Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

REU_1924917

Scores

Minnesota 1
NY Rangers 4 (Recap)

Winnipeg 1
Vancouver 2 (Recap)

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Notable Numbers

* Winnipeg Jets forward Evander Kane scored 1 power-play goal against the Vancouver Canucks on Sunday night, a rare blemish for the remarkably spotless Vancouver penalty-kill. Making the feat even rarer: Kane scored his goal with Canucks defenseman Chris Tanev on the ice. The “goal against” brought Tanev’s on-ice four-on-five goal differential – and the 24-year-old defenseman has spent nearly 93 minutes playing in four-on-five situations this season – back to even.

* The Nashville Predators have released promising 19-year-old forward Filip Forsberg to the Swedish U20 men’s ice hockey team for the World Junior Hockey Championships. This year’s tournament will be Forsberg’s third, as the former first round pick won a gold medal at the 2012 tournament and captained the Swedish side to a silver medal in Ufa, Russia this past January.

* The Blackhawks have gone 7-1-2 without Corey Crawford and their incumbent starter is poised to return to the lineup shortly.

* Cam Talbot stopped 24 of 25 shots in a 4-1 Rangers victory over the Minnesota Wild. Might Talbot’s strong play earn him the start in back-to-back games (in favor of struggling perennial Vezina candidate Henrik Lundqvist)? Rangers head coach Alain Vigneault wasn’t tipping his hand after the game

* The Minnesota Wild have seen their once strong underlying numbers go in the wrong direction over the past four or five weeks…

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2013 NHL Stanley Cup Final - Game Three

Mention that Jonathan Toews is playing poorly in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, and an angry mob of advanced statistics people will march on your home carrying charts and graphs. Mention that Jonathan Toews is playing well in the postseason by pointing toward his Corsi and Fenwick numbers, and old sportswriters will roll their eyes and ask if you pay rent while living in your mom’s basement.

Trying to determine why in the heck a player as good as Toews has one goal in 20 playoff games is about as difficult juggling chainsaws with your feet, only instead of feet, you have stumps smothered in baby oil.

During the regular season, Toews was so good at the sport of hockey that he finished fourth in voting for the Hart Trophy. On the strength of a career-best (pro-rated) 23 goals and 48 points in 47 contests and excellent defensive game that won him the Selke Trophy, the captain of the Chicago Blackhawks also received the third-most first-place votes for the Hart.

The Blackhawks won the Presidents’ Trophy with 131.5 (again, pro-rated, obviously) points, which if you round up ties the 1976-77 Montreal Canadiens for the most in a season. Sure, it happened over the course of 48 games so it doesn’t mean as much, but the Blackhawks put forth the NHL’s most dominant season in nearly four decades, and Toews was a major reason the Blackhawks brought hockey back the way Justin Timberlake brought sexy back in that neither brought anything back because it was already there. Read the rest of this entry »

Old NHL boss John Ziegler, granted new franchises to Phil Esposito (TB) and Bruce Firestone (OTT)

My sleep schedule has been messed up over the last week or so due to various hockey tournaments on the other side of the world. Anytime I read anything longer than a blog post, I basically crash, but I had time enough to read this passage out of Money Players from Bruce Dowbiggin, which really is essential lockout reading.

This passage is from the chapter called Hired Gun, and Bob Goodenow’s leadership during the 10-day 1992 player strike, which set the stage for the 1994 lockout.

In Minnesota, GM Bobby Clarke—a former president of the NHLPA—summed up the quandary facing ownership. “It won’t be the poor owners who decide to give up,” Clarke told the staff of the North Stars. “It’ll be the richer owners who want to get back to playing. They can still make money. The poor owners can stay out forever, because they have nothing to lose.” The schism between rich and poor owners threatened the solidarity of the Board of Governors and required [John] Ziegler to do some of his best behind-the-scenes work to conceal the split from players and fans.

In public, Ziegler—coached by his spin doctor, former broadcaster Fraser Kelly—mounted press conferences that portrayed the NHL as a business on the verge of insolvency due to rising player costs. Gone were the boastful days when he told a crowd, “Now if it sounds like I’m a little proud [of selling 87 per cent of our seats], you bet your bippy I’m proud.” Using graphs, pie charts, and occasional tears, Ziegler said that player demands would land the league $150 million in debt within two years. He claimed playoff revenues represented only 8 per cent—$8.8 million—of total revenues. He said the average salary was $379,000 (it was actually $239,000). In one memorable press performance, the dapper, fussy president was reduced to tears at the prospect of an end to Hockey Night in Canada‘s playoff tradition. “I don’t know if our fans will ever forgive us,” he sniffled. “I have difficulty understanding why players want to ruin or irrevocably scar this great season.” What was never explained was how the $450-million business that Ziegler had extolled in glowing terms to expansion applicants in 1990 was now on the brink of insolvency. Or where the $150 million in expansion fees had gone.

The faces and numbers have changed, but I found it amusing that the same themes that run in 2012, are similar to the ones faced in 1992. I’m surprised that the schism between rich and poor owners isn’t being discussed a little bit more. The lockout would need to find some way to benefit owners in Vancouver, Montreal, and the new ones in Toronto who paid $1.3-billion in the spring for Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment, where the Maple Leafs are the flagship property.

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"Golf is easy. Hockey is hard."

Apparently, at a charity golf tournament yesterday, our old pal Scott Gomez (remember him?) nailed a hole-in-one and won a $50,000 SUV.

Here’s the fun part, he won the prize at his own tournament. I’d call collusion but I won’t because that doesn’t make any sense. The unfortunate part is this obviously opens up the opportunity for people like me to make jokes about Scott Gomez not scoring a goal for an entire year and then hitting a hole-in-one and jokes like “maybe he should quit his day job, nyuk, nyuk, nyuk,” and “well the Canadiens have had plenty of time to work on their golf games”. But that would be ridiculous. I mean, what kind of low-rate hockey writer would even call attention to a story like this? I’d say that I’m well above that. (Except the Habs joke. I am absolutely not above making Habs jokes.)

Also, Joey Crabb was there.

I really just wanted an excuse to mention Joey Crabb.

I miss you, Joey Crabb.

We all pretty much know that Roberto Luongo is out of town in Vancouver and it sounds as though he knows it too with this quote from an interview on Vancouver radio
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Written by Derek Snider

Theo Fleury’s autobiography “Playing With Fire” was an instant bestseller with 80,000 copies shipping in the first six weeks after its 2009 release. In the year after the book’s debut, documentary film director Larry Day followed Theo Fleury on his promotional book tour. What Day and his crew captured is an honest and sometimes brutal recount of Fleury’s tumultuous life.

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Reformed uberdiva Ray Emery needs a moment alone

I think most everybody has a little diva in them. It’s the part of you that says, “Bitch, please!” in the face of perceived injustice. The part that says, “I can TOO do this!” in the face of glaring adversity. It’s a good thing to let your inner diva out occasionally to wag her finger at the world.

But, of course, letting your diva out too much leaves you prone to drama and self-absorption. Divas are strong but sometimes so willful, they get in their own way.

No position in hockey is immune from diva-tude, but goalies (and I shamelessly include myself) seem to be just a titch more prone to it.

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