDavid is supposed to be exactly that type of talent. He was a 15-year-old CHL exception, put up a PPG as a 15 year old, and 1.76 PPG as a 16 year old. Not quite Crosby's 2.2, but he's not playing in the Q. And Eichel might be almost as good.
   106. Mess with the Meat, you get the Wad! Posted: April 09, 2014 at 03:05 PM (#4683099)
The way the blues are playing right now they dont seem like too much of a threat and dalls or nashville could give them a run for there money in the first round.
   107. HMS Moses Taylor Posted: April 09, 2014 at 03:40 PM (#4683151)
You mean Phoenix, not Nashville (they're already eliminated). Also, it's not that crazy (though not likely) the Avs pass them and they've playing the Hawks in the first...
   108. Mess with the Meat, you get the Wad! Posted: April 09, 2014 at 03:42 PM (#4683153)
Yeah ment phoenix. And if that happens it would be a very interesting match up, dont knownif its better than playing the avs since the hawks have had a hard time against them this year.
   109. Robert in Manhattan Beach Posted: April 09, 2014 at 03:57 PM (#4683183)
If Treder is around...

If you are interested in reupping our Kings-Sharks bet from last year - Drew Doughty's scarily non-specific upper body injury not withstanding - I'm in.
   110. zack Posted: April 11, 2014 at 08:43 AM (#4684299)
The Blues better get their #### together and win the Central, I do NOT want to face them in the first round.
   111. PASTE Thinks This Trout Kid Might Be OK (Zeth) Posted: April 11, 2014 at 08:55 AM (#4684303)
Isn't "upper body injury" the NHL's code for "concussion"?
   112. zack Posted: April 11, 2014 at 10:00 AM (#4684356)
I think "concussion like symptoms" is the code for "definitely a concussion without a doubt". UBI can mean concussion but it can mean shoulder or back injury as well.

Hilariously, every link for "concussion like symptoms" is for hockey players (or Kevin Kolb as a Bill), to show you how utterly meaningless that is as a term. Same with UBI.
   113. HMS Moses Taylor Posted: April 11, 2014 at 10:04 AM (#4684360)
The Blues better get their #### together and win the Central, I do NOT want to face them in the first round.

It will be a brutal, physical series. For that reason alone, I want the Hawks to avoid them. It's also clear the Blues are a better team than the Avs, but a small irrational part of my is more scared of the Avs/Varlomov.
   114. Ron J2 Posted: April 11, 2014 at 11:38 AM (#4684456)
NHL is facing another class action lawsuit alleging that the league subjected players to "the imminent risk of head trauma" leading to long-term negative health consequences.

linky

Interestingly this isn't just about head shots. Four of the nine plaintiffs are former enforcers. The suit alleges that the league, "intentionally created, fostered and promoted a culture of extreme violence." and that the league concealed evidence about the dangers inherent in the way the game is played.


more
   115. Mess with the Meat, you get the Wad! Posted: April 11, 2014 at 03:37 PM (#4684618)
and also reference the friday the 13th movies gladator and think gordie howe is dead.
   116. Mess with the Meat, you get the Wad! Posted: April 14, 2014 at 12:25 AM (#4685739)
Hawks get the blues in the first round afterall. I think the hawks will take it in 6.
   117. zack Posted: April 14, 2014 at 11:49 AM (#4685891)
It's hard to say how the series will go without knowing who is going to be playing in it. I suspect that most of the Blues, save maybe Tarasenko, will be healthy but there is really no information about that yet. I think the 'hawks are a better team, but not by much, and who knows how many of them will make it out alive even if they do win.
   118. Chris Fluit Posted: April 14, 2014 at 03:28 PM (#4686044)
It's time for some playoff predictions.

But first, a few pet theories that most pundits ignore- if they don't get completely backwards.

1. A team's road record is more important than their home record. If you're in the playoffs, you can probably win at home. The team that can win on the road is the one that can pull off the upset or close out a series early and move on the next round.

2. As in baseball, a team's scoring differential is more important than their won-loss record.

3. A team's five on five scoring differential is more important than their special teams record. Special teams are great but they aren't predictive going forward. How many great power plays suddenly go cold in the playoffs? The team that can score five on five should be able to score against anyone in any situation including the playoffs.

4. Final week streaks don't matter but the last two months do. Consider this the Billy Beane corollary. A team's record over the last two months tell us who this they are as they enter the playoffs, with the additions of deadline acquisitions and the absence of injured players.

5. The great equalizer is goaltending. Although it's next to impossible to predict which hockey will get hot for a month or two, we can at least tell who has the better goalie going in.

Without further ado

Boston over Detroit in 5- I'm a Red Wings fan so it's hard for me to say this but Detroit has almost no chance in this series. Their record is buoyed by a lot of OT/SO losses and those won't be any help in the playoffs. They have a negative goal differential. Despite their successful playoff push, they're barely above .500 since February (in contrast to Boston's league-best 20 wins in that span) and they're clearly outmatched in the crease. I hope Detroit can prove me wrong and win more than a game.

Montreal over Tampa Bay in 7- one of the closest match-ups. Tampa has the advantage in goal differential and they're equally as good five on five, but Montreal has the better road record and the better recent record. If Ben Bishop is healthy, he should give Tampa a chance as he has the 4th best GSAA. Unfortunately for Tampa, Montreal has Carey Price in net and he's #3.

Columbus over Pittsburgh in 6- I was hoping the Wings would get the Penguins in the first round. Pittsburgh's goal differential is buoyed by a great power play but PP chances and goals won't come as easily in the playoffs. Their winning percentage also been underwater over the last two months (13-15) and Fleury is one of the weaker goalies in the field. Columbus should pull off the upset here and win their first playoff series in franchise history.

New York over Philadelphia in 5- everyone's talking about this as a close series because of the classic rivalry but I don't see it. New York beats Philly in almost every metric. They're better on the road, they're better five on five, they have the better goaltender. The only thing that Philly has going for them is that the two teams have roughly the same record since February.

Colorado over Minnesota in 5- I'm a little cautious about the Avalanche because of their youth but they don't have much to fear from the Wild. Minnesota has the worst road record of any playoff team and they didn't play particularly well down the stretch. They're better 5 on 5 than they are on special teams so that might give them a boost but I wouldn't put much trust in their goaltending, especially when Colorado has one of the top two goalies in the league.

St. Louis over Chicago in 6- Don't fret too much about the Blues' six game losing streak to end the season; the Blackhawks have been even worse down the stretch. Chicago's five on five play is nearly as good as St. Louis so they should keep this series close but the Blues have a serious edge in net.

Anaheim over Dallas in 7- The Stars are an interesting upset pick here. Dallas has better goaltending than the Ducks and outplayed them down the stretch. However, the Ducks have the second-best goal differential overall five-on-five and their league-best road record shows that they're a strong team. The Ducks will be tested but they should prevail.

Los Angeles over San Jose in 7- It's hard to call this one an upset even though the Kings are the lower seed. The Kings have a great road record and Quick is a world-class goalie, even in a down year for him. Most notably, their five-on-five goal differential is actually better than the Sharks as San Jose over-relies on its power play. The Sharks have been a bit better down the stretch which should help but simply isn't enough on its own.
   119. zack Posted: April 14, 2014 at 05:57 PM (#4686147)
I'm already sick of hearing references to Brodeur being the greatest of all time. If you want to argue that he's greatest workload goalie of all time, I can buy that, but the best goalie ever remains Hasek, and it's not close.
   120. Shredder Posted: April 14, 2014 at 06:22 PM (#4686156)
Somewhat interesting facebook conversation which may make more sense here. Scruff was complaining that the Eastern Conference gets screwed by having 16 teams, 50% of which makes the playoffs, while the West has only 14 teams, 57% of which make the playoffs. My counter argument, as posted:

On the other hand, the East was absolutely terrible this year. It's two good teams and a bunch of dreck. They're lucky they get eight teams in. If they played a balanced schedule, the West would probably have 10 teams in. In 448 games between the conferences, the West picked up 544 points, and the East picked up only 462. Furthermore, if you count OT/SO losses as losses, six WC teams were at .500 or below against the East, while 12 in he East were .500 or below against the West. The numbers look worse for the East if you count those games as ties. It may be unfair that the West has fewer teams, but it's probably more unfair to the West that all of the good teams are in that conference.

What say you folks?
   121. HMS Moses Taylor Posted: April 14, 2014 at 06:23 PM (#4686157)
St. Louis over Chicago in 6- Don't fret too much about the Blues' six game losing streak to end the season; the Blackhawks have been even worse down the stretch. Chicago's five on five play is nearly as good as St. Louis so they should keep this series close but the Blues have a serious edge in net.

Bias alert for my comments, but...

Debateable*. The teams are pretty evenly matched, and it's an obvious storyline, but health is the biggest factor. If one team is down their top guys (or the top guys are less than 100%), it's more than enough to swing the series. With so many guys missing time on both teams, and the way hockey injuries are not disclosed, who actually plays at what level is still a HUGE question mark.

It's not just a 6 game losing streak for the Blues, they were much better in the first half of the year than the second (but that's also true of the Hawks). And while I know you're talking about more than the 6 game losing streak, but the Hawks never were as bad as that stretch (and were playing just fine with their shortened roster before the last 2 meaningless games once seeding was set; those are easy to completely ignore).

*Small sample and all, but Miller hasn't been that good with the Blues (and has looked even worse than the numbers, if one cares about that at all). Maybe the numbers are skewed because of the recent stretch, but that just means it's questionable how he'll look once the playoffs start.
   122. zack Posted: April 14, 2014 at 07:22 PM (#4686180)
It was funnier when their numbers were literally exact mirrors earlier in the year, but it's still funny:

Jaroslav Halak, career SV%: .918
Ryan Miller, career SV%: .915

Halak, season WSH SV%: .930
Miller, season BUF SV%: .923

Halak, season Blues SV%: .917
Miller, season STL SV%: .903

The Blues gave up (potentially) two firsts, a prospect and downgraded from Stewart to Ott for that "upgrade" and were widely lauded for it.
   123. HMS Moses Taylor Posted: April 15, 2014 at 03:41 PM (#4686547)
Man, I really wish Coach Q would have the balls to sit Versteeg* and play Morin in the playoffs, but it doesn't look like it's happening. In fact, almost the opposite - Versteeg is practicing on the top line with Toews. That's just madness to me.

*Or Bollig. Or Handzus. Though I think Versteeg's suckiness since being reacquired has gone so far under the radar.
   124. SteveF Posted: April 15, 2014 at 03:57 PM (#4686558)
I agree with the sentiment that 2014 Miller isn't the Miller from 3-4 years ago. That said, the Blackhawks are giving up significantly more goals this year than last. That could just be statistical noise, but it's a lot of noise (2.68 vs 2.13).
   125. HMS Moses Taylor Posted: April 15, 2014 at 04:07 PM (#4686565)
I agree with the sentiment that 2014 Miller isn't the Miller from 3-4 years ago. That said, the Blackhawks are giving up significantly more goals this year than last. That could just be statistical noise, but it's a lot of noise (2.68 vs 2.13).

For one, Khabibulin and Raanta were both significantly worse than last year's backup (Emery), and like last year, the backups aren't going to play (and if they do, good chance it means they're not winning that series). Another, while Crawford's numbers are worse for the whole year, a lot of that can be attributed to an utterly awful penalty kill for the first half of the year (his PK save % is much worse than last year, but the 5v5 numbers are similar*).

I don't know that anyone would argue that the Hawks have had a better defense than the Blues this year (or that last year's defense didn't play better); the point I was mainly objecting to was that the Blues had a significant advantage in goal.

*I don't have them in front of me, but I think the 2nd half of the year is even better than last year's regular season numbers and closer to his playoff numbers during the Cup run.
   126. zack Posted: April 15, 2014 at 10:21 PM (#4686672)
Yes, any problems the Blackhawks have with defense is mainly with the goaltending, and mainly with the backups at that. They gave up the 4th fewest shots against, and have if not the best D-corps in the league, then the second best behind St. Louis. The GAA with Crawford in net was 2.26.

RE: #123/ Moses: I guess you don't hang out at TCI, because pretty much everyone there wants Versteeg out of the lineup. I don't see it, even if he hasn't been great lately. Morin's upside is basically Versteeg. I would like him out of the top 6 though.
   127. Shredder Posted: April 16, 2014 at 01:07 AM (#4686717)
Kings v. Sharks. Tomas Hertl thinks this is personal because he made a reckless play that led to his injury for half the season. Here's hoping he wants revenge against Dustin Brown, who takes the opportunity to put him back on the bench for the remainder of the series.
   128. clowns to the left of me; STEAGLES to the right Posted: April 16, 2014 at 02:17 AM (#4686740)
New York over Philadelphia in 5- everyone's talking about this as a close series because of the classic rivalry but I don't see it. New York beats Philly in almost every metric. They're better on the road, they're better five on five, they have the better goaltender. The only thing that Philly has going for them is that the two teams have roughly the same record since February.
i think the flyers have also lost something like 10 straight games at madison square garden. and while they are good on the PP, they've struggled to score on the PP at home.
   129. Robert in Manhattan Beach Posted: April 16, 2014 at 03:11 AM (#4686755)

Los Angeles over San Jose in 7- It's hard to call this one an upset even though the Kings are the lower seed.


Tough one. Quick needs to be near perfect, the Kings offense isn't much to speak of. LA really misses Dustin Brown. The guy who skates around in his jersey these days always out of position and taking dumb penalties is a pale comparison. Gaborik has helped patch the hole on the first line left by Brown's demise. I guess if Doughty is close to normal, I like our chances.
   130. HMS Moses Taylor Posted: April 16, 2014 at 10:47 AM (#4686852)
RE: #123/ Moses: I guess you don't hang out at TCI, because pretty much everyone there wants Versteeg out of the lineup. I don't see it, even if he hasn't been great lately. Morin's upside is basically Versteeg. I would like him out of the top 6 though.

I know they're on him as well, but that's all I've seen. I think Morin *right now* (and not just based on that goal scoring streak) is better than Versteeg right now. Versteeg has been mostly invisible, and more often bad than good, since he's been back.
   131. HMS Moses Taylor Posted: April 16, 2014 at 01:10 PM (#4686993)
Regarding our discussion of goalies, this is a good read.
   132. zack Posted: April 16, 2014 at 10:55 PM (#4687504)
Since the playoffs are already started (but without looking at the scores), I'll just do the predictions off the top of my head.

Bruins vs Wings - Bruins in 6
Pens vs Lumbus - Pens in 5
Lightning vs Habs - Lightning in 5 (if Bishop can play, in 7 with Lindback)
Rags vs Flyers - Rags in 6

Avs vs Wild - Avs in 7
Ducks vs Stars - Stars in 7
Blues vs Hawks - Hawks in 6
Sharks vs Kings - Sharks in 7
   133. Mess with the Meat, you get the Wad! Posted: April 17, 2014 at 02:34 PM (#4687951)
Looks like the blues will be short 2 players tonight oshie being one of them. Good way for the hawks to steal one in st louis to start the playoffs
   134. Shredder Posted: April 17, 2014 at 08:46 PM (#4688217)
Guess it's a good thing they didn't bench Versteeg.
   135. zack Posted: April 17, 2014 at 09:46 PM (#4688251)
If that's in reference to the goal, they took it away from him. But he has looked better (and should, playing with Toews).
   136. The Clarence Thomas of BBTF (scott) Posted: April 18, 2014 at 12:44 AM (#4688305)
That's one hell of a way to start a series, St. Louis/Chicago. I love playoff overtime.
   137. puck Posted: April 18, 2014 at 01:28 AM (#4688308)
That's one hell of a way to start a series, St. Louis/Chicago. I love playoff overtime.

Hey, Avs-Wild, too. Pull the goalie w/3 min left, have defender make a sliding save just before the empty net, tie it with 13.4 secs left, win in OT.
   138. PASTE Thinks This Trout Kid Might Be OK (Zeth) Posted: April 18, 2014 at 07:53 AM (#4688331)
The Avalanche have got a horseshoe crammed up their ass, and as a hockey fan with no rooting interest either way it's a lot of fun to watch.
   139. PASTE Thinks This Trout Kid Might Be OK (Zeth) Posted: April 18, 2014 at 07:58 AM (#4688333)
By the way, I haven't been to this thread forever but I'll post playoff picks so we can all laugh at how wrong I am, certifying that these were done before the playoffs began:

FIRST ROUND
EAST
Bruins over Red Wings in 6
Lightning over Canadiens in 5
Penguins over Blue Jackets in 5
Flyers over Rangers in 7

WEST
Avalanche over Wild in 4
Blues over Blackhawks in 6
Ducks over Stars in 6
Kings over Sharks in 7

SECOND ROUND
Bruins over Lightning in 5
Flyers over Penguins in 5

Avalanche over Blues in 7
Ducks over Kings in 4

CONFERENCE FINALS
Bruins over Flyers in 7
Ducks over Avalanche in 6

CUP FINALS
Bruins over Ducks in 5

I think it's extremely likely the Eastern Conference champion will be Boston or Tampa. The West, I'm just guessing.
   140. HMS Moses Taylor Posted: April 18, 2014 at 10:53 AM (#4688427)
If that's in reference to the goal, they took it away from him. But he has looked better (and should, playing with Toews).

He looked great in the first, slightly less great as the game went on. Not sure I like him on a line with Saad. Handzus was clearly the Hawks worst player last night, though he was fine on the PK. He can barely keep up in a normal game (and his falling down lead directly to the first goal), he was legally dead halfway through the first OT. Playing Regin ahead of him (or Morin and moving Smith to C) are such preferable options.

Hawks problem of not holding leads reared its head again. Also not trying to score on the PP in the 3rd with a lead. I think it was a fairly close match (Blues led the overall Corsi, but a lot of that was influenced by trailing in the third, even if they were also ahead at that point). Both teams took turns controlling play. Crawford was awesome last night, and clearly better than Miller (though Miller got better as the game went on). Not sure I was mentally prepared for 3OT in the first game though...
   141. zack Posted: April 18, 2014 at 12:31 PM (#4688521)
I wish they could've just lost in the 2OT, jesus.

I heard people ranting about Handzus last night but every time I saw him he was making a great little play. Speed isn't everything.

Trying to turtle through the last ten minutes was doomed to fail, I thought Q had learned that by now. I think prior to the tying goal there were almost 5 straight minutes where they never once got the puck behind the Blues goal line, nobody can keep that up for a more than a few minutes without cracking, which they obviously were doing even before the goal.
   142. Langer Monk Posted: April 18, 2014 at 09:36 PM (#4688942)
From my NHL bracket challenge thing:
Avs in 6, Blackhawks in 7, Ducks in 5, Sharks in 7; Chicago over Colorado and Anaheim over San Jose; Anaheim to the Stanley Cup finals, where they will lose to ...

Bruins in 5, Habs in 6, Jackets in 6, Rangers in 7; Boston over Montreal and Columbus over New York; and Boston to win it all.

I'm probably over-estimating Chicago and Columbus, or under-estimating Saint Louis and Pittsburgh. But why wouldn't I?
   143. PASTE Thinks This Trout Kid Might Be OK (Zeth) Posted: April 18, 2014 at 10:25 PM (#4688975)
Pittsburgh isn't very good and they're probably going to get their asses handed to them in the second round, but... Columbus is pretty bad. Even the Penguins shouldn't have much trouble putting them away.
   144. Mess with the Meat, you get the Wad! Posted: April 19, 2014 at 12:11 PM (#4689074)
I am really pulling for the wings to make it to the finals, would be quite funny
   145. clowns to the left of me; STEAGLES to the right Posted: April 19, 2014 at 01:08 PM (#4689085)
lucic should be suspended 40 games for this ####.
   146. The Kentucky Gentleman, Mark Edward Posted: April 19, 2014 at 04:09 PM (#4689245)
That was not a very good first period from the Hawks.
   147. Shredder Posted: April 19, 2014 at 06:00 PM (#4689302)
Terribly stupid hit from Seabrook, and absolutely the right call. Guess we'll see how long the league sits him down. You've got keep your elbow in, your skates on the ice, and you cannot target the head. Seabrook got two out of three right.
   148. SteveF Posted: April 19, 2014 at 06:04 PM (#4689303)
lucic should be suspended 40 games for this ####.

Maybe not 40, but I wouldn't be surprised to see a 2-3 game suspension. It's a particularly nasty act because of how unnecessary it is. At least when you check a guy in the head you can understand it insofar as checking is a legal part of the game. (Edit: I guess they ended up only fining him $4K.)

I'm interested to see what Seabrook gets. I'd guess it'd be in the 2-3 game range if this were the regular season.
   149. cardsfanboy Posted: April 19, 2014 at 06:21 PM (#4689318)
Nice start for the Blues... :)
   150. clowns to the left of me; STEAGLES to the right Posted: April 19, 2014 at 08:18 PM (#4689367)
Maybe not 40, but I wouldn't be surprised to see a 2-3 game suspension. It's a particularly nasty act because of how unnecessary it is. At least when you check a guy in the head you can understand it insofar as checking is a legal part of the game. (Edit: I guess they ended up only fining him $4K.)
terrible.
   151. PASTE Thinks This Trout Kid Might Be OK (Zeth) Posted: April 19, 2014 at 08:34 PM (#4689374)
The Letang contract may be the worst contract ever signed by a hockey team other than the Islanders. It's bad enough that they're hideously overpaying a guy who is average on his better days, but doing so also has the second-order effect of communicating to everyone else on the team that abandoning your assignment, spurning safe, smooth breakouts in favor of attempting stupid risky passes, and general sloppiness in your own end and the neutral zone is not merely tolerable but rewarded.

This #### works just fine against the Blue Jackets, and they might even survive the Rangers, but even if they do it's going to get them killed in the conference finals, no matter who they play.
   152. HMS Moses Taylor Posted: April 19, 2014 at 11:20 PM (#4689447)
Terribly stupid hit from Seabrook, and absolutely the right call. Guess we'll see how long the league sits him down.

There's just no reason to even attempt a hit like that there, even if we ignore the illegal parts of it. The puck was about to be cleared again, still a minute left on the PK. Just a mind-numbingly stupid decision, especially in that situation.

Seabrook claimed after the game he thought Backes had the puck, I'm not sure I believe him. But in his defense, that's probably a shoulder to shoulder hit if Backes isn't leaning back looking for the puck (but then it's still a 2 min minor for charging or interference). I think he probably gets a game (especially considering how woozy Backes looked*), however he's never been suspended before and I think you can make the argument he wasn't attempting a head shot (again, not sure I totally believe that). It's out of character for Seabrook though, and I hope the Blues take the high road (ha!) and don't care for shady revenge**.

Handzus looked better today, though a lot of it was cause he really is good on the PK and the Hawks spent like half the game on the kill. So it probably isn't the ideal time to link this showing every single player (except Rozival) is worse playing with Handzus.

Hawks haven't played their best and are less than 2 mins from being up 2-0. I think that can be reassuring, though I'm not totally feeling it right now. Blues really have forced uncharacteristic errors and have for the most part capitalized. I think Crawford has been great, it's a shame he's getting any sort of blame for this hole.

*It didn't look like the refs were gonna call a major right away until they saw how bad of shape Backes was in. Whether fair or not, that's clearly always part of the suspension decision process.
**If not for this, I wouldn't have been surprised to see Bollig sat for Morin (he only played 3:33 today), but now Q's gonna leave him in so him and Reaves can fight and waste everyone's time.
   153. HMS Moses Taylor Posted: April 19, 2014 at 11:23 PM (#4689450)
It's pathetic and just a total head scratcher Coach Q got fined $25K for his crotch grab, but Lucic only $5k for his bullshit (and it's at least the 3rd time he's done it!).
   154. Chris Fluit Posted: April 20, 2014 at 07:47 AM (#4689509)
Collective bargaining. I'm pretty sure that 5k is the max a player can be fined- anything larger than that would have to be loss of pay while being suspended. And yes, Lucic should have been made to sit a game (at least) but the NHL isn't going to suspend a star player during the playoffs.
   155. zack Posted: April 20, 2014 at 11:31 AM (#4689580)
I think Seabrook will get one playoff game (2-3 regular season game equivalency). That was a deplorable hit. Lots of 'hawks fans are claiming "you reap what you sow", and there was an element of that to the hit because the Blackhawks were obviously trying to match the Blues physicality, but that doesn't make it alright, you nincompoops.

The one thing I will argue vehemently against though was the pic circulating that shows him smiling while being led away. If you watch the video, he's not smiling, he's taking out his mouth guard, but in the still it looks really bad.
   156. Mess with the Meat, you get the Wad! Posted: April 20, 2014 at 03:09 PM (#4689705)
3 games for seabrook which is way too much. Also how did the refs miss tje way late hit by ott in overtime the play before they scoted. Seems like pretty crappy officating.
   157. Chris Fluit Posted: April 20, 2014 at 06:19 PM (#4689820)
3 games for seabrook which is way too much.


Uh, no. It's just right, surprisingly. As zack noted, it was a deplorable hit and Seabrook should sit for it.

   158. SteveF Posted: April 20, 2014 at 06:40 PM (#4689833)
Classless by Duncan Keith here. 'Wakey, wakey Backes. Wakey wakey!' you can hear him say. Of course, if the shoe were on the other foot, you'd hear someone from St. Louis doing the same thing in all likelihood.

I'm not sure these hits get removed from the game until the players take this stuff more seriously.
   159. zack Posted: April 20, 2014 at 07:13 PM (#4689857)
Uh, no. It's just right, surprisingly. As zack noted, it was a deplorable hit and Seabrook should sit for it.


3 playoff games is way too many given the length (or not at all) of similar plays in previous playoffs. Two I could have accepted, but that's steep.
   160. SteveF Posted: April 20, 2014 at 08:21 PM (#4689908)
To back up what Zack says, last year it was 1-2 games. Ferrence got 1, Gryba got 2 and Abdelkader got 2.

I'd say the Abdelkader hit is most similar.
   161. Shredder Posted: April 21, 2014 at 12:38 AM (#4690019)
Jonathan Quick with a GAA of 2.40..... Per period. Holy crap, this Kings team is awful. I'm actually rooting for the Ducks now. Anyone but San Jose would be fine with me.
   162. Robert in Manhattan Beach Posted: April 21, 2014 at 01:12 AM (#4690031)
Well, that was brutal. Will I actually use my tickets for Game 3 and 4? Even after a cooling off period, it's hard to imagine. Maybe if they announce Jones will be in net for Game 3. Quick is clueless.
   163. HMS Moses Taylor Posted: April 21, 2014 at 11:48 AM (#4690222)
I'm all for the NHL doing everything that can to get rid of plays like the Seabrook hit. If it takes longer suspensions, I'm all for it. Sucks for him and the Hawks if it starts now, but the NHL better start being more consistent.
   164. PASTE Thinks This Trout Kid Might Be OK (Zeth) Posted: April 21, 2014 at 07:30 PM (#4690629)
Man, there is just no helping the Penguins. They need a regime change and are probably one more embarrassing playoff exit from getting it, but it's going to be difficult-to-impossible to make anything of Crosby and Malkin's remaining primes with the Letang contract going on and on and on and on.

(They might still come back and survive the Blue Jackets, but it won't change any of the above if they do.)
   165. Eddo Posted: April 21, 2014 at 07:38 PM (#4690638)
I'm not sure these hits get removed from the game until the players take this stuff more seriously.

Agreed. And it doesn't help that Peverley was treated like the World's Most Manly Man for trying to play after his collapse.
   166. Mess with the Meat, you get the Wad! Posted: April 21, 2014 at 08:46 PM (#4690687)
A lot of punching there...
   167. SteveF Posted: April 21, 2014 at 09:18 PM (#4690714)
They might still come back and survive the Blue Jackets, but it won't change any of the above if they do.

Fortunately they did. I'd hate for the Penguins to make any coaching/front office changes. I like Bylsma and Shero right where they are.
   168. Mess with the Meat, you get the Wad! Posted: April 21, 2014 at 09:21 PM (#4690716)
Blues are getting away with some stuff. Seems like they can do no wrong
   169. Mess with the Meat, you get the Wad! Posted: April 21, 2014 at 09:47 PM (#4690744)
But thats not to say the hawks didnt earn any peneltys in the firat
   170. Mess with the Meat, you get the Wad! Posted: April 21, 2014 at 09:50 PM (#4690751)
Really they decide to level brookebank? Are they trying to do the hawks a favor?
   171. Mess with the Meat, you get the Wad! Posted: April 21, 2014 at 09:57 PM (#4690755)
The hawks power play thinks its last year
   172. PASTE Thinks This Trout Kid Might Be OK (Zeth) Posted: April 21, 2014 at 10:04 PM (#4690761)
I see Matt Cooke is doing his Matt Cooke thing again. Hope he enjoys his vacation.
   173. zack Posted: April 21, 2014 at 11:59 PM (#4690829)
Oh thank ####. 'hawks definitely aren't looking like themselves (or rather, the Blues are making them not look like themselves), but they've had the lead with 2 minutes remaining in every game. And even won one of them!

Seems like both coaches got through to the players that they needed to play hockey and not rock 'em sock 'em.
   174. zack Posted: April 22, 2014 at 01:36 PM (#4691189)
I'm gonna go with 7 games for Cookie. Bryan Bickell made almost the same play a few days ago but was lucky enough to get thigh rather than knee. Still don't get why spearing, which has nothing to do with hockey isn't suspension-worthy. The kneeing hits are at least the result of trying to make a normal hit and then realizing you're beat (although obviously potentially more devastating).
   175. PASTE Thinks This Trout Kid Might Be OK (Zeth) Posted: April 22, 2014 at 02:09 PM (#4691249)
Can't see Cooke getting 7 games. If they go over 5 they're just going to suspend him for the rest of the playoffs, I expect, and if Minnesota gets eliminated in Round 1 then so be it.

Cooke is actually a good player, always has been, every coach's dream third liner. The Penguins screwed up letting him go for as little as Minnesota paid him, I thought then and still think now. It's a shame he's so relentlessly pursued delivering cheap shots.
   176. zack Posted: April 22, 2014 at 02:17 PM (#4691258)
He has an in-person hearing so presumably it's a minimum of 5. They pulled out the rest of series for Torres* last year, so they could go that way, but hopefully the new guy realizes that's dumb and puts a number on it.

*the real #1 Shitbag of the League, I think only constant injuries have prevented him from being banned at this point.
   177. Chris Fluit Posted: April 22, 2014 at 06:03 PM (#4691470)
Am I the only thinking that it's ridiculous that Martin St. Louis is a finalist for the Lady Byng award for sportsmanship and "gentlemanly play" after a season in which he sulked and demanded that his team trade him? Not the best example of good behavior, even if it was an off-ice issue.
   178. Chris Fluit Posted: April 22, 2014 at 06:11 PM (#4691475)
Classless by Duncan Keith here. 'Wakey, wakey Backes. Wakey wakey!' you can hear him say. Of course, if the shoe were on the other foot, you'd hear someone from St. Louis doing the same thing in all likelihood.

I'm not sure these hits get removed from the game until the players take this stuff more seriously.


There was a similar incident in Game One of the Boston-Detroit series. Zdeno Chara plastered Brendan Smith into the boards from behind. It was a dirty hit and Chara was penalized (two-minute minor though it arguably could have been match penalty). While Smith was on his knees and trying to get up, Brad Marchand stood over him and insulted him for diving- utterly and despicably classless. I sort of respected the Bruins over the course of the regular season but seeing them up close has shown me what a bunch of jerks they are (it's not just Marchand).
   179. clowns to the left of me; STEAGLES to the right Posted: April 22, 2014 at 06:48 PM (#4691503)
you have to lay the hammer on matt cooke. guys like that don't ever deserve the benefit of the doubt, and it's an undeniable fact that the sooner he's back on the ice, the sooner he's going to end someone else's season/career.

get him out of the league. period.
   180. SteveF Posted: April 22, 2014 at 07:01 PM (#4691513)
I sort of respected the Bruins over the course of the regular season but seeing them up close has shown me what a bunch of jerks they are (it's not just Marchand).

You're a little late to that party!

That said, my guess is you watch a lot of Red Wings hockey because the truth is that the Red Wings rather than the Bruins are (unfortunately) the outlier here. The rest of the NHL (well, outside of Marchand who is particularly egregious in his lack of on-ice civility) is probably more Bruin than Red Wing.
   181. zack Posted: April 22, 2014 at 07:37 PM (#4691534)
The Red Wings still have Abdelkader, Bertuzzi, Kronwall, Brendan Smith and (until he was waived) Tootoo, all of whom have various levels of dickery in their game. I don't think there's any team in the league with clean hands. The Blackhawks generally play a shenangigan-free game, and look how that's worked out for them these playoffs.

For a decently-good (Eastern conference) team, the Lighting sure are getting buried by les Habs. Still can't stand Homer Hughson.
   182. zack Posted: April 22, 2014 at 08:46 PM (#4691577)
And an hour after I said that, looks like Smith just did the Cooke on Marchand. Not sure if he got as much direct knee, but didn't look good.
   183. zack Posted: April 22, 2014 at 10:23 PM (#4691634)
The Sharks take the early lead on possibly the luckiest goal I have ever seen.
   184. Shredder Posted: April 23, 2014 at 01:27 AM (#4691688)
And the Sharks win on possibly the luckiest goal anyone has ever seen. this Kings team sucks. I can only hope the Kings make the Sharks pay an extremely heavy physical price for moving on Thursday. I'm rooting for any team that doesn't wear teal. I hate the Sharks more than any team in professional sports (still hate U$C more).
   185. Mess with the Meat, you get the Wad! Posted: April 23, 2014 at 01:39 AM (#4691691)
I like the soutjern cal hate shredder. Does this mean you will root for the hawks?
   186. Shredder Posted: April 23, 2014 at 01:42 AM (#4691692)
I'd root for the Hawks over the Sharks. I'll root for any team that's already won the cup over the Sharks. I'd rather see the Blues beat the Hawks. But ultimately, I'm rooting for every team still playing over the Sharks.
   187. Squash Posted: April 23, 2014 at 02:33 AM (#4691700)
As a Sharks fan is Patrick Marleau going to be the worst 500 goal scorer ever? Never higher than 86 points (he's only broken the 80 point barrier twice), never more than 44 goals (the only time he's broken 40 goals - his next two highest are 38 and 37, then it's a bunch in the low 30s/high 20s). He's like Johnny Damon churning toward 3,000 hits, except he seems likely to actually get there.
   188. clowns to the left of me; STEAGLES to the right Posted: April 23, 2014 at 02:46 AM (#4691703)
As a Sharks fan is Patrick Marleau going to be the worst 500 goal scorer ever? Never higher than 86 points (he's only broken the 80 point barrier twice), never more than 44 goals (the only time he's broken 40 goals - his next two highest are 38 and 37, then it's a bunch in the low 30s/high 20s). He's like Johnny Damon churning toward 3,000 hits, except he seems likely to actually get there.
he's probably better than pat verbeek. not that that's a ringing endorsement.

but really, someone's always gotta be the worst something, and it seems pretty petty to me to criticize marleau on this front.
   189. Flynn Posted: April 23, 2014 at 04:27 AM (#4691710)
I'd put the Joes Mullen and Nieuwendyk in there too. Both were steady compilers and nothing more in a high offense era.
   190. zack Posted: April 23, 2014 at 07:05 AM (#4691720)
It's pretty unlikely that such a player would be playing in the current era. I know nothing about the guy at all, but just looking at his h-ref page, career WHA goal scoring leader Marc Tardif (518 combined WHA and NHL goals) is probably a good candidate, if you allow WHA goals. Not sure how thin the WHA was during his huge seasons.
   191. Flynn Posted: April 23, 2014 at 07:20 AM (#4691721)
Nobody counts WHA goals. The league was just too weak.

   192. zack Posted: April 23, 2014 at 08:55 AM (#4691743)
I think that's a little unfair to guys like Hull or Howe or Howe or Cheevers who were great players that spent significant time in the WHA (not that any of those guys really need the credit). Maybe not a 1-for-1, but I feel about them the same way I feel about Ichiro and the NPB.

The league folded before I was born, so maybe I don't know what I'm talking about. But I did watch almost half of that made-for-TV Gordie Howe movie! And I have a soft-spot for all the once-rival leagues, and think the WHA in particular got a pretty short stick from history. And it's not like the pre-expansion and even pre-mid-80's NHL was a bastion of competitive balance.
   193. Pooty Lederhosen Posted: April 23, 2014 at 11:08 AM (#4691902)
I grew up in the WHA era, and have my very own New England Whalers 1973 Avco Cup Champion sweatshirts to prove it. OK, I bought them online recently. But as a hockey-crazed kid who got to one Bruins game a year and wanted to be Don Awrey when he grew up, the new league was a fantastic thing even if it broke up the Bruins. The fact that my dad got Whalers season tickets was pretty much the greatest thing ever to 10 year old me.

Given all the players who jumped, I'd guess that the league quality was at least close to the NHL's in the first few years. I haven't read anything about this, but I believe that one side effect of the league was making people realize that US colleges were viable training grounds for future NHLers, and I think it gave a boost to American born players.

How did the former WHA teams do in the first few seasons after the merge?
   194. Pooty Lederhosen Posted: April 23, 2014 at 12:07 PM (#4691995)
Q. How did the former WHA teams do in the first few seasons after the merge?

A. It's not at all germane to the question of relative league quality. Per Wiki:

The former WHA clubs were stripped of most of their players and permitted to keep only two goaltenders and two skaters, and NHL teams were given the right to reclaim players from the WHA clubs without compensation. The four former WHA teams were also placed at the end of the draft order for the 1979 NHL Entry Draft, as opposed to previous NHL expansion teams, which had been placed at the front of the draft order.
   195. zack Posted: April 23, 2014 at 01:29 PM (#4692130)
Yeah, the way the WHA clubs were treated by the merger was punitive and shameful, and it's not surprising that all but the Oilers have since moved (though some of that is because they were in less-desirable cities to begin with, as an upstart, and some is the Bettman Plan).

All 4 of the teams were horrific in the immediate aftermath, but by the mid-80's they'd rebounded nicely. The Oilers obviously did ok for themselves.
   196. HMS Moses Taylor Posted: April 23, 2014 at 04:15 PM (#4692342)
   197. zack Posted: April 23, 2014 at 07:55 PM (#4692637)
So I was arguing today on TCI that Fenwick/60 (Shots + Missed Shots per 60 minutes) is a better way to evaluate the effectiveness on a powerplay (or the inverse for the PK), rather than the traditional PP percentage. My reasoning being that both the randomness of goal scoring and that not all PP opportunities are the same (5v4, 5v3, major, early ending) makes it unreliable.

While doing so, I noticed that the Sharks were 1st by this measure in 2009-10, 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014. That's a pretty damn impressive PP.
   198. Robert in Manhattan Beach Posted: April 23, 2014 at 08:20 PM (#4692671)
And the Sharks win on possibly the luckiest goal anyone has ever seen. this Kings team sucks.

It was pretty much the perfect way for the series to (essentially) end. Quick is too far out of his net, too low to the ground, and has no idea where the puck is as it sails into the net. Saves me a trip into downtown tomorrow night.
   199. Langer Monk Posted: April 23, 2014 at 09:40 PM (#4692757)
That's the Fleury we know and love.
   200. SteveF Posted: April 23, 2014 at 09:44 PM (#4692762)
That's the Fleury we know and love.

It's rare to see a goal scored where both teams leave their nets empty.
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