Archive for the ‘News’ Category

Montreal Canadiens v Ottawa Senators - Game Three

The Ottawa Senators lost one of their powerplay quarterbacks today, as Sergei Gonchar signed a two-year deal worth $10 million with the Dallas Stars.

CBC reported the news:

“Sergei is a high-end offensive defenseman who can quarterback a power play and help generate offense from the blue line,” new Stars general manager Jim Nill said in a statement.

Gonchar spent the last three seasons with the Senators. Gonchar had three goals and 24 assists in 45 games the past season, with his assist total fifth best among all NHL blue-liners. He added six assists in Ottawa’s 10 playoff games.

I don’t know how many years left Gonchar has an elite offensive defensman, but with the KHL looming as an option, Dallas was smart to take a shot with him. You know he’s a guy you can put on the PP, and you can count on him grabbing you some points. And with salary cap space, I like Jim Nill’s first splash as Stars’ GM.

St. Louis Blues v Los Angeles Kings - Game Three

Andy McDonald is still playing at a high level in the National Hockey League, and could undoubtedly continue to do so, but he’s making the decision to retire early. It felt like every time things seemed to be going perfectly for him he ran into injury troubles, the biggest concern of which is the damage being done to his brain.

Andy Strickland first reported the news here.

McDonald had five documented concussions over the course of an 11-year NHL career, including two with the St. Louis Blues. The threat of another head injury not only ending his career but also the potential long-term effects began consuming the former All-Star.

“The last few years too much of the focus became worrying about the next hit. I was always thinking about it.” Said McDonald. Read the rest of this entry »

Dallas Stars v Vancouver Canucks

Elliotte Friedman was first out with the news today (or so I think, not that it really matters), but it sounds like it’s official: visors will be grandfathered into the NHL.

What “grandfathered” means in this case is that if you don’t wear one now and you’re already an NHL player, you’ll never be forced to put on one. But all rookies coming into the league from now on will, which really isn’t a big deal. Wherever they’re coming from already made them wear one (or a cage), so they’ll survive. And their eyes will too! Read the rest of this entry »

New York Rangers v Boston Bruins - Game Two

I’m of the mind that John Tortorella would make one hell of a junior coach. I’ll elaborate on that in a second.

Today came news via ESPN’s Katie Strang that John Tortorella has been fired as the head coach of the New York Rangers, after a tumultuous, disappointing season for the blueshirts. Many, including myself, had them pegged to win the Eastern Conference before the season, yet they limped into the playoffs as a six-seed, snuck by round one and got dumped in round two. He’s been behind the bench since 2008-09, taking over for Tom Renney.

Here’s why I said Torts would be a great junior coach: he treats players like kids. His motivational tactics are very similar to what you see used with 16-20 year olds. If you aren’t doing what he wants you to do, he takes away your ice time so now you can’t get a college scholarship and makes it harder to get out of his dog house. He takes a small, bad snowball, and rolls it down a hill of awful snow. Read the rest of this entry »

Pittsburgh Penguins v Ottawa Senators - Game Four

A couple months ago Jason Spezza was recovering from back surgery when news came out that he had suffered a setback. Well actually, news came out that “his recovery was talking longer than expected.”

That’s because he messed up his MCL in rehab, which means he was likely braced up in playoffs, which is pretty crazy when you consider his back was still on the mend too. Honestly, what would the hat trick of terrible body parts to have injured as a hockey player be (brain excluded)? Knee, back and…shoulder? Foot? Hip? Either way, he’s almost there.

The news isn’t all bad though:

He should still get in a relatively full summer of training. Nobody gets started this soon anyway.

New York Rangers v Washington Capitals - Game One

I understand that Brad Richards has not played well for the Rangers in the eyes of John Tortorella. There’s a reason he’s been demoted and given minimal minutes. But now it’s come to this:

With this move, we’re left to believe one or a couple of a few things about the well-compensated captain’s situation:

A) John Tortorella is right right in his assessment that the Rangers are better served with Brad Richards not playing at all. They’re better off with Arron Asham, or Mats Zuccarello or whoever they decide is more deserving than him.

B) John Tortorella is right that he’s not playing well, but wrong in healthy scratching him because he’s at least better than whichever 12th forward you plug in for him.

C) John Tortorella is entirely wrong (and has likely hurt the play of Richards, or at least the team, with his management of him).

D) John Tortorella likes attention.

Personally, I subscribe to B. I also subscribe to C and D, though. “Over-coaching” is a word that springs to mind.

The point that I made on the podcast about Richards was pretty basic: if you’re John Tortorella, you either believe that Brad Richards is a good NHL player playing poorly, in which case you should play him because good players who’ve been playing badly will have an over-correction of sort to get back to their average (or at least will play closer to how they normally do),

OR,

You believe the player playing badly is just a bad hockey player, in which case this “bad” is normal and you can expect to see more of the same and therefore no correction.

Brad Richards is not a “bad” hockey player. Quite good, in fact.

If Richards has been playing bad (it’s tough to tell given his usage of late, tough to get into a game as a skill guy playing eight minutes), then it’s only a matter of time before he has a good game. By putting him in the stands, you avoid getting the guy’s bounce-back games, piss him off in the process, and in Tortorella’s case, probably make one of your last Become The Center of Attention moves of your time with the Rangers.

I think making him a healthy scratch is intentionally fielding a lesser line-up, which is putting yourself ahead of the team as coach, which is selfish and wrong.

And you?

Vancouver Canucks v San Jose Sharks - Game One

For sale: one quite good, slightly used coach.

The secret to keeping your job in Vancouver is to pay two goalies a combined nine-plus million a year, keep half of that on the bench, and have it overshadow everything your team does all season.

Gillis: “And as the video clearly shows, gentlemen, this is all of you cheating on your wives while simultaneously extorting money. So, who were we talking about firing?”