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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.

odds are meatwad is drunk Posted: February 24, 2014 at 05:54 PM | 970 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: hockey, nhl, off topic, only thing canada is good at

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   501. Shredder Posted: May 11, 2014 at 01:28 AM (#4704306)
Does anyone have any information on why Jonathan Quick was yanked?
Because Sutter was smart enough to see that the Kings absolutely sucked tonight, and if you're guaranteed to lose, you might as well rest your best player. But apparently the move was more about waking everyone else up.

Decent decision making tonight, but horrendous execution. Carter, Richards, Toffoli, pretty sure I saw them on the ice tonight, but they certainly didn't contribute. And Slava Voynov was just flat out awful.

Going in to tonight's game, the Ducks had been better at everything except goaltending. Now they're better at that too. Kings may turn it around, but I have a hard time seeing them extend the series past Wednesday.
   502. SteveF Posted: May 11, 2014 at 02:05 AM (#4704311)
The Kings had twice as many shot attempts. The ducks had zero shots on goal in the second period and 14 for the entire game, 11 of which came in the first period.

I don't think the Kings played particularly well, but there's nothing that happened in that game that makes me think the Ducks will cruise to a series victory.
   503. Shredder Posted: May 11, 2014 at 02:29 AM (#4704313)
It hey went an entire period without a shot, yet there was never a point when it didn't feel like the Ducks controlled the game. Anaheim just has more talent and more depth. Kings aren't done, but they have to be huge underdogs now. They simply aren't as good as the Ducks.
   504. PASTE Thinks This Trout Kid Might Be OK (Zeth) Posted: May 11, 2014 at 07:27 PM (#4704624)
As for Rangers/Penguins, I have no idea what to expect in Game 6. I'm torn between the "The Penguins are collapsing like only they can" line of thought and the "We just saw everything the Rangers had left in Game 5 and now they're spent" line of thought.


I'm glad we settled that question right out of the gate!

I'm looking forward to racking up free money betting on the Rangers on Tuesday.
   505. SteveF Posted: May 11, 2014 at 07:40 PM (#4704628)
They really are a team you need to watch all year to get a grip on. As a neutral observer I always think they are a shift away from just turning it on and scoring 3 goals in 5 minutes, but that's really just not the case. They are probably far more likely to go down 5-0 than for this thing to go 3-2 in their direction.

You have me convinced Zeth. Shero has to be the first guy to walk the plank. There's just some combination of talent and sandpaper this team lacks 3-19, and that's on the GM.
   506. PASTE Thinks This Trout Kid Might Be OK (Zeth) Posted: May 11, 2014 at 08:09 PM (#4704635)
I'm ambivalent about Bylsma, but look forward to his firing as the next step toward a regime change. The coach gets fired first, then the GM; that's the way it usually goes. Unfortunately I think Bylsma will probably hold onto his job one more year, which means Shero will hold onto his at least another two or three.

Edit: The primary problem attributable to coaching is that the Penguins constantly play as though they're down one with 45 seconds left in the game (and tenfold more so when they're behind), trying long passes and cross-ice passes and individual guys trying to skate through the entire defense by themselves (this is tolerable if you're Evgeni Malkin, much less so if you're Brandon Sutter or Jussi Jokinen or Brian Gibbons or especially Kris Letang). Once in a while they connect on this stuff and go off for a few goals in quick succession; but much more often they don't, and so one-goal deficits have a nasty habit of turning quickly into three-goal deficits. Or else a solid, patient team like Boston can just stay in their defensive zones and continually clear and/or possess the puck until the game ends.
   507. PASTE Thinks This Trout Kid Might Be OK (Zeth) Posted: May 11, 2014 at 08:38 PM (#4704642)
####### hell, that third Rangers goal is a perfect demonstration of why I ##### about Letang so much. Yes, Twitter, it's totally Fleury's fault that Letang was up near the blue line along the side boards instead of in his assigned position. Because reasons.

Letang does not fundamentally grasp the idea of what a "defenseman" is.
   508. Langer Monk Posted: May 11, 2014 at 08:51 PM (#4704644)
Letang not only was along the sideboards, he made zero effort to get back to the front of the net, he was just hanging around the faceoff dot. Playoff effort, indeed.
   509. PASTE Thinks This Trout Kid Might Be OK (Zeth) Posted: May 11, 2014 at 08:53 PM (#4704647)
Remember: We're talking about a man who is paid more than Drew Doughty.

Believe me, everyone else on the team gets the message loud and clear on how you get rewarded by the Pittsburgh Penguins.
   510. SteveF Posted: May 11, 2014 at 10:25 PM (#4704687)
Looks like Chicago flipped a switch during intermission. Of course, they've also shown themselves quite capable of flipping the switch back again.

Every team has some serious warts this post-season. No fan of any team has reason to feel comfortable.
   511. PASTE Thinks This Trout Kid Might Be OK (Zeth) Posted: May 11, 2014 at 10:49 PM (#4704691)
Boston is the best team and has no weaknesses, in my opinion. In the Eastern Conference playoffs boredom is their worst enemy. The Blackhawks, Kings or Ducks are close enough on talent to make them work for it.
   512. PASTE Thinks This Trout Kid Might Be OK (Zeth) Posted: May 12, 2014 at 12:01 AM (#4704710)
Thoughts in the aftermath of the Penguins' meltdown in the third period tonight... I have honestly grown weary of Sidney Crosby. His talent and work ethic are absolutely phenomenal, and he is still well underrated around the league (for one, he ought to be a perennial Selke Trophy nominee; for two, he has consistently been the best player on the ice even in these playoffs, and doesn't have to be scoring goals for that to be true).

But his leadership and example are... sigh. When he's uncomfortable he gets frustrated, and when he gets frustrated... well, it's embarrassing enough the way he behaves like a child throwing an extended temper tantrum, but he loses all focus and negates his own spectacular skills. And the team, as teams always do, follows its star's example.

It seems like Crosby has gotten WORSE about this as he's gotten older, where you expect a player to gain some maturity.

I'm not the kind of talk-radio buffoon you'll catch advocating the Penguins trade Crosby away, but I confess to growing disillusioned with him. As the team's unquestioned leader he HAS to grow the hell up. This too I fear is a coaching failure, and possibly it's now too late to correct it. The team has bent to Crosby's whims consistently for years. But then, a superduperstar's team pretty much HAS to bend to his whims. That's why ultimately it's on Crosby to realize he has a problem and grow up and, if necessary, have a spine surgically inserted into his body. ####.

Incidentally, Crosby has more than a little A-Rod in him--he's not a jackass, exactly, and is quite capable of being a nice guy, but he is a weird dude and very socially awkward, probably the result of spending too much of his childhood learning how to be a hockey star and not enough learning how to be a well-adjusted adult.

Final edit: Please understand I don't want this to be in any way construed as blaming the team's failures on him; the "talent" the Penguins have put around Crosby and Malkin is a horrible joke, and without Crosby the team would be in the lottery rather than the playoffs. But I think it's fair to wish for better leadership from the team's leader.
   513. SteveF Posted: May 12, 2014 at 12:27 AM (#4704715)
But I think it's fair to wish for better leadership from the team's leader.

I get what you're saying, but no one guy can really do it. You need some critical mass of players in the locker room to change a culture, and the coach has to be empowered to do what's necessary to enforce it via scratches or demotions.
   514. steagles Posted: May 12, 2014 at 01:59 AM (#4704728)
Thoughts in the aftermath of the Penguins' meltdown in the third period tonight... I have honestly grown weary of Sidney Crosby. His talent and work ethic are absolutely phenomenal, and he is still well underrated around the league (for one, he ought to be a perennial Selke Trophy nominee; for two, he has consistently been the best player on the ice even in these playoffs, and doesn't have to be scoring goals for that to be true).

But his leadership and example are... sigh. When he's uncomfortable he gets frustrated, and when he gets frustrated... well, it's embarrassing enough the way he behaves like a child throwing an extended temper tantrum, but he loses all focus and negates his own spectacular skills. And the team, as teams always do, follows its star's example.

It seems like Crosby has gotten WORSE about this as he's gotten older, where you expect a player to gain some maturity.

I'm not the kind of talk-radio buffoon you'll catch advocating the Penguins trade Crosby away, but I confess to growing disillusioned with him. As the team's unquestioned leader he HAS to grow the hell up. This too I fear is a coaching failure, and possibly it's now too late to correct it. The team has bent to Crosby's whims consistently for years. But then, a superduperstar's team pretty much HAS to bend to his whims. That's why ultimately it's on Crosby to realize he has a problem and grow up and, if necessary, have a spine surgically inserted into his body. ####.

Incidentally, Crosby has more than a little A-Rod in him--he's not a jackass, exactly, and is quite capable of being a nice guy, but he is a weird dude and very socially awkward, probably the result of spending too much of his childhood learning how to be a hockey star and not enough learning how to be a well-adjusted adult.

Final edit: Please understand I don't want this to be in any way construed as blaming the team's failures on him; the "talent" the Penguins have put around Crosby and Malkin is a horrible joke, and without Crosby the team would be in the lottery rather than the playoffs. But I think it's fair to wish for better leadership from the team's leader.
all of that will tend to happen when you surround your 18 year old superduperstar with a revolving door of gaping dumbcunts.
   515. HMS Moses Taylor Posted: May 12, 2014 at 03:44 PM (#4705278)
Looks like Chicago flipped a switch during intermission. Of course, they've also shown themselves quite capable of flipping the switch back again.

That was easily their most complete game of this series (and most dominating by possession numbers), but it didn't look like it would be that way during the first period (though they were still quite strong defensively; I think I saw the Wild went over 10min without a SOG during the first). It's not a coincidence, I don't think, that the Hawks came pretty damn close to just rolling 4 lines last night (mixed and matched all over the place, btw). It's crazy that it took Bollig's suspension to give Regin a try, but that Q had no problem playing Regin 11.5mins (or almost as much as Bollig played in total in the first round). Regin showed he was a perfectly acceptable bottom six guy, and I hope he sticks around the lineup the rest of the playoffs. I'm not sure I understand Versteeg's healthy scratch to playing next to Toews business though.

It'd be nice to end this series tomorrow.
   516. zack Posted: May 12, 2014 at 05:45 PM (#4705352)
I wonder about that, because this is not the first time that Q has moved to (what I consider) more optimal lineups when a series got tough. So either:

A) Q knows he's sandbagging a little bit, but factors things other than playing ability into the lineups to open a series. He's with it enough to realize that when the going gets tough, the 'tough' sit the bench.

B) Bowman gives Q free reign to set his lineups, but when against the wall he leans on him a bit to use them his way.

C) I'm crazy.

I'd lean toward A but who knows. This team still isn't playing like it should, but last night was better. The Wild are pretty clearly much tougher at home, so at least they've guaranteed a 7th at home.
   517. HMS Moses Taylor Posted: May 12, 2014 at 06:01 PM (#4705364)
Bowman's the one who just gave Bollig a 100+% raise and 3 year contract extension, so I don't know that either him or Q agree with me here. And if they are disagreeing on playing time, it would appear that Q is winning out (guys Bowman has talked up are demoted or dealt or healthy scratches). And Bollig is only sitting now cause the league is making him.

Having said that, there's some of "A" in there, and you can point to giving guys like Scott or Carcillo playoff PT the last few years as evidence of that (or Bollig last year). OTOH, putting Kane and Handzus back together just seems mindbogglingly stupid after what we went through this regular season.
   518. Shredder Posted: May 12, 2014 at 11:33 PM (#4705549)
Well, looks like I just became a big Blackhawks fan. The Kings team from the first three Sharks games is back. Pathetic effort from a team that won the Cup two years ago. Passive, indecisive, and basically just letting themselves get pushed around.
   519. zack Posted: May 13, 2014 at 12:17 AM (#4705569)
I'm only half-watching this game, but haven't 3 of the 4 Ducks' goals been the result of handing the puck directly to a Duck in a dangerous position? That doesn't strike me as an effort or passiveness problem.
   520. zack Posted: May 13, 2014 at 12:24 AM (#4705574)
I don't really understand the Kings. They were once again the best possession team in the league, they got .930 goaltending from two different backups (and .923 overall, 2nd behind Boston)...and yet 'only' got to 100 points.
   521. Shredder Posted: May 13, 2014 at 12:42 AM (#4705584)
Turnovers are the result of indecision and lack of confidence. The Ducks are better, but the Kings are playing like they believe the Ducks are better. You can't do that and win the NHL. Also, no big hits at all in this game for the Kings. Once in a while they need to ignore the puck and just destroy someone. They aren't willing to do that.

The Kings just aren't in the same league as the Ducks. They haven't been all season. They got completely outplayed in games one and two and got lucky, with a lot of help from Quick. There has been one period in this series when the Kings were better than the Ducks, and they got no goals in that period.
   522. odds are meatwad is drunk Posted: May 13, 2014 at 01:58 AM (#4705606)
I hope regin plays the rest of the way in the playoffs. Bollig needs to not play again tje rest of the way and I wouldnt mind if versteeg sat most of the time either.
   523. villageidiom Posted: May 13, 2014 at 08:39 AM (#4705661)
Boston is the best team and has no weaknesses, in my opinion.
Excellent reverse jinx. Now please stop.
   524. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: May 13, 2014 at 08:59 AM (#4705667)
I thought the Bruins really played well last night for the first 35 minutes or so. The 1st period giveaway that led to the goal was a killer and when the Habs got the second the B's were on their heels.

Wednesday is just a crapshoot. I won't be surprised if we get an OT thriller like 2011 (ideally with the same result).
   525. PASTE Thinks This Trout Kid Might Be OK (Zeth) Posted: May 13, 2014 at 09:11 AM (#4705672)
Game 7 overtime is awesome. The refs absolutely refuse to call a penalty for anything short of murder and it devolves into a street fight with a puck bouncing around.

Don't forget to nearly double your life savings by calling your bookie and putting them all on the Rangers tonight!
   526. Pooty Lederhosen Posted: May 13, 2014 at 10:08 AM (#4705730)
I thought the Bruins really played well last night for the first 35 minutes or so. The 1st period giveaway that led to the goal was a killer and when the Habs got the second the B's were on their heels.

The Bruins certainly showed moments where it looked like it belonged on the ice. Some of those two minute plus periods where Montreal couldn't get the puck out of the zone were pretty classic Bruins play style coming to the fore. Unfortunately it had equally lengthy stretches where it looked like the Sault Ste. Marie HS junior varsity team.

But, the Canadiens played a great game. I can't say that the Bruins lost the game so much as the Canadiens won it fair and square. The Bruins were outplayed, outhustled, outhit, outshot and outskated. Period.

That said, Milan Lucic has got to hit the empty nets that gape open in front of him like a baby bird's beak waiting for it's ma to puke into. Seriously, how many whiffs, pucks hopping over his stick, etc. will he have this series? Contrast that with Vanek simply shoving a puck into the empty space during the scramble in front of the net for the third goal (I think). Had Lucic been presented with the same chance the puck would've crashed off the penalty box glass.

There are way too many instances where a Bruin with a good but not great shot opportunity tries to make a gorgeous, highlight-worthy pass to set up a once-in-a-lifetime shooting chance. Stop it. Shoot the puck. The guy who you're passing to may get that glorious chance off the rebound. On the rare instances where the pass does land on the guy's stick, too often the shot is delayed enough to let a Canadien block it anyway. More often the pass goes awry. It's no surprise that the guys causing fits are guys like Krug, Dougie, Ericsson and Smith, who don't hesitate to let it rip if they're <40 feet from the net.

Marchand, I think the Canadiens know that you're going to try the inside-out move. How about something different that may end with a better outcome than the puck sliding into the corner and you sliding on your honker?

The Bruins have hit the post/bar so often that my household swear jar holds a ton more money. I hope the Game 5 Bruins show up for Game 7.

   527. PASTE Thinks This Trout Kid Might Be OK (Zeth) Posted: May 13, 2014 at 01:44 PM (#4705919)
Speculation is all over the internet that the bell tolls for Dan Bylsma tonight. I expect he'll be unemployed for about five minutes.

Probably the allure of coaching Crosby and Malkin will attract experienced coaches, but Pittsburgh is a no-win situation for a coach. If I were someone like Trotz I wouldn't be interested in a Pittsburgh offer except as leverage to jack up my asking price.
   528. Langer Monk Posted: May 13, 2014 at 05:41 PM (#4706108)
household swear jar


If I had one of those, it'd be full before the end of Opening Night.
   529. PASTE Thinks This Trout Kid Might Be OK (Zeth) Posted: May 13, 2014 at 08:54 PM (#4706179)
I expect Bylsma to be the Canucks' head coach within a few days.
   530. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: May 13, 2014 at 08:57 PM (#4706181)
zeth

don't claim to know pro hockey but the penguins have flamed out enough in the playoffs that something has to change

either you blow up the team or change the coach.
   531. odds are meatwad is drunk Posted: May 13, 2014 at 09:30 PM (#4706199)
so cooke starts next year suspended correct?
   532. PASTE Thinks This Trout Kid Might Be OK (Zeth) Posted: May 13, 2014 at 09:35 PM (#4706204)
so cooke starts next year suspended correct?


Of course. I actually would not be 100% shocked to see him banned, or at least released and blackballed.

Harveys: Quoting myself in response to your post:

I'm ambivalent about Bylsma, but look forward to his firing as the next step toward a regime change. The coach gets fired first, then the GM; that's the way it usually goes.


I'm not optimistic about changing the coach helping anything because (a) Shero is the problem, and (b) One of the reasons Shero is the problem is that he lets Crosby have too much say in personnel, and thus the next coach will be hired only with Crosby's blessing. It won't likely be anyone that non-hardcore hockey fans have ever heard of.
   533. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: May 13, 2014 at 09:41 PM (#4706208)
zeth

if they fire the coach maybe the goalie will also finally get the boot.

he seems to have massive outages in the playoffs
   534. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: May 13, 2014 at 09:43 PM (#4706209)
3-1 series lead and lose 2 on home ice

if nobody gets fired after what, 4 straight playoffs where they underachieve then ownership is abdicating its responsbility
   535. zack Posted: May 13, 2014 at 09:51 PM (#4706216)

Probably the allure of coaching Crosby and Malkin will attract experienced coaches, but Pittsburgh is a no-win situation for a coach. If I were someone like Trotz I wouldn't be interested in a Pittsburgh offer except as leverage to jack up my asking price.

I'd rather have the Pens job than the Canucks or Caps jobs. Are there any others already open? The 'nucks are a shitshow of an organization, and the Capitals still think it's 2009.

if nobody gets fired after what, 4 straight playoffs where they underachieve then ownership is abdicating its responsbility

As someone who picked the Rangers to win this series, I'm not really sure they did underachieve this year. Sure, 109 points but how many do they get anywhere but the Metro?
   536. PASTE Thinks This Trout Kid Might Be OK (Zeth) Posted: May 13, 2014 at 09:54 PM (#4706221)
zeth

if they fire the coach maybe the goalie will also finally get the boot.


Yes, Fleury is going to be traded or released (probably traded, someone will pick up half his salary and take a flier, I would suppose).

Let the record show that Fleury's save percentage in these playoffs was .915, spot on league average like he always is--and this despite the fact the Penguins consistently give up quality scoring chances. He is not the problem and has never been the problem. I don't mind him being scapegoated since goalies don't matter, but he was worshipped too much when they won the Cup and he is getting a raw deal now.
   537. PASTE Thinks This Trout Kid Might Be OK (Zeth) Posted: May 13, 2014 at 09:56 PM (#4706223)
As someone who picked the Rangers to win this series, I'm not really sure they did underachieve this year. Sure, 109 points but how many do they get anywhere but the Metro?


Step back and look at this from the big picture--it is very rare for one team to have two all-time greats in their primes at the same time. Go back and review the record of the lucky few who have. The Penguins have accomplished little in light of this, and that they consistently lose to lower seeds in the playoffs is a fact.
   538. odds are meatwad is drunk Posted: May 13, 2014 at 10:44 PM (#4706252)
I suspect the 3rd will get ugly between the hawks and the wild.
   539. SteveF Posted: May 13, 2014 at 11:40 PM (#4706280)
I have to admit I'm rooting for the Wild in this game. They really deserve a shot at a game 7 with the way they've played this series.
   540. zack Posted: May 14, 2014 at 12:13 AM (#4706303)
That's a shitty way to get eliminated, though that was a nifty move by Kane to end it. The Wild really deserved at least a game 7.
   541. SteveF Posted: May 14, 2014 at 12:17 AM (#4706305)
Kane has really impressed me. Usually that kind of player disappears in the playoffs, but he has (almost) always found a way to stay productive. He must watch an absolute ton of video to figure out where the space is on the ice.
   542. zack Posted: May 14, 2014 at 12:23 AM (#4706310)
There are a lot of games against good defense where he's literally the only guy on the team who can do anything at all offensively. A few games this series, and the knockout games against Canada in both of the last Olympics are pretty good examples.
   543. odds are meatwad is drunk Posted: May 14, 2014 at 02:20 AM (#4706363)
very ugly win for the hawks but I will take it.
   544. steagles Posted: May 14, 2014 at 02:47 AM (#4706367)
Step back and look at this from the big picture--it is very rare for one team to have two all-time greats in their primes at the same time. Go back and review the record of the lucky few who have. The Penguins have accomplished little in light of this, and that they consistently lose to lower seeds in the playoffs is a fact.
what does that have to do with the penguins? letang is pretty good, but despite what he's going to be paid for the next 8 years, he's not an all-time great, or even very close to being an all-time great.
   545. Langer Monk Posted: May 14, 2014 at 08:13 AM (#4706399)
I assume he means Malkin.
   546. PASTE Thinks This Trout Kid Might Be OK (Zeth) Posted: May 14, 2014 at 08:20 AM (#4706403)
LOL, Letang is a second-pairing defenseman.

Edit: I read STEAGLES' post as a jab at Crosby, which I expect it was because I hang around Flyers fans a lot.
   547. HMS Moses Taylor Posted: May 14, 2014 at 10:20 AM (#4706457)
Wild dominated the game last night, and might have had the overall edge in the series (slightly ahead in Corsi and Fenwick). Crawford stole last night's game, which makes it probably the 4th game so far these playoffs where he's won (games 3 and 6 against StL and games 2 and 6 against Minn). And while I can't really explain it and don't totally buy into the "clutch" narrative (but I also don't completely dismiss it), there's just something about the Hawks and their ability to close out teams, be it luck, their system, their talent, whatever. Since Q has been the coach, the Hawks are 12-2 in games where they can eliminate their opponent. In those games, Kane has 11 goals and 6 assists. Crawford is 6-1, with a .950 sv% and 1.40GAA. They have some sort of killer instinct that is hard to quantify, but seems to exist at some level.

Kane has really impressed me. Usually that kind of player disappears in the playoffs, but he has (almost) always found a way to stay productive.

What type of player are you talking about? An undersized one? A offensive playmaker with a less than stellar defensive reputation? I'm not sure what type of narrative should exist around him, but he's a likely HOFer who's always been a great playoff performer (last night was his 6th OT playoff goal and 5th series game winning goal (3 in OT that I can think of off the top of my head; last night and steagles and Shredder can tell you about the other 2).
   548. HMS Moses Taylor Posted: May 14, 2014 at 10:38 AM (#4706475)
so cooke starts next year suspended correct?

I'm not so sure. Oduya didn't get hurt and even with his reputation, a lot of the punishment does seem to be based on injury. It was funny taht he didn't think it was a penalty, but even funnier that he's the one who got beat on the OT goal.

Speaking of that OT goal, Q had to notice that Regin was on the ice for both Hawks goals and that once again Kane scored with Handzus on the bench. I won't waste my time wishing for Zus to not play, but I do hope Q stops anchoring Kane with Zus (Kane spent the majority of his 5v5 time on ice this year with Zus and had only 1 goal - and that was a breakaway late in the year that had nothing to do with Zus).

Let the record show that Fleury's save percentage in these playoffs was .915, spot on league average like he always is--and this despite the fact the Penguins consistently give up quality scoring chances. He is not the problem and has never been the problem.

That .915 is worse than the other goalies in the second round besides Bryz and Quick and is the best he's done in the playoffs since they won the Cup (actually better than that year's .908 and only the 3rd time he's been above .900 in his 8 years). And you can continue to harp on Letang's contract all you want, but Fleury's contract *this year* had a negative impact on the Pens' depth, so yeah, he was part of the problem this year. IOW, he was slightly less of the problem this season than the previous 4 early losses (those sv% going from last year back are .883, .834, .899, .891). So in 8 years, he's been above average once (.933 the year they lost to Det), exactly average once and below average 6 times (in total .905 playoff vs .910 regular season).
   549. Pooty Lederhosen Posted: May 14, 2014 at 10:42 AM (#4706478)
Kane's game-winner last night impressed the living poop out of me. He had to beat his defender to the puck. He had to keep body position to keep the puck on his stick. He needed to get around the goalie and he needed to put the puck in the net. It was a fantastic display of skill, strength and smarts. I'd love to have him on my team.
   550. Random Transaction Generator Posted: May 14, 2014 at 10:52 AM (#4706489)
Kane is what I hope (as a Leafs fan) Kessel wants to become.
I think he's got the same scoring touch, speed, and flare that Kane shows, but he seems to be missing that extra gear of effort.
If you lean on Kessel hard enough, he tends to wilt (though he seemed to break through Boston smothering in the playoffs last year after being their b_!_tch for so long).
If you lean on Kane hard enough, he seems to get pissed and plays even harder.
   551. zack Posted: May 14, 2014 at 10:53 AM (#4706490)
You can't lean on Kane, you have to find him first.
   552. HMS Moses Taylor Posted: May 14, 2014 at 11:31 AM (#4706527)
Kane is what I hope (as a Leafs fan) Kessel wants to become.

Kessel is a year older than Kane. I wonder what Kane would be like if he were *the guy* on a team instead of one of the guys. I do hope the Hawks can extend him and Toews before they hit UFA after next season, but if he were to leave it would likely be for that sort of reason.

You can't lean on Kane, you have to find him first.

I think the Wild put Kane on his ass twice this series. Which is two more times than he got put on his ass during the regular season.
   553. DA Baracus Posted: May 14, 2014 at 11:32 AM (#4706531)
The Penguins have $55M committed to next year's estimated $71M cap, on only 14 players. I really hope Shero stays.
   554. HMS Moses Taylor Posted: May 14, 2014 at 11:42 AM (#4706544)
I was going to say earlier, but forgot. The Central division is just loaded right now, and is going to be brutal the next few years. Dallas, Minnesota and Colorado all have a bunch of young talent and all took pretty big steps forward this year. The Hawks and Blues are older, but still have plenty of youth mixed in. The Preds are also going to be interesting to watch, but are going to really struggle to even make the playoffs any time soon.
   555. PASTE Thinks This Trout Kid Might Be OK (Zeth) Posted: May 14, 2014 at 11:58 AM (#4706563)
The Penguins have $55M committed to next year's estimated $71M cap, on only 14 players. I really hope Shero stays.


Rumor out of Pittsburgh is that they intend to unload Fleury and make a serious run at Ryan Miller.

I want to cry, but there aren't enough tears.
   556. PASTE Thinks This Trout Kid Might Be OK (Zeth) Posted: May 14, 2014 at 12:06 PM (#4706576)
That .915 is worse than the other goalies in the second round besides Bryz and Quick and is the best he's done in the playoffs since they won the Cup (actually better than that year's .908 and only the 3rd time he's been above .900 in his 8 years). And you can continue to harp on Letang's contract all you want, but Fleury's contract *this year* had a negative impact on the Pens' depth, so yeah, he was part of the problem this year. IOW, he was slightly less of the problem this season than the previous 4 early losses (those sv% going from last year back are .883, .834, .899, .891). So in 8 years, he's been above average once (.933 the year they lost to Det), exactly average once and below average 6 times (in total .905 playoff vs .910 regular season).


Fleury's contract is a problem to the extent that all highly paid goalies' contracts are a problem, I agree. The Penguins do need to unload him because of the media/fan pressure, but if I were acquiring a goalie's contract for next year I'd rather have Fleury than Corey Crawford. Same performance for less cap space.

Well... I don't know if I would actually rather have Fleury than someone else. Consistency (shift-to-shift, game-to-game, month-to-month) is definitely a thing that varies from goalie to goalie; goalie consistency may be plotted on a spectrum that runs from Marc-Andre Fleury to Martin Brodeur. I probably would pay a bit of a preumium for a more consistent goaltender.

I know it doesn't feel true that in the long run all NHL goalies perform the same, but it plainly is. Nearly all NHL goalies post about the same save percentage, over time. The only exceptions are Lundqvist, who seems to consistently post percentages about .005-.010 higher than average, and whoever is goaltending for the Bruins (G Bruins has consistently posted high save percentages basically since the day Chara arrived there.)
   557. Pooty Lederhosen Posted: May 14, 2014 at 12:39 PM (#4706603)
The only exceptions are Lundqvist, who seems to consistently post percentages about .005-.010 higher than average, and whoever is goaltending for the Bruins (G Bruins has consistently posted high save percentages basically since the day Chara arrived there.)


Here are the Bruins' save percentages since 2003-4.

2003-4 .919
2004-5 na
2005-6 .904
2006-7 .900
2007-8 .916
2008-9 .927
2009-10 .923
2010-11 .932
2011-12 .921
2012-13 .926
2013-14 .929

The jump in save percentage was between the 2006-7 and the 2007-8 seasons. Chara was present during both. The addition that seems to have made the difference is Claude Julien, who introduced the team defense-first system that has characterized this team when he took the bench in 2007-8.
   558. PASTE Thinks This Trout Kid Might Be OK (Zeth) Posted: May 14, 2014 at 12:44 PM (#4706608)
Interesting; for some reason I always had it in my mind that the jump coincides with Sasquatch's arrival.

If the conclusion (Julien's system noticeably increases save percentage) is reliable then it suggests Julien is the best coach alive and worth however much money he wants.
   559. Pooty Lederhosen Posted: May 14, 2014 at 12:59 PM (#4706616)
Or it could be that the increase in save percentage is due to several factors cohering, including a new defense-first system, personnel willing to buy into the system (one reason why Seguin and Kessler were deemed expendable is their perceived indifference to defense) a front office eager to find players that fit it, and last but not least, better-than-average goalies.

My point is that I still don't buy your assertion that goalies are, with rare exceptions, entirely fungible and that a single defenseman could turn sow's ears into silk purses.
   560. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: May 14, 2014 at 01:12 PM (#4706623)
If the conclusion (Julien's system noticeably increases save percentage) is reliable then it suggests Julien is the best coach alive and worth however much money he wants.


As a Bruin fan I'll take Claude Julien every day and twice on Sunday. He has done a terrific job. The word you hear on broadcasts all the time is "responsible" in that the B's players are always responsible defensively. There are other great coaches out there that I don't see enough to have an opinion of but I love Julien and I think the overwhelming majority of Bruin fans feel the same.

I'm eager for tonight's game to start. I really think we're looking at more than 60 minutes.
   561. odds are meatwad is drunk Posted: May 14, 2014 at 01:26 PM (#4706639)
I am pulling for Boston to go down tonight, helps clear the way for the hawks to repeat.
   562. HMS Moses Taylor Posted: May 14, 2014 at 01:30 PM (#4706647)
if I were acquiring a goalie's contract for next year I'd rather have Fleury than Corey Crawford. Same performance for less cap space. and The only exceptions are Lundqvist,

Regular Season, sv%, GAA
MAF .910, 2.62
Crawford .914, 2.36
Lundquist .920, 2.26

Playoffs, sv%, GAA
MAF .905, 2.68
Crawford .926, 2.02
Lundquist .922, 2.23

Cap Hit 13/14, 14/15
MAF $5mil, $5mil
Crawford $2.7mil, $6mil
Lundquist $6.875mil, $8mil

Keep ####### that chicken.
   563. zack Posted: May 14, 2014 at 04:33 PM (#4706862)
The Central division is just loaded right now, and is going to be brutal the next few years. Dallas, Minnesota and Colorado ... Hawks and Blues are older ... Preds

I love how no one even remembers that the Jets are in that division, me included.
   564. HMS Moses Taylor Posted: May 14, 2014 at 04:47 PM (#4706882)
Oh, I remember*. They're just not worth including in that discussion yet.

*I remembered when I went to double check the Preds were still in the Central.
   565. Robert in Manhattan Beach Posted: May 14, 2014 at 04:52 PM (#4706890)
No real thoughts on tonight's game. The Ducks are better and they are killing the Kings, no surprise. No reason to think they will let up.

Perhaps the best chance is that it has been hot as balls here all week, the ice is bound to be sh!tty the rest of the way. Perhaps that will help equalize the talent somewhat and give the good guys a chance.
   566. Shredder Posted: May 14, 2014 at 05:14 PM (#4706910)
Perhaps the best chance is that it has been hot as balls here all week, the ice is bound to be sh!tty the rest of the way. Perhaps that will help equalize the talent somewhat and give the good guys a chance.
That favors the Ducks. They're used to playing on the worst ice in the league.
   567. steagles Posted: May 14, 2014 at 05:18 PM (#4706913)
Edit: I read STEAGLES' post as a jab at Crosby, which I expect it was because I hang around Flyers fans a lot.
nope. i hate the guy, but he's legitimately great. i just don't see a 2nd guy on the pens who could reasonably be considered an all-time player.
I am pulling for Boston to go down tonight, helps clear the way for the hawks to repeat.
if boston wins, the draft pick they traded to philly for andres meszaros goes from being a 3rd to a 2nd. so, i'm in the tank for them.
   568. SteveF Posted: May 14, 2014 at 05:28 PM (#4706923)
What type of player are you talking about? An undersized one? A offensive playmaker with a less than stellar defensive reputation?

An undersized player who isn't particularly strong on the puck that relies on speed and space to be successful. What amazes me is how he finds that space. I realize he is fast, but there are plenty (well, not a dime a dozen, but most teams have a player who has Kane's speed) of guys in the league as fast as he is that simply can't find the space to be consistently successful in the playoffs.
   569. Shredder Posted: May 14, 2014 at 06:23 PM (#4706949)
nope. i hate the guy, but he's legitimately great. i just don't see a 2nd guy on the pens who could reasonably be considered an all-time player.
So, let's say there was a hypothetical player who had the following accomplishments:

1) Calder Trohpy Winner
2) Hart Trophy Winner
3) Two time Hart Trophy runner up
4) Two time Ross Trophy Winner
5) Conn Smythe award winner
6) Scored better than a point per game in all but season in his career.
7) Career averages of 1.22 PPG in the regular season and 1.16 PPG in the playoffs.

That's not an all-time great to you? You don't think it would be reasonable for anyone to think that player is an all-time great? I highly doubt there are eligible players with those accomplishments who are not in the Hall of Fame, and seeing as how this player is only 27, assuming he doesn't go the full Kovalchuk, he's quite likely to finish with counting stats in the 500 goal, 1,200 point range. You wouldn't consider that player an all-time player? Moreover, you would assume that someone was talking about Chris Letang as the best player on the Penguins not named Sidney?
   570. PASTE Thinks This Trout Kid Might Be OK (Zeth) Posted: May 14, 2014 at 06:39 PM (#4706959)
http://prohockeytalk.nbcsports.com/2014/05/14/now-is-the-time-to-explore-trading-letang/

It goes without saying that I wholeheartedly support this. I find it hard to believe anyone would take Letang's monstrous contract even if the Penguins didn't want anything in return, but all it takes is one fool...

Anyway, Letang isn't going anywhere as he has a no-movement clause. (Technically it doesn't kick in for a few weeks, but there's no chance the Penguins are going to go back on their agreement not to trade him.)
   571. SteveF Posted: May 14, 2014 at 06:55 PM (#4706966)
Anyway, Letang isn't going anywhere as he has a no-movement clause.

Can't even send him to the AHL!
   572. Shredder Posted: May 14, 2014 at 06:58 PM (#4706972)
Technically it doesn't kick in for a few weeks, but there's no chance the Penguins are going to go back on their agreement not to trade him.
Is there a separate agreement outside the NMC? I mean, it's not like this sort of stuff doesn't happen. Ask Lubomir Visnovsky. I think the Kings traded him like a day before his clause kicked in.

Edit: I looked it up. It was actually two days.
   573. steagles Posted: May 14, 2014 at 07:01 PM (#4706973)
So, let's say there was a hypothetical player who had the following accomplishments:

1) Calder Trohpy Winner
2) Hart Trophy Winner
3) Two time Hart Trophy runner up
4) Two time Ross Trophy Winner
5) Conn Smythe award winner
6) Scored better than a point per game in all but season in his career.
7) Career averages of 1.22 PPG in the regular season and 1.16 PPG in the playoffs.

That's not an all-time great to you? You don't think it would be reasonable for anyone to think that player is an all-time great? I highly doubt there are eligible players with those accomplishments who are not in the Hall of Fame, and seeing as how this player is only 27, assuming he doesn't go the full Kovalchuk, he's quite likely to finish with counting stats in the 500 goal, 1,200 point range. You wouldn't consider that player an all-time player? Moreover, you would assume that someone was talking about Chris Letang as the best player on the Penguins not named Sidney?
was that hypothetical player's name alexander mogilny?

i'm not saying malkin's not a good scorer, but he is not even close to being an inner-circle type player at this point in his career.
   574. PASTE Thinks This Trout Kid Might Be OK (Zeth) Posted: May 14, 2014 at 07:07 PM (#4706977)
Malkin has his issues, but he is waaaaaaaaay better than Alexander Mogilny was.

Is there a separate agreement outside the NMC? I mean, it's not like this sort of stuff doesn't happen. Ask Lubomir Visnovsky. I think the Kings traded him like a day before his clause kicked in.


It was widely reported that there was a handshake agreement to that effect, yes.
   575. Russlan is fond of Dillon Gee Posted: May 14, 2014 at 09:52 PM (#4707062)
Both the Bruins and Penguins are out despite having the more talented squad. Lundquist and Price were the better goalies though.
   576. steagles Posted: May 14, 2014 at 10:20 PM (#4707078)
Malkin has his issues, but he is waaaaaaaaay better than Alexander Mogilny was.
no, he's really not. he might not even be better than mogilny, period. 1993 mogilny was a beast.
   577. PASTE Thinks This Trout Kid Might Be OK (Zeth) Posted: May 14, 2014 at 10:28 PM (#4707081)
Montreal played a great series, you have to hand it to them. They ought to handle the Rangers with ease.
   578. The Clarence Thomas of BBTF (scott) Posted: May 14, 2014 at 11:48 PM (#4707115)
Ugh, it doesn't help that the Bruins played like ####. That was not a fun series to watch.
   579. odds are meatwad is drunk Posted: May 15, 2014 at 01:44 AM (#4707143)
Looks like the champ will be coming from the west this year.
   580. odds are meatwad is drunk Posted: May 15, 2014 at 01:56 AM (#4707145)
I feel like the central is going to be a slug fest for the next few years. Almost every team looks to be getting better in the future.
   581. HMS Moses Taylor Posted: May 15, 2014 at 09:30 AM (#4707224)
An undersized player who isn't particularly strong on the puck that relies on speed and space to be successful. What amazes me is how he finds that space. I realize he is fast, but there are plenty (well, not a dime a dozen, but most teams have a player who has Kane's speed) of guys in the league as fast as he is that simply can't find the space to be consistently successful in the playoffs.

This really undersells Kane's talents. For one, he's quite strong on the puck (he might have had that knock early in his career, but that's just not true anymore). And while he's fast, you're right there's faster guys (Victor Stahlberg, for one former teammate), but he's got great vision, great hands, etc.

Of course, it's funny having this discussion alongside the Malkin/Mogilny one. Kane's not a PPG guy for his career, and he might never seriously challenge for a Ross or Hart trophy.
   582. zack Posted: May 15, 2014 at 09:47 AM (#4707251)
I'm not normally one for caring about "disrespecting the game" with bat flips or whatever, but I do think that Lucic threatening guys in the handshake line is disrespecting hockey.
   583. HMS Moses Taylor Posted: May 15, 2014 at 09:59 AM (#4707273)
Game 1 of the ECF is 1pm ET Saturday and Game 1 of the WCF is 3pm ET Sunday regardless of a Ducks or Kings win.

---

So for all that talk about a repeat Final 4 from last year, if the Ducks win there will only be 1 repeat participant. Also, as someone without a rooting interest, I find it amusing the Kings have had 2 3 game losing streaks and a 6 game winning streak in the playoffs.
   584. Greg K Posted: May 15, 2014 at 10:20 AM (#4707299)
I'm not normally one for caring about "disrespecting the game" with bat flips or whatever, but I do think that Lucic threatening guys in the handshake line is disrespecting hockey.

Yeah I've always disliked Lucic because he's a Bruin. But it's nice to have those rare times when your laundry rooting matches up with your human rooting.
   585. Pooty Lederhosen Posted: May 15, 2014 at 10:48 AM (#4707331)
Welp, I have to hand it to the Canadiens. The team that played better won that series. I don't know exactly how they did it, but the forecheck gave the Bruins lots of problems, they certainly played a defensive scheme that stifled the Bruins' offense - I haven't looked at the blocked shots numbers yet, but it sure seemed like there were a ton, and I'm going to be haunted by the number of times that the Bruins had the Canadiens back in a shell-shocked posture only to make one extra pass that would get disrupted by the defense, not to mention the number of pings and open net misses - and Carey Price was magnificent. Congrats to the Montrealers.

My DVR stopped recording with 8 minutes left in the game so I missed whatever Lucic did, but if he hit anyone it was probably the first hit - net, opponent's body, whatever - of significance that he made in two games, at least.

Go Blackhawks!
   586. HMS Moses Taylor Posted: May 15, 2014 at 10:54 AM (#4707343)
My DVR stopped recording with 8 minutes left in the game so I missed whatever Lucic did, but if he hit anyone it was probably the first hit - net, opponent's body, whatever - of significance that he made in two games, at least.

Not exactly...

When asked about what he said to Weise, Lucic explained that the real unsportsmanlike thing to do was talk about it.

“That’s said on the ice so it’ll stay on the ice, so if he wants to be a baby about it, he can make it public,” Lucic said.

Unfortunately for Lucic, Weise did want to be a baby about it, probably because he didn't have any respect for Lucic after Lucic opted not to show him any, but what do I know? Anyway. According to Weise, Lucic told him, "I'm going to [expletive] kill you next year." (Note: Bruce Arthur says Weise didn't officially "tell" him -- he just guessed correctly.)


FWIW, Marchand also finally hit something last night.
   587. zack Posted: May 15, 2014 at 11:18 AM (#4707378)
They should use this video to teach kids how to hip check.
   588. Pooty Lederhosen Posted: May 15, 2014 at 11:38 AM (#4707408)
Lucic's roots in Vancouver were never more apparent.
   589. Greg K Posted: May 15, 2014 at 11:46 AM (#4707416)
FWIW, Marchand also finally hit something last night.

I thought I saw that live. But no one seemed to react to it (least of all Plekanec) so I figured it must have just been my imagination. Didn't one of the Bruins also squirt Subban with water from the bench during live play?

Lucic calling Weise a baby is funny.

   590. The Clarence Thomas of BBTF (scott) Posted: May 15, 2014 at 12:20 PM (#4707443)
Man, if Teemu isn't in the playoffs anymore I'll only be able to root for asteroids to hit Montreal and Chicago during the conference finals.
   591. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: May 15, 2014 at 01:47 PM (#4707537)
Didn't one of the Bruins also squirt Subban with water from the bench during live play?


Thornton in Game Five.

We didn't exactly cover ourselves in glory this series with some of this BS. A lot of it I don't mind, particularly most of what Marchand does. He's not much different from a Claude Lemieux, an Esa Tikkanen, a Ken Linseman and many many other guys. The Thornton thing was unacceptable and if Looch really did flap his gums during the handshake line I'm with Greg, that's disrespectful to hockey.

Subban is probably my least favorite player in hockey but he was a beast this series. The Bruins just didn't have an answer for him at all. By Game Three my heart was in my throat every time he got the puck.
   592. Pooty Lederhosen Posted: May 15, 2014 at 02:40 PM (#4707595)
Subban is probably my least favorite player in hockey but he was a beast this series. The Bruins just didn't have an answer for him at all. By Game Three my heart was in my throat every time he got the puck.


He's definitely don't like him but would love him on my team. He's a much more talented Marchand, really. Cooke, Ovechkin and Kaleta are my triumvirate of hate. I don't want them on the ice, period.
   593. Russlan is fond of Dillon Gee Posted: May 15, 2014 at 02:50 PM (#4707603)
That Marchand shot from 586 is really awful.
   594. Robert in Manhattan Beach Posted: May 15, 2014 at 02:52 PM (#4707604)
No idea how the Kings won that game last night but I guess I'll take it. It would be fun if they could somehow steal Game 7. I wonder if they would be the first team to survive two three game losing steaks in the playoffs.
   595. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: May 15, 2014 at 02:56 PM (#4707610)
Oh I'll take Subban all day every day and twice on Sunday. Unless he's wearing black and gold I'm not going to like him though.
   596. Shredder Posted: May 16, 2014 at 12:10 AM (#4707936)
No idea how the Kings won that game last night but I guess I'll take it. It would be fun if they could somehow steal Game 7. I wonder if they would be the first team to survive two three game losing steaks in the playoffs.
Like basically every game against the Ducks this season and playoffs, they were completely outplayed,and somehow managed to end up with one more goal at the end. The Ducks have clearly been the better team all year, but the Kings only have to do it one more time. The sad thing is even if they win, they get a team against whom they've won twice in the last 11 matchups. I'd really like to see the Kings win the first playoff freeway faceoff, but they're out in the next round even if they advance.
   597. Robert in Manhattan Beach Posted: May 16, 2014 at 04:38 AM (#4707972)
I'd really like to see the Kings win the first playoff freeway faceoff, but they're out in the next round even if they advance.

Totally agree.

I splurged on some tickets behind the Kings bench for tomorrow's game (I guess it's tonight's game at this hour). So count three more Kings fans in Honda center.
   598. HMS Moses Taylor Posted: May 16, 2014 at 10:36 AM (#4708059)
Reports are both Shero and Bylsma are out. Press conference this morning.

---

Oh I'll take Subban all day every day and twice on Sunday. Unless he's wearing black and gold I'm not going to like him though.

I can kinda see why Bruins fans might not like him, but I'd think it'd be in the begrudingly respect category, not in the only love when he's on your team category (like a Marchand). As a hockey fan, I ####### love him and everything about him. He's someone all hockey fans should like, IMO.
   599. PASTE Thinks This Trout Kid Might Be OK (Zeth) Posted: May 16, 2014 at 10:50 AM (#4708072)
Today is a dark day for Flyers, Rangers, and Capitals fans.
   600. DA Baracus Posted: May 16, 2014 at 10:57 AM (#4708079)
Today is a dark day for Flyers, Rangers, and Capitals fans.


Not sad to seem them go but when you look at their cap situation and lack of a farm system, their replacements aren't coming into a good situation. Crosby, Malkin and Letang alone take up a third of their cap, and the rest of the roster has some form of a NTC or NMC clause. Good luck. And then there's this:

Sources told the Tribune-Review the players weren't happy with the length of practices, the number of meetings and a general lack of fun atmosphere around the team this season. Specifically, Crosby and Malkin were not happy with the perceived criticism they received from Bylsma during team meetings.


Hire Tortorella!
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