May 202015

2015 Playoff Bracket

Eastern Conference

(M1) New York Rangers vs (A2) Tampa Bay Lightning

Throughout the playoffs I have been picking against the Rangers. First the Penguins fell and then the Capitals, both dispatched by the reigning President Trophy winners. Despite my somewhat suspect track record I am going to have to pick against them again. I am drinking the Lightning Kool-Aid.  Continue reading »

Apr 132015

2015 Playoff Bracket

Eastern Conference

(A1) Montreal Canadiens vs (W1) Ottawa Senators

No team is hotter entering the playoffs than the Ottawa Senators. They have gone an astounding 21-3-4 over the past 28 games and have essentially been playing playoff hockey since February. Even with all of that momentum the Senators are going to have a tough time taking four games off of Price the Canadiens. The Canadiens will go as far as their all-world netminder will take them. The team in front of Price has a few glaring flaws, chief among them being a lack of consistent offensive production, but he should be able to do just enough for the Canadiens to sneak past the red hot Senators.

Prediction: Canadiens in 7 Continue reading »

Jul 152014

It's a Rant!

I have had a problem with no trade clauses (NTC) for some time. Basically ever since the Dany Heatley fiasco in the summer of 2009. Since then we have seen players hold their GMs hostage during trade negotiations. First they demand a trade and then they blow all of their team’s leverage by a.) going public and b.) providing laughably short lists of teams they are willing to go to. Now, I know what some of you are thinking. Why are you hating on the players? It is the GM that agrees to NTCs. Well, you are absolutely right. Continue reading »

Mar 032013

1) What a gong show of a week for the Calgary Flames. At first glance, Jay Feaster’s 2 year $10 million offer sheet to Colorado’s Ryan O’Reilly was… understandable. But then news broke that the Flames had not done their due diligence on the CBA. And by not doing their due diligence, had risked losing 1st and 3rd round picks in exchange for O’Reilly being claimed off of waivers by another team. As embarrassing as the Flames’ on-ice product has been over the past several seasons, management just set a new standard of incompetence. *Clap, Clap, Clap* Continue reading »

Feb 172013

1) The Ducks kept rolling this week thanks in large part entirely because of 30 year old “rookie” Viktor Fasth. Fasth has won his first 8 NHL starts and has all but stolen Jonas Hiller’s job. It isn’t exactly fair to say the Ducks resurgence this year is all due to Fasth, but his .933 SV% and 1.78 GAA sure doesn’t hurt. Keep an eye on this guy. In a shortened season a goaltender this hot will make a significant difference in playoff seeding.  Continue reading »

Feb 102013

1) Jordan Schroeder scored his first two NHL goals in a 5-1 romp over the Flames on Saturday, capping of a 3 point week. Schroeder has been steadily improving all season long and has settled in nicely as the Canucks current 2nd line pivot. His steady two-way play has been a huge boon in Ryan Kesler’s absence, helping the Canucks pick up 3 wins over divisional opponents this week. Continue reading »

Feb 032013

1) For several years now, the Flames’ ownership has insisted on trying to ice a “playoff” team. But they simply do not have the depth to do this. Instead of rebuilding the proper way (see: Penguins, Oilers, Blackhawks etc…), the Flames went out and gave big money to Dennis Wideman, Jiri Hudler, and Roman Cervenka. None of these guys are gamechangers and wont help the Flames make the playoffs this season. However, despite their best efforts, the Flames may still finish low enough in the standings to get a lottery pick. At 1-3-2 through 6 games, this is looking quite likely. Continue reading »

Sep 032012

1.) Vancouver Canucks: The biggest problem the Canucks have heading into the 2012-13 season is that they have two of the top goalies in the world under contract. The back-to-back defending President Trophy winners shored up their d-core with the addition of Jason Garrison and should see youngster Chris Tanev patrolling the back end on a nightly basis. Ryan Kesler’s injury is worrisome, but his early season absence is mitigated by the overall weakness of the Northwest division.

2.) Los Angeles Kings: The Kings emerged as a powerhouse team during the 2011-12 post season. And with almost the entire Stanley Cup winning roster returning for the 2012-13 season, there is every reason to believe the Kings will finish atop their division. It will be interesting to see whether the Kings can maintain the torrid offensive output which saw them cruise to the cup last spring, but with Jonathan Quick between the pipes the Kings will have an opportunity to win each and every game. Continue reading »

Apr 232012

Brad Richardson’s tying goal, with four Canucks and Cory Schneider within an arm’s reach, should never have happened. That a fourth-liner like Richardson can outwork Henrik Sedin, Alex Edler, Keith Ballard, and David Booth is, well, astounding. This is the second time in the past two playoffs that an eighth seed has knocked off a one seed (Habs in 2010), but this has already been an unpredictable playoffs (even for hockey standards). What’s worrying is that the Kings have dispatched the two-time Presidents’ Trophy champs so quickly, and that the series wasn’t won by talent, but by sheer focus and work ethic.

Continue reading »

Apr 112012

Jonathan Quick can only stop the Vancouver offense for so long, now with Daniel Sedin back in the lineup. True, the Kings have been defensive stalwarts against the Canucks (season series split 2-2, three one-goal games), and have fared well against them in the regular season, but the last time the two teams met in 2010, the Canucks polished them off in six games. The two teams haven’t changed much since – the Canucks have only tinkered with their bottom six in the past couple years, hoping to stumble on a winning formula, while the Kings have added new faces (Richards, Carter), but the results have been nothing short of disappointing.

Continue reading »