Sabtu, 14 April 2012

New Feature: STATurday with Curtis

Hello internet! Curtis here with possibly the most boring new feature we've ever introduced. But, hey. Our blog. Whateva whateva we do what we want.

So if you've been following our twitter (and I expect you have been), you learned today that I spent all night Thursday researching and analyzing stats. Interestingly enough, that's something I do pretty often. However, Noodles is the only one I share my findings with and we decided it was a shame that my "hard work" goes to waste.

This is an actual screenshot of my actual spreadsheet.

So I'll have a new post every Saturday, and I don't sleep- so if you have a request? Something that's been bugging you, a feeling, or just something you want to know more about, let me know in the comments or on the twitter and I will be that person who does the dirty work for you. I haven't really decided how to format the posts- I don't know how much explanation it needs and I'm kind of wordy.

Enough expository garbage. Here's the first post.


The Impact of Taylor Hall's Absence on Jordan Eberle and the Edmonton Oilers

As the Oilers season wound down, I started to look forward to the end with a certain resignation to the fact that it was going to be another brutal, awful finish. But that wasn't all- I started to realize how much I was beginning to hate watching the Oilers play without Taylor Hall.

Hall is my favourite player, as just about anyone would be able to tell you. This was a rough season. He missed 21 games, including the last 11 games of the season, but still managed to solidify himself as a dangerous scorer and the emotional leader of the Edmonton Oilers. The games without him were tough to watch- Jordan Eberle is by far the most talented player on our team, and while he kept scoring, even he seemed to be missing the extra jump. So while I suspected that the Oilers, and Jordan, were just better with Hall in the lineup, I couldn't trust that it wasn't just my own bias. So uh, being the person that I am, aka- a person whose brain is probably 75-80% hockey stats, I decided to investigate.

The results were more telling than I could have imagined. The deeper I got, the more my feelings were confirmed.

The Ebs and Hallsy bromance is one of the greatest of our generation but it seems they might actually be a little bit more co-dependent than I even initially thought.

Over the 78 games he played this year, Jordan finished with a .97 pts/game average. He played 20 games without Taylor in the lineup. During that time, his p/g dropped to .75. In the 58 games with Taylor in the lineup? 1.05, over a point per game. A 30% increase in points (12% more goals, 19% more assists). He was also a +6 with Taylor, and a -2 without.

They're just better together.

As far as the team? Let's look at the wins. Well, we all know the Oilers season wasn't exactly picture perfect, with a 32-40-10 (.390). Not exactly stellar. However, they went 6-11-4 without Hall. That's a .286 winning percentage. Over the course of a season, that's 23-43-16, for 62 points... which would have been even worse than Columbus this year. With Hall, their winning percentage actually jumps up to .426. Still not a winning team, and doesn't change much this year, but still a marked improvement.

One of the biggest things I noticed was that there was a substantial drop-off in the effort level, especially after the 40 minute mark, particularly if we were losing. A number of players alluded to this in their end-of-year interviews. So obviously I looked into that, too.

Without Taylor Hall, the Oilers scored 12 goals in the third period (while allowing 22). Of twenty-one games. TWELVE GOALS in TWENTY-ONE games. In one of those games they broke out against the Blue Jackets in the third period and scored 5 goals, including a Ryan Jones hattrick. So that game aside? 7 3PG in 20 games. They outscored the opponent in the third period THREE times. 3 out of 21 games. That's probably because Taylor Hall scored about 15% of the Oilers 3rd period goals this year. 41% of his goals this year came after the 2nd intermission. In the business, that's called "Clutch".

There are other Oilers who know that word, too.

Interestingly enough, since Taylor Hall came into the league as a rookie in the 2010-2011 season, the Oilers have scored 4 overtime goals. He scored three of them. The first was scored by Dustin Penner on December 1st, 2010, and since then, it's been all Taylor. Not to mention that Taylor scored 26% of the Oilers' game winners this season.


To summarize, yea. The Oilers are better with Taylor Hall. The Oilers need Taylor Hall. And I think everyone- not just Oilers fans- should be excited to see what he can do healthy, with a full season, next year.

2012 Playoffs: Quarterfinals Day Three

#3 Florida Panthers / #6 New Jersey Devils

Devils lead series 1-0 after a 3-2 win.

In the first period, it was all Devils. They took it to the Panthers and it looked hopeless. They scored three goals in the first and everything looked to be under control.

But the Panthers wouldn't let that happen. And they scored two in the second and then it was a battle to the end to see if the Panthers would tie it.


#4 Pittsburgh Penguins / #5 Philadelphia Flyers

Flyers lead series 2-0 after an insane 8-5 win in PGH.

Claude Giroux had an amazing game. Six points. Are you kidding us?

Again, the Penguins scored the first couple of goals. And again the Flyers came back to win the game. But this time they won with eight goals. Are you freaking kidding us? Eight goals.

These types of character wins scare the crap outta us. It just gives the Flyers more motivation and that isn't good for the Penguins.

Well, it will sure as hell be interesting in Philadelphia.


#4 Nashville Predators / #5 Detroit Red Wings

Series split 1-1 after a 3-2 Wings win.

We could have predicted this win. The Wings were motivated after the injury to Helm and the WWF move pulled by Weber. It was an emotional win for the Wings and we expected it.

The Wings scored two in the first and then added another and all seemed well for the Wings. But the Predators made it interesting and scored two.

The series is going to Detroit after this and everyone knows how the Wings are at home so it's going to be really interesting to see who wins Game Three.


#1 Vancouver Canucks / #8 Los Angeles Kings

Kings lead series 2-0 after a 4-2 win in Vancouver.

No one predicted this that's for sure.

The Kings power play has been out of control right now. And the Canucks power play is not doing well.

Even with the Kings taking a million penalties in the game, the Canucks could not capitalize on the power plays. And even got scored on. Both of Dustin Brown's goals came shorthanded.

Uh, what? That's pretty awesome.

People are already yelling about putting Schneider in goal but Luongo isn't the problem. The rest of the team is.

Jumat, 13 April 2012

2012 Playoffs: Quarterfinals Day Two

#1 New York Rangers / #8 Ottawa Senators

Rangers lead series 1-0 after a 4-2 win at the Garden

Of course Captain Callahan scored the Rangers first goal in the playoffs. Because he's the man.

It looked like Henrik Lundqvist was gonna get the shutout but Daniel Alfredsson ruined it. Of course.

It was one of those games that you knew would either be a shutout or a high-scoring affair. Kinda was both actually.

The Senators looked like they were not ready for this game and it showed. They were nervous and all over the place. Next game will be interesting.


#2 Boston Bruins / #7 Washington Capitals

Bruins lead series 1-0 after a thrilling OT win.

Okay, we're kidding about the thrilling part. It was one of those 0-0 games that you feel.

Braden Holtby was being a beast. And the Bruins couldn't solve him at all. Not until the third period at least.

Chris Kelly came out of nowhere and scored the game-winning goal.

And then the glass wanted in on the celebration and fell on top of David Krejci. Poor glass, it just wanted to be in on the celly.


#2 St. Louis Blues / #7 San Jose Sharks

Sharks lead series 1-0 after a 2OT goal.

Martin Havlat showed up and made a difference in the game. He scored the game-winning goal in second overtime.

The game was literally back and forth and exciting and they were trading chances left and right.

The Sharks scored first and it didn't look good for the Blues but they came back and scored. It was definitely a back and forth kind of game.


#3 Phoenix Coyotes / #6 Chicago Blackhawks

Coyotes lead series 1-0 after a win in OT.

Martin Hanzal, the night of Martins, scored in the first couple minutes of OT and broke all of our hearts.

Well, those that were cheering for the Hawks were heartbroken.

But it was lovely to see Captain Toews score in his first game back and the first goal for the Blackhawks in the 2012 Playoffs.

Just lovely.

But the Coyotes definitely held the best of the play and deserved the win. They were really good and played defensively and just waited for the opportunity to get the game-winner.

Fine then, there's always next gameeeeeeeee.

Kamis, 12 April 2012

2012 Playoffs: Quarterfinals Day One

So much to talk about and so much to avoid.


#4 Pittsburgh Penguins / #5 Philadelphia Flyers

Flyers lead series 1-0 come from behind win in OT.

Really? We were not pleased with this at all but it happens and we can only hope for the best from the Penguins in Friday's game.

So, can we talk about the dominance from Brayden Schenn? Like seriously, we knew the kid was good and he showed flashes of it in the regular season but come on, he was effing brilliant against the Penguins in Game One.

What a player and what a kid. He was offensively on the whole game. When Claude Giroux was shut down, Schenn was there to pick up the slack and man did he do just that.

Of course we're hoping for none of that in Game Two but that doesn't mean it didn't happen.


#4 Nashville Predators / #5 Detroit Red Wings

Predators lead series 1-0 after a 3-2 win in Smashville

We know what everyone is talking about after this game ended. It's the Weber WWE move on Zetterberg. We've heard enough, you've heard enough so let's move on and talk about the game.

What we want to focus on is the dominance of the Predators's third line. The line of Nick Spaling, Gabriel Bourque and Matt Halischuk.

When the first two 'scoring' lines couldn't produce anything, their third line came up big. We've always thought that the Predators had an excellent third line and this game really made us believe.


#1 Vancouver Canucks / #8 Los Angeles Kings

Kings lead series 1-0 after a 4-2 win

Biggest story to come out of this series so far? PENALTIES GALORE! Seriously, everything was being called on everyone.

There was barely any pace to the game and the Kings had some good chances on the power play and finally converted.

Mike Richards was a huge factor in the game as well and his playoff experience for the Kings is obviously invaluable.

Our favorite part? Dustin Penner's game-winner.

News & Notes for Wednesday

- Jack Connolly from Minnesota-Duluth won the Hobey Baker Award which is college hockey's award for the top player.

- Boston College won the NCAA Championship over Ferris State with a score of 4-1.

- The Blackhawks signed Ray Emery to a one-year contract extension.

- has the final statistical look at the regular season. You know how we love our stats!

- The Dallas Stars had a moving ceremony honoring Karlis Skrastins and Shanny sent us the video of it.

- Surprise, surprise Nail Yakupov has been named the #1 player for the 2012 NHL Entry Draft.

- The Edmonton Oilers won the number one spot AGAIN for the third year in a row.

- James Reimer has been battling what he calls a neck injury and hopes to be better next season. Don't we all.

- There's a lot of things that Jay Feaster has to consider in this long off season for the Flames like to rebuild or not to rebuild.

- Brian Burke vows to address the issues the Leafs have in goaltending and in the size-department. Mmkay, we will see.

- Nathan Horton will miss the entirety of the 2012 Playoffs with a concussion. Such a shame.

- Jaromir Jagr expects to play next season. Cool.

- The Colorado Avalanche signed head coach Joe Sacco to a two-year contract extension. This makes us happy, we think he's a good coach for the young Avs.

- Minnesota Wild owner Craig Leipold is optimistic about the Wild making the playoffs next season and says that GM Chuck Fletcher will get an extension.

- Apparently there's a giant replica of the Stanley Cup in Times Square in New York City. What the everloving hell?

- Here's another episode of Unlaced with Ralph Strangis who tortures/interviews Vern Fiddler.

(thanks to Shanny for this link)

- One of the most exciting things going on (besides the playoffs) is the World Championships. Yay!

Team Canada has nabbed quite a few great players. Jordan Eberle, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Ryan Getzlaf, Corey Perry, John Tavares, Jay Bouwmeester, Dion Phaneuf, Evander Kane, Devan Dubnyk and Cam Ward.

Among others. We can't wait. As always, Team Canada seems stacked and we hate them.

- Team USA is also getting their shit together and getting guys left and right to play for their country.

So far, the guys named are Jack Johnson, Cam Fowler, Richard Bachman, Alex Goligoski, Justin Faulk, Jeff Petry, Paul Stastny, Bobby Ryan, Patrick Dwyer, Nathan Gerbe, Cam Atkinson, JT Brown, Nate Thompson, Keyl Okposo, Max Pacioretty and Jim Slater.

They've also named Ryan Lasch who is playing in the Finnish Elite League and is not in the NHL. Um, okay.

USA hockey is do or die.

Rabu, 11 April 2012

2012 Playoffs Preview: Western Conference

Hey ladies, we're cutting it down to the wire here but things in real life have been a little crazy.

The Eastern Conference is fun but sometimes the Western Conference just scares the living daylights outta us. They're tough, they're high-flying and did we mention murderous because we wouldn't want to meet most of the bluelines in the Western Conference in a back alley.

Unless it's Shea Weber and then we would totally let it happen.

Anyway, onto the previews before this playoffs season starts.


#1 Vancouver Canucks / #8 Los Angeles Kings

Hasn't this already happened? Two seasons ago we had to watch the Canucks run the train on the poor Kings and come out of that series relatively unscathed.

The Canucks are without Daniel Sedin who is still suffering from a concussion but that didn't stop them from clinching the President's Trophy. Even without him, they're still that good.

Sure there are questions about their goaltending but honestly, Roberto Luongo isn't that bad. He has his moments and yeah, he kinda crapped the bed when they needed him the most but you live and you learn. Hopefully for Canucks fans, he stays solid.

And the Kings. The poor Kings, who have been battling with the Sharks and the Coyotes for the third seed in the playoffs, just seemed to be outside looking in for most of the season. But here they are.

Defensively, the Kings are strong. Jonathan Quick is a fantastic and Vezina-worthy goaltender. But are they strong enough to stop the Canucks attack who just seem to throw a million pucks on net?

It's going to be a battle of wills between Quick and the Canucks forwards in this series.

Our Pick: Los Angeles Kings

Because: Yeah, sure this is more than likely going to blow up in our faces but we really like the Kings in this matchup because of their defense and their goaltending. And we just want to pick something different instead of the favorite.

#2 St. Louis Blues / #7 San Jose Sharks

This series has to be one of the hardest to decipher because it could literally go either way.

The Blues have been tops on the Western Conference for most of the season and barely lost the first seed to the Canucks. Still not bad for a team that was one of the worst until Ken Hitchcock came around.

All seems lost when they announced that Brian Elliott is out with an injury but we don't feel bad because they have one of the other best goaltenders in the league in Jaroslav Halak. Yeah, the Blues will be fine.

Now the Sharks. There is no other team that baffles us more sometimes. It's like they're good, we know they're good, but they just don't play like they can sometimes and waste their potential at times.

They have the offensive skills to beat St. Louis. And they have the experience but there always seems to be something missing in their game. Like the drive to win is not there. Or something.

Our Pick: St. Louis Blues

Because: We just think that they're ready and they're a better team than the Sharks. Sure the Sharks have the experience but sometimes that isn't enough. The Blues are ready to fuck shit up. We hope.

#3 Phoenix Coyotes / #6 Chicago Blackhawks

You should already know who we're rooting for in this series. We are throwing all conventional wisdom out the window at this one.

When we found out that the Coyotes were in the playoffs again, we were admittedly surprised. No one seemed to talk about the pretty good season that they were having. Like, we had no idea they were doing that well. But, like the Southeast in the Eastern Conference, they are also points behind the seed they are playing.

Still, that does not take from the pretty great season they have been having. Even without their supposed number one goaltender, Ilya Bryzgalov, who was traded away for a bag of pucks and a pick. Mike Smith has been amazing down the stretch and one of the reasons that they hung onto the third seed.

How the Chicago Blackhawks even made the playoffs, we aren't even sure. Jonathan Toews was having a Hart-like season when he received a hit from Joe Thornton and has been suffering from a concussion. Without him, the Hawks are less dynamic and more pressure is on his linemates. But he should be coming back and we couldn't be happier.

The Hawks have the offense to win. But yet again, the question is goaltending. We can't even stand this question anymore. Corey Crawford is being seen as weak and not playoff ready. Uh, does anyone remember Antti Niemi? He had a comparable defense in front of him and still won the Cup. We have faith in Crawford.

Like the Sharks, the Hawks have the experience to get out of the first round. Unlike the Sharks, they have the drive to win because they know what it is to win and what it is to lose in the first round to Vancouver (people don't forget).

We think this is going to be a tough one and another one that we have no idea how it will turn out. But we will make our predictions.

Our Pick: Chicago Blackhawks

Because: We have to have faith in our second favorite captain and the team that we love in the West. They have the offense and the experience and the leadership and Toews. That's why.

#4 Nashville Predators / #5 Detroit Red Wings

This series reminds us of the Eastern Conference #4 and #5 matchup because it's two teams who are divisional rivals and are pretty evenly matched.

The Predators have home ice and that is a huge advantage. They have been pretty great at home and actually, they've just been pretty great. This is a team that is built to win and built to win in the West.

With the additions that their GM made in the trade deadline, you just knew they would be a contender. Paul Gaustad was acquired to go up against Ryan Kesler. Hal Gill is the shutdown man. Andrei Kostitsyn is scoring.

And then they got Alex Radulov. Really? Really? Whatever, it's not even fair at this point.

We didn't even talk about the defense. Best blueline around. They're built for the Stanley Cup Finals and if they don't get there, well, that won't be good at all.

The Red Wings are the perennial contenders. But there's something different this season. They just don't have the same fear factor like they did in other years. Maybe it was the losing streaks. Maybe it's the injuries. Something has taken the bite out of this team.

We would never count the Wings out. Ever. They're always dangerous and they're always in contention. But we just aren't feeling it this season.

Our Pick: Nashville Predators

Because: Well, like we said above, they're built to win. And Pekka Rinne is a stud. And they made it out of the first round last season and that isn't enough anymore. They want it and they want it bad.

Well, this is the Western Conference preview. Who do you think will win? What do you think will happen?

As always, let us know.

Happy Playoffs!

Selasa, 10 April 2012

2012 Playoffs Preview: Eastern Conference

Like every year, we will be doing our 2012 Playoff Previews for the Eastern and Western Conference.

Does it seem like this season is filled with matchups that could go either way and it's hard to even figure out who will win? Sure you can make a guess but other seasons you usually had the one matchup where you were like, "Oh there is no way they can win. It's sad that they're even trying."

There doesn't seem to be that matchup this season. Which could be a good or bad thing for fans.

Here is the schedule for the days and times and channels that each series will be played on. The Quarterfinals is always the hardest one to keep track of.

Anyway, onto the Eastern Conference preview.


#1 New York Rangers / #8 Ottawa Senators

The Rangers have been tops pretty much all season except for like a week when they weren't.

The Senators have been that team that had major ups and downs this season and made it into the playoffs in the eighth spot through sheer will. And decent goaltending from Craig Anderson and a career year from Erik Karlsson.

Two very different teams in two very different positions and it's hard to tell what could happen in this series.

Will Erik Karlsson and Jason Spezza continue their dazzling offensive output and just run roughshod over the Rangers?

Will Marian Gaborik and Brad Richards produce like they have pretty much all season and just give it to the Senators goaltender?

These are the questions that keep us awake most nights.

Everyone is picking the Rangers to win this and we really can't argue with it.

But we do think that the Senators are going to put up a good fight and score some goals on Mr. Lundqvist.

Honestly, we have had some pretty good feelings about the Rangers this season. This is their time to shine and show the hockey world that they're finally ready to contend for the Stanley Cup.

Our Pick: New York Rangers

Because: they have Lundqvist who is healthy and playing lights out again and he is the difference-maker in the series...both teams have the offense but only one has the King.

#2 Boston Bruins / #7 Washington Capitals

The Bruins. Everyone is obsessed with their defense of the Cup but in all seriousness, we could see them making a serious run for it. They had an awful start to the season but then turned it around and clinched the Northeast Division.

The Capitals had one of those seasons that you just wish would end mercifully for all. Injuries plagued them. Offense just wasn't there. Defense didn't happen. It was just all over the place.

The interesting part will be goaltending. With the injuries to Vokoun and Neuvirth, the Capitals will be turning to Braden Holtby and Dany Sabourin to be the backup. Holtby is not a bad goaltender but this is the playoffs and the Bruins know how the playoffs are.

We can't talk enough about experience and how that does make a difference. This will probably be a hard-hitting and possibly a high-scoring series. Also, did the Capitals use everything they had to get into the playoffs and have nothing left in them for the playoffs? That's a huge question as well.

Our Pick: Boston Bruins

Because: their defense is still one of the toughest in the league and you can't argue with Tim Thomas being great...the only problem we see is the Capitals offense being too much for the Bruins but maybe not.

#3 Florida Panthers / #6 New Jersey Devils

Well, this happened.

The Panthers won the Southeast Division but honestly, we could win the Southeast this season. Admittedly, they were the top team in that division for almost the whole season but still, beating up on those teams isn't that hard.

What we like about the Panthers is that they seem to be the Goonies of the season. Maybe that should be a future award or something. They just never say die and just go and go and go. Many NHL pundits pegged them to fail and they didn't.

As for the Devils, jeez, a team that's been middling throughout the season and just roared their way into the sixth spot. They seem to be always in the mix and with 30-goal seasons from David Clarkson, Zach Parise and Ilya Kovalchuk it almost seems like they were going to make the playoffs all alone.

We would love to see the Panthers kick some butt and take it to the Devils and at least make it a good series. Everyone's been picking the Devils to just run over the Panthers but we don't believe it. Like the rest of the season, the Panthers are being counted out and we think they're going to give the Devils some fits.

Our Pick: New Jersey Devils

Because: With their playoff experience, Martin Brodeur and Ilya Kovalchuk, and Peter DeBoer motivated to win against his old team, it's hard to bet against them.

#4 Pittsburgh Penguins / #5 Philadelphia Flyers

The series to end all series.

The Penguins have been pretty consistent all season until the last few weeks when shit just seemed to be failing left and right. But that's just Penguins fans going all Chicken Little on us again. They're stacked. Sidney Crosby is hungry for another Cup. Evgeni Malkin is scoring at will. And pretty much everyone is healthy. This is a scary team.

The Flyers have been pretty much neck and neck with the Penguins all season, the two teams snapping at each other's heels. This series was destined to happen. And the Flyers are pretty stacked as well with Claude Giroux having an MVP season and Scott Hartnell doing what he does best.

Of course the question is goaltending for the Flyers. Bobrovsky is undefeated at Consol Energy Center. They're 5-1 against the Penguins at Consol and the Pens have home ice advantage. That's the good news. The bad news is the up and down season that Ilya Bryzgalov had and for them to win, he has to be awesome.

Our Pick: Pittsburgh Penguins

Because: We had to and we really believe that they'r the stronger team.

What do you think? How do you think your team will fare? Let us know here!

Tomorrow will be the Western Conference Preview.

Senin, 09 April 2012

Awards Monday: Week Twenty-Seven

Hottie of the Week

Steven Stamkos

Bitch got 60 and as much as we make fun of him here and in real life, you have to respect a player like this. Good for him.


Best Commercial of the Night

NHL Bloopers of the year


The Ryan Malone Wheaties Award

The Detroit Red Wings

As everyone kept reminding us repeatedly during the NBC broadcast, they could have bombed the game against the Hawks (who were leading 2-0 in the third) to make sure that they could play the third seed (the Pacific) which theoretically could be an easy matchup for the Wings. But they didn't. They tied the game and took it to a shootout. That's gamesmanship and we like it.

Minggu, 08 April 2012

Because There's Always Next Season

This is the time of year that hockey fans wait for. This is the time that we think about all summer and fall while our favorite team battles it out for a seed. And when it's all said and done, either your favorite team makes it or not.

And we've been on both sides of the fence. We've watched our team battle it out for the eighth seed and stay atop the conference. It's a sport full of ups and downs but for a lot of teams, there are more downs than ups.

This is for the long-suffering fans of teams that have been waiting and waiting for their favorite team to finally make the playoffs after years of either just scraping in and then failing in five games or being at the bottom of the conference since December and no hope of the post season at all.

That's not just the Maple Leafs fans. It's not just the Oilers fans. This is also for the Islanders and the Jets and the Blue Jackets fans that we know and love.
It's not easy being a fan of these teams. It seems like endless seasons of failure and bad signings and horrible, lop-sided trades and a rebuilding process that seems to be taking a lifetime.

We're here to tell you that all is not lost. Most of these teams have the parts, they have the essentials to become a playoff team. A few are closer than others and all it takes is the right kid drafted or the perfect trade to happen and BAM! the playoffs are suddenly in sight.

The Penguins thought that the Hossa trade was the one that would make them Cup winners. And they got close but it wasn't enough. Then Shero traded for Chris Kunitz and Bill Guerin and who would have ever thought that this little Kunikaze and this old man would be the difference between raising the Cup and watching another team raise it? We never did but that was what made the difference.

You never know what trade or draft pick or turnaround by a player will be the payoff that gets your team the Cup. All is never lost.

For example, the Oilers. You know how much we love that team. But we love watching them not just because of Curtis's influence but because they're just on the cusp of greatness. You can see it, you can feel it when they play. (Well, most games because they still like to flame out sometimes.)

But with Taylor Hall (the heartbeat of that team) being the leader that they need and Jordan Eberle continuing his dominance on the score sheet and the emergence of Ryan Nugent-Hopkins into the evasive and skillful forward that we all know he can be, the Oilers will be a team to contend with in the future.

The Oilers defense is not bad at all. When you really think about it, their defense is actually decent. They just need a few add-ins that would compliment Ryan Whitney's outlet passes and Ladislav Smid's defensive prowess.

Down the stretch, their goaltending had shored up quite a bit. Deven Dubnyk showed that he could be their number one and it's kind of a relief. Goaltending is the thing that separates playoff teams and those that miss it almost every year. A good d-man or two and a defensive forward that isn't as old as dirt and we could see this team making some major noise soon.

Or how about the Islanders? No one cares about them, right? They're a terrible team and always will be, right? We don't believe that for one minute.

John Tavares finished eighth in scoring. Eighth. That's pretty impressive on a team that finished 28th in goals scored. He's a special player and with the right guys around him, the Islanders will be dominant soon enough. Tavares is the type of player you build a team around and he needs a number two guy to ride shotgun with him. Toews has Kane. Crosby has Malkin. Hall has Eberle. These are dominant players who have a drive to win unmatched by anyone on their teams and they have that number two guy who is the skill to their drive. Tavares needs a guy like that and it could be someone already there or maybe someone they will draft.

Only time will tell.

The Islanders' defense is decent and with a lot of young kids, they can only get better. They just need a dependable goaltender like most of these teams that have missed the playoffs recently.

Other teams, like the Lightning and the Avalanche, they're only a piece or two away from the playoffs. With the Avalanche, they have quite a few lines that can score and they finally have a goaltender who can steal games for them. As Varlamov gets older, he will get better. And the Lightning have a sixty-goal scorer so they will be fine soon enough.

And then there are teams like the Flames and the Leafs where you don't even know where to start. The Flames need to start rebuilding and get some good prospects and just start from the bottom up. The Leafs, it kills us sometimes. We always liked Brian Burke but sometimes his decisions do not make sense and we think that the team could be better but they need a leader of sorts. Actually, this could be a whole post in itself so we're gonna stop now.

What we're trying to say is that it doesn't pay to get down on your team. There are a lot of positives in each team that fans can look at and say, "Yeah, okay, things aren't that bad" because it really isn't that bad at all.

Every team that missed the playoffs has a positive or two and as fans, we can hang our hats on that. As fans, we have to stand by our team whether they suck or not and cheer just as loudly.

It sucks watching your team have locker clean out day when other teams are preparing for the playoffs. But there's the draft and there's free agency and there's training camp and you never know what's going to happen.

Here's to the teams that didn't make the playoffs: We love you anyway and we will stand behind you no matter what because there's always next season.

Sabtu, 07 April 2012

Who Does Patrick Kane Think He Is?

With the Blackhawks season already decided, Patrick Kane had a little fun in the shootout against the Red Wings today.

Does he think this is the All Star Game? Who else would pull moves like that in a real game? We love him and his ridiculous mouthguard and those dirty, filthy moves.

Jumat, 06 April 2012

Really, Ryane Clowe? Really?

As Bob Errey once eloquently said, "If you ain't cheating, you ain't trying" but we never thought that Ryane Clowe would take that to heart so easily.

In the game between the Sharks and the Kings, the Kings had a power play and were going into the Sharks zone as Clowe reached over the bench with his stick and poked the puck away from Jarrett Stoll.

We found this article on Puck Daddy about the incident.

And this video as well.

It's weird that not a single official noticed it and were all occupied with something else and did not see Clowe reach from the bench and interfere. Just like the perfect storm of events.

It's also a weird play and something that shouldn't have happened. But there was no punishment on Clowe for this which we thought was odd. At least a fine would have been acceptable.

This has been a strange hockey season that's for sure.

Kamis, 05 April 2012

News Break Thursday

or something like that.

- IIHF announced the schedule for the 2013 World Junior Championships. Time to plan our lives...

- Tuesday April 10, 2012 at 8pm, the NHL Entry Draft drawing will take place.

- After the Penguins/Rangers game, John Tortorella had some strong words for the media about the Orpik hit on Stepan. He was fined. And then of course they had to ask Crosby about Tortorella who said it's all garbage. LOL.

- The Flyers signed Nicklas Grossmann to a four-year extension.

- Wild defenseman Nate Prosser was suspended for the last regular season game after headbutting Jamal Mayers in the Wild's game against the Blackhawks.

We still find this penalty funny because it's just a ridiculous thing to do and it's just funny.

- The Women's World Championships begin on Saturday at the University of Vermont and the first game will be between the US and Canada in a sold-out arena.

Rabu, 04 April 2012

Some News For The Day

- The NHL Central Scouting is coming out with lists upon lists of the top players from the North American leagues and here is the current one.

- Matt Donovan, the first Oklahoman to play in the NHL made his debut for the Islanders the other night against the Devils.

- Edmonton Oilers coach Tom Renney was fined $10,000 for his comments made after the Oilers game against the Kings.

- has the top individual surprises and disappointments for the season.

- Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews has been cleared for contact. We repeat, Captain Serious is ready for contact...

- Tyler Myers will not play in the Sabres final two games before the season ends after taking a puck off the foot in a game.

- Carey Price was complaining of headaches and was diagnosed with a concussion. What hockey god did the Habs piss off this season?

- Devils center Jacob Josefson broke his wrist and will be out 4-6 weeks.

- Maple Leafs defenseman Carl Gunnarsson separated his shoulder and is out for the rest of the season.

- Daniel Briere will be out indefinitely with an upper back contusion after taking a hit from the Penguins Joe Vitale on Sunday. Niklas Grossman will also be out but for only 7-10 days with a lower body injury.

- The idiocy that happened in the Penguins/Flyers game resulted in Pens assistant coach Tony Granato and Flyers head coach Peter Laviolette being fined for their actions and words. Then Mike Milbury, while giving an interview at a Philadelphia radio station, had some harsh words for the Penguins and their coach. He apologized but Pens GM Ray Shero wasn't impressed. And the Flyers assistant coach Craig Berube called the Penguins Malkin and Crosby 'the two dirtiest players on their hockey team'. When will it end?

Selasa, 03 April 2012

Play Off Commercials: Because It's the Cup

Instead of the 'History will be made' videos they had last season, which were awesome until every single play that happened in the play off games was made into one, there are these new

Because It's The Cup

commercials. We like them but we have pretty low standards for commercials nowadays. A few of them are pretty neat and we're gonna link them here.

Vancouver Canucks

oh crying Ryan Kesler, no we don't like that

New York Rangers

stoic Ryan Callahan, yessssss

Chicago Blackhawks

definitely teared up a little at this one but it might just be because it's late and we're tired


yes, we are outside your window watching you celebrate and judging the teams you cheer for

There are way more videos than these few that we highlighted and if you have some free time go and check them out. They're worthy time-wasters.

Senin, 02 April 2012

Awards Monday: Week Twenty-Six

Hottie of the Week

eighth seed

This spot is getting fought over like a weapon of choice in the bloodbath of the Hunger Games. It's all the rage now and it's gonna be an interesting watch to see who will make it into the eighth and final spot in both Conferences.


Best Commercial of the Night

The Revolution Continues...#NugeforCalder

We were totally Inceptioned into rooting for this kid and this video is part of why. Also, Curtis is very convincing in her arguments and excellent at Inception herself.


The Ryan Malone Wheaties Award

Taylor Hall

As much as we cry over his stats and hate/love him, the kid deserves the RMWA just for playing some pretty good hockey with a bum shoulder for four years. Who does that? Oh, yeah, dedicated players who only know how to play through everything until they can't.

Curtis had this to say on our choice:
Taylor Hall injured his shoulder at Age 16 in the 2008 World U-18 Hockey Championship in Russia in the quarter-final game against Finland. He continued to play, finishing 5th in tournament scoring including a 2 goal performance in a 3-2 semi-final win against Sweden. Canada, of course, went on to win the gold medal. A few months later, he was an Alternate Captain at the 2008 Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament in Slovakia, helping Canada to yet another U-18 Gold Medal.

Since then, by the numbers:
169 CHL games played, including playoffs, scoring 118 goals, 166 assists, for 284 points and 1.68 points per game.

2 OHL and Memorial Cup championships in conjunction with back-to-back tournament MVP honours.

6 WJC games played at 2009 World Junior Hockey Championship in Saskatchewan, with 6 goals and 6 assists for 12 points (2.00 p/g), and a silver medal.
tokkotai89 (11:07:04 PM): 1st Overall at 2010 NHL entry draft.

126 NHL games played, with 49 goals and 46 assists for 95 points (career 0.75 p/g).

He has been considered the best player of his age group for the large majority of the last 6 years. He played 4 while injured.

Just wait until he’s healthy.

Minggu, 01 April 2012

Best April Fools Joke

The Edmonton Oilers and the Edmonton Eskimos will finally battle in a two-game, two-sport series where the team with the most points wins the series.

They get to find out finally who really is the best in Edmonton.

Oh my god, try not to laugh when the Oilers take the ice and throw a football around. It kills. So good.

Enjoy this and have a laugh.

Also, how they ever got Eberle to keep a straight face, we will never know. It's a mystery that's befuddled the best.

Sabtu, 31 Maret 2012

Fantasy Hockey: Trades Soon

Just a little reminder to those who are in the fantasy hockey league here, we will be conducting trades on Monday, April 2nd.

So get your trades in, ladies.


only two trades allowed (three if you're really, really desperate)
make sure that the trades are for players in the same position

Good luck and get those emails in!

Jumat, 30 Maret 2012

EA Sports Vote for the Cover Boy

For the cover of NHL 13, EA Sports is holding a vote for fans to choose the cover boy. They have two players from every team up against each other in this first round of voting.

And when this round is over, it will go to 30 with two extra wild card dudes. And then so on.


Of course these boys took to Twitter to get fans to vote for them. highlights some of the funnier ones in this article.

And we screencapped a few ourselves.

Who would you love to see on the cover of EA Sports NHL 13? Let us know! And go vote for the ones that could make it.

Kamis, 29 Maret 2012

Thursday's News & Notes

- Canadiens finally fired their GM. We didn't think things were that bad in Montreal but apparently they are.

- There were a bunch of free agent/college entry-level signings by NHL teams this week:
Sabres signed Maine forward Brian Flynn.
Senators signed Chris Wideman, a defenseman from Miami University of Ohio to a two-year deal.
Maple Leafs signed free agent left winger Spencer Abbott.

- James Duthie has an article about the good, the bad and the Duthie.

- Sidney Crosby got a puck in the schnoz last night. It even warranted an entire article on TSN.

- Despite a rough season, the Oilers have two players who could be in contention for individual awards at the end of the season. #NugeforCalder #EberleforLadyByng

Rabu, 28 Maret 2012

Matt Duchene is Amazing and Other Videos

Grace sent us this video and we actually cried during it.

He may be a giant dork but he's an adorable giant dork.

The Bruins have this trailer for a 'television show' called Bear and the Gang.

Pretty funny stuff.

Marty Biron was given a camera as the Rangers traveled from New York to Philadelphia

And two videos sent from Shanny

the first video is of the ceremony honoring Karlis Skrastins

and the second is Unlaced with Ralph Strangis who interviews Vernon Fiddler

Selasa, 27 Maret 2012

Stop Getting Hurt, Guys!

(or how we're going to bithslap every player that gets hurt)

- Mats Zuccarello is out with a fractured wrist.

- Taylor Hall is out for 5-6 months after electing to have surgery on his shoulder which has been injured since he was in Junior. WHAT? Curtis is beside herself and we just don't want to talk about how this kid ruins our lives.

- Kris Letang is day-to-day. Okay, asshole. So that's how we're gonna play it? STOP GETTING HIT!

- Ben Lovejoy will be out 3-4 weeks after having knee surgery. Uh, what? Okay.

- James Reimer has been sidelined with what the Leafs are calling an 'upper-body' injury. We're done with everything.

- Ilya Bryzgalov will miss at least one game for the Flyers after suffering a fracture in his foot.

And Many Happy Returns

- Alex Steen is back for the Blues. Yay.

- Travis Zajac has returned to the Devils. Good news!


- Duncan Keith was suspended for five games after elbowing Daniel Sedin in the head.

- Chuch Kobasew was fined $2,500 for charging Aaron Rome.

- Alexandre Bolduc was fined $2,500 for slewfooting Ryane Clowe.

Senin, 26 Maret 2012

Awards Monday: Week Twenty-Five

Hottie of the Week

Evgeni Malkin

There are so many reason why he's the HotW but it's mostly because of his scoring tear that has him ten points ahead of the next guy. And he's only three points from 100. Can't wait 'til that happens.


Best Commercial of the Night

Dollar Shave Club

Definitely one of the funniest commercials we've seen in a while.


The Ryan Malone Wheaties Award

Ryan Nugent-Hopkins

The rookie race is getting a little crazy right now. We don't remember it being this close between three players but even with an injury and twenty-one less games played than Landeskog, he is sitting atop the others for scoring. He's had a good couple of games and deserves the Wheaties award this week.

Minggu, 25 Maret 2012

Don't be Rad-iculous!


Don't Be RAD-iculous! Regardless of which team you call your own, which players are your pets and which color/play-by-play guys you prefer, if you are into hockey there is absolutely no way you have been able to escape the insufferable Elian Gonzalez-like Alex Radulov overkill that has dominated the hockey media/blogs these past few days.

It began with a simmer a few weeks ago - rumors that this Radulov guy actually existed somewhere other than in the distant memories of faithful Preds fans who still hoped for his return, or who harbored an understandable grudge against him for bailing on their team and his NHL contract in 2008 when he was only beginning to tap into his playing potential.

Every year the Radulov Return Rumors would resurface, and would then be quashed like the cruelest practical joke. "Maybe next year. Maybe not..." It seemed that the "will he/won't he" question kept popping up with almost as much frequency as "Will John Travolta come out?" or "What part of Zsa-Zsa will they amputate next?? RAD-iculous.

Then, it actually happened. IT came to pass. Don't be RAD-iculous! The Yeti showed himself, and now everybody's wondering if there are also random survivor-descendants of the Romanov royal entourage playing in the KHL. But I digress. The young guy they always called "RAD" is back in Smashville and he's splashed all over the hockey news whether you like it or not. Who IS this guy? Or, who does he THINK he is? Yes, I have been doing some undercover research. Here are some reasons why he's in your face, and why he might be worth loving, hating or laughing at for the remainder of the 2011-12 NHL season that we know for sure he has to fulfill. All I can say is, he'd better be worth all the fuss...



Don't be RAD-iculous. I am Alexander Valerievich Radulov. I am Russian, and am oft-described as the "greatest player (who has) not (been) playing" in the En-Haitch Hell.

Also, Tom Sizemore's twin brother.


Don't be RAD-iculous. I am in Smashville. Lookit:

On the "plaine" from Mother Russia.

Joyfully posing with an adoring fan at BNA Airport in Nashville.

Cavorting down the concourse with my entourage to Baggage Claim.

Me and my posse flashing our passports, entry VISAs and bear pet registrations to the TSA.

Collecting my pet bear from Cargo.

Mumbling about missing "Nurshweel and En-Haitch-Hell" during an interminably boring, scripted press conference yesterday.

Leading the Preds' team stretch at warm-ups during morning skate. (FYI - That's Patric Hornqvist with the swanky white glove, and Colin Wilson knew the cameras would be rolling for this monumental occasion so he donned his geo-print Speedos accordingly.)

So, I'm here. Nobody's sure how long I'll stick around beyond this season (note: the fulfillment of which was conditional upon his return), but I'm here for the time being. I swear I love America and I have missed it since the day I ditched it for a plaine back home.


Don't be RAD-iculous. Salavat Yulaev Ufa.

The Kay-Haitch-Hell.


Don't be RAD-iculous. Winning championships and trophies nobody's heard of or cares about that are named after Russian Cosmonauts, like the Gagarin Cup.

Challenging teammates to morzhi ("walrus") chess matches on roadtrips to Novosibersk.

Hot yoga with teammates on the way back from Dudinka.

Completing my lifeguard certification so I can save morzhi from drowning themselves at the beach during the Sochi Olympics.

Being frustrated and subsequently clubbing my team's goalie coach with my stick. By mistake. Accidentally. On purpose.

Being frustrated and tweeting about what a deek my coach is. Gossiping about my stupid coach and how lame the Kay-Haitch-Hell is with my comrades who are currently playing in the En-Haitch-Hell.

(Note: Not that I would ever do anything like this to my new favorite coach in All of Universe, Barry Trotz. Hi, Coach!)

Consuming gratuitous bottles of chimp-pain and Fireball wheesky with my teammates that I smuggled from Nurshweel.

Experimenting with radioactive hair products.

Partying with beetches.


Don't be RAD-iculous. I played for the Nurshweel Playdators and before that I played in MouthGuard's hometown of Quebec City for Patrick Roy, who MouthGuard thinks is a deek but I like him because he laughed at my outlandish, humiliating and perhaps dangerous "sword-dance" goal celebrations.


Don't be RAD-iculous. My agent has commanded me not to answer this question.

All I am permitted to comment is that it had nothing to do with the time I busted a troika move on the Playdators' locker room logo.


(Note: Ken Holland has reason to be pissed at Rad because his Red Wings are in a dogfight with the Preds for their playoff spot in the Central Division. Brian Burke, on the other hand, helms the Eastern Conference Leafs and as such has no real justification to be pissed at Rad except that he loves to be pissed about something - anything - and is always looking for excuses to undo his tie, emote and explode in public. Finally, Steve Yzerman is GM for the Tampa Bay Lightning, and nobody has ever seen him get mad about anything ever. Hockey fans worldwide can hardly wait for Stevie Y to get mad because you just know he's extra sexy when he's mad. So maybe he should use Rad as practice mad for now, to see how it goes. As a newly-minted GM, Stevie Y needs more practice being mad.)

Don't be RAD-iculous. Or mad! My agent has commanded me not to answer this question, whatever this question means.


Don't be RAD-iculous. Did you know that Radulov's hometown, Nizhny Tagil, is a twin city to Chattanooga, Tennessee? 'Tis true! Maybe this is a sign from the stars that finally - just finally - they have aligned just right for destiny, Rad and the Predators to be happy, cuddly bedfellows.

So, people. Who do YOU think Rad thinks he is? Will he stay or will he go this time? Will he help his Playdator teammates win a Stanley Cup, or will he never learn his lesson and bust a troika move on their logo again? Will he allow his Russian lifeguard certification to expire? Will he ever play morzhi chess matches again?

So many questions...